No Lie - Katharine Bushnell - The One Year Women in Christian History Devotional

No Lie - Katharine Bushnell


“She’s lying. Are you going to believe a woman?”

Katharine Bushnell probably had to face verbal attacks like that when she testified before the Wisconsin legislature in the 1880s. Guards had to surround her for her own safety. She was testifying about women held against their will for sexual purposes in lumber camps. Having managed to get into these camps to investigate “white slavery” (as it was known), she knew she had to bring it out into the open, no matter the risk.

Her actions were controversial. Some state officials denied her accusations and accused her of telling lies. Still, she did what she believed was right, leaning upon the promise of a favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13. Christ would keep her strong while she fought for women who couldn’t fight for themselves.

Katharine’s bold testimony led to a Wisconsin law that outlawed the practice of white slavery, but the fallout from the controversy led her to go to England, where she worked with Josephine Butler. There, she learned the British army was supporting forced prostitution in India. Once again, she gathered evidence and gave testimony to officials despite a threat to her safety. Her testimony led to an independent investigation, and her accusations were proven to be true.

Beyond this social activism, Katharine was also a doctor, a medical missionary in China, and a Bible scholar. Her 1921 book, God’s Word to Women, made a strong biblical case for the equality of the sexes. Throughout her life, this talented woman strode directly into controversy to try to make life better for others.

What do you do when faced with a situation like Katharine’s in Wisconsin? Do you do what is right and risk your reputation and safety, or do you keep quiet and allow others to be hurt? It can be a tough call, but you can rely on the same promise from God that Katharine relied on: God will give you the strength to do what must be done.

Does this mean you’ll feel no fear, no doubts, when you’re in the middle of a difficult situation? Of course not. But faith keeps us clinging in spite of our fears and doubts.

I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.

Philippians 4:13

From the Book:

The One Year Women in Christian History Devotional cover image

The One Year Women in Christian History Devotional
By Randy Petersen and Robin Shreeves

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