February 20, 2021:

Although it had its roots in deepest childhood, this was the beginning of my adult identity.

Childhood: I'd always taken the Gospels seriously, trying, mostly unsuccessfully, to understand Jesus' intent and what it meant for me.

Adulthood: I would not be bound by received conventions I judged through research to be false, or misleading, or corrupt.

This was a moral stance, a principled stance. The first prototype of what became a lifetime of principled moral stances.

So that my mother's disinterest shocked me as much as her eventual betrayal. "All the kids are doing it," she said on the phone, rationalizing.

No, not all the kids.