Obama Pastor Bashes 'Religious Right' During Easter Sermon

Sunday, 31 Mar 2013 07:45 PM

By Greg Richter

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The “captains of the religious right are always calling us back,” the pastor of the church where the first family worshiped on Easter Sunday said in his sermon as the president sat in attendance.

According to a pool reporter who covered the service, the Rev. Luis Leon, an Episcopal priest at Saint John’s Church Lafayette Square, earlier in the sermon noted that people often want things to go back to the way they used to be, before "work got difficult and faith got confused, and life got more confusing.”

But, he added, just Jesus told Mary not to hold on to the past, "You cannot go back."

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At that point, he added, "It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling us back ... 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."

The Obamas are not members of Saint John’s, but often attend churches near the White House, The Washington Post notes. The pastor, Leon, was tapped to give the benediction at Obama’s second inauguration in January after the Rev. Louie Giglio stepped aside amid controversy over a sermon on homosexuality he had given in the mid-1990s.

Reuters reporter Jeff Mason tweeted that Leon also said the religious right want “gays in closet.”

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