(CNSNews.com) - Georgetown University says it covered over the monogram “IHS” - which symbolizes the name of Jesus Christ - because it was inscribed above 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. 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. 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.
Obama did not mention the name of Jesus during his address. However, he did mention the Sermon on the Mount. “There is a parable at the end of the Sermon on the Mount that tells a story of two men…‘the rain descended and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house…it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock,’” Obama said. “We cannot rebuild this economy on the same pile of sand,” he added. “We must build our house upon a rock.”
( the irony is palpable ... )