Pastor at Obama’s Easter Service Criticizes “Captains of the Religious Right”

Leah Barkoukis

3/31/2013 4:08:00 PM - Leah Barkoukis

The Easter sermon President Obama and his family heard today at nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church slammed conservatives as being racists, sexists, xenophobes and homophobes.

The AP story says the sermon, led by Rev. Luis Leon, was based on the Gospel of John and the Resurrection of Jesus, but the report managed to omit the part where Leon criticized the “captains of the religious right.”

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.

Obama has made immigration reform a goal of his second term, and the themes of women’s equality and gay marriage were major issues during his 2012 re-election campaign. 

Although the First Family has not officially joined any church in the District, they worship at St. John’s most frequently, according to the Washington Post

 

*Note: This post has been updated to reflect an account of the sermon by Reuters, which includes the reference to 'gays in the closet'.