Meg Bowman

Born June 1929

Atheist, Feminist, Educator.

"Why burn? The answer is simple - Read the Bible - The Koran - the theologians and philosophers of the world"

Brought up by pillars of the Methodist Church in North Dakota, she became a progressive/liberal activist and became a popular speaker at Unitarian, humanist and freethought gatherings. She has written and published eight books through her Hot Flash Press, including Goddesses, Witches & the Paradigm Shift, Memorial Services for Women, Dramatic Readings on Feminsit Issues, Women's History, Dramatic Readings for Older Women and Feminist Classics that changed the world. she also wrote an essay entitled Misogyny: Men Don't Really Hate Women, Or Do They?

In explanation of the dramatic burnings she organsed she wrote -

Why We Burn: Sexism Exorcised (this is a part of it)

IN I97I THE WOMEN'S GROUP Of  St. Clement's Episcopal Church, New York City, rewrote the liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer, read sexist statements from the Bible, brought them to the altar, set them on fire and presented them as a burnt offering.

In 1972, at the Democratic National Convention, women repeated the ritual in the streets of Miami Beach. Our coast-to-coast "burnings" in 1975 were a prelude to feminist fireworks set off in 1976, our Bicenten-nial, to "Remember the ladies," as Abigail Adams asked John to do in I776. John forgot.

From Berkeley to Boston, Maine to Miami, we have burned. Omaha women drew the biggest audiences as they ignited the streets of Nebraska. And, yes, radical feminism has even "played in Peoria"-pyromaniacally.

Why burn? The answer is simple. Read the Bible-the Koran-the theologians and philosophers of the world. Look in your hymnals and then ask, "What better way to raise the religious consciousness of obtuse, callous, sexist societies?"

Our foremothers, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Matilda Joslyn Gage, Sojourner Truth and Alice Paul knew that the major force against women's rights came from the male clergy.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton said, "The Bible and the church have been the greatest stumbling blocks in the way of women's emancipation." She got together with other women and they put together the "Woman's Bible"-noting all passages that relate to women.

Betty Friedan told the world (including the Pope personally) "the church is the enemy."

Dr. Rosemary Ruether, one of the first two women to become a lecturer at Harvard Divinity School, said that since the time of the earliest Christian fathers, women have been viewed as ". . . flesh, a sort of head-less body"-"the symbol of sin"-for the spiritually superior male to con-trol and use, "either as the means of procreation or the remedy for their sexual desires."

Annie Gaylor publishes an adaptation from a chapter of her Dramatic Readings on Feminst  Issues (1988) in Women Without Superstition No Gods, No Masters  in which she lists some 30 quotations on the religious attitudes to women that shape our societies today.

see Women Without Superstition "No Gods, No Masters"