A savior arrives and dies on the cross
Supposedly to save us from sin
But women will always be seen
As the source of original sin.
He was born of a virgin who knew not men.
The seed for life comes from above.
In this upside down world that now exists
What happened to our Earth Mother?
Now Saint Paul says in his book Timothy
Women can be saved if they give birth.
They bear sons to fight this god’s wars
And daughters are owned by men.
Men are told to leave their families behind
To take to the road to follow him.
But who must stay and take care of the hearth
Of course, it is women as always.
Again it is women who are not equal
They cannot preach this “good news.”
They must remain submissive and silent:
For the head of the woman is man.
Soon those women who opened their homes
Find they no longer have a role to play.
The women are gone: the men take over
Still today most preachers are men.
The early church leaders like Augustine
Continue the hatred of women.
For him and for others it is written
Their carnal lust was the cause of sin.
Tertullien wants to join in the fight
And add to this misogynist mix.
Woman because of her role in sin
Was the cause of the death of god’s son.
Women’s learning soon becomes forbidden
Alexandria’s scrolls are set on fire.
Hypatia is killed and her body cut up
No longer will women be scholars.
The Popes in Rome want Jerusalem as theirs.
Eight Crusades end the lives of millions.
It does not matter whether men or women
As infidels they all must suffer.
But the goddess cannot be silenced.
She lingers still in small pockets.
Women continue to honor nature
And silently worship her still.
Time moves ahead but nothing changes
Men end women’s healing by calling them witches.
They die by the millions and all because
“Carnal lust is unsatiable in women.”
Women are judged still to be unclean
And cannot enter the church when they menstruate.
So the Pope in Rome rules for those who follow
The dictates of all that is Catholic.
A scholar to some is Thomas Aquinas
But for him it is still the same.
He declares that no woman possesses
A soul, for only to men is it given.
Luther destroys all the images
Of mother and the small baby Jesus.
His new religion has no room for women.
No more are there saints or Sophia.
All that is left is the Trinity:
The father, the son, and the holy spirit.
All traces of women whether virgin or not
Are ended for now and forever.
Luther, however, is not alone in his quest
To declare women unclean and unholy.
Calvin joins in to say sex before marriage
Must warrant exile or drowning.
But he cannot stop in his drive
To declare women the worst of the sexes.
For no longer can they wear lace or rouge
Nor jewelry nor any fine clothing.
But a glimmer of hope arises with science
An enlightenment is on the horizon.
Many hope that reason will prevail
And all will come to their senses.
In the West there is a spark of change
When the first declaration for women is made.
1848 in Seneca Falls marks the year and the place
And at last some progress is made.
In the same year another right is gained
At least in the state of New York.
For the first time in this new country
Women may own property in their name.
Margaret Fuller says “A house is no home unless it contain
food and fire for the mind as well as for the body.”
Men and women join together to fight
And soon some real gains are made.
In wars women are needed to fill
The jobs left by the men who fight.
As Rosie the Riverter they show their worth
But it ends when the men come home.
Once again they become the stay at home moms
Expected to raise the new sons and daughters.
If they do get to study and learn
They must limit the fields that they choose.
A secretary, a teacher, a nurse are the choices
That are deemed all right and okay.
But a lawyer, a doctor, or banker
They are rarely allowed to be.
A new dawn has finally arrived in the 60’s;
Women take a stand for their rights.
Birth control pills and safe abortions
Are just some of the gains that are made.
The Civil Rights Act is amended to add women.
Smith’s hope is that the bill will bow die.
But low and behold it does the trick
And passes the House and the Senate.
The Catholic Church with its head in the sand
Declares sex is no longer just for babies.
But marriage is still a requirement
And condoms are not permitted.
Our Bodies Ourselves comes out in the 70’s
For once women can explore what it takes
To control our bodies and discover as well
How we can increase our own pleasure.
But this is the West not the Middle East
Where women remain under men’s thumb.
They must be covered from head to foot
And are murdered for something called honor.
Too long have women suffered on earth
From this myth they call religion.
We must join with the men who support us
To be a force that can challenge and change.
We will declare, for all women of the world.
We need no gods and no masters.
We can honor the earth as well as each other
For justice is due regardless of gender.
A new day is dawning, it is finally time
To make men and women equal.
We must give up the fables of old
And build a just life together.
Karen L. Garst
The Faithless Feminist