The conservative Washington Times tells the big story … of the missing monogram during Obama’s speech at Georgetown University. One would think a major scandal were brewing:

When President Obama gave his economics speech at Georgetown University on Tuesday, several folks noticed something was missing.

That “something” was an ancient monogram — the letters IHS — that symbolizes the name of Jesus. It was missing from a wooden archway above the dais in Gaston Hall where the president delivered his 45-minute speech.

The significance of the “IHS” in this case is dual. First, “IHS” is a monogram of medieval origin, signifying the name of Jesus Christ, derived from the first three letters his first name as written in the Greek alphabet (which is ΙΗΣΟΥΣ — since the second letter, the Greek eta, resembles an “H” in the Latin alphabet, that’s how it’s written or typed). Second, this monogram happens also to be part of the emblem for the Jesuit order which founded and runs Georgetown University.

Based on the breathless reporting, one wonders if this is part President Obama’s insidious plot to eradicate Christianity in the US, doesn’t it? Actually, the answer is “no”:

Julie Bataille from the university’s press office e-mailed me that the White House had asked that all university signage and symbols behind the stage in Gaston Hall be covered.

“The White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what they’ve done for other policy speeches,” she wrote. “Frankly, the pipe and drape wasn’t high enough by itself to fully cover the IHS and cross above the GU seal and it seemed most respectful to have them covered so as not to be seen out of context.”

So the “IHS” monogram is one that specifically helps identify Georgetown, it being a Jesuit school. Thus, it was blocked, and for rather mundane reasons … to ensure that his speech, when viewed, would not be seen as identifiably “Georgetown U” in origin.

Of course, this explanation does not suffice for the Washington Times, which goes on to complain about it and insinuates that Georgetown had been wrong to comply with the president’s request:

Not every Catholic institution would have caved to quite this extent. Victor Nakas, spokesman for Catholic University, e-mailed me to say several presidents have visited CUA and the most recent administration official to speak there was then-Vice President Dick Cheney.

“I can’t imagine, as the bishops’ university and the national university of the Catholic Church, that we would ever cover up our religious art or signage for any reason,” Mr. Nakas wrote. “Our Catholic faith is integral to our identity as an institution of higher education.

This is yet another example of that age-old Christians’ persecution complex in action. When are they finally going to grow up and get over their raging paranoia? Probably not within my lifetime.

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.