Dear Sweet 80-Year-Old Lady in the Confessional Lineup,

Three children is not really so very very many, is it?  Yes, indeed, I am aware of the birth control pill, as well as the fact that God gave me free will and a reasoning brain, and that I am free to make up my own mind on every point of conscience. You see, I grew up in a time when virtually every moral authority which presented itself to me (with the blessed exception of my mom) told me that I can do whatever I want, whenever I want, as long as it is not illegal or damaging to the environment.

I do not recall ever being told in my formative years that the Church’s authority deserved pride of place, or that I need pay much mind to its dictates in carrying out my daily life, so your concern is misplaced if you are worried that I am a frightened and unwilling slave to convention.  Actually, I am as ornery and free-thinking as your own heart could desire – I dragged my way into the Catholic Church over the broken glass and hot ashes of my own extremely strong prejudice and the very violent prejudice of the circle of peers with which I had chosen to associate and identify in my early adulthood.

I came here, because one day it occurred to me that it is not a very deep or philosophical thing to know that I can do as I please. Of course I can.  Who’s going to stop me, if I make up my mind to do it?  It seemed that maybe it would be more fruitful to examine what I ought to do or not do.  And so here I am.

If we come to different conclusions about various issues, that is all well and good.  But perhaps the lineup at the confessional is not the appropriate time to try to free me from my hard-won beliefs – it seems rather like bringing a big juicy steak to a vegan potluck.  Me, I love a good steak. But there’s a time and a place.

With many thanks for your kind concern,
Mrs Cobb


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