Watch your back

The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

As rec­tor of St. John’s Church, the Rev. Luis Leon is ac­cus­tomed to heavy se­cu­rity. Af­ter all, Pres­i­dent Bush and vir­tu­ally ev­ery pres­i­dent be­fore him — start­ing with James Madi­son — have wor­shipped in the his­toric yel­low church on Lafayette Square, just across the street from the White House.

In fact, St. John’s is known as “the Church of the Pres­i­dents” — Pew 54 be­ing the “Pres­i­dent’s Pew,” re­served for the chief ex­ec­u­tive’s use when in at­ten­dance. Sun­day Nov. 18 was no dif­fer­ent, al­though se­cu­rity was a bit tighter. Mr. Bush and first lady Laura Bush were seated in the pres­i­den­tial pew, while a few rows be­hind them, guarded by their own se­cu­rity de­tail, were FBI Di­rec­tor Robert S. Mueller and his wife, Ann.

Ob­serv­ing all the se­cu­rity in place, Mr. Leon pointed out in his homily that peo­ple con­stantly are seek­ing “se­cu­rity” in their lives. He told the story, or so we read in the White House pool re­port, about the nicely dressed wo­man who ac­tu­ally took a seat in his chair on the al­tar dur­ing the funeral ser­vice for for­mer De­fense Sec­re­tary Les Aspin.

Mr. Leon said he thought the wo­man might be a Se­cret Ser­vice agent or, God for­bid, some­body up to no good. He said he briefly con­sid­ered “whack­ing her on the head” with his prayer book, but that he was afraid of the head­line cer­tain to fol­low in the next day’s news­pa­pers OK. The wo­man, he fi­nally re­vealed, was home­less. It turns out that she had talked her way past se­cu­rity to the front of the funeral by pos­ing as the rev­erend’s as­sis­tant. His homily con­cluded:

“There’s no such thing as full se­cu­rity in all of our lives,” he said — a point per­haps not lost on many in the crowd.

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