But the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries present us with a unique proliferation of choices. Assuming you were not geographically constrained, would you be a Lutheran, Presbyterian, Congregationalist, Huguenot (or some other continental Calvinist), Catholic, Jesuit, Anglican, Jansenist, one of those weird Bohemian heretics, or something even more bizarre - Quaker, Ranter, Anabaptist? And let's be clear, you cannot be any of these things casually, but must choose on the assumption that you will be fighting for it, by means of either pen or sword. A great deal is at stake in this decision: an entire worldview, a way of life, the social and political order implied or expressly demanded by the theology you embrace.
In college and for some time after, I assumed I would have obviously liked to be a Calvinist of some sort, most likely English, so that I could be a Puritan, but Scottish Presbyterianism would be acceptable as well. And if not that, then surely some other respectable sort of Protestant - an Anglican, if necessary. But time and study have revealed to me the hard fact that, all things considered, I would probably be happiest as a Jesuit. (Yes, I realize I would have to be male to qualify, but that's no less improbable than time travel, so I'm unperturbed by that technicality.) This realization goes against all my entrenched sympathy for Protestantism over Catholicism, which can alternately be understood as a preference for early America over everything else. It has been hard to come to terms with this new understanding of my hypothetical historical self and its implications for my previous staunch Puritan partisanship, but I am trying.