Monday, February 27, 2012

The U S Racial Crisis and World Evangelism - Tom Skinner

Tom Skinner was among the very special men with whom I became acquainted several years ago. I first heard Tom preach at the Jesus '75 Festival held in Morgantown, Pennsylvania. Tom is the author Black and Free, Words of Revolution, If Christ is the Answer, What are the Questions?, The Will of God, Now, I'm Free, and Words of Revolution: A Call to Involvement in the Real Revolution.

Tom Skinner was among the most powerful speakers during the 70s and 80s. He presented the Gospel of Jesus Christ in a unique powerful way that transforms the lives of men and women. He presented a unique message of hope, renewal, reconciliation, and personal motivation. The message of Tom Skinner taught was to transform western culture into a just, compassionate, moral society which could only happen as each man and woman were transformed by the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

The U.S. Crisis and World Evangelism

A Christian Manifesto - Dr. Francis Schaeffer

Selections from Dr. Schaeffer's book A Christian Manifesto

"Most fundamentally, our culture, society, government, and law are in the condition they are in, not because of a conspiracy, but because the church has forsaken its duty to be the salt of the culture." 
"The humanistic, material-energy world view intolerantly uses every form of force at its disposal to make its worldview the exclusive one taught in the schools." 
"God has ordained the state as a delegated authority; it is not autonomous. The state is to be an agent of justice, to restrain evil by punishing  the wrongdoer, and to protect the good in society. When it does the reverse, it has no proper authority."

"It is time we consciously realize that when any office commands what is contrary to God's Law it abrogates its authority. And our loyalty to the God who gave this law then requires that we make the appropriate response in that situation to such a tyrannical usurping of power."

Mary Mason Lyon - Educator Extraordinaire

One might ask "Who was Mary Lyon?" She was an extremely important Christian woman in the history of American education and women's affairs.

Her life and achievements are inspiring and continue to influence women throughout the world. Mary Lyon  overcame obstacles which would discourage other people who were not as determined to accomplish her objectives and purposes.

Historians have called Mary Lyon's accomplishments as "an astonishing feat." She was among the most important women who changed the course of higher education for women in the United States. She became a pioneer in the struggle to establish institutions of higher learning for women which were equal to the best colleges which were available to men.

This school teacher from Massachusetts wasn't merely an American pioneer in the field of education. She was a remarkable woman who founded a model of higher education for women worldwide. She lived in an era when people held contempt and scorn at the idea of women attending colleges to become doctors and lawyers.

Mary Lyon was a woman of foresight, courage, and daring who did not resign herself to the discouragement of people who did not hold her high ideals concerning the abilities of women. She became the founder of the first women's college in America which is known today as Mount Holyoke College.

Mary Mason Lyon (28 February 1797 - 5 March 1849) was born in Buckland, Massachusetts in the remote western region of the historic state. She was the sixth of eight children; the fourth daughter of Aaron and Jemima Shephard Lyon. This charming little girl would grow up to become a most influential Christian educator. Her family who owned a farm in Buckland, Massachusetts.

Mary's parents were strong devout Christians who traced their lineage to the earliest days of the Massachusetts coloney. Her parents struggled to provide for their family which became more difficult after Mary's father died when she was five years old. Consequently, she grew up learning skills necessary for a girl of her era: spinning, weaving, sewing, and helping with the necessary chores on the family farm. Mary walked several miles to the nearest school when she was a little girl of four years old. Eventually, she would stay for periods of three months at a time with relatives and friends in order to attend school. She would pay her host for the priviledge of staying in a home by performing duties such as cooking and cleaning. She continued to attend school until she was thirteen years old which was common in her era.

Hard work became a way of life for Mary; she continued to work hard at whatever she sought to accomplish throughout her childhood into her adult life.

Her mother remarried when Mary was thirteen and moved from the family farm into town with her husband. Mary chose to stay behind at the family farm in Buckland and kept house for her older brother Aaron. He accepted the responsibility to keep the family farm and gave her a dollar a week for her help on the farm. Mary frugally saved the money she earned to further her education.

She treasured with great pleasure memories of her years as a child at the family farm in Buckland.  Mary described what she could see from her home in Western Massachuestts:

"The far-off mountains in all their grandeur, and the deep valleys, and widely extended plains, and more than all, that little village below, containing only a very few white houses, but more than those young eyes had ever seen."

She had a strong desire to learn and a love of education. Mary continued to work and save the small amount of money she earned in order to attend school for a few months at a time.

She attended schools in various districts intermittently. In 1814, she was offered her first teaching position at a summer school in Shelburne Falls a small town near Buckland. She was seventeen years old when she began teaching in a one-room local school although she had no formal training. Mary was paid seventy-five cents a week and received meals and a place in which to live. 

Mary wasn't very successful as a teacher at first for she had difficulty controlling her students. She was always ready to heartily laugh with her students being only a few years older then her pupils. Her reputation among the people of Shelburne Falls as an excellent student was accepted by them as her qualifications. The parents of her students saw her skill and ability.

Large numbers of men were moving west in seach of better economic opportunities which became available. Hence, female teachers were in great demand.

Mary chose to commit herself to extending the educational opportunities of girls from families of modest income and the poor. As a teenager Mary had a profound thirst and hunger to learn and knew that other girls had the same desire to learn as well. The modest beginnings from which she began became the impetus to foster a commitment to provide educational opportunities to girls who had similar economic backgrounds as her own. While teaching as a teenager, Mary earned some money to continue her own studies at various academies and schools.

Beginning to teach at the age of seventeen; she eventually taught in several schools which include Adams Female Seminary at Londonderry, New Hampshire and Zilpah Polly Grant's school in Ipswich.

Mary began a long intensive period of study and teaching when she twenty years of age. At the age of twenty, she was earning 75 cents a week plus board. The burden of working and studying often left her with only four hours of sleep each day.

Sanderson Academy was a new private secondarly school which opened for women in Ashfield, Massachusetts. She created and sold coverings for books frugally saving the money she earned as a teacher to attend Sanderson Academy.

It was at Sanderson where she began to study more difficult subjects which included: science, history, and Latin. A friend who attended Sanderson with her wrote that Mary was "gaining knowledge by handfuls." 

It has been reported that Mary actually memorized a complete book the Latin language in three days. It was while she studied at Sanderson; she received the basics of her education. Sanderson was among several academies in which Mary eventually taught. 

Mary felt that her handwriting needed much improvement in order to be read clearly. At twenty-one, she chose to attend a local public school where she would sit among children in order to improve her writing skills.

Despite her financial burden and busy teaching scedule; she was determined to further her education. She chose to spend time in the classroom and attend lectures alternately with teaching and running her school. There were times when she would travel by carriage three days in order to enroll at a school. Members of her family advised against her choice to cash in a small inheritance which she received from her father in order to pay for her education. She was frugal, resourceful, and thrifty, saving portions of her small salary to pay for her education. Mary traded coverlets and blankets which she had woven to pay for room and board.

