My president is atheist.

The monogram IHS, whose letters spell out the name of Jesus, and which normally perches above the stage in Gaston Hall where the president spoke, was covered over with what appeared to be black wood during the address…

“Decisions made about the backdrop for the speech were made to have a consistent background of American flags, which is standard for many presidential events,” said White House spokesman Shin Inouye in a statement released Thursday…

Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, accused the university of “cowardice” for acceding to the White House, and criticized Obama’s team for asking a religious school to “neuter itself” before the president made his address.

Over in the Greenroom, Cold Warrior wonders whether The One would issue similar demands for a speech delivered at, oh, say, the D.C. Islamic Center. Good point, although given the persistence of the smear about him being a closet Muslim, I’m guessing that no speeches in any Islamic fora (at least domestically) are in the offing anytime soon. CNS has photos of the “IHS” on the Georgetown pediment both before and after it was covered up; the inscription seems sufficiently high off the ground that he wouldn’t have to worry about it appearing in-frame in video taken of the speech, which makes me wonder what this is really about. Maybe they figured jihadis would use photos of him beneath the “IHS” symbol for propaganda about how he’s a Crusader leading the war of the cross against the poor, misunderstood mujahedeen?

Laura Bush didn’t ask for the symbol to be covered when she spoke there three years ago. Not sure if that’s analogous or not.