It was three and a half years ago: Obama asked Georgetown University to cover over IHS, which is an abbreviation for Jesus derived from IHΣ, the first three letters of the name Jesus in Greek, while he was speaking there. But yesterday Obama stood without hesitation under the Arabic for Allah at the Islamic Society of Baltimore.
Here is Obama at Georgetown, about to shake the hand of Georgetown’s President John J. DeGioia. The covered IHS is the dark triangle above DeGioia’s head.
“Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name Of Jesus To Comply With White House Request,” CNS News, May 7, 2012:
(CNSNews.com) – 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.
“In coordinating the logistical arrangements for yesterday’s event, Georgetown honored the White House staff’s request to cover all of the Georgetown University signage and symbols behind Gaston Hall stage,” Julie Green Bataille, associate vice president for communications at Georgetown, told CNSNews.com.
“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 added. “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.”
On Wednesday, CNSNews.com inspected the pediment embedded in the wall at the back of the stage in Gaston Hall, where Obama delivered his speech. The letters “IHS” were not to be found. They appeared to be shrouded with a triangle of black-painted plywood.
Pictures of the wooden pediment prior to Obama’s speech show the letters “IHS” 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 Jesus’ name at Gaston Hall.
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 “IHS” as an abbreviation for Jesus’ name. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, “St. 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.” The Society of Jesus is the formal name for the Jesuits….