Amidst all of the American flags and presidential seals, there was something missing when President Barack Obama gave an economic speech at Georgetown University this week — Jesus.
The White House asked Georgetown to cover a monogram symbolizing Jesus’ name in Gaston Hall, which Obama used for his speech, according to CNSNews.com.
The gold “IHS” monogram inscribed on a pediment in the hall was covered over by a piece of black-painted plywood, and remained covered over the next day, CNSNews.com reported.
Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS” –symbolizing the name of Jesus Christ — because it was inscribed on a pediment on the stage where President Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday and the White House had asked Georgetown to cover up all signs and symbols there. As of Wednesday afternoon, the “IHS” monogram that had previously adorned the stage at Georgetown’s Gaston Hall was still covered up–when the pediment where it had appeared was photographed by CNSNews.com.
President Obama is greeted by Georgetown University
President John J. DeGioia as he arrives to deliver
remarks on the economy, April 14, 2009, at Georgetown
University. Georgetown had covered the symbol
“IHS” on the pediment above and behind the two men.
â€œIn coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterdayâ€™s event, Georgetown honored the White House staffâ€™s request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage,â€ Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, told CNSNews.com.â€œThe White House wanted a simple backdrop of flags and pipe and drape for the speech, consistent with what theyâ€™ve done for other policy speeches,â€ she added. â€œFrankly, the pipe and drape wasnâ€™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.â€
Pediment in Gaston Hall with “IHS” covered as
photographed by CNSNews.com, April 15, 2009.
On Wednesday, CNSNews.com inspected theÂ pediment embedded in the wall at the back of the stage in Gaston Hall, where Obama delivered his speech. The letters â€œIHSâ€ were not to be found. TheyÂ appeared to be shrouded with a triangle of black-painted plywood.Pictures of the wooden pediment prior to Obamaâ€™s speech show the letters â€œIHS” in gold. Many photos posted on the Internet of other events at Gaston Hall show the letters clearly.
The White House did not respond to a request from CNSNews.com to comment on the covering up of Jesusâ€™ name at Gaston Hall.
President Obama speaking at Gaston Hall at
Georgetown on April 14 with the “IHS” covered up
on the pediment behind him.
Georgetown, which is run by the Jesuit order, is one of the most prestigious Catholic institutions of higher education in the United States.Roman Catholics traditionally use â€œIHSâ€ as an abbreviation for Jesusâ€™ name. Â According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, â€œSt. Ignatius of Loyola adopted the monogram in his seal as general of the Society of Jesus (1541) and thus became the emblem of his institute.â€ The Society of Jesus is the formal name for the Jesuits.
Gaston Hall stage as it looked on the afternoon
of April 15 with “IHS” still shrouded.
Although the monogram was coveredÂ over onÂ the woodenÂ pedimentÂ at the back of theÂ Gaston Hall stage where it would have been directly above and behind President Obama as he spoke, Â the letters â€œIHSâ€ are posted elsewhere around the hall approximately 26 times on shields representing different parts of the United States and the world.Obama did not mention the name of Jesus during his address. However, he did mention Christâ€™s Sermon on the Mount. â€œThere is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells a story of two menâ€¦â€˜the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that houseâ€¦it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock,â€™â€ Obama said.
â€œWe cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand,â€ he added. â€œWe must build our house upon a rock.â€
We dug up this video from the past during his campaigning.Â He references the “Sermon on the Mount” as a radical belief.