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Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has been attacked and mocked before by his political opponents for being in a wheelchair, so it’s no surprise he had the perfect response this week when someone suggested his disability was caused by God.
Abbott, 62, was left paralyzed from the waist down after a 1984 freak accident involving an oak tree falling on him during a jog in Houston. He has used a wheelchair ever since.
On Friday, he tweeted an inspirational video of a young man in a wheelchair climbing up an indoor wall with the caption: “Never quit. Never give up. Overcome any challenge.”
One person replied: “So great to see but if I ever end up in a wheelchair I’m just ending it.”
Abbott responded by reflecting on his own experiences: “That’s what I thought before I ended up in a wheelchair. I’ve done more AFTER the accident that left me paralyzed than before that accident. With God all things are possible.”
But then someone tweeted back to the governor: “God put you in a wheelchair Greg.”
Not one to shy away from his Christian faith — or an argument — Abbott explained: “God didn’t cause the accident that left me paralyzed, but He did help me persevere over that enormous challenge.”
He added: “I’m a testament that the glory of God is revealed by a young man’s back being broken in half and still rising up to be Governor of Texas. With God all is possible.”
When he ran for governor in 2014, his opponent, Wendy Davis, launched a political ad using his wheelchair and citing the multi-million dollar settlement he made in 1986 suing the homeowner and tree service company that inspected the tree before it fell on him.
In September a Democratic judge in Texas apologized after joking Abbott “hates trees because one fell on him,” while discussing overriding local ordinances at the Texas Tribune Festival in Austin.