I HAVE MOVED

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find us at www.shawnwoodwrites.com

I am not a mistake. I am a one issue man.

In the Summer of 1973 my Mom had to have the conversation with her 44 year old dad that every dad dreads.  His baby was expecting a baby.

To my great delight my mother and her parents chose life.

Over the years as I have become more aware of the political, social and economic ramifications of this decision.  It would have been much easier to choose death.  Roe vs. Wade had just been passed politically, communities tend not to shun teenagers who sin by having sex, just those who get pregnant and of course this decision was financially costly to both my grandparents and my Mom.  In spite of all of these odds, my family chose life and I am incredibly honored that my Grandfather was a man of character and principles.

I must admit that over the the last twenty years of my life (sans the 14 when I had no clue that I was the product of a unwed, teenage pregnancy) I have grown weary of being called a mistake.  Well meaning people over the years have even commented how great it was to see that I have been able to be a blessing even when I was a “consequence of sin”.  I tend to not like to be called a consequence of sin, but that’s just me.  All of this has really shaped me into who I am.

I know its not popular.  I know its not relevant.  To quote Kanya West,

“Well let this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then I hope this take away from my sins
And bring the day that I’m dreaming about
Next time I’m in the club everybody screaming out Jesus Walks”

And I know it will not make me popular among young and emerging groups of Christians, but I am proud to say – I am a One Issue Man.  I have a litmus test.

This one issue man is writing today because I am angry.  I pray it’s righteous anger.

I am angry because we have allowed the republican party to hijack the issue of life.  Just the mention of being pro-life associates you with a political party rather than with Jesus.  That makes me angry.  I am angry that it seem that many Christians in an effort to distance themselves from the republican party are now ashamed to be associated with supporting saving the innocent lives of unborn children.  Life has become a political issue to be avoided or leveraged rather than an issue that is close to the heart of God.

I am angry because we have allowed the democratic party to claim stake to the Godly principles of social justice. It seems in order to be a person who rightly and justly brings an emphasis to social justice for those with AIDS, the poor of our world and being Green we have to align ourselves with political policies that leave behind millions of children who need us to support them with the most basic of needs, their life.

I am angry because we have allowed the world to convince us that this election is “about the economy stupid” and are willing to whore ourselves and our character for “what’s best for the economy”  while totally dismissing the fact that God is more concerned with America’s character than our capitalism.

I am angry because as I read scripture I think that the church should have solved all of these issues by being the kingdom of God on earth. I am angry because there should be no need for socialism from our government because the church should be meeting the needs of the widow, the single mom, the down-and-out and the drug abusers.  I am angry because the church should be seeking to “take care” of teen-age pregnancies by loving on young Moms and helping them financially rather than shunning them and calling the sinners and their children the product of sin.  I am angry because the world has turned us into multiple-issue people and we lack the fortitude and the guts to stand up for life no matter the cost.

So today I am taking back the issue of life and morals from the republicans and I am taking back environmentalism and social justice from the democrats.  You do not own them and I will no longer be a a part of your political silliness at the expense of people.  They do not belong to you.  They belong to Jesus.

I am angry.  I am sad.
I am not a mistake.
I am an one issue man.

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25 Responses

  1. murphy24p says:

    Thank you for stating very clearly what many people are thinking.

  2. Rick says:

    Thanks, Shawn – wow, really respect where you’re coming from here, how it’s shaped who you are and how you live the life of Christ.

  3. Scott Harris says:

    Speechless. Shawn, thank you for writing this. It captures my heart as well and I intend to link to it on my blog.

  4. Faye says:

    Awesome post, Shawn. Incredible thought went into this — and I believe your anger is righteous. I’m struggling a lot with what the church should have been, wondering why I’m having to discover this now, at 48, instead of having been taught it at an early age. My struggle is in getting caught up in that and being frozen in that state, not teaching it, not becoming an element of change.

    Thank you for your openness, your vulnerability and your passion! And you’re right, you’re no mistake. You were, at conception, the man of God that He intended. See now what God has wrought.

  5. Shaun King says:

    Awesome Shawn! Your story is amazing and your frustrations let me know that all of us have to work much harder to find common ground on issues that we agree on. It’s just plain stupid for any of us to allow partisanship to get in the way of the very real and pressing issues we are facing in the world today.

