Friday, April 17, 2009

Georgetown surrenders unto Caesar

Georgetown University covered over the name of Jesus at the request of the administration for Obama's speech there last Tuesday.

They apparently didn't want to give the impression the university was, like, Catholic or anything. Or maybe it was to underscore the president's theory that this isn't a Christian nation.

7 comments:

Susan Weston said...

Would you have preferred that he drape a speech on bank solvency and home foreclosures in Christian symbolism? This economy-steering stuff is respectable work, but it's far from sacred.

Also, given the argument that IHS is tied to In Hoc Signo Vincit, I'd really prefer that the President stay away. Being both a Presbyterian and American, I am utterly not into the Constantian pretension thing.

Anonymous said...

I suspect Obama and Georgetown would have been criticized by the same people, including Martin, if they had left the religious symbols up. Then Obama would have been accused of using religion to promote his "socialist" agenda.

Anonymous said...

I believe the important point is that Georgetown has not been portraying itself as particularly Catholic, and the act of covering up IHS simply confirms this in a symbolic way.

Art said...

I remember the chaplains at the base chapels doing similar things - covering the Catholic trappings for Protestant services.

It's always amusing to see conservative Christians complain when the beliefs of others are respected. (It's also amusing to watch the meltdown over the President's simple statement of fact regarding our quite secular nation.)

Lee said...

Susan, how about just speaking at a Catholic university without requiring the university to hide the fact that it is Catholic? If you think GWB took the Christian symbolism too far, fine, but that's not the issue. The issue is, with all this respect for other cultures, when does respect for our own culture kick in? Ever?

Art, I'm a Protestant myself. It's fine with me if Catholic University wants to put up a billboard of the Virgin Mary drinking a glass of holy water. Why is it not fine with liberals that a Catholic university display signs that it is Catholic?

Susan Weston said...

Lee,

Martin Luther got it right the first time: "That Word, above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth."

I expect political leaders to speak of our Lord with respect, whether they are believers or not.

I also expect them to know that His name is not a brand they can use to advertise their policies. He judges us, all of us, not the other way around.

Meanwhile, I expect American Christians, as safe as the faithful have ever been anywhere in the last two millenia, not to whine about the occasional bit of secular silliness.

Claiming that we're oppressed or abused is an affront to our brothers and sisters who face real danger and actual martyrdom.

Lee said...

I think it's entirely appropriate to notice when the pendulum begins to swing toward the other direction. You call it "whining". I call it "noticing".

Would Obama have demanded that an Islamic institution cover over any of their symbols? What do you think? Here's what I think: No. N. O. No.