Georgetown University professor, the Rev. James V. Schall at The Catholic Thing eloquently raises this point:
What interests me here is this: If this president speaks at a Jewish Synagogue, or a Baptist church, or the Crystal Cathedral, or the Muslim Mosque on Massachusetts Avenue, the Ravens Stadium, the George Washington University, the headquarters of Planned Parenthood, or the hall of the local Atheist Society, will the same policy be followed? Will all signs of what the place actually is and stands for be covered over? If so, it represents equitable treatment, but is it wise? Is the president never to appear in any venue with obvious particular commitments, and why choose religious and not secular signs? Should, say, a university seal be exempted, but a crucifix not?In other words, it's ok to discriminate against a class of people if they are Catholic. I have to admit, I was deeply hurt to learn about this - not just that the White House would ask for such a thing, but that Georgetown actually complied with it.
Will presidents be able to appear anywhere outside government buildings if the rules are really equally applied to both religious and secular? And this raises a real question: Is it American? George Washington once talked before our New North Hall, so did President Clinton. I guess a porch does not need much cover-up. But is the American understanding of state and religion designed to hide any religious or cultural sign whatsoever? If a president is buried at a local church, as President Woodrow Wilson is, must the funeral be covered over so that no signs of a church are seen?
This country does not hide its religious presence. If a president does not want to speak in a given place, fine. Don’t ask. But if he does, it should not be on condition of the place’s ceasing to present what it historically is. Much ink has been spilt on the churches that the president went to in his earlier life, likewise much controversy on whether he "bowed" to a Saudi prince. [I added this link which was not in the original]
Do read his entire commentary: The Invisible Christ. In the same post is a piece by Hoover Institute research fellow, Mary Eberstadt.
- UPDATED—Obama's messianic jargon hits 'rock' bottom ...and G'town removes the Holy Name to accommodate The One (Dawn Eden)
- Covering up the Real Rock at Georgetown (Insight Scoop)
- "Georgetown Says It Covered Over Name of Jesus to Comply With White House Request" (AmP)
- The Georgetown Cover-up (Fr. Z)
- Obama Nixes "Jesus" at Georgetown (Catholic Fire)
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The obedient are not held captive by Holy Mother Church; it is the disobedient who are held captive by the world!