    However, I want to challenge you on your one issue voter ideology. Our God is not a One Issue God. I think that a good guy like you could still hold the issue of abortion up very high without lowering himself to say, in essence, that I will put all other issues on the back burner (or in the trash) to lift up this one issue. It’s short-sighted and ultimately hurts your (our) desire to see abortions lessen and eventually disappear in this country.

    Your Friend,

    Shaun

  6. well said. I don’t know why but I’m always surprised at the reactions I get from people when I tell them I’m pro-life and anti-death penalty. I know that’s not the case for everybody but I see those issues as being on the same side of the coin.

    Ran across an interesting back and forth on a local blog last week about the same issue.

    http://www.stevewood.cc/empowered-living/a-monday-morning-thought/trackback/

  7. As a mother who chose life for her unborn son 16 years ago, I cannot tell you how much I appreciate this post. YOU ARE NOT A MISTAKE!! YOUR LIFE WAS ORDAINED AND DESIGNED BY THE GOD OF THIS UNIVERSE…and you are doing a brilliant job of SHINING for Him. Thank you so much for sharing this!

  8. Britt says:

    Awesome post, from one “mistake” to another. We are living proof that some mistakes are worth making.

    Thanks also for rekindling my passion during an election that I have almost turned my back on due to the nonsense of it all. We are all one issue men but together we can make a difference. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, anger, and passion.

  9. As one who was once the family’s “dirty little secret” (born in 1963 prior to Roe v. Wade, or wouldn’t be sitting here typing this), I hear you, and I stand with you.

  10. Roger A. Redford says:

    A story:

    Red-haired Grace was the divorced mother of two small girls, he was the married father of 3 or 4 grown kids.

    One weekend he called his wife and said he’d be out of town on business. They went to Myrtle Beach and 9 months later….
    Anyway, when she found out that she was pregnant, she quit her job and lived off of her savings for the 9 months. This was 1968.

    She kept her pregnancy away from everyone. Even him. She loved him too much to “ruin his life” by telling him about about the baby.

    Too long story short: A few months into the pregnancy, she went to a lawyer to put the baby up for adoption. Shortly thereafter, a couple looking to adopt their second child went to that same lawyer. His assistant walked in, saw the lady’s red hair and told her that a red haired lady wanted to put a child up for adoption.

    I am so happy to have been that child.

  11. Heather McDougle says:

    Great post! Thank you for putting your heart and thoughts out there to help and inspire others.

  12. Great post, Shawn. Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I believe government can never do what’s the responsibility the Church of Jesus Christ. Shame on us for trying to legislate our faith without taking personal responsibility for what’s clearly ours.

  13. Bubba says:

    Great post Shawn.

    I’m with you several levels here. First, being “one issue” were that issue is Life isn’t turning your back on the rest. It’s the first step in addressing the rest (social justice, etc). Kinda like addressing the first level of needs in Maslow’s hierarchy. Second, I’ve been trying to find a good way to get it in people’s heads that “We the people” and not the government are responsible for taking care of the needs of people. Thirdly, I lived for 30+ years feeling every bit like “the consequence of sin.” The amazing grace and love of Jesus Christ opened my eyes to the fact that a very young couple in the 70’s chose me instead of the convenient option…. just as God chose each of us to be His children.

    Thanks for the inspirational, enlightening, and provocative post. Keep up the great writing.

    -Bubba

  14. paragraphein says:

    It’s interesting how we all have different reactions to events. I am also a “mistake” and my mom, for a time, entertained aborting me. This doesn’t bother me one bit. If she’d aborted, I wouldn’t be here to care. Rather than feeling extraordinarily grateful and as if I somehow narrowly escaped, I feel sad that she must have been so scared and lonely to contemplate an abortion. I felt this way even while being strongly pro-life.

    When I experienced my own unplanned pregnancy, around the same age as my mother, I too chose to give birth. In fact, I never entertained abortion, not like she did. But the experience deeply altered my perspective on the pro-life / pro-choice debate, and I am now absolutely pro-choice. I am very glad I gave birth to my daughter; but I also hope she never feels the need to feel grateful for my not aborting her! That’s not a burden she should have to bear.

