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St. John’s Must Lose Status as “The Church of the Presidents”

by Keith Koffler on April 2, 2013, 8:50 am

The St. John’s Church is on Lafayette Square, across the park from the White House. It prides itself as “The Church of Presidents,” boasting on its website that every president in office since 1816 has attended services there.

Well, Church of the Presidents no more.

luis LeonIn a vile and remarkably un-Christian display of bilious invective, the church’s rector, Reverend Dr. Luis León, during his Easter Sunday sermon attacked the core of the Republican Party as racist, misogynist, and xenophobic.

Now for Obama, who sat for years in a Chicago church listening to the hateful ranting of its pastor, Jeremiah Wright, this was tepid stuff, and may well reflect his own thinking. But no future Republican president should sit down in a pew of this church without receiving a thorough and unqualified apology for the good reverend’s statement.

Here’s what Rev. León said, according to the White House press pool report:

We often want things to go back to the way things used to be, before “work got difficult and faith got confused, and life got more confusing,” but when we dwell on the “if only” of life we forget that “God addresses us in the now.”

As Jesus told Mary not to hold on to the past, “You cannot go back.”

“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.”

What’s driving Rev. León crazy is hatred of those he deems his moral inferiors, not anything Republicans do. He could assuage his mental discomfort by discovering a less juvenile interpretation of a philosophy and theology he doesn’t share.

León has turned the Church of the Presidents into the Church of the Left, and for the next four years, the Church of Obama. I’m sure Rev. León thought his words would go down wonderfully with the president and Washington’s liberal establishment.

But Republicans will have to find another place to worship.

{ 2 trackbacks }


Sadie April 2, 2013 at 9:04 am

Democrats have always prayed at the alter of the church of What’s Happening Now.

Guillermo Grande April 2, 2013 at 10:10 am

Yup. These people are not just hypocrites. They are much worse… deceitful and manipulative. The distinction being their hypocrisy is not an air of denial to hide their sins. Rather, it is a tool to suit the need and whimsy of the moment.

Sadie April 2, 2013 at 10:56 am

Well said.

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 11:04 am

And you are well spoken too, and as a former Episcopalian, I say that your words apply to the Episcopal church today.

Sadie April 2, 2013 at 12:53 pm

It’s not just the churches and temples spewing junk – it’s the colleges and universities from Berkeley to Columbia. FLOTUS and her mission to get kids to eat healthy … while they’re being fed poison from the pulpit.

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 3:43 pm

You know I’ve just about had enough of these two preaching
what I’m to eat, think do be or soon when to use the loo.
They are not the boss of me not today not now not ever!

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

I don’t deny personal responsibility in over-eating, but something they never touch on is how the food we eat has been genetically engineered and doctored. For example, I’d like to know if the growth hormones fed to animals don’t accrue in the people who then eat those animals. I mean like DDT does. I hope I’m making sense, and if there is some legitimacy to what I’m asking, the government is an equal culprit in the epidemic of obesity. You didn’t just get yourself fat, someone else helped you to get fat.

MarjoJimbo April 2, 2013 at 5:04 pm

My mom just told me yesterday that an undertaker told her that dead bodies don’t decay as quickly as in the past due to all the preservatives people eat.

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 6:40 pm

is that really true? that is absolutely disgusting if so…but it kinda makes sense!

AZ Granny April 3, 2013 at 1:12 am

My daughter’s friend is a mortician and she’s said the same thing. There’s too many preservatives in our food.

AZ Granny April 3, 2013 at 1:16 am

Oh, another thing about the preservatives. They’re making it more difficult to determine time of death.

depressionbaby April 2, 2013 at 9:25 pm

Millions of lives in Africa have been lost to malaria because of the banning of DDT, which was by far the best method to get rid of the disease carrying mosquitoes. You can look it up.

AZ Granny April 3, 2013 at 1:14 am

You’re making perfect sense, Julie. Also, think about all the high fructose corn syrup they put in nearly everything. I used to look at food labels but until I had to start reading and deciphering each label due to food allergies I never knew just how tainted our food is.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 1:02 am

There would certainly be nothing new in Republicans abandoning places where they would hear what they ought to hear and only visiting places where they hear what they want to hear.

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 9:07 am

In contrast, there is Pope Francis who’s sending the message of peace and love that even my non-Catholic friends are embracing. It’s how religion should roll :D

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 9:14 am
MichelleIndependent April 2, 2013 at 9:55 am

pope Francis is humble.

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 10:17 am

He is an example to those religious leaders of all faiths their job is to
nurture our souls not degrade others or change a vote.

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 10:24 am


Dbb April 2, 2013 at 10:25 am

A lot of your like-minded friends weren’t too crazy about the Pope washing the feet of those two Muslims, were they Denise?

Rod April 2, 2013 at 1:53 pm

what, is it your week to post the “too clever by half” responses on WHD?

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 3:41 pm

As a Catholic I found Pope Francis preformed his duties to all God’s
children refreshing he doesn’t see a vote or ideology he sees the
the souls God has sent him to tend to the whole flock not a select few.

Sara B April 2, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Sad you say that Dbb…no one in my conservative Christian circles thought the Pope was wrong…in fact it was profoundly humble and something Jesus did His whole life as a Rabbi. Other religious leaders of His day were scandalized by His associating with a prostitute, healing on the Sabbath, hanging out with those deemed “unclean.” Pope Francis sets a high bar for all Believers to love unconditionally as Jesus did.

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm

can you give us a link or two? I read Natl Review, Commentary, and several other conservative mags/sites, and I don’t recall hearing about this at all. I didn’t realize it happened, even, and now that I know, who cares. which is, I suspect, how most “like-minded [to a bigoted toothless Tea Partier from some flyover state]” people feel.

we’re waiting. and don’t bother sending Alex Jones links.

