During his Easter Sunday service, Rev. Luis Leon of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C. made a special point to attack the “religious right” as President Obama and his family listened on.
“It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back,” Leon reportedly said during his sermon according to the White House pool report. “For blacks to be back in the back of the bus … for women to be back in the kitchen … for immigrants to be back on their side of the border.”
When asked if the president’s attendance at the church contributed to Leon’s sermon Sunday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said the following:
“Well, again, he [Leon] is not a politician. This is not a senator or a member of Congress or the president, this was a sermon at a church here that’s been visited by presidents of both parties for many, many years. And I think–you know, I just don’t have anything more on it for you–I haven’t talked to the president about it.”
Obama has yet to give an actual statement about his thoughts on the controversial sermon.
As a new member of St. John’s Episcopal Church, this is the first time I have heard of Rev. Leon politicizing his sermons. I wasn’t in attendance to hear the sermon in question, and I was disappointed to later learn that Rev. Leon had chosen the day to celebrate Christ’s resurrection to promote a political agenda.
While the Episcopal church has made some bold political statements of late, including ordaining gay and transgender priests and blessing same-sex marriages, Easter is not the day to lobby on a political issue. It’s a day to celebrate what epitomizes being a Christian: Christ’ resurrection.