Since his retirement, the author has read widely in Christian religious literature and has gained the conviction that the Christian Church must reform or die. He believes strongly in the value of the churches. This is not surprising in view of his many religious ancestors such as the Rev. Lyman Beecher, Harriet Beecher Stowe and the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher. Some of these ancestors also rebelled against archaic doctrine. In the early 1800s, his great great-grandfather, the Rev. Lyman Beecher, was tried for heresy by the Presbyterian Church because he did not believe in preordination or in the damnation of infants who died before they were baptized. Happily, he was acquitted. Henry Ward Beecher also held reformist ideas.