Sara B April 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

Who is Alex Jones? Let me know what his website is…

anneinarkansas April 2, 2013 at 9:16 am


A.Men April 2, 2013 at 9:22 am

Disgraceful sermon from an imposter — Rev. Luis Leon! Hate should NOT spew from the pulpit. Unchristian rant on Easter Sunday for the King obomba, the lord of the left spewing hate.

Anne Lieberman April 2, 2013 at 9:34 am

As I understand it, Leon’s “boss” would be the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, The Rt. Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde. Perhaps she should be encouraged to replace Rev. Dr. Leon with a more tolerant and responsible cleric. 202-537-6550

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 12:02 pm

She recently led a DC pro gun control protest by Episcopal priests and bishops so I don’t know how far you’d get with her.

JP April 2, 2013 at 12:38 pm

Anne and Julie, I think it’s a good idea to write to the Bishop. If enough of us do so, the message might get through to Leon. It’s worth a try.

Girly1 April 2, 2013 at 9:42 am

Well said, Keith. Obama could have simply stood up and walked out. But he was all smiles when he bade farewelll to Rev. Leon – it was a warm reminder of his days in Rev. Wright’s church of black liberation theology. Looks like the search for a new place of worship might be over. If it wasn’t for golf, Obama would undoubtedly become a ‘regular’.

Star April 2, 2013 at 10:40 am

Yeah, I saw his flashbulb grin on the way out…on, off, on, off. All happy.

Playrighter April 2, 2013 at 11:13 am

Obama gets giddy when others do his dirty work for him: Hoffa vowing to take out those GOP S.O.B.s, Sykes wishing Kidney failure on Limbaugh, McCartney stupidly claiming Bush didn’t know what a library was for, Felipe Calderon attacking lawful Americans, CeeLo Green giving the finger at a campaign event, Harry Reid calling Romney a tax cheat, Cutter calling him a felon………

He’s smiling because he thinks we can’t see the puppet strings attached to his own bloody fingers.

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 3:45 pm

Girly when old Barry and Michelle do something that noble or wise I will
be the Queen of the world and the Potomac will part:-)

bellabella April 2, 2013 at 6:14 pm

He probably told the Reverend: “Good job!”

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

‘walked out’? Obama? haha.

this president sat silently while Daniel Ortega SLAMMED the United States, and when it was his turn to speak, said “I’m glad Mr. Ortega isn’t blaming me for things that happened before I was born.”

Deana April 2, 2013 at 9:44 am

Part of what makes it worse is that this screed was delivered on Easter Sunday, when very likely most other preachers across the nation were delivering sermons honoring the risen Christ, and this particular minister chooses to politicize his sermon, perhaps in an attempt to ingratiate himself with Obama. I’m sure the good reverend knew Obama and his family would be at church (it was, after all, Easter Sunday, one of two days of the year that typically non-church-goers DO go to church). By contrast, the services at my Baptist church were Christ-honoring, joyful, and uplifting, and a celebration of the new life that is found in Jesus. I can’t speak to the state of anyone’s heart — only God knows that — but I am reminded of a Bible verse that says in part, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.” (Matthew 12:34) Interestingly enough, this quote comes at the end of a speech Jesus made to the Pharisees, who were the religious “leaders” of His day. This is also the passage (Matthew 12: 24-34) from where the famous phrase comes, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.” The passage further goes on to say that all sins can be forgiven except blasphemy against the Holy Spirit, and that you will know a good tree (an allusion to a good person) by that it produces good fruit. You will know a bad tree (person) by its fruit as well. Again, I can’t speak to the heart condition of the minister, Obama, or anyone for that matter, but “you shall know them by their fruit” or by how they speak and act.

Troy C April 2, 2013 at 9:47 am

You know the Marxist in Chief was loving every minute of the sermon. I wonder what his daughters thought.

ImNoDhimmi April 2, 2013 at 10:16 am

They were probably listening to their iPods.

bellabella April 2, 2013 at 6:13 pm

I am sure the 0bamas knew what kind of a “church” they were taking the kids to. But a little indoctrination goes a long way.
Shame on them!
0bama, as a so-called president, should at least have made some kind of a statement about the Reverends “Sermon”. But they probably looked at each other and though “aah, its good to be home>>”
WE have never had anything like this in the White House.

Dbb April 2, 2013 at 10:22 am

The whining and kvetching and self-pitying that comes from all of you supposedly macho conservatives never ceases to amuse me. I’m reminded of that classic Dirty Dozen parade ground scene where that priggish martinet colonel splutters with outrage at Lee Marvin after getting pawned by his convict platoon. To borrow from Marvin’s putdown, you’re really very emotional, aren’t you Keith?

Car in April 2, 2013 at 10:28 am

What a substantive defense.There’s a reason for the term “useful idiot.”

Dbb April 2, 2013 at 10:34 am

You mean the ones like you who keep Keith’s click count up?

Star April 2, 2013 at 10:42 am

Tut, tut–personal attack.

Sadie April 2, 2013 at 11:02 am

The commenter above has different initials, but the style is RT-
“rude troll”.

Rod April 2, 2013 at 1:51 pm

style is always the same – insufferably self-righteousness, condescending, smug with a dash of arrogance, and brazenly intolerant. They take their cue from the queen (mooch). My favorite is the misguided belief that everything they have to say is both intelligent AND funny at the same time but this is consistent with you’d expect from people who get the majority of their “news” from a comedy channel.

gracepmc April 2, 2013 at 2:35 pm

sour grapes

Sara B April 2, 2013 at 4:46 pm

It’s you dear Dbb who is keeping Keith’s click count up! Thanks! But it seems you really don’t care for the opinions here … Perhaps you are lonely? No matter. You will see that commentors here don’t need to name call or impune because they are very willing to debate in the arena of ideas. Name calling is a sure sign that you’ve lost the debate.

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 7:08 pm

I promised Keith I wouldn’t engage with trolls. Aaaaargh!

