Q: I understand you attended Mass as a kid in Long Island.
A: I didn’t have a Jewish upbringing. My family was Jewish, but I never had any kind of religious instruction. All my friends in the neighborhood were Irish and Italian and Polish Catholics, and on Sunday everybody went to Mass, so I thought that’s what you did. I just went with my friends and learned how to do the whole ding-dong bell and bang the chest and kneel down and genuflect and all that stuff. My friends told me, “Yeah, you go to confession and the priest forgives your sins.” And I said, “Wow, that’s a great deal. Then you can go out and do it all over again? That’s great!” I went to confession.

Q: What were you confessing to?
A: Oh, I made stuff up. Like “I stole my grandmother’s money” or “I felt up my sister’s best friend.” The priest would say “Okay, 10 Hail Marys and 14 Our Fathers.” Then he started asking me questions. “Are you a member of this parish? Have you been baptized?” I went, “No”—and he chased me out of the church. And then I realized, I guess I’m not Catholic.

Q: I thought they wanted converts.
A: You would think.