Adams Female Academy and the Ipswich Female Seminary were run by Zilpah Grant. Mary developed her vision for Mount Holyoke Female Seminary which resembled Zilphah Grant's schools in many respects. She hoped her school would draw students from a much wider socio-economic spectrum which included girls of modest means. Her college would be founded by people of modest means to serve their daughters rather than the wealthy families.

The Reverend Joseph Emerson was the brother of Ralph Waldo Emerson and wrote "Discourse on Female Education" (1822). He advocated the position in which women should be trained to be teachers rather than 'to please the opposite sex.' Reverend Emerson was the headmaster at Byfield Seminary in eastern Massachuestts. It was while Mary attended Byfield that she became acquainted with Reverend Emerson and his assistant was Zilpah Polly Grant. 

Mary Lyon was raised as a Baptist but under the influence of Reverend Joseph Emerson; she eventually became a Congregationalist.

Mary spoke highly of Reverend Emerson. She admired him because he "talked to ladies as if they had brains." Furthermore, she praised him because he treated men and women equally concerning education. Emerson became a key influence in Mary's life by encouraging her creativity. He was the one who encouraged her to start teaching women by opening a school of her own. In the era in which Mary Lyon grew to maturity; it was unusual to see a woman outside the home working in respectable positions except in positions where women taught school.

Byfield was infused with a commitment to Christianity and Mary absorbed the ethos of rigorous academic education at the school.

After three years, she opened a school for young women in the village of Buckland which Mary named the Buckland Female Seminary. She held classes in a room which was on the third floor of a house. Students praised her ability to teach for she proposed new methods of teaching which included discussion groups in which students could exchange ideas. Mary Lyon's reputation as a gifted teacher spread beyond her school in Buckland. Throughout the next twenty years, she taught in schools in western and eastern Massachuestts as well as in southern New Hampshire. Her experience in teaching and managing schools before opening her own school provided invaluable lessons.

Mary Lyon was becoming a leading authority on education for women. While at Buckland, she developed an educational philosophy and gained invaluable experience in managing a school. She expanded opportunites for young women who were preparing to become teachers in an era when few professions were open to women.

It was while she taught young women at Buckland that she conceived of the idea of establishing a private school that would be open to the daughters of farmers and skilled workers.

In the early 19th Century, it was very difficult for an intelligent woman of modest means to achieve an education. Private academies, which were often called seminaries, sprang up throughout New England. Unfortunately, women of modest means could not afford the tuition and fees to attend those institutions. Furthermore, fortunate women who were able to further their education were taught a curriculum in private schools which included skills such as drawing, needlework, sewing, French, and music.

Consequently, those academies were far less challenging than the schools and colleges in which male students were enrolled. Those schools offered classes in the sciences, geomerty, and Latin. Mary sought to teach and educate young women but not operate a school primarily for profit. Schools of higher learning in her era were usually supported by people interested in the profitability of their investments. Consequently, private schools were established for the wealthy and neglected opportunities of higher learning for girls who were not from well-to-do families.

The advancement of women's education was important to Mary Lyon. She worked diligently to create a school which would provide women with the opportunity to obtain a higher education of quality caliber.

She formulated a plan to open a school in which common folks could afford to send their daughters. She thought that students could actually do some of the domestic work at the school which would cut operating costs thereby reducing tuition. In the early 1900s, an abundance of educational opportunities for women did not exist.  Mary dared to contemplate the novel idea that women should be included in an educated citizenry able to attain lofty dreams. She believed that women would measure up to the challenges of the century. American citizens reaching their greatest potential should include women too.

Throughout the 19th Century, education for women was not considered as an important priority in the United States. People supporing advancement in education for women faced several problems which seemed insurmountable. Although states did require that each town provide for the schooling of their children; teachers were often ill prepared to meet the challenge. Hence, the marjority of young women were not able to continue their education in private schools.

Mary Lyon became one of the most famous women during the 19th Century through her passionate desire to educate young women. It was her firm opinion that women were educators both in the classroom and in the home. Mary Lyon believed that the advancement of education for young women served the kingdom of God. Hence, women who were well educated would become better teachers in the schools and in the home throughout the United States and several nations across the globe.

Mary contracted typhoid fever in 1828 and upon regaining her health she chose to leave Buckland to join Zilpha Grant who began Ipswich Female Seminary.

Mary was responsible for teaching one hundred and thirty students while at Ipswich. Mary became the assistant principal while at Ipswich Seminary.

Although Ipswich was among the best schools in the country it lacked the necessary financial support to continue. It is likely and believed that the reason the school lacked financial support was because "good men's fear of greatness in women."

Zilpah Grant and Mary Lyon urged that Ipswich be provided with buildings which were necessary for the school to become a permanent institution; their appeals ultimately failed. 

Tragically, Mary resigned from Ipswich Female Seminary in 1834 to focus her time and efforts on acquiring the funds to establish her own institution of higher learning for women. For three years, she tirelessly crusaded for the funds to create her school.

By 1834, Mary Lyon had been teaching for nearly sixteen years when she chose to leave the classroom to raise funds to build an academy for her young women. It wasn't an easy task to raise funds to create an academy for girls in the era in which she lived.

Mary helped establish Wheaton Female Seminary in Norton, Massachuestts which opened in 1835 and is now known as Wheaton College.

The Panic of 1837, a terrible economic depression,  left several Americans jobless, homeless, and helpless. The nation was in severe economic depression which made it difficult to raise the necessary finances to open a school. Mary persisted in achieving her goal by writing circulars and ads in which she announced her plans for a school for women of modest means. She began to raise money to bring to reality her dream of a permanemt non-profits school of higher education for women.

Eventually, she succeeded in raising the necessary funds to open her school with the help of prominent men to back her venture. She courageously endured  ridicule from those people who believed that her ambitious undertaking was 'wasted' on women. Her constant travels in the effort to gain support for her venture left her in a state of exhaustion. She never doubted her belief that young women deserved the same opportunities for a higher education as men. Within two years, she was able to raise $15,000 to build Mount Holyoke School and Mount Holyoke Female Seminary which is now named Mount Holyoke College.

She opened her new school to educate young women as the country entered a severe economic depression. Mount Holyoke Female Seminary wasn't filled to capacity when it opened but Mary Lyon wasn't discouraged. She was determined to offer women the kind of education which was available only - until then - in men's colleges. Despite the financial crisis which gripped the nation, Mary was able to raise enough funds to open her school. She received financial assistance from Christians who were interested in her goals and purposes which honored God. 

She developed a curriculum after visiting schools where she spoke to educators as far away as Detroit, Michigan. She chose the location for her school as well as supervising the design and construction of the building. Mary bought the necesary equipment, hired teachers, and selected the first students for her new school.

She decided that her school should own its own property and be guided by an independent group of directors. Therefore, the necessary finances would be the responsibility of the directors and not investors seeking lucrative financial profits. Furthermore, her school would not be dependant upon any one person in order to continue educating women in the future.

Mary Lyon didn't forget that as a young girl of poor means; she had a strong desire to learn. Therefore, she sought to give young women of moderate means the opportunities which she desired for herself as a young girl. She conceived the idea of having students share in cleaning and cooking as she had done in her youth. Hence, costs could be kept to a minimum thereby reducing tuition.

