641 pages, and frankly, that's not enough. Eliyzabeth Yanne Strong-Anderson's great work is a constantly moving symphony of ideas, which never settles nor resolves. There is of course one central theme, the sinful use of birth control by married Christians, which returns in different forms throughout, but the narrative keeps spinning off into new territory, startling and delighting the reader by turns. Her radical insistence on writing almost exclusively in all-caps may be off-putting at first, as is her idiosyncratic spelling and punctuation, but stick with it, the effort is worth it.
One of the many pleasures to be found comes from her frankness about her life and the difficulties it has presented:
FROM THE VERY BEGINNING!!! **EVEN WHEN I FIRST MATE MY EX-HUSBAND AT THE AGE OF 18> I FELT >GOD HAS SENT A VERY SMART AND HANDSOME MAN INTO MY LIFE!! THE JOKE IS: NOW 20 YEARS: LATER:>
I THINK IT WAS THE DEVIL!! BUT FOR MY CHILDREN SAKE: IT WAS GODS HOLYSPIRIT WILL THAT I MARRY: THIS MAN!! **AND NOW I HAVE TWO BEAUTIFUL HOLYSPIRIT DIRECTED DAUTHERS: NOW IN THEIR TEENAGE YEARS: * WHO I MUST HELP GET THROUGHT THE DECIEVING DEVILISH WORLD OF> FALSE CHRIST CHURCHES!! SO IT IS NOT ONLY THEIR SINFUL FATHER. THAT DECEIVE ME 20 YEARS AGO: BUT ALSO THE FALSE CHRIST CHURCH !! **LIVING ON BIRTH CONTROL METHODS 20 YEARS AGO: THAT DECEIVE ME IN MY FIRST YEAR MARRIAGES!!
Fortunately God has blessed her with the gift of prophecy, enabling her to get ahead of the game when it came to consumer electronics:
‘AND TO TELL A TRUTH: THE YEAR OF 1995 AND 1996 WAS A YEAR I STARTED TALKING ABOUT VIDEO HOME SECURITY AND ALSO CELL PHONES FOR MY DAUTHERS. **BECAUSE IT THE TIME>>, ONLY RICH PEOPLE HAD THEM: OR POLICE OFFICERS. **BUT WHEN I LEFT CALIFORNIA IN 1995 I WAS STARTING A SMALL BUSINESS CALL: EXCEL LONG DISTANCE PHONE COMPANY: **AND ALSO THE BUSINESS OF TASER GUN WEAPONS WAS SOLD ON TELEVISION!! *BUT WHEN I CAME TO THIS SMALL OF TUCSON> ARIZONA. ***DURING THE YEARS OF 1995 TO 1997. **
THE BUSINESS OF HOME SECURITY FOR VIDEO CAMERAS: BECAME A BIG SELLER AS I PREDICTED. AND THE SALES OF CELL PHONES ALSO BEGAN A BIG SALES AS I PREDICTED. **AT AFFORDABLE PRICES. *INSTEAD OF RIRCH PRICES: LIKE THE WHERE WHEN I WAS LOOKING FOR THEM. *
“I WANTED A CELL PHONE AFTER MY CAR ACCIDENT IN 1996. *FOR MY DAUTHERS HAD TO WAIK TO SCHOOL BY THEMSELVES. ***SO>I STARTED SEEKING CELL PHONES. **A FEW YEARS LATER THEY STARTED SALING THEM LIKE MILLIONAIRE HOT CAKES. **
GOD SHOW ME THE SPIRITUAL WORLD HAD STARTED LEACHING OFF MY CHRISTIAN HOLYSPIRIT BUSINESS IDEALS. **SO > TRULY IF GOD WANTED TO JUDGE THE WORLD FOR EVIL GAIN: > IN THE SPIRITUAL WARFARE WE HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH IN THE > PAST 10 YEARS. *
She is writing a "BOOK OF HEALTH GODS WAY", which still awaits publication, but we are granted a few intriguing glimpses of what it might contain:
*GOD HAS GUIDED ME TO TELL YOU TO: TRY EATING HEALTHIER FOODS: **STAY AWAY FROM PORK, AND MEATS MIXED WITH BLOODS! EAT ONLY WHITE MEATS: LIKE CHICKEN BREAST! “STAY AWAY FROM SCAVENGERS AND SEA FOOD ABOMINATIONS!! **INCLUDING>RED GROUND HAMBURGERS AND STEAKS THAT ARE COOK WITH BLOOD LEFT IN THEM! “THE BLOOD IS WHERE MANY DISEASES STILL LIVE IN FOODS! **AND >**BECAUSE INSULIN IS A POISON, MADE FROM DOGS OR PIGS: BE SURE TO NOT USE ABOMINATION INSULIN INJECTIONS,
