Huffpost Religion
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Emily Timbol Headshot

Jesus Wept, But Not For Reasons Mike Huckabee Thinks

Posted: Updated:
Print

Yesterday, at 9:59 am, I sat at my desk glued to my Twitter feed. As an unabashed supporter of full LGBT equality, in both the law and the church, my hope and prayer was for DOMA to be overturned.

When it was, my Twitter feed exploded with exclamations of joy, praise, and pure happiness.

It didn't take long however, for some less-than-enthused reactions to surface. They were legion, but this one stuck in my mind the most,

My thoughts on the SCOTUS ruling that determined that same sex marriage is okay: "Jesus wept."
-- Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) June 26, 2013

Huckabee's words struck me speechless. As a Christian who grew up in the church, I'm familiar with the verse he mentioned. It is the shortest one in the Bible, in the book of John, Chapter 11, and it references the emotional reaction Jesus had to the death of His beloved friend Lazarus.

This story is an important one, because it shows us how deeply Christ feels for us, especially when we're hurting. When I was younger, and lacking in compassion, the only thing I could focus on when reading this passage was what happened later on, when Jesus rose Lazarus from the dead. It seemed silly for Him to be crying over a man He knew He would soon resurrect.

But that thinking misses an important point of this passage. The Lazarus story does not exist only to show the power of Christ. It exists also to show the depth of Jesus love for us. Especially in regards to the pain we feel when a loved one dies.

If Mike Huckabee had even a smidgen of compassion for the LGBT community, he'd realize how callous and inappropriate it was to quote this verse as a sign of his unhappiness with the verdict. Jesus didn't weep in verse 35 because He was angry that the culture was turning in a direction He didn't agree with. He wept for a family. For a friend. For people He felt deep compassion and affection for. People who lost a loved one.

Unlike Huckabee, I won't assume to know Jesus reaction (if any) to yesterday's SCOTUS verdict. But I will hazard a guess. My guess is that Jesus, if He did weep, wept tears of happiness for the lives this verdict very well might save. Like the lives of gay teens who before yesterday might have been contemplating suicide, like so many of their peers, but now will feel just a little bit less hated. Or maybe Jesus wept for the lives of the thousands of children who are currently without homes, who will now be one step closer to having a life happily altered by the love of two parents.

If Jesus did weep out of sorrow and mourning, I don't think it would be mourning for the people who filled the steps of the Supreme Court with a chorus of joy. It's more likely He wept for the people like Huckabee, who won't stop misusing the Bible as a tool of oppression.

But like I said, I don't know what Jesus reaction was yesterday. I do know mine. I wept. Tears of joy, relief, and happiness, for my gay and lesbian friends who now get to have the same federal marriage benefits that my husband and I share. There was even a tear or two of gratitude to Jesus, for being with us all, as we worked to make yesterday happen.