Star April 2, 2013 at 10:39 am

I thought those comments were stupid and ugly. When the Clintons attended the church of which I was a member, the minister — hate to say it–took on airs and tried to attract interest in himself, rather than God. I guess this fellow could not resist trying to grab his 15 minutes. Pretty low rent, though.

pianogirl88 April 2, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Star….if we could see the sermons from whenever the Obamas have “worshiped” at St. John’s, I think you would find more of the same with the rector, who has been there for a few years.

BTW, I used to take organ lessons from the organist at Foundry many years ago.

Star April 2, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Eleanor? She is super! I still listen to the tapes of that choir!

pianogirl88 April 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Eileen Guenther was who I studied with.

Star April 2, 2013 at 4:51 pm

Eileen! Sorry.

Mike Lester April 2, 2013 at 10:43 am

I’ve tried unsuccessfully to contact the church. But here’s a transcript of what Easter means to the FLOTUS:

MICHELLE: Today we’re gonna have more than 30,000 people who will pass through this yard in celebration of nutrition and health and activity. So today we want you to have a great time. We want to you run around. We want you to go over and see the White House garden. We want you to learn about making tasty, healthy food. We’re gonna come down and do some Easter Egg Roll. We’re gonna read some stories. But overall, we want you guys to have a good time and keep moving and be healthy. And, kids, eat your vegetables, okay?

RickW April 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

“And please don’t ask if you can go inside the White House since we can’t afford tours. Thank you!”

Star April 2, 2013 at 10:52 am

CANDY, Michelle–Easter is about eating CANDY.

Star April 2, 2013 at 12:32 pm

Also–I heard that this event of 30,000 people was paid for in part by wooden eggs sold by the govt. We have a wooden egg factory turning a profit?

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

So many jokes ‘wooden eggs’ so little time.

Susan April 2, 2013 at 11:19 am

Flashback to Mooch’s speech in Puerto Rico, May 14, 2008:

“Barack knows that we are going to have to make sacrifices; we are going to have to change our conversation; we’re going to have to change our traditions, our history; we’re going to have to move into a different place as a nation.”

Mooch is just doing what her master commands her to do – she’s trying to change our traditions. Similar to her husband’s basketball skills, she is a big fail, but she’s a loyal little comrade.

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 11:51 am

Thanks, Susan. I hadn’t read this before. Vladimir Lenin comes to mind. Too bad she couldn’t have made the speech on May l.

I’m not sure her master ordered her to say these words: they sound like the Marxist Mooch herself.

FLDemFem April 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I remember that speech, and my reaction to it. First of all, I said “what do you mean “we”? And secondly, I wondered how we were going to change history? You can’t change history, history is what happened and nothing can change that. Unless you are a revisionist, but they don’t change history, they just re-tell it with their own slant and deletions. And we like our traditions, that’s why we have them; if we didn’t, they wouldn’t be traditions. And as for sacrificing, what sacrifices have the Obamas made? None that I can see. They could give up luxury vacations and go to Camp David, but they haven’t. Instead, they waste tax payers’ money flying all over the country to exclusive resorts and hang out with celebrities instead of real people.

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 7:02 pm

good citation, Susan. thanks for the reminder. someone should make a “Moochelle Minutes” calendar with some of her best lines. you know, like all the “Bushism” calendars. “proud of my country” would, of course, be on the cover.

but I have to take issue with your line about Michelle “just doing what her master commands her to do.”

I think, and have always thought, that SHE is the master, or mistress, in that relationship. Barack was a bright, amiable stoner, and would have been perfectly happy to spend the next 40 years as a tenured professor at some cushy law school, but Michelle got hold of him, did the Lady Macbeth thing, and turned him into the Manchurian Candidate.

Susan April 2, 2013 at 7:45 pm

I agree Mooch created Buhrock, aka Chauncey Gardiner, but I think her source of power and direction is coming from somewhere higher up the food chain like…cough Soros cough.

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm

I put that speech segment on and it came back 4th grade level, not that I would do much better, but I don’t have a law degree from Harvard either.

It’s fun !

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 2:54 pm

What I just typed came back 6th grade level. I’m smarter than Michelle ! :D

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm

I’ve got a new game to play thanks Denise:-)

Guillermo Grande April 2, 2013 at 4:14 pm

Fun times. One word edit can make a grade difference.

srdem65 April 2, 2013 at 10:51 am

I’m hardly a “captain” of anything, but, yes, I wish the illegal aliens would just go back to their homelands and if they choose to become Americans that they obey our laws and apply for a visa.

As for the quote of women in the kitchen, women have never left the kitchen, they go there after their outside-the-home job. The Pastor might have been referring to access to abortion, but that’s just a guess.

Finally, nobody wants Blacks to go to “the back of the bus” as in JimCrow times, we just want them to buy a ticket and get in line like everyone else.

If thinking like this makes me racist, misogynist, and, xenophobic, then so be it.

Why the Pastor chose that theme for his Easter Sunday service is puzzling other than he was trying to impress the President who also believes such things.
. It was inappropriate for him to speak like that at any time inside the Church.

Guillermo Grande April 2, 2013 at 11:20 am

Right on. You make the point well and it doesn’t make you racist. Try as I might, I’ve never understood slavery nor the logic for some of the social programs inflicted on those in need. Buy a ticket like everyone else and if you can’t, be gracious in return. Or conform in some simple way to a social norm. Like IDK buy a belt?! Go to school, learn, and make a contribution? It has become too much to expect adult behavior.

Susan April 2, 2013 at 10:59 am

Should just rename the building – the church of St. Obama, where only black liberation theology will be preached. All these Marxists are having a hearty laugh at our expense. They get great pleasure out of poking Christians in the eye with their divisive, hate-filled sermons. No doubt the soulless man who calls himself our leader was doubly pleased – he got his fill of vile excrement to last him until the next Christian holiday, and he gets praise from the Obamessiah drones for attending “church” with his family.

sportinlife10 April 2, 2013 at 11:13 am

I presume the church is tax-exempt? I thought the churches eschewed politics, for that reason, and, if they were promoting a political point of view, were wisely not making headlines?