“BECAUSE INSULIN: > HAS CAUSE DEATH. CRIPPLING AND MENTAL ILLNESS!! *l HAVE STUDY SICKNESS AND DISEASES TO WRITE A BOOK OF HELP AND SALVATION IN HEALTH AND TRUTH ABOUT:> EVIL IN OUR MEDICAL DIAGNOSES: ESPFCIALLY BECAUSE OF: THE HEALTH LAWS IN THE HOLY BIBLES: TELL US NOT TO EAT UNCLEAN FOODS! **THIS IS THE CURSE ON THE WORLD TODAY: **EVEN A CONSPIRACY OF EVIL AND ATHEIST PEOPLE. MOCKERY GODS HOLY LAWS WITH HEALTH FOOD DIETS ADDING PORK. WHICH IS THF UNCLEAN PIG AND SWINE FOODS!!*
*MOST:>> OF DIABETICS DIANGNOSES IS A CONSPIRACY TO KILL HOLY AND AFRICAN PEOPLE OF ISRAEL AND AFRICA! **MANY YEARS AGO DURING THE DAYS OF AFRICAN SLAVERY. **THE PEOPLE OF RACISM WOULD >MOCK AFRICAN WAYS OF EATING AND GIVE THEM PIG MEAT AND THE WORST FOODS TO EAT: CAUSING SICKLE CELL DISEASES AND OTHFR DISEASES MOSTLY FOUND IN AFRICAN PEOPLE TODAY. **
What is a good diet, then? That question is answered amid a rare torrent of wisecracks:
THOSE WOMEN WHO DON’T CARE WHAT THEY EAT: AND ALWAYS IS ON SOME KIND OF SKINNY FOOD SALAD DIET? **MAYBE HURTING THEIR BABIES GROWING GENES. **HERE WE SEE IN THE GROWTH OF A CHILD: HOW WEAK THEY ARE WHEN THEY TRY TO COMPLETE IN SPORTS AND GAMES. **I SEEM MANY KIDS: LOOKING LIKE SOUPS AND CRACKERS BONES. **TRYING TO TRY OUT FOR THE BASKETBALL TEAM OR FOOTBALL TEAM. **BUT JUST CAN’T COMPLETE. **BECAUSE THEIR BONES ARE TOO WEAK. *AND IT SHOW THEY AR THE MOST SKINNIEST KID ON THE COURT. **
I LIKE: TO JOKE AND SAY: BUT IT IS A TRUTH: HOW MANY PEOPLE CANNOT JUMP AS HIGH AS AFRICAN AMERICANS IN BASKETBALL OR OTHER SPORTS BECAUSE: > THEY ARE NOT BUILT AS STRONG IN THEIR>EARLY CHILDHOOD BONES: LIKE WE ARE. **
THE TRUTH IS: MOST AFRICAN AMERICANS EAT A LOT OF PROTEIN FOODS. BEANS, RICE AND YAMS AND POTATOES. MIXED WITH MUSTARD GREENS AND CHICKEN AND FISH. AND DON’T FORGET THE CORN BREAD. **
HERE A JOKE AND TRUTH: I CAN REMEMBER WHEN I SAW A CHUCK OF> CHEESE IN A KIDS SCHOOL LUNCH: THIS WAS ALMOST FIRST TIME: I UNDERSTOOD WHAT CHEESE WAS. *THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MY LUNCH: AND THE WHITE GIRLS LUNCH: > WAS I HAD>PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY SANDWICH AND HER LUNCH WAS A MEAT AND CHEESE SANDWICH. **AND NOT JUST A SANDWICH BUT A BIG CHUCK OF CHEESE.
NOW GOD HAS SHOWN ME: ALTHOUGH: MY> PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY. *SANDWICH WAS CONSIDER THE POOR PEOPLE>FOOD.**I TRULY HAD A BETTER >LUNCH THEN SEE HAD THAT DAY. **
Following Sarah in Genesis, 21-6, her message is that “God has made me laugh, and all who hear will laugh with me.”.
Like all great books, Birth Control is Sinful concludes with a chapter of poems and songs, including a rap titled "HONEY!! YOU KNOW GOD KNOWS", which contains the sublime couplet:
GOD KNOWS: WE ARE LIKE TWO PEOPLE IN A WORLD OF MIXTURES.
AND GOD KNOWS WHEN WE NEED NEW FIXTURES.
As the youth so sweetly put it, this girl got bars and a crazy flow!
PECUILAR YES WE ARE, BUT GOD HAS MADE OUR SMILES.
Once again, Yanne Strong-Anderson draws on deep folk-wisdom and captures its essence in a few meticulously chosen words. Is there anyone else writing like this in these times?