In Which Shawn Clarifies His Opinion of Westboro Baptist Church

Perhaps it’s naïveté, perhaps it’s absentmindedness, or perhaps it’s just that people don’t know me as well as I think they do — but yesterday I tweeted something that confused about half the folks who read it:

The problem is that I assumed everyone would KNOW I was being completely sarcastic in regards to “thanking” Westboro. I thought my tweet made it clear that in my family discussion, I used the comparison that “Westboro is to Christians as Al Qaeda is to Muslims.”

I wanted my kids to realize that by assuming all Muslims are evil like Al Qaeda, they’re using the same logic that all Christians are as hateful and evil as Westboro Baptist Church. Unfortunately, not everyone understood what I meant. This includes one of the crazy whackjobs from that “church” as well, since I was retweeted by one of the Phelps guys. (And not the cool Phelps, who swims really fast)

So when I started getting nasty (concerned) emails and facebook messages, I clarified on twitter:

But still, the thought that I’d be associated with WBC in any way other than disgust and disapproval was so reprehensible, I felt a blog post was appropriate. And a shower. And a nice long vomit.

I’ll leave you with a little bit of encouragement in regards to WBC, which I originally read on John Scalzi’s website. It posits that the entire WBC “thing” is nothing more than a money-making scam. That at least makes sense, as I can accept people being scamming scumbags. Human beings actually believing the stuff they say? That’s harder to comprehend.

It’s Official. And a Bit Scary.

Many folks already know, but it only recently became official. I’ve accepted a position at Cornerstone University as “Assistant Director of Database Services”, which is just a wordy way of saying I’ll be working with a team of database folks much smarter than me, doing new and exciting things pertaining to databases. You want more details? Well, ask me in a couple months. 🙂

This means I’ll no longer be the Technology Director for Inland Lakes Schools, and will be leaving an amazing bunch of folks that have been like a family to me for the past 12 years. This is actually tougher than I thought it would be. Like any family, there have been some rough times at Inland Lakes, but at the end of the day it’s a place I care for a great deal. My only hope is that my leaving might be a catalyst for awesome change. Still, leaving sorta rips my heart out.

The switch also means relocating. While I certainly like a good commute, driving 4 hours one way doesn’t seem like a very good idea. My family found a rental place on the south side of Grand Rapids that is small and charming, but with a great big fenced in backyard for our furry friends. Here it is, right out of the 1950s:

Also, if anyone wants to buy a fairly new 4 bedroom home in Indian River with a partially finished basement and an awesome office, I know a guy selling. Just saying.

So Grand Rapids? Prepare for the Powers family. Soon, we will be in you. Cornerstone University? You’re about to get a little sillier, but I think that was clear in my interviews. You have no one to blame but yourself. And Indian River friends, family, church, school, community… We already miss you, and we’re still here for another month.

Sometimes I Preach (Dec 11th)

This was my sermon from today. My normal disclaimer applies: If you don’t want to hear me preach a Christian sermon from Sunday morning, I won’t be offended. I’m not a professional, etc, etc, etc. Nonetheless, lots of people asked for these, so here ya go. 🙂

December 11, 2011
Title: “I’ve got this job for you…”
Verses: Matthew 1:18-25

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(NOTE: The recording quality isn’t great on this, my apologies)

Sometimes I Preach (Thanksgiving Sermon)

I have been asked for audio copies of the sermons I do at church. It’s important to bear in mind that I’m not a pastor, I’m just a church leader that preaches when the need arises. I’m not a professional, but I do my best. If you aren’t interested in hearing me preach a Sunday morning message — I’m not offended in the least. 🙂

Thanksgiving Sermon
November 27, 2011
Title: Stuff
Verses: Luke 18:18-23

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