Mary achieved her goal of establishing a committee of advisors who helped in planning and building the school. She collected the first thousand dollars for the school from the women of Ipswich and the surrounding area. She even chose to lend the committee her own savings which she carefully accumulated through years of work. Mary chose not to receive any money as pay until the establishment of her school in which she would become the headmistress.

Mount Holyoke Seminary for Women opened in 1837 in the small town of South Hadley, Massachusetts. The school for which she diligently worked to established was about ten miles south of Amherst, Massachuestts. It was the first school of higher learning for women in Massachusetts.

Mary raised more than $12,000 which was enough to build a five story building. The first 80 students enrolled in the Seminary arrived in the fall of 1837. Mary's dream of her school was being fulfilled. There were four teachers and a class of eighty young women who lived and studied in the new building. In the year that followed, there would be one hundred and sixteen students enrolled in her school. She insisted that the school not be named after her. Hence, the school was named after a nearby mountain peak.

Several of the young women who were enrolled in the Seminary traveled two or three days by carriage and stagecoach as Mary had done in her youth. Each of the young women passed a difficult oral examination in English, grammar, math, U.S. history, and geography. The young women enrolled in her Seminary were instructed to bring a Bible, an atlas, a dictionary, and two spoons.

The motto of Mount Holyoke Female Seminary was: 

"That our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace." Psalm 144:12

Mount Holyoke Female Seminary was the first college in the United States designed specially for women. Mary Lyon's school of higher education for women was consecrated to her Lord Jesus Christ as was her personal life. Her academy was highly regarded; it was unique school having a reputation of strong values, noble purpose, and frugal operation and administration. Numerous other schools would eventually be established and modeled on Mount Holyoke.

Mount Holyoke Female Seminary, founded in 1837 nearly a century before women gained the right to vote.

Mary Lyon made the following declaration which may be spoken of as the school's motto:

"Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do."

Those words have inspired young and older women as they continue to inspire the students of Mount Holyoke today.

When Mary Lyon opened the doors of Mount Holyoke in 1837; a new era of women's education opened in the United States.

Mary strove to maintian high academic standards and set rigious entrance exams admitting no students under the age of sixteen. The tuition was limited to $60 a year which kept true to her socio-economic vision of providing an excellent education for women of moderate means. Tuition at her school was approximately a third of the tuition Zilpah Polly Grant charged at the Ipswich Female Seminary.

Mary believed in the importance of daily exercise and required each student to "walk one mile (1.6km) after breakfast."

The requirement was reduced to 45 minutes during New England's cold snowy winters. Teachers taught calisthenics - a form of exercise - to students in unheated hallways until a storage area was eventually transformed into a gymnasium.

According to her plan, Mary required each student to perform domestic tasks which enabled her to reduce costs in the school and making tuition more affordable. Hence, she created an early version of work/study. Dedicated teachers, including herself, were paid relatively poorly. Although her policies were considered somewhat controversial, the seminary attracted a target student body of 200 students.

Mary anticipated a change in the role of women in the future generations. She chose to equip her students with an education that was rigorous, innovative, and comprehensive. Her curriculum included a particular emphasis on science.

There were seven courses in the sciences and mathematics at Holyoke in order for a student to graduate. Furthermore, there were rigorous studies in history and theology.

This educational requirement was unthinkable in other seminaries that were established for women. Mary was an educator which was ahead of her time. Furthermore, she introduced students to "a new and unsusual" way in which to learn science. Mary introduced laboratory experimentation in which students would participate in the venture. She organized field trips on which students collected plants, rocks, and various specimens for laboratory experiments. The students would inspect geological formations and dinosaur tracks which had been uncovered.  Mary invited distinguished scientists and men of learning to lecture and inspire the young women to pursue careers in sciences as college teachers and researchers.

Mary personally taught chemistry. Her personal interest in the sciences and her high expectations for women sparked a tradition of leadership in the field of science education which continues at Mount Holyoke College today.

As more students were enrolled at Mount Holyoke, it began to grow and it became necessary to increase the size of the building. 

Mary Lyon was the principal for the first twelve of the seminary's fledgling years. She established a model of excellence and a life lived for her Lord and Savior.

Mary Lyon was a woman with a radiant personality shining with the fruits of the Holy Spirit. She spoke with captivating conviction to students, faculty, parents, and members of the community. Mary led chapel lectures from the wisdom of Proverbs and delivered other messages which were appreciated by her students. Mary was known to give timeless spiritual advice which provided them with practical applications to utilize throughout life.

She was preparing young women to take part in the development of the fledgling nation which she loved. She hoped the knowledge and wisdom which her students received at Holyoke would be carried with Christian Good News throughout the world. 

Mary was devoted to serving her Lord Jesus Christ through whom she would serve her students and women with whom she became acquainted in her life. She sincerely desired to have her pupils become active consecrated Christians dedicated to God and seeking His will and purpose in whatever tasks in which He would lead. She sought to cultivate a missionary spirit in students and faculty.

Revivals of authentic Christianity broke out at Mount Holyoke in which Mary preached to her students and wherever she was invited. Although she was not an ordained minister, Mary became a member of the fellowship of New England's New Divinity clergy. Consequently, she played an important role in the revival of teaching, thoughts, and preaching of Jonathan Edwards. During her era, the works of Jonathan Edwards were read more frequently than during his lifetime. She was attracted to his ideas of self-restraint, self-denial, and disintrested benevolence. Edwards was among the most learned brilliant men in colonial America who was fascinated with various subjects. He had a well rounded interest in the sciences as well as Christian theology.

Mary was a woman who put great emphasis upon the development of the spiritual life of each of her students. Mary and the instructors of her seminary would pray with devotion for the conversion of each of her students. Those periods of revival at the seminary were definite answers to their devout prayers.

Twice each day, students were given half hour periods for private prayer and meditation. Teachers would visit each of the students to converse and pray for the young women. Special prayer meetings and days of fasting were held from time to time as well as regular prayer meetings.

The conversion of the world for Jesus Christ was the object of prayer which was observed on the first Monday of each January. Revival of college and religious institutions was the object of prayer on the last Thursday of February. Each Saturday, a half hour was set aside to study the activities of various missionary agencies. Consequently, the leaders of various missionary societies were invited to speak to the students and faculty of Mount Holyoke.

Hence, Mount Holyoke was to play an important part of the blossoming of missionary spirit throughout America. Graduates of her seminary became foreign missionaries in several countries. Not few of the graduates of Mount Holyoke became missionaries to the American West. Some of her graduates went west to establish academies for female education on the frontier. The institutions which graduates established gained a well deserved reputation for high academic standards. 

Mary Lyon's Mount Holyoke Female Seminary in Hadley, Massachusetts became source of cornerstones which Mary polished for God's service.

A student named Eliza Hubel attended the school from 1840 until 1844. Ms. Hubel took the following notes from Mary's lessons:

"Religion is fitted to make us better in every situation in life. Our common duties will be more perfectly discharged if we are under the control of the Holy Spirit's influence."

