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.
In 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.