I'm a Wacko April 2, 2013 at 11:22 am

The left doesn’t quite understand that in war the losers get it broke off in them. They may be winning a few battles now, but in the long run they are idelogically bankrupt (and financially) and they will lose and they will pay dearly.

Ellen April 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

What bothered me most was that Leon didn’t give any examples of these so-called intolerant people on the right. Give me some names and some kind of proof!

Star April 2, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Bob Beckel on THE FIVE said Pat Robertson. Haven’t heard from him in yrs–but he did say some dopey things in the past. It hardly makes all non-liberals captains of anything.

Playrighter April 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

Just like Mr. Obama: you don’t need to give specifics. Just speak in vague generalities and generic doomsday scenarios. The only detail needed is who to blame for the mess.

SaveUsGod April 2, 2013 at 12:16 pm

People should just stop attending until the preacher is removed. My husband and I left our church and school until the priest was removed and then we went back. Things will change in this country when everyone speaks with their wallets. Free will people, free will.

Michele LaMonica April 2, 2013 at 12:57 pm

I’m sorry things in the Political arena drive you CRAZY Reverend Leon … but don’t worry … for you it’s a short trip.

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 1:10 pm

I didn’t want to respond directly to one of our very “rude” guest commenters, but the washing of the feet had a deeper message than s/he implied:

And they were children.

Lizzy April 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm

Ones who make such inane comments must not appreciate those of us
who are religious and find these small gestures speak volumes.

Judy Ellis April 2, 2013 at 2:22 pm

The comments here are just as bad as the message of this preacher. No Christian love coming from all of you Obama haters. When you get the beam out of your own eyes and are without sin yourselves then maybe you will know that you are sinning by your comments.

Star April 2, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Christian forgiveness then? He knew not how he came off…yes? No?

JP April 2, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Judy, is it so difficult to listen to the truth? You’ve not heard the truth from the mainstream media in more than 5 years. Get off your Christian high horse.

AFVet April 2, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Most of these people do not have a beam in their eye.
Rather, they are looking at this with eyes wide open.
I would advise you to take the beam out of your own eye.

Danceswithtruth April 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm

I must have missed something. Since when did proclaiming the truth become a sin?

Jesus got angry and overturned the money changers tables, driving them out of the temple.

Jesus rebuked Peter, telling him “get behind me, Satan.” That doesn’t sound like a ‘dripping with honey’ proclomation.

Just because someone says something you don’t like, in a manner you may not be accustomed does not make it sin. We are called to take a stand. Seems to me Paul, one of the great evangelists in the NT ruffled feathers frequently by what he had to say. Also seems to me he was going about God’s business.

Your reference above is frequently taken out of context. It does not mean that we should never question, correct, or rebuke. The NT is full of direction to the opposite. We should stand up, speak out, question, correct and rebuke. Last time I checked, God asks that of us.

Guillermo Grande April 2, 2013 at 4:17 pm

Thank you.

Will Mears April 2, 2013 at 2:33 pm

I can suggest many other “real” Christian churches to attend that would give an actual Christian message and accurately convey Christ’s teachings instead the left wing rant.

rawheadrex April 2, 2013 at 2:41 pm

But at the end of his sermon, apparently off mike, Rev. Leon said:”Oh yes, Jesus rose from the dead. Amen! And Jesus’ Father God told those on Noah’s ark:go forth and multiply and you democrats, go forth and multiply fund raising today!”

HRoarke April 2, 2013 at 2:50 pm

With Episcopal messages such as this one being given from pulpits, is it any wonder that that demination is not just slowly, but rapidly, dying due to members leaving?

Very sad… But there’s always hope. Many former US Episcopalians are becoming members here in the US of Anglican denominations based in Africa. Thankfully the work of all those English Anglican missionaries in years past has grown fruit…

elizabeth Griffith April 2, 2013 at 4:37 pm

The word is denomination and the sermon was not as you interpret.

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 7:12 pm

Thirty years ago the Episcopalians numbered 3 million; today they are under 800,000.

csd April 2, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Obama wrote it.

valwayne April 2, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Watching a Priest spew hatred, intolerance, divsiveness, and disrespect for the religious beliefs of others on Easter Sunday when all Christians should have been celebrating the rising of Christ must have been painful for any decent person watching it. Of course he did it to please Obama, and it probably did please the President who listened to even worse for 20 years from Rev Wright, but it was still shocking to see a Priest on Easter Sunday engage in such intolerance. People of good will everywhere should indeed avoid that Church and that Pastor like the plague.

JP April 2, 2013 at 3:34 pm

Totally agree. His message should have been of joy not hate on the holiest day of the Christian year.

elizabeth Griffith April 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

His message was one of joy, not hate. I have read the sermon. Have you?

JP April 2, 2013 at 7:22 pm

Hateful – nothing joyful in it. Your interpretation is self-serving.

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm

The pool report may be at fault for selectively quoting the Reverend. I just saw this on a Virginia Conservative blog, the other side of the story ?

AFVet April 2, 2013 at 4:01 pm

I wasn’t there, and it sounds like spin to me.

srdem65 April 2, 2013 at 4:39 pm

If this blogger is truthful, and I have no reason not to believe he is, then the blame for this falls on the WH pool reporters who chose the Pastor’s words out of context for the sake of controversy.

srdem65 April 2, 2013 at 4:42 pm

Wow. double negatives mashing the content of …oh forget it.
Correction; I believe the blogger is truthful.

DeniseVB April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm

I think we have a “pool” problem. Not sure why, since we are always suspect they’re on Team Obama.

Bearing Drift is not a wingnut blog.

elizabeth Griffith April 2, 2013 at 4:40 pm

Thanks for posting! Luis Leon is a wonderful, kind Christain man. I am proud to call hin a friend

Susan April 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

I’m not buying it. He didn’t deny what the guy said, just that it was misunderstood. How many times have we heard that one? The Republican who authored this article is or was a D.C. lobbyist. Lobbyists are a rung below slip and fall lawyers on my ladder of trustworthiness. He may be a relativist about his reverend’s politicization of the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, but I am not. If we Christians keep turning the other cheek, the left will come back and slap it twice as hard.