  15. Nathan says:

    I enjoyed reading your post, Shaun. Two questions though:

    1. Did the Republican party really “hijack” the issue of life or did the Pro-Life Lobby — made up of evangelical Christians, primarily — “hijack” the GOP? Just asking the question. I actually thin the answer is “both.”

    Each party is the sum total of its special interest groups. And one of the biggest, most influential groups in our country is the
    Evangelical Bloc. The GOP can be faulted for “paying lip service” to this voting bloc (taking it for granted, or however you want to put it), but the Pro-Life movement could also share some of the blame in that it only works, lives, and breathes within the Republican Party, a party that does NOT always prioritize life as the driving policy issue. (By the way, the rest of your comments under this topic I totally agree with.)

    2. “I am angry because we have allowed the democratic party to claim stake to the Godly principles of social justice.” Same response as above: did the Dems claim stake to social justice or did the special interest groups (the green movement, save the _____, etc.) lay siege to the Democratic party? Again, I think the answer is “both.”

    What am I getting at? The political parties are not at fault. They’re just parties. People are at fault…including Christians who’ve sworn allegiance to one side or the other instead of swearing allegiance to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…and the things that He stood for…and died for.

    What’s the “Christian” response to these issues? (And I’d love to hear your take on this, Shawn.) In my opinion, Christians should continue to be involved in the political process and FIGHT for causes that Jesus would have us fight for (including life). FIGHT the Republican party to keep life as a pillar of the platform, but not to take Christian voters for granted. FIGHT the Democrat party on their hypocrisy in supporting “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” for all Americans…minus the life part. And search for solutions to problems outside of government…and namely IN the church!

    Just my two cents.

  16. chilly says:

    I don’t think you’re angry enough.

  17. dino says:

    hey Shawn that was good , didnt know wher u were headed at first but i felt your flow on it.i very seldom comment to a blog (dont type well) but i felt u said what many a heart feels for the poor and hurting that so often r used during a election. ther life and the unborn are not truely consider only pawns for party ammo , thank you lots for your passion.I pray for this election .again thank you

  18. Nathan says:

    In response to comment #7, here’s a news bite from this evening’s Special Report:

    “Denver’s Roman Catholic Archbishop says Barack Obama is the ‘most committed’ abortion rights major party presidential candidate in 35 years.

    Father Charles Chaput says, ‘To suggest, as some Catholics do, that Senator Obama is this year’s “real” pro-life candidate requires a peculiar kind of self-hypnosis, or moral confusion, or worse.’

    Chaput adds that pro-Obama Catholics ‘seek to contextualize, demote and then counterbalance the evil of abortion with other important but less foundational social issues.’

    Back in August Chaput criticized Obama running mate Joe Biden and House Seaker Nancy Pelosi — both Catholics — for their stance on abortion. He also suggested Biden should skip communion.”

    Thoughts?

  19. for the record, i’m glad you posted this. i’m tired of the rampant noise that seems to effectively silence so much truth. this post stood out and it needs to be heard more.

  20. That is a great post!!

    I don’t get all the hate and fervor that comes from Christians at election time but the rest of their lives are spent making the issues they say influence their vote for a candidate worse. For instance, what if every person that sent out a nasty “pray against Obama” E-mail actually spent time educating an inner-city teen girl about fetus development, or helping her with homework? Christians say they want smaller government yet most do nothing for AIDS victims, Inner city Orphans, the poor and the needy.

    I like Obama, I think he’s blind and wrong about abortion but I did consider voting for him for a while. It came down to who I thought would do a better job and I think McCain would even though I think he is blind and wrong on the war.

    I live a pro-life life from adoption to Orphan care to being arrested 4 times outside of abortion clinics. I have offered my home to a girl considering abortion and then watch her follow through with that abortion and I work in an after school abstinance program in the inner city. I think God has more so called us to do rather then vote, which is important, don’t get me wrong, but it is not the real solution, the body of Christ getting in relationship with the needy, the poor,etc is what will bring about real change.

  21. […] I have made it pretty clear on this blog where I stand on the issue of life when it comes to politics and until he proves me otherwise (and I will be praying daily that he […]

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