Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A Good Change

Dear Friends,

Our money is changing. Five women pioneers of the women’s rights movement are being added to the back of the ten dollar bill and three Democrat social activists will be featured on the back of the revised five dollar bill. But the most contentious change is the revised twenty. Good ol’ Andrew Jackson is being sent to the back of the bill and Harriet Tubman will be showcased on the front. And if you are reading and hearing about her in the media, you are getting an edited and politically sanitized version of her life. Let me tell you what you’re not going to read about in the Times newspaper or Newsweek magazine. You won’t hear this on CNN or MSNBC. You will read and hear that she is a social justice icon. You will read about a fierce civil rights activist who lead slaves to freedom. But what you won’t read is that she did so, not because she was a female political activist, but because she was a Christian woman following the will of God.

Harriet was a Union spy during the Civil War and she was a Republican. Did you know that the Republican party was founded primarily to oppose slavery while the Democratic party fought to expand slavery? The 13th Amendment to abolish slavery passed with 100% of the Republicans voting for the Amendment and all except four of the Democrats voting against this Amendment to free the slaves. Not a single Democrat in Congress voted in favor of the 14th Amendment that declared former slaves to be full citizens. No surprise that Harriet was solidly aligned with the Republican party! 

In the 19th Century, the “Underground Railroad” was a loose network of abolitionist whites and free blacks who helped an estimated 100,000 slaves escape to freedom. Driven by their Christian faith and the scripture that says all people are created equal, Galatians 3:28 the “conductors” on the Underground Railroad risked their lives and the lives of their families to deliver slaves to freedom. Their most well-known leader was ex-slave Harriet Tubman who had escaped from her owners in 1849. She said later, “I looked at my hands to see if I was de same person now I was free. Dere was such a glory ober eberything, de sun came like gold through de trees and ober de fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.”

Known as the “Black Moses,” Harriet had received visions from God telling her that she needed to help her people and she lead many hundreds through the Underground Railroad to freedom. She told friends that her strength to protect slaves and set them free came from her faith in God. She said, “I always tole God, I’m gwince to hole stiddy (I’m going to hold steady) on you an’ you’ve got to see me through.” Harriet continued to receive visions from God and she’d hear His voice telling her what route to take the slaves to avoid capture. Harriet Tubman would today be described as an Evangelical Pentecostal Christian and she is the first unabashed Christian to appear on our currency. 

The slaveholders like Andrew Jackson offered $40,000 for the capture of Harriet but God protected her and she was never captured. Because the slave rescue missions were so dangerous, Harriet demanded strict obedience from the fugitives. Harriet was one tough woman. She carried a loaded gun and if a slave decided he wanted to return to the plantation, Harriet would threaten to shoot him if he tried. She knew that if he returned, he would be tortured and would eventually reveal the route of the Underground Railroad and identities of the abolitionists. She was asked once if she would have actually killed a man who wanted to turn back and she replied, “If he was weak enough to give out, he’d be weak enough to betray us all and I wouldn’t let so many die for just one man.”

Andrew Jackson, our seventh President is known as the founder of the Democratic Party. To those who bemoan his smack-down to the back of the bill: Please remember he owned over 300 slaves and is most known for signing the Indian Removal Act that resulted in the genocide of tens of thousands of American Indians. Although the Democratic party looks different today, Jackson’s Democracy left a powerful legacy that continued to subjugate women and minorities while presuming and fostering a white supremacy that’s still apparent in many southern States today. Isn’t it time for the slaveholder to be replaced by the one who followed in Jesus’ footsteps to set the captives free?

To my good conservative friends who are wondering why the white guy is being replaced by a black woman and who are thinking that this is just an example of liberal political-correctness: Please remember that Harriet was an Evangelical Christian, Republican, gun-totein’, renegade who was appointed and anointed by God to set her people free. Praise God for her! The presence of Harriet Tubman on the face of the twenty should remind us all of what we can accomplish for the glory of God, in the face of hardship and adversity, when we just “hole stiddy” on Him.  Amen?

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