Star April 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm

I thought he still lumped people into “us”-”them” groups and unfairly so. Yes, no period of time is “fair” or “kind” to everyone, but he accuses the religious right (captains as in captains of industry–a two-fer slap) of wanting groups to be at a disadvantage. Just plain wrong and not not helpful. Then, according to the parishioner who blogged, he said this was what Jesus would not want. So now these people, as he wanted them defined, were cross-wise of Jesus.

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 7:11 pm

thanks for providing the link. maybe I’m being stupid, but I read the whole thing and I still think what the minister said was offensive, stupid, and wrong.

this particular article was pretty unconvincing. I mean, you know your mom is going to say nice things about you, but you don’t put her down as a job reference. maybe they could have found someone who wasn’t quite so close to the minister as this guy.

this priest stated in his sermon that “captains of the Religious Right” (whoever they are) want to go back to when blacks were slaves, etc etc etc. that’s ridiculous and offensive. and considering it was Easter, it was also completely inappropriate.

Keith Koffler April 2, 2013 at 11:03 pm

Thanks Denise, it’s good of you to point this out. But he’s wrong. Please see my comments below.

elizabeth Griffith April 2, 2013 at 4:06 pm

I think you replaced the words “religious right” with the word “republican”. Most republicans are not on the extreme religious right, for example, George W Bush. I think any republican would be perfectly happy worshiping in St John’s. I know I would.

Anonna April 2, 2013 at 4:38 pm

I wonder that legal immigrants allow themselves to be lumped with illegal aliens, as if they have anything in common with the lawbreakers other than a foreign place birth.

I wish the illegal aliens were on their side of the border and I am not ashamed at all to have that view.

A. Green April 2, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Letter I just sent to Dr. Leon

Dr. Leon,

I worked for the White House under President George W. Bush. I always thought St. Johns was a church that could minister to presidents of both parties. Your political hyperbolizing in your Easter sermon about “captains of the religious right” not only tarnished the reputation of your church but calls into question your adherence to the faith you claim to serve.

The Pharisees chose politics over God’s work during Christ’s time, as well. His victory over their murderous intentions is what you were supposed to be commemorating on Sunday. Badly done, sir.

I’d urge you to do some soul searching over how your political beliefs usurped your religious duty on the most important Christian holiday on the calendar. Next, consider issuing an apology. The pulpit is no place for hateful political comments.


(full name)

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 7:14 pm

Are you aware that Luis is a personal friend of President George W. Bush, who attended services nearly every week at St. John’s and asked him to deliver the invocation at the inauguration in 2005? Who invited Luis to dinner at the White House privately?

Our church is not partisan. As a Republican, I wouldn’t be attending there if it were.

Keith Koffler April 2, 2013 at 11:11 pm

This is a good letter. Please let us know if you get a response.

Not Nabob April 3, 2013 at 12:01 am

All of us.

JungleCogs April 2, 2013 at 4:48 pm

No US President should ever enter that former “house of worship” ever again.

JungleCogs April 2, 2013 at 4:49 pm

Well, at least until the sulfer smell has left.

Papajonl April 2, 2013 at 5:01 pm

When did this “Preacher” decide that the house of God should enter into politics. I’m sure he could not resist the opportunity to honor the “Messiah” who lives across the street in OUR house. I guess OUR government will overlook the “Church and State” tax exemption that this church enjoys.

Georgia Joe April 2, 2013 at 5:15 pm

I’m not sure why the right is reacting as though Rev. Leon said something wrong. He is simply stating the truth. Many current and former leaders of the religious right oppose the advancement of the rights and opportunities for women and minorities in this Country. It is a fact. Don’t condemn the preacher who delivered the message; condemn those who work to stifle progress.

Susan April 2, 2013 at 5:46 pm

Oh please. What is your definition of a “right” that needs advancement? My rights come from my Creator, not from some bloated behemoth federal government. Please refer to first ten Amendments to the Constitution of the United States to see what our forefathers codified as the Bill of Rights. Never forget – any “rights” these politicians in government service can grant you, they can easily take away.

“The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.” President Ronald Reagan

Georgia Joe April 2, 2013 at 6:04 pm

You miss the point. This is about a group of religious leaders specifically attempting to use their pulpit power to deny others their God given rights. I’m with Rev. Leon. It drives me crazy when religious leaders attempt, in God’s name, to force politicians to use the power of government to deny others the freedom to live their lives as they choose. Rev. Leon was speaking on Easter Sunday with the message of Jesus. Don’t use the power of the law or the law of the church as a means to deny the least of those in society the right to live as they choose.

Susan April 2, 2013 at 6:06 pm

Once again, what are the God given rights that are being denied?

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 7:15 pm

Hmm. How do you feel about Mayor Bloomberg?

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 7:18 pm

Susan has it exactly right. what “god-given rights” do you think the Evil Rightwing Christian Bad People want to take away? the god-given right to kill your baby when it’s in your womb–and now, according to at least one Planned Parenthood employee, right after that too?

or is it that god-given right that homosexuals have to marry a person of the same sex, in a church? or is it our god-given right to free contraception?

but even these examples are better than what the priest actually said. reasonable people can disagree on abortion and birth control and gay marriage. but nobody on the left OR the right wants black people to be slaves, and to say so is to deliberately lie to score political points.

Papajonl April 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Rev Leon has the right and is free to speak his mind, however preaching his political views from the pulpit is not the place to do it. Where is the self-righteous ACLU to criticize this Preacher just as they do to any Christian Preacher who even breaths a political opinion from the pulpit.