"She inculcated the duty of committing Scripture to memory and of having a plan for self-teaching in regard to it."

"Character is made up of little things, and it is greatly important that we know ourselves in little things. Avoid trifling, volatility, anything which will lessen self-respect if you would retain the respect of others. See how the Bible regards small things: Eve, Achan, etc."

"She did not wish us to be like soap stone which crumbles as it is rubbed, but like gold which shines brighter, the more it is used."

Through Ms. Lyons' tireless efforts and influence, the seminary became a training school for Christian workers and missionaries. The college continued for several years in the spirit and purpose of Ms. Lyon. She fused intellectual challenge and Christian moral purpose valuing socioeconomic diversity. 

Mary Mason Lyon was principal of Mount Holyoke for twelve years until her death in 1849. Mary Lyon, Christian educational pioneer, died at the age of 52 on March 5, 1849 at South Hadley, Massachuestts. Mary died of erysipelas which was possibily contracted from an ill student which was in her care.

Her work continues to be carried on by the dedicated faculty and students of the beloved school which she established. There are now more than 2,000 students enrolled at Mount Holyoke. Mary Lyon's reputation and that of her school grew as the alumni of Mount Holyoke went out into the world taking with them the ideals, educational philosphy, and teaching methods they learned at Mary's school. She graciously left behind a legacy in the area of higher education for women and a school which gave women of modest means the opportunities which she desired as a young girl. Upon her death, Holyoke had no debts and had financial support for the future provided by thousands of dollars which were received as gifts.

Eventually, the three year curiculum was expanded to four years in 1861. In 1893, the seminary curriculum was phased out; the name of the institution reflected the change by becomeing Mount Holyoke College. In 1893, Mount Holyoke became a college under state law. Mount Holyoke College became the first college to offer women the same kind of education and opportunities which were offered to men.

People who have studied the life of Mary Lyon affirm that she wasn't fighting a battle of equality between men and women but desired more educational opportunities for young women. It was through the labor and effort of Mary Lyon that led to the spread of higher education for women in the United States. She became the strongest influence upon the education of American young people during the middle of the nineteenth century. Not few of her students went on to teach other young women thereby spreading her lasting influence throughout the nation.

Mary Lyon proved that women were as intellectually capable as men. Furthermore, she showed that an institution of higher learning offering a curriculum for women could survive financially. Gradutates from Mary's school carried her ideas and methods of teaching to Alber Lea, Minnesota; Marion, Alabama; Bitlis, Turkey; Honolulu, Hawaii; Umzumbe, South Africa; Kobe, Japan; Clinton, New Jersey, and the Cherokee nation.

The success of Mount Holyoke opened the doors of higher education for women across the country. Western College for Women, Vassar College, and Wellesley College were patterened after Mount Holyoke.

One of her graduates founded the first public school in Oklahoma in which classes were held in a tent. The quality of elementary and high school education experienced vast improvements across the nation through the work of Mount Holyoke's dedicated alumnae teachers. Consequently, the presence of well-educated teachers in the Americn classroom offers exemplary role models for bright aspiring girls and young women.

Mount Holyoke became the first of Seven Sisters. Mary Lyon's academy for women is equal to the Ivy league colleges which were once predominantly male institutions of higher learning. Mary's Seminary led the way in higher education for women becoming a model on which other colleges for women were established. Mount Holyoke is an educational institution well known for academic excellence and is synonomous for brilliant teaching. Furthermore, Mary's Seminary provided the leadership for several women's colleges which would eventually follow.

Henry Durant, a trustee of Mount Holyoke, founded Wellesley College. Ada Howard became Wellseley College's first president. She was an alumna of Mount Holyoke class of 1853. John Greene, a trustee of Mount Holyoke, was instrumental in founding Smith College. Susam Tolman Mills was a graduate of Mount Holyoke, class of 1845, who founded Mills College in California with her husband. Mary Lyon's seminary school became the model on which Western College for Women in Ohio was established. In fact, Western College is known as the "Mount Holyoke of the West." Western College was opened in 1855 by Helen Peabody and Daniel Tenny became the first president of the college. Tenny gave invaluable assistance to Helen Peabody without which she could not have opened the college. Tenny was married to a Holyoke graduate and eventually came to Miami University in 1851. The level of education at Miami excited and impressed Tenny. Fortunately, he desired to establish a seminary for women that was similiar to Miami which focused on solid academics. Daniel Tenny was a gentleman with foresight who believed in higher education for women. He found land that was appropriate for an institution and exerted the necessary energy to create a seminary. He incorporated a governing board of "The Western Female Seminary" by 1853.

"The Virgin Daughter of Holyoke" was the title by which Western Female Seminary became known. Western Female Seminary was consecrated to the ideals and practices inherited from Mary Lyon.

As a pastor, Daniel Tenny became the president of trustees. In 1855, the Seminary welcomed 150 students upon opening day.  Several of the teachers of Western Female Seminary were graduates and former members of the staff of Holyoke.

The Mary Lymon dormitories at Swarthmore College, University of Massachuestts Amherst, and Plymouth State University are named in honor of Mary.

In 1837, Mary Lyon, the teaching staff, and students of Mount Holyoke gathered together in the Seminary building. They could not envision that their beloved Seminary would continue for over one hundred and seventy years. Mount Holyoke would have 2,200 women enrolled from the continental United States and almost seventy countries. Mary's school would eventually grow till it encompassed 800 acres while offering 48 different majors to young women. There are now more young women enrolled in colleges than young men and her beloved Seminary is on the front lines of higher education for women.

Scores of missionary wives received their education at Mount Holyoke. Not a few single females received their education at Holyoke also. Mary sought to teach the whole woman, liberal arts, domestic work, and ministry. She aimed to "teach nothing that cannot be made to help in the great work of converting the world to Christ."

Her school nestled 80 miles from Andover was well situated for partnership with Andover in its role involving foreign missions. Through the courage of Mary Lyon, young women enjoyed greater freedom to serve in missions on their own. The young female missionaries could minister more freely with internationals abroad than at home in America. Mary Lyon's school proved indespensible to the labors of missionaries throughout the world.

Mary Lyon would not be surprised that graduates of her Seminary have risen to every challenge becoming leaders in their professions throughout the communities of America and the world.

Mary Lyon's courgeous example has made a profound difference for women throughout the United States and the world. She was honored by the United States Postal Service when her likeness was engraved and printed on a 2 cent Great Americans series U.S. postage stamp. Mount Holyoke was honored when four alumnae and Mary Lyon's image were placed on United States postage. In 1905, Mary Lyon was inducted into the Hall of Fame for Great Americans in the Bronx, New York City, New York.

"That our daughters may be as cornerstones, polished after the similitude of a palace." Psalm 144:12

"teach nothing that cannot be made to help in the great work of converting the world to Christ."

