Churches all across the country paid tribute to slain teenager Trayvon Martin on Sunday, some by encouraging their parishioners to wear hoodies.
But Father Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina’s Parish in Chicago, took things a step further. As seen on WGN’s “News at Nine” on Sunday, Pfleger spoke to his congregation with an unusual prop: Martin’s likeness was slumped at the church altar, complete with a red hoodie, a bag of Skittles and an Arizona Ice Tea.
“We got the power to tell the president, the governor, the mayor, the alderman to tell them what they got to do,” Pfleger said. “Don’t wait for them to tell you, you tell them. You’re the church. You’re the conscience. You’re the one that’s supposed to have God with you. If God is with you, then act like it, and stop begging and start telling what you want.”
Pfleger is perhaps best known outside of Chicago for his close ties to President Barack Obama. In 2008, during Obama’s contest with then-Sen. Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, a video surfaced of Pfleger mocking Clinton from the pulpit of Jeremiah Wright’s Trinity United Church of Christ.
Cardinal Francis George, who leads the Roman Catholic Church in Chicago, suspended Pfleger in 2011 for resisting his proposed assignment to take over leadership of a nearby Catholic high school. Pfleger was punished for saying publicly that “would rather leave the Catholic Church” than accept the assignment.