According to multiple news sources, including the CNSnews, Georgetown University covered over the letters “IHS” on one of its signs when President Barack Obama spoke at the university on Tuesday.
According to CNSnews as of Wednesday afternoon, the “IHS” monogram was still covered.
Georgetown officials stated that they were just honoring Obama’s request to cover all Georgetown University signs and symbols when he spoke. According to Georgetown staff, Obama wanted a backdrop that contained only “flags, pipe and drape.”
Georgetown is a Jesuit university, so such a request would mean that religious symbols like the “IHS” monogram and the cross that accompanies it would have to be covered.
Catholics for centuries have used “IHS” as an abbreviation for Jesus’ name. The IHS monogram appears in numerous Catholic buildings throughout Europe and the Americas. It is believed to be a contraction derived from the Greek “Iesous Christos,” which means Jesus Christ.
Barack Obama claims to be a Christian man, so the covering of a symbol of Jesus has some religious conservatives seeing red, like Right Voices. Some see the covering of IHS as evidence that Obama is disrespectful of Christian faith.
Personally, I think this was an ill-advised move by both Obama and Georgetown. Going to a Jesuit university and asking them to cover up all symbols other than “flags, pipe and drape” is kind of like going to a Buddhist temple and asking them to cover up all those gold statues of that Asian guy. It shows a certain lack of cultural sensitivity. Also, Georgetown University could have reminded Obama that covering IHS might offend some Christians, given the Obama administration might have overlooked that fact.
Needless to say, this will continue to spur rumors that Obama is, in fact, the anti-Christ…