I was elated yesterday when I heard the news reports that the U.S. Supreme Court had struck down the Defense of Marriage Act, arguing that it unduly discriminates against legally married same sex couples. But my elation so quickly was tempered when the same program reported that after hearing the news, Mike Huckabee tweeted, “Jesus wept.” I can’t write my first response here. It was full of bile and name-calling. I’ve found that such and emotional reaction isn’t very helpful for me or anyone else.
Mike Huckabee is the master of the cleverly worded sound bite. So, to take this relatively famous and well-known passage, lift it from it’s biblical context, and insert it into another completely different context would, of course, speak to his constituency. But it’s patently dishonest and uses Jesus’ own words in a way that I think would make Jesus weep.
When Jesus wept at the tomb of his friend Lazarus, I think he was weeping not primarily over the death of his friend. After all, momentarily he would call forth the corpse from the tomb. I think he was weeping at the cumulative brokenness of the human condition, a brokenness that eventually ends in death for all of us; I think he was weeping at the separation that our brokenness causes between us, a separation over which we grieve not only at death, but all along the journey of life. Because of our separation and brokenness, we experience untold suffering, individually and communally. I can imagine Jesus already outside Lazarus’s tomb weeping over the weight of human sin and all of the injustices we inflict on one another.
So, to say that Jesus wept at the Supreme Court’s decision yesterday rings hollow. In my own understanding of the Christian faith, it’s wrong. In fact, if Jesus was weeping, he would have been weeping at the brokenness that results from laws that stand in the way of allowing loving, committed couples from enjoying the same societal benefits of marriage that heterosexual couples have always enjoyed. And if Jesus was shedding any tears yesterday, I think they would have been tears of joy that finally, the law has fallen down on the side of equality, love, justice, and commitment.
God bless you, Jim, for finding kinder words than I could to explain why Mr. Huckabee’s tweet rankled.
Yours is a church or chapel I would attend sir. Thank you for pointing out or rather reminding people that Jesus was a great guy. He wasn’t cruel or judgmental. His was an open heart. A kind heart. Embracing all.
Thanks for reading, and thanks for your comment!
Thank you, Jim. Thank you for taking time to put into words so well what many of us are thinking!
Thanks, Dick, for taking the time to read and for your words of encouragement.
You are correct only if you do not include homosexuality as part of human brokenness. Jesus loves sinners yes, but when we uphold our sins above His word, He weeps.
I do not consider homosexuality a sign of our brokenness.
Jim I would, if you would be so gracious, enjoy a little back and forth with you. I am a “young believer” although I am 44. I have been learning and reading insatiably for the last couple of years, mostly in the Bible and doctrinal studies(St Augustine and Calvin) and sermons including Spurgeon. I have perused your blog and find it enjoyable, and it shows you are a man who loves God. It also shows your intelligent and caring, and level headed. For these reasons I was hoping you would be interested in a little email exchange, your views pique my interest and if you would be willing to answer some respectful earnest questions I would appreciate it. If not, since your on sabbatical, I would certainly understand. I know I have about worn out my pastor, ha ha. Email me at your leisure or don’t. Either way thanks for your time.
I’ve sent you and email, Dennis. Would be open to an honest, respectful, and civil email dialogue. Thanks for reading, and thanks for your comment. By the way, if you’re curious about more depth about my views about same-sex marriage, I hope you’ve read my blog post, “An Open Letter to John Kass.” Again, thanks, Dennis.