Obama's Pastor Hates the Yankees

An unusual Easter message from the Rev. Luis Leon

By Josh Alper
|  Monday, Apr 13, 2009  |  Updated 12:36 PM EDT
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Outrageous Easter Bonnets

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"And Joba Chamberlain should remain a starter. Amen."

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It was your average Easter sermon at St. John's Church in Washington D.C. yesterday. Messages of hope and rebirth were delivered among hymns sung by a congregation dressed in finery, hearts were warmed with a homily that reaffirmed the place of faith in our world and the reverend said that he hated the Yankees.

Wait, what?

"I'm a fairly charitable person," the Rev, Luis Leon said, "but I have to tell you - I hate the Yankees."

The comment would have likely escaped notice if not for a fairly prominent family sitting in the sixth row of the church. The Obamas were among the congregants at St. John's Church on Sunday which is why Rev. Leon's comments found their way into the Daily News.

Rev. Jeremiah Wright never looked so good.

We kid, and not just because Rev. Leon's feelings are shared by a greater number of the population than the ones Rev. Wright offered in the past. Believe it or not, it's okay for people to make a joke, even while they are presiding over Easter services across the street from the White House and even if it is about the Yankees. After all, there's probably been a clergyman or two in New York who have said a cross word about the Red Sox.

Mayor Bloomberg's office seemed to get the humor of it by issuing a response from his rabbi, but former Mayor Ed Koch wasn't having any of it.

"When I see the Yankees attacked, the hairs on the nape of my neck go up," Koch said, "and the guy who attacks them is lucky if I don't hit him and then run."

At 84, Koch would be lucky if he isn't caught and hit back by the person he assaults, even if said person was a man of the cloth. 

Josh Alper is a writer living in New York City and is a contributor to FanHouse.com and ProFootballTalk.com in addition to his duties for NBCNewYork.com.

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