"Go where no one else will go, do what no one else will do." 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Reverend Dr. John Scudder

Reverend Dr. John Scudder, Sr (September 3, 1793 - January 13, 1855),  was born in Freehold, New Jersey. He was the son of Joseph and Maria Scudder. Joseph Scudder was a lawyer. John Scudder was trained at the College of New Jersey and graduated in 1811. He graduated from the New York College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1813. He had a very successful medical practice in New York City.

He was visiting a patient and saw a tract on a table which captivated his attention. He read the pamphlet entitled "The Conversion of the World or The Claims of Six Hundred Million and the Ability and Duty of the Churches Respecting Them."  After reading the pamphlet, he became convinced that he was called to become a missionary in response to the command of Christ to go into all the world and preach the Gospel and heal the sick. Dr. Scudder decided to take the gospel of Jesus Christ and healing to those people who have not heard the Good News. He became convinced that God had called him to serve Him through medical missions.

In 1819 Dr. Scudder and his wife sailed to Ceylon as missionaries for the Dutch Reformed church, under the American Board of Comissioners for Foreign Missions. 

The "Indus" was a boat on which the first revival took place enroute to India. Several of the officers and crew confessed their faith in Jesus Christ. Scudder was ordained upon reaching Ceylon. 

In 1821, he established a hospital in Jaffnapatam and in the following year a college was created. Dr. Scudder founded the first Western Medical Mission in Asia at Panditeripo in Jaffna District which was part of the American Ceylon Mission. He served there as a clergyman and physician for nineteen years. He became the first American medical missionary to India. 

He became the physician in chief of a large hospital which he established. Scudder was exceptionally successful in the treatment of both cholera and yellow fever. Dr. Scudder was the founder of several churchs and native schools in India.

In 1824 a revival broke out under his preaching but in 1836 he was transferred by the American Board to Madras which is on the eastern shores of Peninsular India. 

He started a mission in 1836 at Madras with Reverend Winslow to establish a printing press to create tracts and the Scriptures in the Tamil language. He spent a great deal of time printing portions of the Gospel in Tamil which he distributed among the villages. His residence was at Chintadrepettah (Chintadripet).

Dr. Shudder was indefatigable in his desire to distribute Christian tracts throughout India. He became acquainted with a Christian woman in Madura who became a Christian through reading a tract which had been given to her fifteen years before as a member of the Jaffna Mission in Ceylon. The tract which she received and read was titled: "The Loss of the Soul." He records in his personal journal that a tract titled "The Blind Way" was the pamphlet which he chose to distribute most often.

Furthermore, he published "Leters from the East" (Boston, 1833); "Appeal to Youth in Behalf of the Heathen" (1846); "Letters to Pious Young Men" (1846); "Provision for Passing over Jordan" (New York, 1852), and various tracts and papers published in the "Missionary Hearld." The tracts were an accompaniment to his preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of India.

The Arcot mission was established under his care and began to grow significantly. 

He returned to American between 1842 and 1846 in the interest of the missionary work of India and to regain his health.

Upon returning to India in 1847, he was stationed at Madura where he gave medical aid to the Mission at the request of the Board although he was not appointed a member of the board. He returned to his mission in Madras in 1849 where he continued to labor until his death. he took a trip to Wynberg, Cape of Good Hope, Africa where he died of apoplexy on January 13, 1855. Reverend Scudder and his wife Harriet had six surviving sons and two daughters who continued his work in South India. 

All of his children became medical missionaries serving the people of India.

Reverend Dr. John Schudder, Sr. and his wife Harriet began more than 1,100 combined years of Christian medical service  by forty-two members of four generations of their family as missionaries in India.

Monday, February 20, 2012

John Calvin - Geneva

"There is not one blade of grass, there is no color in this world that is not intended to make us rejoice."
The previous statement was penned by a theologian whom people falsely believe was responsible for generating a joyless Christianity.

Lawyer, intellectual, theologian, John Calvin from Noyon in Picardy was born in 1509. Calvin was a boy when Martin Luther took his stand. Christendom was divided by thological dispute while Calvin was growing up. He initially sought to become a priest but his father intervened and he was sent to college to study law.

He took seriously the hope of restoring church unity. Calvin was a devotee of the classics and humanistic scholarship. Before his twenty-third birthday, Calvin chose to challenge Erasmus in his first published work. Calvin wrote a commentary on the Stoic Seneca's work "De Clementia" (On Clemency) in which he disagreed with Erasmus's standard edition.

While studying in Paris, Calvin was quietly converted to Christianity. Around the year 1533, Calvin experienced a 'sudden conversion' and he responded "God subdued and brought my heart to docility." Calvin, a man of iron resolve and exemplary rectitude, experienced the consequences of political exile while in Strasbourg and Geneva. His writings impressed Guillaume Farel profoundly. Calvin preferred Strasbourg to Geneva but Geneva would be his home until he died in 1564. While on route to Strasbourg,
Calvin was persuaded to go to Geneva by Guillaume Farel. Calvin would eventually remain in Geneva until his death except for a period of three years when he was exiled from the city. Farel was a fiery forceful reformer who persuaded Calvin to head a systematic reformation of the manners and church life of Geneva which had become reformed.

Twenty-seven year old Calvin was vested with this task by Farel because he authored the Institutes of the Christian Religion (1536). His Institutes are a major systematic theology which clearly articulates the teachings of the Reformation. Calvin's Institutes stated Biblical convictions more clearly than any other work published by the Reformers. The first edition was strong and impressive whereas the final edition of 1559 was greatly expanded.

The city fathers of Geneva denied the preconditions which Calvin required to fulfill his commission. Calvin was resourceful, vigorous, clear, and uncompromising. Hence upon denial of the preconditions, Calvin left Geneva. In 1541, Calvin was in Strasbourg with his friend Bucer. He reluctantly returned to Geneva when he was granted the preconditions. It became apparent to the city fathers of Geneva that they needed a firm directing hand in the affairs of the church.

The preconditions which Calvin required were the freedom to catechize the population and exercise proper spiritual discipline. They preconditions reflected the best insights of Renaissance humanism intersecting New Testament Christianity. Calvin's preconditions wed practice and theory, knowledge and experience. Calvin believed that one can life alright when one is taught aright. If one has been taught aright; ones life should match the Gospel teachings. The systematic Christian education in Geneva was provided through the catechism. Through spiritual discipline, those who professed the truth would not live hypocritically.

The establishment of Reformation in Geneva had been a civic act. It was an open decision made by the majority of citizens of the city. One must examine the historical context of the time in relation to Calvin's program. Hence, John Calvin was pursuing the logic of the decision of the citizenry of the town. Hence, he wasn't overbearing. It was appropriate for the town council to block Calvin in 1538. As elected magistrates they chose to assist him in 1541. It is important to realize that at no time was Calvin more then the first Reformed pastor of Geneva. Although Calvin's position was influential; the members of the council contained powerful, intelligent, and strong willed men. Calvin was would mold their actions to the degree through which his words and deeds were impressed upon them as a voice which they should heed.

