Jesus must be embarrassed by the actions of those who claim to follow him -- such as those who invoke Christianity in their opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, says Bishop Gene Robinson.
"Jesus was always preaching compassion and acceptance for the most marginalized in his time, those pushed to the edges of society by the condemnation of secular and religious authorities," writes Robinson, the Episcopal Church's first openly gay bishop, in a column published Thursday in The Huffington Post. "He saved his sharpest criticism for those who claimed to be religious, but seemed the most reluctant to reach out in love to society's outcast."
Religion-based opposition to ENDA "surely would make Jesus cringe," Robinson continues. He notes the attempts to amend the bill to add ever-larger exemptions for employers claiming a religious basis for discrimination, and the stance of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, "asserting that their right to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity is essential to Catholics' religious liberty."
"Now stop, and just take that in for a moment," he writes. "A Church, dedicated to following the man known for his outreach and compassion for the marginalized, petitioning the government to be exempted from the fair treatment of marginalized and vulnerable LGBT people. It takes my breath away."
He concludes that "the shortest verse in all of scripture probably describes what [Jesus] would have done upon hearing their request: 'Jesus wept.'"
Read the full column here.