Shootingstar April 2, 2013 at 5:27 pm

this so-called man if God disgusts me to the core and I am ashamed he represents Christians. He needs to be reprimanded by the higher authorities and sent to the poorest African nation to the real work of God and the Church. he obviously thinks very highly of himself and seeks personal attention …he needs to follow the new Pope’s example.

Bill Baar April 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm

For a folks riding History’s tide, Progressives can seem awfully grumpy. Think they might not be so certain of the surf?

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 7:04 pm

I wrote the Bearing Drift piece that someone mentioned in the comments.

I’m a Republican. I’ve been a Republican my whole life, since I started knocking doors in Pennsylvania for Rick Santorum in high school, to when I ran for Virginia House of Delegates in 2011. I’ve defended the Fairfax Republican Party in court and I was a political appointee in the George W. Bush Administration.

St. John’s is still the church of the presidents, and my fellow Republican parisoners are still going to go to the church, regardless of what has been mischaracterized by a press who wasn’t there for either service. There was one pool reporter who took the sermon out of context.

Luis Leon is a good man and he and our congregation do not deserve to be denigrated because of this. Keith, if you’re still in DC, I invite you to join us next week for services.

rulierose April 2, 2013 at 7:24 pm

thank you for writing the article. I read it, but I have to say, it was pretty unconvincing.

I’m sure your reverend is a wonderful person, and you obviously get a lot out of going to his church, and that’s great. but what he said was offensive and unfair, and there’s no way to spin it otherwise. to imply that conservatives secretly want to see black people enslaved is a horrible thing to say!

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 7:53 pm

That wasn’t the implication. That’s the point.

Star April 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm

But if everyone rises–the middle class gets restored–we all gain, pay less taxes, have innovative things to buy and sell. Why would anyone want to enslave people or keep them down? The smarter and more educated the better, the more innovative the better!

So, in the end, you seem to agree with what he said–well, some of us don’t.

JP April 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Brian, I attended services at St. John’s when I worked at The White House. Rev. Leon’s political views have always been obvious. They should not be spoken from the pulpit. Sunday was the Resurrection of Christ and your pastor’s views were inappropriate. I don’t care you who defend; Leon may be a good man in your eyes, but to those who heard his words on Sunday, he pushed his political agenda (and that of Obama) on his captive audience. He owes those in attendance (other than the Obamas) an apology.

Julie Brueckheimer April 2, 2013 at 7:28 pm

Perhaps you could explain to us in what manner the rector’s statement was taken out of context? Do you deny that he spoke the words? I’m trying to imagine an innocent context in which those words appeared.

JP April 2, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Good points, Julie. So, Brian…..?

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Read my article. I explain the context there.

He was talking about the dangers of nostalgia and living in the past.

JP April 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm

I read the article. I didn’t get that from it.

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Then I guess you just had to be there to hear the sermon in the full context. I don’t know what else to tell you. I’m a conservative and if I thought he was attacking me, I would have said so. I didn’t.

Guillermo Grande April 2, 2013 at 9:43 pm

Brian, I appreciate your desire to be an apologist for the situation as I assume you appreciate we could never “…be there” sans the video or the audio. Inflection aside, I took a quick tour of the church website (and google) and could not find the full transcript. (I’m not saying it isn’t out there. I’m saying I didn’t find it.) I’m happy to be wrong later, and my experience has been regulars to this site would be as well…provided facts. Might you leverage your relationship to provide a link to the full transcript?

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 10:22 pm

The audio links to sermons typically go up by the Wednesday after the service, so I expect they’ll be up tomorrow. Although given the controversy and the things folks have been saying here and elsewhere, I don’t know how long it will take to get the audio up. I will ask when I go over there tomorrow for our Wednesday concert series.

Guillermo Grande April 2, 2013 at 10:50 pm

I look forward to it. Have a good night

Guillermo Grande April 5, 2013 at 10:10 pm

Brian, I was able to locate the audio and listened to it several times. While the assessment might be unkind, I don’t think it unfair. The general message is clever. The tactical error was switching from broad generalizations to a specific reference regarding “captains of the right”.
While we naturally wonder what might have been, it does not provide an excuse for arbitrary assumption.

Keith Koffler April 2, 2013 at 11:00 pm

Thanks for your comments, Brian. However, two other reporters who were there agree with the understanding of the pool reporter. I appreciate your wanting to defend your pastor, but either all three reporters are wrong or you are right. I would assume the former, and so I stand by this article.

From CBS, which ran the headline: “Pastor slams religious right at Obamas’ Easter Service.”

The article quotes him:

“I hear all the time the expression ‘the good old days’,” Leon said. “Well, the good old days, we forget they have been good for some, but they weren’t good for everybody.

“You can’t go back, you can’t live in the past,” he added. “It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling people back…for Blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet and for immigrants to be on their side of the border.”

As you can see, there is a context of invoking another time, but the pastor is clearly in the second paragraph saying that the “captains of the religious right” are calling people “back” – and “back” to these specific things – blacks on the back of the bus and so forth.

Reuters had the same interpretation:

Leon used his sermon to encourage parishoners to look forward and not be stuck in the past, and he added a political edge with criticism of some right-leaning conservative Christians.

“The captains of the religious right are always calling us back, back, back,” he said. “For blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet, and for … immigrants to be on their side of the border,” he said.

“Captains of the religious right” is derogatory. Conservative religious leaders represent millions of Christian conservatives who are the core of the Republican Party. Even under your interpretation, which I don’t accept, it would be clear Leon is sneering at them and suggesting they would tolerate or approve of such terrible things.

Leon’s comments are abhorrent, but unfortunately very typically primitive liberal political thinking. He should issue an apology and a retraction if he hopes to maintain his house of worship as the “church of presidents.”

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 11:13 pm

Given the context of what we being said, it is clear that my interpretation is the correct one – the good old days point is precisely what I said.

Keith Koffler April 2, 2013 at 11:28 pm

But he’s not just saying conservative Christian leaders are calling people back to the “good old days.” He’s very specifically saying they are calling us back to these terrible things. He’s saying both, and frankly “the good old days” point is likely window dressing for his main assertion, which is that Christian conservative leaders are evil.

