female.”nIn the play various women fromndifferent stages of history speak achinglynof the need for the Goddess. Rachel,nwife of Jacob (“As in Abraham, Isaacnand . . .” Pearson explains) is made tonmouth the contemporary feminist partynline: she remembers the benevolentnera of the Goddess and the brutal,nmonotheist patriarchs who deposed then”Mother.” This memory, we are told,nexplains Rachel’s decision to steal thenfigurines of several “gods” from Labann(an event described in Genesis, chaptern31); among those “gods,” we are assured,nwas an image of the Goddess.nThe “Rachel” segment exemplifiesnthe play’s approach. It takes a familiarnevent from scriptural history and investsnit with a feminist subtext, effectivelyninverting the event’s scripturalnsignificance. Idol worshipers suddenlynbecome the Good Guys — the innocentnvictims trying to preserve thenhealing image of the “Mother.” Thisnperspective utterly invalidates thenJudeo-Ghristian canon as a source ofnspiritual truth, thus producing a vacuumnto be filled by acolytes of thenGoddess.nPearson’s play is a runaway smash innUtah. In January 1990 a scheduledn14-date engagement had to be extendednto 30 performances in order to meetnthe demand. An unadverHsed performancenoffered for students at BrighamnYoung University quickly sold out. Thenmessage took root with some BYUnstudents: BYU English teacher ElouisenBell reports that during a Q-and-Anperiod following the performance “Allnparticipants seemed to accept hernpremises; their quesHons had to donwith solutions and particulars: ‘Howncan we . . . ?'” One student offered anpublic validation of Pearson’s Mothernhypothesis: the opening prayer at thenApril 1991 BYU commencement began,n”Our Father and Mother innHeaven . . .”nIf Pearson can find a receptive audiencenin Utah — the very bosom of thendreaded patriarchy — she can make itnanywhere. Since the play’s debut innUtah in 1990, the production hasnplayed in Phoenix and Ghicago, wherenit enjoyed extended runs; the play wasnalso warmly received in Ireland. InnSeptember 1991 the production returnednto Utah, where it was greetednagain with sold-out auditoriums.nPearson professes to be “thrilled” bynthe response generated by.her play: “Inhave had such a wonderful responsenfrom people of all backgrounds, peoplenof all religions or no religion [and] asnI’d listen in the lobby after the play,nthey’d say, ‘Oh, let me tell you whatnmy church is doing to bring back thenconcept of the Mother.'” The desirento bring back the “Mother” can benseen in the use of “gender-inclusive”nlanguage in hymnals, prayers, and revisionsnof the Bible.nThe vice-president of the JungiannPsychiatry Institute was so taken withnPearson’s drama that he asked her tonperform the play at the organization’sninternational conference later this year.nAccording to Pearson, “Jungian psychologistsnknow that the most importantnpsychological work we have to donin this last decade of the 20th centurynis the reintegration of the femininendivine into our religious experience.”nDoes anybody still doubt the realitynof the Goddess? After all, can the NewnYork Times, the Jungian PsychiatrynInstitute, and Pearson’s rhapsodic audiencesnall be wrong?n— William GriggnWHEN MAGIC JOHNSON announcednthat he was redring fromnbasketball because he had tested positivenfor the HIV virus, the nation fellninto the kind of cultural coma that is allntoo common in recent history. Thennational television networks interruptednregulady scheduled programs fornlive coverage of Magic’s news conferencenand ran nighdy retrospectives onnhis life and career. Reporters took tonthe streets to capture the shock andntears of his fans and admirers. Athletesntestified to the many gifts Magic hadn”given the nation.” Los Angeles Lakers’nbroadcaster Chick Hearn wonderednwhether “there will ever be ansadder story than this,” and if “basketballnwill ever recover.” Senators andncongressmen pondered the meaning ofnit all, and President Bush interrupted anNATO conference in Rome to declarenMagic a “national hero.”nOf course, there was one segment ofnthe naHon that was both clear-eyed andnclearheaded: the AIDS lobby. MagicnJohnson was the high-profile figure itnhad long sought — the person whosenaffliction it could market to show thatnnn”anyone” could get AIDS — andnMagic played right into its hands. At annational news conference, Magicnpointed to his genitals and said, “Putnyour thinking caps on, and put yourncap on down there.” This was thenmature and courageous message thatnconvinced President Bush that Magicnwas a “gentleman who has handled hisnproblem in a wonderful manner.”nMagic then joined AIDS activist TomnStoddard to announce their concertednpush for “explicit AIDS and sex education”non prime-Hme television andnin elementary schools. Even the internationalncommunity responded tonMagic’s call. Just in case athletes are innneed of some diversion from the competitionnthey have trained and preparedna lifeHme for, the international Olympicsncommittee announced that allnathletes, ostensibly male and femalenalike, will receive free condoms whilenin Barcelona.nThe Magic Johnson story offersnmany lessons, but they are not thenslogans being chanted by the nahonalnmedia and AIDS lobby. It is certainlyntrue that anyone can get AIDS —nanyone, that is, who behaves like MagicnJohnson. Basketball player MarknJackson said Magic “touched thenwhole world,” and we now know thatnMagic did indeed do a lot of touching.nOne of his close friends, PamelanMcCee, admitted that it “didn’t surprisenme that Magic had the disease.nKnowing his flamboyant lifestyle, itnwas bound to happen sooner or later.nMagic’s closest friends always knewnhim as a major player and womanizer.nHe has had one-night stands with whatnhe calls ‘freaks’ across America.” Magicnadmitted this himself, saying “I didnmy best to accommodate as manynwomen as I could.”nThis story has also reinforced an oldnstereotype and a famous double standard.nIn a recent national talk showndealing with the lack of positive rolenmodels for minority youth, a numbernof black women correctly noted thatnMagic’s actions have done little toncounter the image of black males asnignorant, irresponsible, and sexuallyninsatiable, whatever their aptitude fornbouncing a ball. This story also offendednwomen athletes, because Magic willnremain a million-dollar draw for commercialnpurposes. For all her whining,nMartina Navratilova made a validnMARCH 1992/7n