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September / October 2005

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Templeton essay contest winners

One of Generation Joshua's goals is to give students an accurate understanding of America's founding-who the Founding Fathers were, what they believed, and how their beliefs influenced the formation of America's constitutional republic.

Turrill (1st) Graupner (2nd) Almasude (3rd) McKay (3rd) Mitchell (3rd)

In an effort to encourage students to learn more about America's Judeo-Christian heritage, and due in large part to a generous donation by Ann and Bill Templeton of Sarasota, Florida, Generation Joshua was able to conduct the Ann and Bill Templeton/Generation Joshua Essay Contest earlier this year. With $80,000 in Patrick Henry College scholarships as prizes, the essay topic was, "Demonstrate the Influence of the Word of God on the Development of Liberty in America."

After a panel of Patrick Henry College professors judged the essays, Jonna Turrill of California was announced the winner, earning a scholarship of $30,000 to Patrick Henry College. Katlyn Graupner of Pennsylvania was second, winning a $20,000 scholarship, while Patrick McKay of Colorado, Exodus Almasude of Ohio, and Hannah Mitchell of North Carolina placed third, each winning a scholarship of $10,000.

Below is an excerpt from Jonna's winning essay:

Patrick Henry once said, ". . . this great nation was founded, not by religionists, but by Christians; not on religions, but on the gospel of Jesus Christ. For this very reason peoples of other faiths have been afforded asylum, prosperity, and freedom of worship here." . . . The influence of the Word of God on American liberties is priceless. It enables a form of government that allows great political, spiritual, and personal liberties to exist in stability. Its influence teaches the need for restraints on man and man's institutions. . . . The Word of God is the manual for liberty; without it, the world would have few choices and no freedoms . . .

America is the longest-lasting constitutional republic in the history of the world. As the 52 Generation Joshua students have demonstrated and as research has shown, the Bible played an integral role in the founding of America. Noah Webster wrote, "The religion which has introduced civil liberty is the religion of Christ and his apostles . . . and to this we owe our free constitutions of government."

In a well-known exchange on September 18, 1787, a woman named Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results of the Constitutional Convention. As Benjamin Franklin emerged from Independence Hall, she asked him directly, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?"

"A republic if you can keep it," responded Franklin.

History can be the compass that shows us the right course for the future. Liberty in America is ours, so long as we know how to keep it.