Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Conflict

Apparently, there's been a bit of a brouhaha over Georgetown University's covering of their religious symbols. This article at Religion Clause Blogspot contains an explanation as to why the University covered the symbols. Reportedly, it was to be "consistent with other policy speeches." Unsurprisingly, this explanation did not appease everyone. According to the article linked above, "Patrick Reilly, president of The Cardinal Newman Society, said: 'It is such a sad commentary that Catholic universities are willingly hiding the most visible signs of their Catholic identity when hosting secular leaders.'"

I confess I'm a little conflicted with this situation. On the one hand, I have no problem with a President requesting religious references be removed when speaking - he does, after all, represent ALL Americans, not just Catholic (I use Catholic because Georgetown is a Catholic university) Americans. On the other hand, however, the President is knowingly speaking at a Catholic university. I'm not convinced that by merely speaking in front of the dais provided by the location he selected for his speech that he would be endorsing that religion (conversely, I am CERTAIN that by covering said symbols he is not condemning that religion).

I don't know. I guess my inclination is to believe that this is much ado about nothing - an attack on a Christian by other Christians because he's not the Christian they want in office and are hoping to glean some advantage, from the p.r. this phony outrage causes.

1 comment:

DB said...

It makes sense that he was trying to make the scene neutral of anything distracting to allow his policy speech to be free of a mixed message and to stand on its own. I think it is nothing more than that, but he misplayed the politics on this one (as we have seen him do a lot in his first few months). Someone in his office had to have known the implications of covering religious symbols. It sounds worse than it is, but that will be what people hear about. They should of thought about this before they agreed on the location. But really, does it matter what Obama does? The right will find a reason to tear into him...