Calvin was a man of great practical genius in the manner in which he conducted his program. Calvin was one who could learn from others. The practices of Bucer in Strasbourg impressed Calvin. The arrangements which he established in Geneva were definitely influenced by Bucer's example. The people of the city of Geneva accepted the Reformation as an official legislative act. Calvin was justified in assuming that the values inculcated and protected in Geneva be radically biblical.

While in Geneva, Calvin would bear a staggering work load. He became the pastor of the St. Pierre church and preached in it daily. He produced commentaries on almost every book of the Bible. He wrote several devotional and doctrinal pamphlets and continued to faithfully produce a vast amount of correspondence. Calvin trained and sent out a vast number of missionaries.

Calvin battled various ailments and was plagued with severe migrane headaches. Idelette was a young widow with two children whom he married. He described her as "the faithful helper of my ministry" and "the best companion of my life." They did have a boy child but tragically Idelette died young as did his young child.

John Calvin honored the the functional distinction between his position as pastor and the office of magistrate. He sought to establish spiritual institutions honoring the ideal of the city becoming a unified whole. Hence, lay elders in the church provided the link between church leadership and civli leadership. The kind of men who were selected as church elders were the same type of men able to lead the town politically. This principle was true in business, profession, and politics.

An agency of communal moral discipline led by elders and pastors in which the elders outnumbered the pastors was instituted. The issues in which the agency was involved dealt with blasphemy, drunkenness, adultery, fornication, malicious gossip, and domestic discord.

Before Calvin arrived in Geneva, the people of Geneva had notoriously lax morals. They balked at several attempts to improve the morality of the city.

An agency of this type was not unique to the cities in Reformation Europe. "Consistory" was the title which the agency was called in Geneva. The title was carried over from the era prior to the Reformation. Theoretically, a bishop sought to direct moral conduct prior to the Reformation.

Sixteenth Century consistories were distinguished from agencies before the Reformation because they meant business. The Consistory of Geneva had the power of excommunication when elsewhere that power was controlled by civil government.

Calvin insisted that the members Consistory composed of the elders and their pastors make the decisions as to discipline citizens by excommunication rather than magistrates. This was not a seperation of church and state; it preserved the integrity of the church. It was the people of the city of Geneva who chose its civil government to be Reformed Christian. In that context, civil government should defer to a church agency - in this case the Consistory - rather than a civil agency to determine what is Christian! Otherwise, the name "Christian" would be dragged into disrepute. Hence, this is why Calvin sought to preserve the integrity of the Church.

A generation of the youth of Geneva was educated by the catechism which Calvin prepared in the 1540s. By the 1550s, his dominance was somewhat established. The former catechumens had reached an age of responibility in public life. The influence of his church order for the city of Geneva was felt in several areas as he hoped to purity Geneva.

The distinctive outlines of his program are discerned in presbyterian church government and also the Anglican church. Some of those members of the church survived the persecution of English protestants under Mary Queen of Scots by seeking refuge in Geneva in the 1550s.

Not everyone influenced by John Calvin followed him in every manner. We may admire the wisdom through which he brought state and church together. He accomplished this while preserving the integrity of the church. One may question the assumption which underlies the imposition of penalties for blasphemy and continuing to observe Catholic practices.

The Consistory did not punish but did remonstrate seeking the repentance of the wayward. Persons who merited sterner disciplinary measures were handed to the civil government. Persons with persistent offensive public behavior were placed under the jurisdiction of civil government who had the authority discipline them. This was the situation in the infamous but not typical execution by burning of Michael Servetus in the year 1553. Michael Servetus escaped the Catholic Inquisition and ill-advisedly came to Geneva. An assumption concerning the judgments of the Consistory may be discerned. Evidently, their judgments were parallel between the theocracy of Israel of the Old Testament and New Testament Geneva.

The parallel was not new and unique to Geneva while Calvin was pastor. The parallel was characteristic through much of the thinking conserning this subject during the medieval ages. In fact, it was the mirror image of similiar parallels pressed in current civic humanism. The mirror image was pressed between the classical Greek and Roman ideals and appropriate conduct of cities such as Florence and Venice.

It has been stated that there was a measure of the attractiveness to Geneva by former humanists. For Calvin sought to put in practice, through a Christian framework, what had never been accomplished by humanists of the Renaissance - a utopia.

The onus of specific punishment was upon the civil government of Geneva and neither the Consistory nor the church. The Consistory had the power of remonstance seeking the repentance of the wayward. Calvin created space between what the church holds to be advisable and the disciplinary action the state performs.

Hence, if the values of the society in Geneva were to deteriorate from the values of the Church, the failure of civil government to heed the advice of the Consistory would eventually being about changes in the church and state. Consequently, civil government would match the deteriorating values of society in Geneva. Those deteriorating values would become the new frame of reference.

Eventually, Councillors, elders, then pastors became less insistent upon the principles which were of fundamental importance to the Church. By the Eighteenth Century, the slow decay had reached maturity. The maturity of decay was preceded by an inevitable phase of hypocrisy. Old standards were selectively imposed on one's enemies and social inferiors.

Calvin, died in 1564, and his successor Theodore Beza died in 1605. Throughout their days, genuine zeal and honesty were victorious over hypocrisy and cynicism.

A Venetian ambassador of 1561 declared:

"Your Serenity will hardly believe the influence and the power which the principal minister of Geneva, by name Calvin, a Frenchman and a native of Picardy, possesses in this kingdom. He is a man of extraordinary authority who by his mode of life, his doctrines and his writings rises superior to all the rest."

A contemporary historian of Geneva declared that without the discipline of John Calvin:

"Geneva could not have managed her unique achievement as a sixteenth-century revolutionary commune that maintained her independence until the French Revolution. Without Calvin, Geneva would have been nothing more than an economically decarying Alpine town that revolted against the House of Savoy...With Calvin, geneva has earned her share of attention in world history." (E. William Monter, Calvin's Geneva [New York: Robert E. Krieger Pub. Co., 1967], pp. 236-7).

John Knox of Scotland attempted to create a 'national' Geneva in Scotland. Calvin and his Geneva influenced Europe ecclesiastically, politically, and socially.

Knox described Geneva as: "the most perfect school of Christ since the days of the apostles."

Calvin insisted on two principles before he assumed the leadership of the church in Geneva. Those principles are sound doctrine and discipline. Calvin declared what sound doctrine and discipline meant to him. He firmly believed that truth should be known and truth should be lived throughout each day of one's life. The central aspect of sound doctrine in which they are to be understood is Love:

"...Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself." Luke 10:27.

Love is at the heart of Truth and the Gospel of Jesus Christ and discipline is to be exercised in Love as emphasized by the Apostle Paul. Good systematic theology depends upon sound biblical theology and sound biblical theology is judged by the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

In the Sixteenth Century, Sicilian peasants could look at Geneva and see a model for a just society. Calvin and the pastors of Geneva refused money from the Consistory for better clothes believing that the poverty of a minority in Geneva precluded them from accepting the gift. Geneva became a haven for women where they were protected from abusive husbands. There was care for the sick, infirm and poor. Work was provided for persons in financial need.

