(CNSNews.com) - Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) said he was “disturbed” by President Barack Obama’s request to have the symbolic name for Jesus Christ – IHS – covered from a pediment that was visible behind him when he spoke at Georgetown University’s Gaston Hall on April 14.
“I join many Christians in expressing my outrage at this request,” Fleming said after requesting one minute to speak on the House floor.
“This administration has no problem spending money imprinted with the phrase, ‘In God We Trust,’ but won’t have our president speak with any symbol of Christ in public view,” Fleming said.
“We begin each day in this chamber with a prayer, and clearly visible in this house is the same phrase. With our country having such problems, people turn to faith for help in this time of uncertainty, as they should,” he added.
“This country was founded on the solid principles of Judeo-Christian ethics,” Fleming said. “Why should our president cover this important symbol of our heritage and values?”
As first reported by CNSNews.com, the pediment attached to the wall that was to be the backdrop for Obama’s speech at the Catholic university featured the IHS symbol for Jesus Christ. The Obama administration asked school officials to cover the symbol, which was done by placing a piece of plywood painted black over it.
Fleming told CNSNews.com that he sees President Obama’s request as symbolic of his political agenda for the country.
“I have a concern about the very sharp turn to socialism that’s happening in our government,” Fleming said.
He said the policies the president supports, from “cap and trade” government regulation of carbon emissions to universal health care and nuclear disarmament, is evidence of the country moving toward a European style of socialism, which in turn leads away from religion.
“Where you see socialism, you see a decline in Christianity and religion in general,” Fleming said.
“If, indeed, our president and our liberal Congress – based on the legislation that has happened and what’s in front of us – that would be consistent with the secularization of society,” he added.
Fleming said he wanted to call attention to the White House request to have the ISH symbol covered, because he believes it reveals the president’s values.
“The administration has justified that they covered other things as well and it had nothing to do with religion,” Fleming said. “But obviously that suggests that our president does not want to be associated with religious symbols, at least not Christian symbols.”