Really, even if I were a liberal, I’d never set foot in this church any more than I would Reverend Wright’s. I’m sorry to say it to you because I’m sure you love your church. Maybe you’ll come to feel otherwise. I’m Jewish, and if my rabbi said these things, I’d be moving out.

Brian W. Schoeneman April 3, 2013 at 9:35 am

Keith, again, you have to put the statement in the context in which it was given. The phrase wasn’t uttered in a vacuum, it was given in the middle of a sermon, and that section of the sermon was talking about the dangers of nostalgia and how the good old days weren’t good for everybody. That’s the context. Context matters.

His main assertion was that Christ’s resurrection changed the world, and the world would never be the same again – it had nothing to do with politics. He wasn’t attacking anybody. I certainly didn’t feel attacked.

Look, I’m a conservative too and I’m a co-owner of the top Virginia conservative blog. I’ve run for office as a Republican and served as Republican presidential appointee. I deal with the press every day. It’s easy to take a quote out of context and spin people up, which is what happened here. But if we’re going to be intellectually honest, we need to put these things into context. And the context was not a political attack on the religious right.

Danceswithtruth April 3, 2013 at 10:53 am

I appreciate your words and your loyalty.

You stated,
“His main assertion was that Christ’s resurrection changed the world, and the world would never be the same again – it had nothing to do with politics. He wasn’t attacking anybody.”
He stated:
“It drives me crazy when the captains of the religious right are always calling people back…for Blacks to be back in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet and for immigrants to be on their side of the border.”
He is specifically calling out a particular “group” of people. The religious right are not the only ones to “call people back” to times that weren’t so good. If his statement were not pointedly directed at one segment of the population, your defense makes total sense. However, he did single out a group. If he were talking about an ideology that any one of us can exhibit, his statement would have been more inclusive on a broader scale. It was not. It was specifically targeted to the “captains of the religious right.”

Are the “captains of the extreme progressive left” (whoever they might be) any less guilty of his proclomation? Is being a slave to the state deemed better than being a slave to an individual? Is mistreatment of women or homosexuals exclusive behavior of the “religous right”? I think not, and it would have been much more appropriate were that the context of his statement rather than calling out a specific group rather than a specific attitude/behavior.

Star April 3, 2013 at 11:36 am

I do not think the pool or Keith or any of us were trying to “spin people up.” If we are never to look back to the past because the past was not kind to some people, what do we have left? Our lives are mostly “past.”

Star April 3, 2013 at 11:37 am

PS Easter is about new beginnings, hope…revival…not grumping about past wrongs.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 2:22 pm

“Are the “captains of the extreme progressive left” (whoever they might be) any less guilty of his proclamation?”

This statement really gets to the heart of the problem with this article. The author wants equal treatment of the left event though they don’t share equal guilt. The “captains of the extreme left” are unnamed and unknown by the commenter because they hold no political power on the left. The right, on the other hand, is dependent on the fringe and has handed them the podium and microphone. This is the biggest difference between the major parties today.

Leading Edge Boomer April 2, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Presumably you quoted the reverend accurately. Then you put other words into his mouth.

Brian W. Schoeneman April 2, 2013 at 7:55 pm

I’m simply explaining the message that I got from my pastor’s sermon on Sunday.

Mary Myers April 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

Might I suggest the National Basilica of the Immaculate Conception as the next Church of the Presidents?

Marilyn Miller April 2, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Priests have always been a minority’s worst nightmare.

tess April 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm

when i read this yesterday my first thought was how glad i was that i had left the episcopal church 40 years ago. how utterly despicable of this ‘so called man of the cloth’! he should be removed immediately from the pulpit and not allowed to ever preach again. his evil, ugly and totally un-christian spewings are an affront to all thinking christians. however, i’m sure the o’dumpos thoroughly enjoyed it!

Capertree April 2, 2013 at 9:51 pm

Who can find Rev. Leon in this story (Luke 18:10 – 14)?
10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people: thieves, rogues, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give a tenth of all my income.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even look up to heaven, but was beating his breast and saying, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his home justified rather than the other; for all who exalt themselves will be humbled, but all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Not Nabob April 2, 2013 at 10:29 pm

Isn’t it amazing how it’s okay to mix religion and politics to suck up to a President whom I think was and still is a devout Muslim. Born a Muslim, always a Muslim..
That’s my opinion and I still can voice that, even when the MAO (MostArrogantOne) imprisones me for treason.

Jim April 2, 2013 at 11:31 pm

There is little “reverend” about preacher Luis León. He worships at the altar of Obama. He is not a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Another man who gets a salary like Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and Jeremiah Wright spewing hate-filled sermons while hiding behind a “collar”, instead of healing hearts with the love of God. The Lord is not fooled, though apparently the liberal left is.

Charles Bisbee April 3, 2013 at 12:43 am

They say when judging a person to look past what they say and instead judge by what they do. In this support for the Republicans and the causes they espouse this article takes issue with what a Reverend has to say about that particular party, yet fails. Republicans and conservatives are great at mentioning how much they love America, yet they fail when it comes time to do the walk and time after time prove how much they really do hate Americans. It isn’t what is said, but what is done that tells the truth.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 12:57 am

For those who find themselves offended by the Pastors remarks, I have to ask “Which part do you disagree with?” There’s nothing new in pointing out the many far right conservative religious leaders have expressed racist, misogynistic, and/or xenophobic attitudes. Is it the accusation that some hold these views that troubles you? (there are plenty of examples of conservative pastors protesting the expansion of women’s rights, or burning Korans for attention to prove the point) Or is it that you think racism, misogyny and/or xenophobia deserve our support and are, in fact, christian values?