Calvin's insistence upon a quasi-republican form of church order stressed that no political or social distinctions could have any significant meaning at the Lord's Table. Hence, Geneva played a most important role in the development of representative democracy. Authority is important and must be there but participation must be present too. Through his Institutes, Calvin gave Protestantism of the Reformation amazing vigor. Luther wrote a great deal but never did he bring all the key doctrines together in a single book.

Calvin never willfully flouted his legitimate authority as pastor. His own personal stance was established upon his teaching. For example, Calvin refused money from the council for better clothing until the poorest Genevans should be clad as well.

It was Calvinism which became the most dynamic force throughout Protestantism after the year 1550. Lutheranism spread throughout Germany and Scandinavia. Calvinism spread through Hungary, France, Scotland, and the Netherlands. Queen Elizabeth of England was not an Orthodox Calvinist but the Pope excommunicated Elizabeth as one. After she rejected Rome, he identified her as one who embraced the doctrines of Geneva.

Europe was in cataclysmic strife throughout the late Sixteenth Century. During the first half of the century, there was international conflict betwen France, Spain, the Empire, and the Turks. Throughout the latter years of the century there was civil strife. The civil strife during the latter years of the Sixteenth Century is spoken of as the 'religious wars'.

Several modern historians agree that those years of civil strife were more than 'religious wars.' It is true that genuine religious differences provided a special dynamic and direction. The civil strife of the late Sixteenth Century was a vital stage in the contest between centralized government and elements within the state which resented the assualt upon provincial.rights of the citizen.

Calvinist Presbyterianism merged into the provincial antimonarchical conflict for a measure of self government by the people. Calvin's Institutes emphasized the sovereignty of God which led the reader to believe that no person - king, bishop, or anyone - can demand the Christian's ultimate loyalty. Calvin didn't teach that the citizen has a "right" to revolution but it is implied throughout his works.

The Huguenots of France were a powerful growing minority of Calvinists. The staunch opposition of French officials to the Huguenots fused religious resentment of the Calvinist Huguenots with provincial, nobel distrust of power of the Crown. From the early 1500s, after a succession of weak rulers a serious threat to the authority of the Crown of France mounted.

The Massacre of St. Bartholomew occurred on August 24, 1572. The Massacre is the best known bloody episode of religious civil oppression against the Calvinst Protestant Hugeunots.

Catherine de'Medici, the queen mother, took advantage of a wedding which occured in Paris. Her intrigue involved Henry of Navarre who was one of the leaders of the Hugeunots. He was in the line of succession for the throne of France. The queen mother conspired to slaughter the leading Calvinists who gathered in Paris to attend the wedding. The slaughter spread to outlying provinces in which seven thousand Huguenots were murdered. A disproportionate number of the Huguenots murdered were the more prominent Calvinists.

Consequently, the Protestant movement in France became more radical after the Massacre. Pamphleteers distributed advanced and refined treatises of representative government. Furthermore, pamphleteers wrote about the accountability of government which anticipated the rise of more comprehensive theories on the role of government developed by John Locke.

Unfortunately, by becoming so radical the Hugeunots sacrificed support of traditional social as well political elements who had given them a broad-based support and military strength.

The spiritual descendants of John Calvin are found in Scotland, Holland, Poland, and America. Christian History Institute's glimpses of people, events, life and faith from the Church Across the Ages - John Calvin Leads Geneva Reform states:

"His spiritual descendants make up the World Alliance of Reformed Churches based in Valvin's Geneva. This worldwide alliance consists of 178 denominations with over 50 million adherents in more than 80 countries."

Thanks to Jeremy C. Jackson author of No Other Foundation - The Church Through Twenty Centuries from which much of the information for this essay is gleaned.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Life at Conception Act - 2012

Four thousand babies are aborted each day in the United States of America which equals 1,460,000 children that are aborted every years.

As defenders of all human life; we firmly resolve to end abortion. The ratification of the Life at Conception Act is a means to bring us closer to ending the holocaust of the most innocent citizens of our nation.

If Congress affirms the personhood of every unborn children, the Supreme Court must protect them through the 14th Amendment. The United States Consitution explicitly states "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property."

The United States Supreme Court - unknowledgeable about the preamble of the Constitution - needs to be instructed on the definition of 'personhood'

The Preamble declares that the purpose of the Constitution is "to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity."

The United States Congress needs to tell the Supreme Court who the law counts as persons!

The Congress of the United States needs to hear the voice of the citizenry who understand that "posterity" includes the unborn!

Each signature of a pro-life citizen boldly declares to the Senators and Congressment that the constitutents of their respective states or congressional districts support the full protection of the unborn under the law. An overwhelming number of American citizens are opposed to the current abortion-on-demand practice.

Hence, Senators and Congressmen must take a stand for the protection of unborn life!

It is time for pro-life citizen advocates to exercise the God given liberty of 'petition of redress of grivances' for which the Founders of our nation pledged their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

 Nine men and women in the United States Supreme Court have played God with the lives of the most innocent human life for thirty-nine years.

56 million babies have been condemned to a painful death without trial through aribitrary relative law for merely being an 'inconvenient' burden.

Despite the principal of law secured to the American people through the ninth and tenth amendments of the United States Constitution; the United States Supreme Court overturned an overwhelming number of state laws protecting human life thus forcing abortion-on-demand upon the American citizenry.

The landmark decision of Roe v. Wade in the year of 1973 continues to violate the sanctity of human life.

The pro-life movement has felt limited in protecting life by passing some laws which slightly control abortion in outrageous cases.

It is time that pro-life advocate stands firm and no longer be intimidated by the Supreme Court. The time is long past due that we no longer care if the Supreme Court is offended by the valiant stand to protect human life.

Pro-life advocate shall no longer grovel before a court composed of finite limited imperfect men and women who make arbitrary relative decisions.

The Life at Conception Act when passed into law would utlize the ruling of the Supreme Court in the Roe v. Wade decision. Abortion of demand can be abolished by utilizing the Constitution instead of attempting to amend the document.

We shall continue to exercise the liberty to petition our Senators and Congressmen for redress of our grievances!

Members of the national media talk of the impact of economic issues upon elections which were held in the past. The national media ignors how well Pro-life candidates did at the election polls. 

Pro-life advocates must begin to understand that not a few pro-life candidates were elected to Congress and an overwhelming majority of Americans are opposed to abortion-on-demand!

Therefore, every member of Congress must be put on record.

Pro-life advocates must break through the staunch well entrenched opposition which clings to abortion-on-demand. 

The Life at Conception Act is the vanguard invasion upon the bastions which continue to support abortion-on-demand.

A vote for the Life at Conception Act is a necessary preliminary slavo directed to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The Life at Conception Act affirms that unborn children are 'persons' protected by law. Unborn children -  "our posterity" - are 'persons' of which the 14th Amendment to the Constitution addresses and therefore are entitled to legal protection under the law.

This admission of the high court in the Roe v. Wade decision is the Achilles' heal which will cause the case for the continued legalization of abortion to collapse.

Furthermore, the Preamble of the United States Constitution declares:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

"We the People of the United States, in Order to the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity..."

