NEWSLETTER

 

Fall 2004 

      Vol. 5   
Num. 2

     


Susan B. Anthony

Women and the Vote  
by

Barbara Collins

Does the story of these women�s sacrifice touch you to the extent that the casting of your vote on November 2 is reinforced?  The Woman Suffrage movement began in 1848 at Seneca Falls, New York.  Simultaneously, Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton founded the National Woman Suffrage Association, which included only women, to oppose the 15th Amendment because, for the first time, �citizens� were explicitly defined as �male.�  Anthony and Stanton provided the leadership for a national constitutional amendment for woman suffrage.

In 1872, Susan B. Anthony cast a test vote in Rochester, New York, claiming that the constitution already permitted women to vote.  She said, "We appeal to the women everywhere to exercise their too-long-neglected �citizen's right to vote.�" 

Of course, legally they couldn't vote, but fourteen of them did anyway.  They, too, were thrown in jail along with Anthony.   

Again, we see the high cost of women's suffrage.  Anthony�s trial was, in her words, "the greatest judicial outrage history has ever recorded!  We were convicted before we had a hearing and the trial was a mere farce."  Those words were true because Judge Hunt simply pulled an opinion he had written before the trial ever begun which said, "The Fourteenth Amendment gives no right to a woman to vote, and the voting by Miss Anthony was in violation of the law."  Therefore, Anthony was found guilty though she refused to pay the resulting fine, and no attempt was made to force her to do so. 

Susan B. Anthony founded a magazine called �The Revolution,� which reveals her strong pro-life position.  She said the sole object of the magazine was �to educate women to do precisely as I have done, rebel against your man-made, unjust, unconstitutional forms of law that tax, fine, imprison and hang women while they deny them the right of representation in the government . . . And I shall earnestly and persistently continue to urge all women to the practical recognition of the old revolutionary maxim that �resistance to tyranny is obedience to God.��  From 1869 until her death in 1906, Anthony appeared before every Congress to ask for the passage of a woman suffrage amendment. 

A website that underscores Anthony�s pro-life position is found at http://www.sba-list.org/.  She considered abortion �a monstrous crime.�  This fact combined with her Christian faith provided motivation for her actions, which are either unknown or hidden by those who hold her up as a model of secular feminism. 

Anthony spent much of her life fighting for the right to vote. She worked tirelessly giving speeches, petitioning Congress and state legislatures, and publishing a magazine for women--all for a cause that would not succeed until 1920 after Tennessee ratified the Amendment by one vote and the Amendment was adopted fourteen years following her death.  Her life and courage provide inspiration in the battle we now face�God will have His way, and the church will come to honor His Word for women!   

Now, my friends, should women, in particular, forget in 2004 the �equity sweat� for equality poured out by the Anthonys and Stantons along with Lucy Burn, Dora Lewis and Alice Cosu?  Were you among the four million evangelical of Christians who didn�t vote in 2000?  If you were, won�t you find a window of time to early vote or to do so on November 2?  In a recent poll, moral issues fell below people�s desire to see changes in the war, jobs, the economy and healthcare, not realizing that moral issues are at the heart of problems in all other arenas of life.

Although a strong Christian faith motivated most of the women who worked for suffrage, that fact is seldom noted.  Those women believed that God was calling them to the effort and giving them a voice in order that unjust laws could be abolished that discriminated against women.  Also, the suffragists saw a need to legislate against social ills.  Ask yourselves the question, �Where would they stand today?� 

As Christians, we have the opportunity to continue their work.  Where do you believe God stands on abortion, marriage, civil unions, the freedom of the Boy Scouts to reject homosexual leaders�  What values does He want to see in those appointed to our courts?  How would He have you vote? Your vote for character, integrity and morality counts.  Cherish and protect it by going to the polls on November 2.  

Websites you may want to check out: 

http://womenshistory.about.com/library/bio/blanthony.htm.

http://ecssba.rutgers.edu contains a collection of her papers.

http://www.pbs.org/stantonanthony/ includes info on how to order the video, �Not for Ourselves Alone,� a PBS production on Susan B. Anthony and her life-long friend, Elizabeth Cady Stanton.

 

PRAISE GOD!

THE NEW REFORMATTED EDITION OF GOD'S WORD TO WOMEN BY KATHARINE BUSHNELL IS AT THE PRINTER.  THIS EDITION OF THE BOOK IS LARGER (6" X 9"), SO IS THE PRINT, AND THE FONT IS EASIER TO READ.  THE CONTENT IS UNCHANGED BUT WE HAVE ADDED A TIMELINE OF BUSHNELL'S LIFE.

