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
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.
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
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
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.
Without Superstition "No Gods, No Masters"