What Courage Looks Like


Tough, uncompromising, devoted to God, single minded, wise, tenacious-what a lady! If ever there was a freedom fighter, Harriet Tubman was it. For those who don’t know, Harriet was a black woman who lived before, during, and after the Civil War years. She was instrumental in the Underground Railroad which made it possible for some very fortunate slaves to escape to freedom. Born into slavery, she lived a life of unimaginable suffering. Yet against all odds, she worked tirelessly to free her brothers and sisters in bondage. Were the bounty hunters able to catch up with her, she would have been shot on sight, but she was too smart to get caught. I don’t know if she ever got discouraged and wanted to give up-as I have-but she never did.

Her words are as true today as they were when she spoke them. In her lifetime, blacks were forced to serve plantation owners. Today, all of us, black, white, male, female, liberals, conservatives—ALL of us are enslaved to the federal government, the modern-day incarnation of the 18th & 19th century slave master. But there is one key difference. Their slavery was forced on them. We have chosen ours.

Our government & culture have been consumed by the philosophical descendants of the ultimate cracker,* Karl Marx, and they are our masters today.

Freedom and slavery are mutually exclusive. You can have one or you can have the other, but you cannot have both in the same place at the same time. Or as Abraham Lincoln put it, “A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently, half slave and half free. It will become all one thing or all the other.” Yeah.

Liberals think that a government that controls everybody and everything is better than liberty. They view enslavement to the government as being enlightened, because it’s “compassionate.” Go figure. This flies in the face of all recorded history, but most of them don’t know their history.

Conservatives know a big, all-powerful government is incompatible with liberty, but reality hasn’t hit them yet. They go about their lives thinking that somehow they have managed to stay one step ahead of the tyranny to come. They too are enslaved, but have yet to realize it. I have never in my life seen so many people in intentional denial.

The slaves of 200+ years ago knew nothing but bondage. Today’s Americans are the polar opposite of our history’s slaves, yet we are much like them. We have been free for so long that we don’t know anything else. We’ve never had to fight for our liberty because it’s always been handed to us. But those days are almost over. Unless God raises up a generation willing to fight for its freedom, servitude to the federal master, a monster with an insatiable appetite for other people’s money, along with control of how they think and what they do, will continue to grow. Only after there is nothing left to take, will it move on to other prey.

For those of us who know enslavement when we see it, Harriet Tubman has set a standard that few of us will ever attain-but that shouldn’t keep us from trying! Her courage and sacrifice in the face of unspeakable cruelty, danger, and hardship are as inspirational as they are remarkable.

I have not sacrificed or suffered anything like she did. But I know how demoralizing it is to try to save people who are afraid to be saved. She wanted her people to be granted their God-given freedom. I want mine to keep theirs. Americans have their heads deep in the sand, and they like it down there. What’s a freedom fighter to do? God has called me to faithfulness, nothing more. I pray that He will bless my feeble efforts to make half the difference she did. And if He does, I will be very blessed indeed.

Jan Shedd
Kaufman County Tea Party

*Slang word used to refer to those of European ancestry. The word is thought to have derived from the sound of a whip being cracked by slave owners.

This is dedicated to my fellow soldier, Alice Linahan.