AGAIN WE THANK GOD FOR SHEILA NEVINZENKO, A PROFESSIONAL GRAPHIC DESIGNER FROM COLORADO, WHO DONATED HER SERVICES TO DESIGN OUR COVER.  IF ANY OF YOU NEED A GRAPHIC DESIGNER, REMEMBER HER.  SHE CAN BE CONTACTED AT Sheila1027@earthlink.net.

COPIES SHOULD BE IN OUR HANDS AND READY TO SHIP IN EARLY NOVEMBER.  SO, CLICK HERE TO ORDER BY MAIL OR TO USE OUR NEW OPTION PAY PAL!   WE'LL SHIP YOUR ORDER AS SOON AS THEY ARRIVE.

If you have enjoyed this newsletter you'll find past editions by going to the Newsletter Archives.  The topic for each newsletter, since it's inception over 4 years ago, is given to help you find something of interest.  However, there is always more to the newsletter than the main topic.  Curious?  To take a look click here.

This quarterly  newsletter is available in e-mail format and  online at www.godswordtowomen.org/summer2004.htm    We encourage you to forward the newsletter to those that you believe would be interested. 
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This newsletter is dedicated to the women who persevered until women in the US won the right to vote.  The protest above resulted in the arrest of those whose story is told below.

A Reminder on the Importance of Using Our Voice!

Although we do not know who was responsible for the following article, we appreciate the fact that it has been spreading across the internet.  We applaud the efforts of everyone who has been forwarding it on!

The women were innocent and defenseless.  And by the end of the night,  they were barely alive.  Forty prison guards wielding clubs with their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."
  
They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air.  They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold.  Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack.

Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching,   twisting and kicking the women. 
   
Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.
 
For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail.   Their food--all of it colorless slop--was infested with worms.  When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited.  She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.
  
So, refresh my memory.  Some women won't vote this year because--why, exactly?  We have carpool duties?  We have to get to work?  Our vote doesn't  matter?  It's raining?
  
Last week, I went to a sparsely attended screening of HBO's new movie "Iron Jawed Angels."  It is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say.  I am ashamed to say I needed the reminder.
 
All these years later, voter registration is still my passion.  But the actual act of voting had become less personal for me, more rote. Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege. Sometimes it was inconvenient. 
  
A friend, who is my age and studied women's history, saw the HBO movie, too.  "One thought kept coming back to me as I watched that movie," she said.  "What would those women think of the way I use--or don't use--my right to vote?  All of us take it for granted now, not just younger women, but those of us who did seek to learn."  The right to vote, she said, had become valuable to her "all over again."
  
HBO will run the movie periodically before releasing it on video and DVD.  I wish all history, social studies and government teachers would include the movie in their curriculum.  I think a little shock therapy is in order.
  
It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized.  And it is inspiring to watch the
doctor refuse.  Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave.  That didn't make her crazy.  The doctor admonished  the men:
  
"Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."

What�s Happening
 on the Web?

We want to call your attention to some outstanding new articles that have recently been put up on the website.  You can always find the latest by clicking on �What�s New� found at the top of each page. 

The Badge of Guilt and Shame by Katharine Bushnell  Another rare booklet by Bushnell.  This one takes on the head covering dialog from 1 Corinthians 11.  Bushnell contends that the church must not teach one thing and do another but must prove the scripture.  She says, "Therefore, a fresh deeper investigation into the Apostle�s utterances is urgently needed, ... that the church may conserve its own interests while at the same time maintaining a consistent course of conduct.  The church must give no uncertain sound in both example and teaching and in its proclamation of the Word of God as supreme in authority."

Two excellent articles from the book of Judges!

The Silence That Shouts by Pamela Walford.  This article challenges the traditional view that God is noncommittal and neutral about the atrocities against women in the book of  Judges.  It is the best we've ever read on the whole scenario.

Did Jepthah Kill His Daughter for a Burnt Offering or Not?  by Francine Erre.  The debate continues as to whether or not Jephthah sacrificed his daughter as a burnt offering.  Since even Bible scholars are divided on the question, it is hard to find the answer. This article lays out the facts and let's you make up your own mind.  Excellent and informative!!!

The Son Re-expressing the Father's Heart Towards Women  by Dee Alei  is Chapter 7 of her book From Bondage to Blessing.   Jesus continually broke with the traditions, religious law and attitudes of the time regarding women.  Here we see how He continually affirmed women, honoring and encouraging them in their faith, giving them dignity, equality, value and lifting them up to men as positive examples.  After reading this chapter, you may want to order the whole book.  To do so, click here. 

Holy  America , Phoebe! by Chris Armstrong.  It swept across church lines, transforming  America's urban landscape with its rescue missions and storefront churches. Yet today, the "holiness movement" and its charismatic woman leader are all but forgotten. This article on Phoebe Palmer is found on Christianity Today's website and is well worth your time.  A second article, Phoebe Palmer and the Holiness Revival, appeared the following week.