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read many books on science fiction that helped spread my mental horizons and widen my
imagination. There were other planets and different types of intelligent life far more
advanced than we are and no doubt having higher religions and philosophies as well. Life
contained many other possibilities that I was beginning to discover, moving beyond the
boundaries of my rigid religious beliefs. I was always fascinated with history, which
public school also had more to offer. At first it was American history that intrigue me,
including the settling of the West, about which I sympathized with the Native Americans
who seemed more the victims than the aggressors in this continental saga. The history of
World War II was a big topic of the then post-war era.
led me to a special study of European history from about the age of fourteen. Europe had a
much broader and more diverse culture and a longer history that drew my curiosity.
European history brought me in contact with the history of the church with its political
and military popes and anti-popes. I learned of the many religious wars in Europe like the
bloody Thirty Years War in the seventeenth century that resulted in over one third of the
population of Germany getting decimated.
I learned about the European extermination of the
Native Americans under Cortez and Pizarro. I began to see the dark side of my Catholic
religion. My lingering religious sentimentality and childhood nostalgia for the church