“Glory be to God for Gloria!”

9780679456209 That how she was greeted by Father Harvey Egan, pastor of St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Minneapolis in 1978 in front of his congregation. They had a series where “lay people” would come deliver a sermon.

“So I talk about original cultures that saw the presence of god in all living things—including women. Only in the last five hundred to five thousand years—depending on where we live in the world—has godliness been withdrawn from nature, withdrawn from females, and withdrawn from particular races of men, all in order to allow the conquering of nature, females, and certain races of men….So when Father Egan prays to a female as well as a male god—and invites women as well as men to speak from the church pulpit—he is taking a step towards restoring an original balance….They laugh at the idea that priests dressed in skirts try to trump women’s birth-giving power by baptizing with imitation birth fluid, calling us reborn, and going women one better by promising everlasting life. Indeed, elaborate concepts of Heaven and Hell didn’t seem to exist before patriarchy; you just joined your elders or kept being reincarnated until you learned enough…..the design of many partriarchal religious buildings resembles the body of a woman. Think about it: there is an outer and inner entrance (labia majora, labia minora) with a vestibule between (an anatomical as well as architectural term) and a vaginal aisle up the center of the church to the altar (the womb) with two curved (ovarian) structures on either side.”

Another part of the book I liked:

“I was the only ‘girl writer,’ probably because the power to make people laugh is also a power, so women have been kept out of comedy. Polls show that women fear most from men is violence, and what men fear from women is ridicule….I finally understood why laughter is a mark of wanderers, from the holy fools of Old Russia to the roadies of rock music. It’s the surprise, the unexpected, the out of control. It turns out that laughter is the only free emotion—the only one that can’t be compelled. We can be made to fear. We can even be made to believe we’re in love because, if we’re kept dependent and isolated for long enough, we bond in order to survive. But laughter explodes like an aha! It comes when the punch line changes everything that has gone before, when two opposites collide and make a third, when we suddenly see a new reality.”

Extraordinary woman with writing chops.