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« St. Bernadette of Lourdes | Main | Happy Birthday, Papa Benedict! »

Thursday, April 16, 2009



I'd like to hear what Fr. Schall has to say about this.

Is Obama an antiChrist? See what Michael O'Brien said about this:


>>> It's a foundation built upon five pillars that will grow our economy and make this new century another American century..."

"Five pillars"? It's nice to know Pres. Obama hasn't forgotten the Muslim schooling he got during his stay in Indonesia.


Jackson, I was wondering the same thing. What would the lucid Fr. Schall say about this. It never ceases to amaze me, the lengths we will go to honor our flawed intellects and allow ourselves such weak rationalizations.


I'm all for reading the scriptures correctly and in context, but I can't help but think that a parable could maybe, possibly, perhaps be used to make an innocent social point without the Good Lord getting so very upset about it. In any case, the five pillars he outlines are perfectly good social practices and I think one would be hard-pressed to explain how they especially contradict the Sermon on the Mount that preceded this parable. He's making an economic point with a parable told for the sake of Christian doctrine. Rather minute as far as offenses go, especially given the fact that he's not claiming to replace the meaning of Christ's point, and that his point doesn't really contradict it on the level of morality.

C'mon people. Tempest in a teapot here. The covering of the IHS is rather unfortunate, I'd admit. But again, I doubt the Good Lord cares too much about how much ad space he receives in a posh university auditorium.

Your critiques of Obama's abortion policies are more pertinent, and less a waste of time, I think.

Carl E. Olson

If, Benighted, the use of "five pillars" denotes either Islamic schooling or an attempt to cleverly sneak in some Muslim thought, than what to do with Fr. Robert Spitzer's book, Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life?

Evan: Believe it or not, I don't completely disagree with you. ;-) There is, of course, a history of political leaders using Scripture is somewhat creative or loose ways. Fair enough. But there appears (to me at least) to be a fairly obvious pattern of Pres. Obama seeing just how far he can push it with Catholics, especially evident in the numerous pro-abortion Catholics he continues to nominate for major administrative positions. He can't be blamed, of course, for Notre Dame inviting him to speak there and receive an honorary degree; that's on ND. But covering up the "IHS" and the cross, supposedly to "have them covered so as not to be seen out of context" rings hollow when he then uses part of the Gospel of Matthew out of context!

Secondly, the main focus of my criticism, as my final paragraph indicates, is Georgetown. But there are some who would simply sigh and say, "Well, Georgetown ceased being Catholic a long time ago." How can anyone really disagree with them?


>>> If, Benighted, the use of "five pillars" denotes either Islamic schooling or an attempt to cleverly sneak in some Muslim thought, than what to do with Fr. Robert Spitzer's book, Five Pillars of the Spiritual Life? <<<

If Father Spitzer were a convert from Islam, or perhaps had attended a school where the muslim religion was taught whilst a child, then I would be taken aback by his choice of words, too.

I think it more probable that Pres. Obama (or his speechwriter) is bowing to Muslim (specifically Sunni) belief than that he is trying to flatter Father Spitzer or the Georgetown Jesuits.

Robin L. in TX

Personally, I want to know how the President could speak of moving us away from borrow and spend without being struck by lightning...

Ed Peters

Georgetown has become its own continuing parody.


It seems that for Thomas Reese a Democratic President can do no wrong and a Pope can do no right.

Thomas Reese then on leaders who are professorial: “I think at heart the problem is that Benedict thinks like a German professor. There is no question about his academic brilliance, but academics do not necessarily make good managers or leaders. As pope, he is the leader of a 1.1 billion member organization.” From Thomas Reese article entitled “Pope Benedict’s Professor Problem.”

Thomas Reese now on leaders who are professorial: “The audience wanted to cheer and cheer this very professorial address. He played Professor Obama. He's a damn good professor but not even he could make economics a barnraiser."

Nick Chui

I wonder if Obama visits a mosque or a Buddhist temple, would he request the people to please cover up your religious symbols or would he demonstrate that he is sensitive to the "deeply held religious beliefs of these faith communities?"

Gerald E. Nora, Georgetown Coll. '73, Law '78

Starting with then-Republican Chairman Rogers Morton in 1965, I have seen speeches in Gaston Hall by many speakers, including Ted Kennedy, Barry Goldwater and Norman Mailer. I have seen many Gaston Hall speeches since that era which were re-broadcast on cable or news reports.

It is specious to suggest that the "IHS" pediment would be visible, never mind distracting, in any conventional photographs or videos.

This President, his handlers, or overly-sycophantic volunteers in Georgetown's PR Department wanted to eliminate the slightest possibility that any photograph showed the initials of Jesus above the President's head. A devout Catholic might find this a good idea.

Two additional points:

First, try a thought experiment. What is easier to imagine, a Georgetown Jesuit covering up Jesus' initials to please a president, or the same Jesuit omitting the "SJ" after his own name as an exercise in humility?

Second, we are missing a deeper issue. Georgetown, Marquette, St. Louis, and other universities have long been advertising "Jesuit" as a brand name meaning "clever" and "smart." This is a long-running campaign that obscures the root word for "Jesuit." The word is becoming "all things to all men and women" except "faithful companion of Jesus." If there was anything new at Georgetown, it was that Georgetown was explicitly doing what it has been implicitly doing for years: covering up the name of Jesus.

One would think that "IHS" is an embarrassing relative who was convicted of some infamous crime.

Manuel G. Daugherty Razetto

Ignoring the tacit intention of the president , re: covering the IHS on the wall, is either naivete or plain ignorance. Nothing this president does, is without a reason. I find Evans'comments quite disappointing.
I also envision the five pillars more a request for applause (he got five didn't he?), as well as an opportunity to further his progressive list we all know.
He wants new investment on Education , aiming for more skilled and competitive teachers. More money than what is today waisted in defective management of the American Educational System?
He wants more investment in Health care, but what he really desires is Socialized Medicine, which is a failure in Canada, the U.K. and even in Sweden.
He also wants New Savings in our Federal Budget. Who is he kidding? The debt the president has incurred in such a short time makes his statement a true joke.
Returning to his request for the covering of the most revered symbol of Christ, is an affront. It trascends basic norms of civility and reaches levels of total disregard for the oldest catholic University.

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