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At prayer breakfast, Obama jokes about hearing 'less-than-loving' words from Christian critics

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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama mixed a joking poke at his critics with his Easter-themed remarks Tuesday at a White House prayer breakfast.

"On Easter I do reflect on the fact that as a Christian I am supposed to love," Obama said. "And I have to say that sometimes, when I've listened to less-than-loving expressions by Christians, I get concerned."

"But that's a topic for another day," he added, to loud laughter from the audience. "I was about to veer off. I'm pulling it back."

PHOTO: President Barack Obama listens to singer-songwriter Amy Grant perform during an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The president welcomed Christian leaders to the White House for a prayer breakfast Tuesday, taking a mild poke at some of his critics in his Easter-themed remarks.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Barack Obama listens to singer-songwriter Amy Grant perform during an Easter Prayer Breakfast at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 7, 2015. The president welcomed Christian leaders to the White House for a prayer breakfast Tuesday, taking a mild poke at some of his critics in his Easter-themed remarks. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Vice President Joe Biden, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington and the Rev. Al Sharpton were among guests at the prayer breakfast, a seasonal tradition of the Obama White House. Christian pop singer Amy Grant performed.

Obama thanked Christian ministers for traveling to Washington from across the country after their busy season of Holy Week.

"I can't say that our work during this season is comparable," he said, "but you should try dealing with thousands of people in your backyard on an Easter egg roll. After that, you need quiet reflection."

Speaking of the season's spirit of renewal and promise, Obama called Easter "our affirmation that there are better days ahead. And also a reminder that is it is on us, the living, to make them so."

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