Remember the hissy fit that liberals threw over the black curtain installed behind Attorney General John Ashcroft for use during his televised press conferences? Liberals accused Ashcroft of ordering the curtain so that two bare-breasted Greek-inspired statues could not be seen by television cameras. Ashcroft was ridiculed for being a prude and a censor, and the reason was so obvious — he was a Fundamentalist Christian who (horrors!) dared to hold voluntary morning prayer meetings at the DOJ.
Well, it seems that the Ashcroft Justice Department had nothing on our current White House administration:
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.
The Washington Times’ Belief Blog asked the university about the presidential request:
Julie Bataille from the university’s press office e-mailed me that the White House had asked that all university signage and symbols behind the stage in Gaston Hall be covered.
“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 wrote. “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.”
If Ashcroft’s fundamentalist Christianity was fair game during “Boobgate,” then should we speculate that Obama’s unusual UCC/Black Liberation hybrid belief system (or lack of a belief system, since he apparently didn’t hear a word his pastor said for nearly 20 years) might have had something to do with his handlers’ request for religious symbols to be covered up during a speech he chose to make at a Jesuit university?
Here’s a suggestion — John Ashcroft didn’t have much choice about where he held his press conferences. But President Obama, if you are afraid that religious symbols (specifically symbols of the 1 billion member Roman Catholic church, no less) will offend the sensibilities of your audience, then don’t give speeches at venues that are religiously affiliated.
From now on it might be worth noting what other emblems and icons the White House insists remain hidden when The One is in front of the TV cameras.