Capertree April 3, 2013 at 1:16 am

Go ahead, name one — just one — “captain of the religious right” who advocates a return to slavery or any of the other things Leon claimed to be bothered by and cite the specific incident. Perhaps you can come up with one or two limelight-seeking whackos with a congregation of maybe two dozen people but “captain of the religious right?” Hardly. And at least the Right has the good grace to be embarrassed by “conservative” fruitcakes. By contrast, the left’s loons are spiritual advisers to the president or attract millions of admirers like Louis Farrakhan.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 2:11 am

How about Pat Buchannan’s new book, “Suicide Of A Superpower,” with chapter titles like ‘the end of white America’ and ‘The White Party’ where he slathers on old xenophobic threats about how the Mexicans are overturning the treaty of 1848 by conspiring to out-reproduce white people, and opines that Obama’s rainbow coalition will find White supporters “sitting in the back of the bus.” Or how about when Pat Robertson, on Jan 12, 2010 suggested that the disaster in Haiti was punishment for the slaves rebelling against the French in 1791? These aren’t fringe pastors with “congregations of two dozen.” Also, I would take issue with anyone placing Louis Farrakhan on the left. Try asking him about marriage equality, or check with the SPLC (not exactly a bastion of conservative thought) to see what they think of him.

Danceswithtruth April 3, 2013 at 11:03 am

There is nothing wrong with calling out what is inappropriate. Unfortunately, the calling out was to a specific group. The so-called “captains of the religious right” are not the only offenders of his original statement.

The Westboro Baptist church, as an example, gives those of us who are spiritual and conservative a bad name. They should continue to be called out.

So should others, and they are not all on the right. That is my issue with his statement. Call out the behavior/attitude but don’t ascribe it as applicable to one group of people when many are guilty.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 12:55 pm

Why should a pastor be required to draw a false equivalency and reach for some half-baked example on the left to criticize when it’s only on the right that organized political power is being used to promote racism, misogyny and xenophobia. There is no liberal equivalent to the Tea Party, which has managed to select actual candidates, and win political office while also producing an unending stream of watermelon jokes, bizarre conspiracy theories, and rationalizations for rape. Obviously, anyone on the fringe, left or right, can organize, and hold a press conference – but where is the liberal equivalent of CPAC; a place where the fringe right crazies and the political leadership all join hands and sing kumbaya?

Star April 3, 2013 at 1:23 pm

it’s only on the right that organized political power is being used to promote racism, misogyny and xenophobia

Really? Every day of the week, someone on the left accuses people of racism, the WH pays women in the same jobs less than men, and now the left is disdaining Europe… There is plenty of skewed thinking to go around.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 1:44 pm

Perhaps the left calls out racism because people who are concerned about the racism they witness tend to be on the left. America pays women less than men for the same job, if the White House had completely eliminated pay inequity it would be the first administration that ever had, though I believe they’re close and at least trying. What’s your source? I couldn’t find a legitimate one, just Fox and the Washington Times. As for the Europe thing, polls indicate Obama is more popular among Europeans than any Republican since Eisenhower. Europe seems to be able to speak for itself on that point.

Star April 3, 2013 at 2:09 pm

I am concerned with racism because I am accused of it daily for taking issue with the policies of a man with different skin color from mine. There are many other discussions of the WH atmosphere on women and the pay scale…one example: As to your last, so what if Europeans like many low-info Americans buy into everything this regime has to offer. Actually, his numbers there are falling. If you think this group really likes and respects women and that anyone who disagrees does so based on race, well, I can’t change that. I admit defeat.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 2:49 pm

I hope one day more conservatives become concerned about racism because it is wrong and unjust to have a racist society. Not just because they feel personally attacked (whether wrongly or rightly).

Star April 3, 2013 at 3:20 pm

I think this implies that it’s wrong to unjustly accuse people of an ugly thing of which they are not guilty. I do not think we have a racist society–certainly some exists. Split a hair to try to win, why don’t you. Oh, well…I am done.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I can’t speak one way or the other about your personal guilt or innocence, that’s for individuals to continually work out on their own. I can however assure you that Democrats love nothing better than to hear conservatives insisting that the experience minorities have of general societal racism in America is imaginary. It is one of the primary reasons for the Republican electoral disaster of 2012 and will pave the road for Democrats to 2016.

Star April 3, 2013 at 3:50 pm

No one said racism is imaginary. See how this word salad thing misrepresents people–I guess, deliberately. I see a couple more unsupported generalizations in there, but I am sick of arguing with a cat.

Nelson the Cat April 3, 2013 at 4:27 pm

Sorry if I hurt your feeling Star. I believed you meant it when you said “I do not think we have a racist society”, and concluded, reasonably I think, that you would also say that there is no such thing as “general societal racism” (which I meant as a synonym for ‘racist society’.) That could only lead to the conclusion that people claiming to have witnessed and suffered from a racist society must be mistaken.

Star April 4, 2013 at 11:18 am

Don’t put words in my mouth, period, ever–meow.

Thomas April 3, 2013 at 1:37 pm

The truth hurts, doesn’t it?

Jack Shifflett April 3, 2013 at 3:16 pm

If Christians are expected to get up and walk out on any sermon they disagree with, then I suggest that pastors save the sermon for the end of the service; my father, for one, would never have made it through to Communion otherwise, as he never heard a single sermon that didn’t annoy him. And there sure will be a lot more “church shopping” as disgruntled congregants switch back and forth every time they don’t like what they hear from the pulpit. Hey, wasn’t it conservative churches that were challenging the IRS last year about the right of ministers to politicize their pulpits?

Star April 3, 2013 at 3:23 pm

I have “voted” with my feet in church. It depends on your style and principles. At least in the Methodist church, the sermons are at the end.

Joe April 4, 2013 at 12:25 am

Sadly, there will never again be a Republican president. America is too far gone for that.

Virginia Gentleman April 11, 2013 at 10:47 am

If I ever made such a politicized statement in any of my sermons, you can bet there would be ample footnoting of the precise individuals to whom I was referring. Absent that in this “minister’s” sermon, it only adds dishonesty to a hateful display of his own xenophobia.

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