In the First Edition of An American Dictionary of the English Language; Noah Webster defined posterity as: 

1. Decendents; children, children's children, &c. indefinitely; the race that proceeds from a progenitor. The whole human race are the posterity of Adam. 2. In a general sense, succeeding generations; opposed to ancestory. 'To the unhappy that unjustly bleed, Heav'n gives posterity t' avenge the deed. Pope

Notice the quotation from Pope used by Noah Webster to illuminate the meaning of posterity.

"To the unhappy that unjustly bleed, Heav'n gives posterity t' avenge the deed." 

The Supreme Court delivered the infamous Roe v. Wade decision based on an undefined spurious 'right of privacy' which the high court 'discovered' in 'emanations' of 'penumbrae' of the United States Constitution.

Webster defines emanation as:

"Emanation" The act of flowing or proceeding from a fountain-head or orgin. 2. That which issues, flows or proceeds from any source, substance or body; efflux; effluvium. Light is an emanation from the sun; wisdom, from God; the authority of laws, from the supreme power.

"Penumbrae" An area in which something exists to a lesser or uncertain degree: "The First Amendment has a penumbra where privacy is protected from governmental intrusion" (Joseph A. Califano, Jr.)

The Roe v. Wade decision is a constitutional disaster in essence related to the Dred Scott Decision in which men, women, and children of the black race were legally considered to be property.

One must understand that the Supreme Court never declared that abortion itself was a constitutional right!

The United States Supreme Court declared:

"We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins . . . the judiciary at this point in the development of man's knowledge is not in a position to speculate as to the answer." 

The Supreme Court then admitted this key principle:

"If this suggestion of personhood is established, the appellant's case [i.e., "Roe" who sought an abortion], of course, collapses, for the fetus' right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [14th] Amendment." 

The 14th Amendment of the United States is perfectly clear in this regard:

". . . nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law." 

Furthermore the 14th Amendment declares:

"Congress shall have power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article." 

Hence, Congress has the power through the Life at Conception Act to enforce the provisions of the 14th Amendment.

The simple, logical, ethically moral legislation will not become law without verbal conflict and opposition.

The assistance of the individual patriot is critical; one's personal signature is of great value and significance.

The American Revolution was a long bitter fight for independence. Consequently, the fight to defend and protect the unborn will be tough and costly. We can win for Truth is with us!

A massive, national, grass-roots campaign during the current session of Congress will have positive results.

As a pro-life activist, public pressure on Democrat and Republican politicians elected on pro-life platforms will be put in the position to fulfill the campaign  promises they made to their respective constituents. Ultimately they will pass the bill into law or be removed from political office through the lawful means of election.

Even if the Life at Conception Act isn't passed into law; public attention upon radical abortionists will result in the defeat of pro-abortion radicals during the next election.

Furthermore, the citizens of the United States will know explicitly which of our Senators and members of the House are advocates of the pro-life position to protect unborn children. There will be no opportunity to hide in the presumed 'more important legislation' which they would have us believe they are engaged in conducting.

The first salvo toward victory in America is for the individual prolife citizen to sign the petition. 

A key ingredient in the plan of the National Pro-Life Alliance is to pass the Life at Conception Act. It is time to organize!

As Rand Paul proclaims:

"They'll also organize:  
... Hard-hitting TV, radio and newspaper ads to be run just before each vote, detailing the horrors of abortion and mobilizing the American people. 
... Extensive personal lobbying of key members of Congress by rank and file National Pro-Life Alliance members and staff. 
... A series of newspaper columns to be distributed free to all 1,437 daily newspapers now published in the United States. 
... An extensive email, direct mail and telephone campaign to generate at least one million petitions to Congress like the one linked to in this letter."

If Pro-life advocates mail letters and utilize the technologies of the Internet including e-mail; the cost to produce a million petitions will be reduced.

A flood of letters to the editors of newspapers and magazine cannot be ignored. Television, radio, and newspapers desire to maintain the illusion of being relavent and on the cutting edge of news as it happens.

In order to maintain that illusion of perception; they cannot continue to ignore the voice of a vast majority of Americans who are opposed to abortion-on-demand. They will be seen by an informed audience as being irrelevant and out of touch with contemporary issues!

As Pro-life advocates; we cannot proceed to casually watch the slaughter of the most innocent members of our society.

The goal of the National Pro-life Alliance is to deliver a million petitions to the House and Senate which support the Life at Conception Act.

It is of crucial importance to have the full weight of an inteligent well informed public which firmly supports the pro-life position when the bill is debated on the floor of the House and Senate.

I feel confident that the folks at National Pro-Life Alliance can gather those one million petitions. 

A  full scale national campaign is necessary to pass the Life at Conception Act to save the lives of millions of babies throughout the 21st Century. 

The United Nations declared 1979 as the "International Year of the Child" and it is time that "our posterity" are included in the definition of children through affirmation.

The signature of an individual citizen contribute to reversing the uncompassionate Roe v. Wade decision that disregards the sanctity of human life.

It is time to dramtically awaken the sleeping politicians of both houses of Congress to the barbarour pro-life policies which occur in America every minute of the day.

If Congress declares that unborn children are 'persons' under the law, the constitutinal case for abortion-on-demand collapses.

It is of critical importance to get Congress to vote on the Life at Conception Act. 

Be valiant, be courageous for the glory of God and the protection of children whom He has created in his image.

Petition is the first critical step in the fight to end abortion. The inalienable rights of freedom of speech, press, assembly and freedom of religion must be utilized wisely in order to fulfill God's purpose in our time.

Life at Conception Act Petition to: 
Your U.S. Senators and Representative  
Whereas:   Because of Roe v. Wade, more than 56 million unborn children have died through abortion; and  
Whereas:   In Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court declared it could not resolve "the difficult question of when life begins" – and on the basis of this unresolved question, declared a new "right to abortion" based on a "right of privacy"; and 
Whereas:   The 14th Amendment to the Constitution states: "nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty or property, without due process of law, nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the law"; and 
Whereas:   In Roe, the Supreme Court admitted: "If . . . personhood [for the unborn] is established, the appellant’s case, of course, collapses, for the fetus’ right to life is then guaranteed specifically by the [Fourteenth] Amendment..." (Roe v. Wade [410 US 113 at 156-7]); and 
Whereas:   Science is clear that human life begins at conception when a new human being is formed; and 
Whereas:   The American people oppose abortion-on-demand and want innocent human life to be protected especially when it is most defenseless; and 
Whereas:   It belongs to Congress to resolve the question the Supreme Court said IT cannot resolve; and 
Whereas:   A Life at Conception Act, by declaring that unborn children are persons legally entitled to constitutional protection, will rescue millions of unborn children from dying by abortion-on-demand; 
Therefore: I urge you to cosponsor and cast every vote for a Life at Conception Act, and to do everything necessary to win ultimate passage in the United States Congress.

This declaration is based upon a letter which I received from Rand Paul in which I as a pro-life advocate chose to further illuminate the position concerning the Life at Conception Act.