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Old 15 March 2010, 10:54 PM
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Read This! Mother Teresa stamp protest

Comment: Dear CatholicVote Member,

The anti-religion crusaders are at it again.

This time they want the Post Office to cancel a planned new stamp honoring Mother Teresa.



I am continually shocked by the persistence of these activist groups. They seem to never give up!
Any mention or reference of God must be wiped out. The Pledge of Allegiance, In God We Trust,
you name it… they want it boarded up, whitewashed, and banished from our public life.

But not this time. Not Mother Teresa.

Sign on to our group letter to the Postmaster General here – www.StampOutBigotry.com

A group called the Freedom from Religion Foundation is now spreading lies about Blessed
Mother Teresa accusing this holy nun of having a ‘darker side,’ and calling her a ‘polarizing
Roman Catholic figurehead.’

That’s why we decided to act swiftly and make sure this anti-Mother Teresa campaign doesn’t
gain any more momentum.

The groups now protesting the new stamp never protested other stamps honoring Gandhi, or even
Martin Luther King, Jr. who proudly understood his fight for civil rights to be rooted in his Christian
faith.

What is plain is that these groups not only dislike Mother Teresa, they despise the Catholic
Church. They simply cannot stomach the thought of the United States Postal Service honoring
a Catholic nun who spoke out against abortion, contraception, and against the atheistic
materialism of the west.

In her famous 1994 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, Mother Teresa closed with these words:

“From here, a sign of care for the weakest of the weak - the unborn child - must go out to the world. If
you become a burning light of justice and peace in the world, then really you will be true to what the
founders of this country stood for. God bless you!”


Please sign our letter to Postmaster General Jack Potter at www.StampOutBigotry.com

Please send this to your friends and family too. We need to push back against this ugly campaign,
and stand up for this holy nun and all that she lived for.

Mother Teresa stood up for the best of America’s ideals. Now it’s time we stand up for her.
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  #2  
Old 15 March 2010, 11:01 PM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
the Postal Service's own list of a dozen criteria for who can qualify for "stamphood," specifically item No. 9:

"Stamps or stationery items shall not be issued to honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs."
http://www.politicsdaily.com/2010/01...ices-stamp-of/


And the darker side referred to here is Mother Teresa's well-known opposition to abortion and birth control, as it seems the writer of the message knows, since they bring forward one of her quotes regarding the "sanctity of unborn life"
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  #3  
Old 15 March 2010, 11:22 PM
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RivkahChaya RivkahChaya is offline
 
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I can't find regulations for US postage stamp images online anywhere, but I've always been under the impression that real people pictured on stamps have to be US citizens, with exceptions for historic persons from before the US existed, like Christopher Columbus. Even the Renaissance paintings on the Christmas stamps are from the US National Gallery, and not from, say, the Louvre.

It seems like that would make Mother Teresa (Theresa?) ineligible. Even if it's not a hard and fast rule, I could still see making a non-citizen who was somehow important to US history (not thinking of an example off the top of my head) on a stamp, but just being famous world-wide, a potential saint, a Nobel prize recipient, or even popular with American Catholics are all not really relevant to being on a US stamp. Elmo and Cookie Monster, DW Griffith, and Elvis Presley all have more importance as Americans or American cultural touchstones than does Mother Teresa.

Besides, even if Catholics don't like it, she is controversial. Her abortion stance, her stance on pain relief for people with terminal illnesses, and her failure to account for a lot of the money donated to her all make her controversial.
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  #4  
Old 15 March 2010, 11:26 PM
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Okay, well it seems like this may be a bigger story in the US than it is over here (well, duh) so excuse me if I'm repeating the obvious:

1. The Freedom From Religion Foundation exists, they have a website.
2. Said website links to severeal news stories regarding the stamp controversy
3. The principal objection appears to be that it contravenes the US postal service's own guidelines:
Quote:
"Stamps or stationery items shall not be issued to honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs." AND
"Stamps or stationery items shall not be issued to honor fraternal, political, sectarian, or service/charitable organizations."
4. And here is the original 'Action Alert'

So at least some of the basics of the message are factual.

Must admit, even if the stamp design does contravene USPS guidelines for their own stamp designs, this does seem like a counter-productive strategy on the part of the FFRF. It certainly doesn't help the belief that secular folks are trying to destroy religion, rather than just avoid having it foistered upon them. Sure, attack 'In God we Trust' and the like, but I'm not sure that this really classes as the imposition of religion, anymore than having say, the Marx Brothers, on a stamp is imposing a particular sense of humour. Also, while there may be plenty of issues to criticise Mother Teresa on, (depending on your viewpoints) no one is a saint (seemingly even Saints ) and surely an appearance on a stamp isn't an indication that the USPS feels everyone in the entire country sees that they are above reproach?

Perhaps all this is just a matter of cultural perspective. Hell, Royal Mail releases Christmas themed stamps every year, and often the design is religious in nature. Even as an atheist I see this as a reflection of the nation's history and culture, along with designs reflecting science, industry, design, music, other religions, social pioneers...

Edit: A bit spanked there.
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  #5  
Old 15 March 2010, 11:40 PM
ULTRAGOTHA ULTRAGOTHA is offline
 
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Here is Ryda's quote from the USPS itself:

http://www.usps.com/communications/o...ation/csac.htm

Quote:
Stamp Subject Selection Criteria
The U.S. Postal Service and the members of the Citizens' Stamp Advisory Committee (CSAC) have set certain basic criteria used in determining the eligibility of subjects for commemoration on all U.S. stamps and stationery. These criteria first were formulated about the time of Postal Reorganization in the early 1970s, and have been refined and expanded gradually since then.

Following are the 12 major criteria now guiding subject selection:

1. It is a general policy that U.S. postage stamps and stationery primarily will feature American or American-related subjects.

9. Stamps or stationery items shall not be issued to honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs.
Of course, the USPS has issued hundreds of stamps commemorating religions, so the OP fails badly there.
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  #6  
Old 15 March 2010, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ULTRAGOTHA View Post
Of course, the USPS has issued hundreds of stamps commemorating religions, so the OP fails badly there.
What stamps "commemorate" religions? I've seen stamps that recognize religious holidays (Christmas, Hanukkah, Eid), but that's not the same thing.
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  #7  
Old 16 March 2010, 12:12 AM
Steve Eisenberg Steve Eisenberg is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RivkahChaya View Post
I can't find regulations for US postage stamp images online anywhere, but I've always been under the impression that real people pictured on stamps have to be US citizens, with exceptions for historic persons from before the US existed, like Christopher Columbus.
A quick check of this web page shows they have put Alfred Nobel, Churchill, and Gandhi on stamps. And, although he lived before the US existed, St Francis of Assisi has been similarly honored.

It seems to me that among non-Catholics, Mother Teresa is primarily known as a humanitarian. So objecting to a Mother Teresa stamp seems to me a bit extreme. So does suggesting an abortion POV litmus test for who appears on stamps.
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  #8  
Old 16 March 2010, 12:18 AM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eisenberg View Post
It seems to me that among non-Catholics, Mother Teresa is primarily known as a humanitarian. So objecting to a Mother Teresa stamp seems to me a bit extreme. So does suggesting an abortion POV litmus test for who appears on stamps.
You can't be much of a humanitarian with her stances, though.

So honoring her as one is, quite simply, silly.
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  #9  
Old 16 March 2010, 12:19 AM
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Yes, you can be a humanitarian with her stances. Unlike many, she actually took care of the actually born.
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Old 16 March 2010, 12:54 AM
Ryda Wong, EBfCo. Ryda Wong, EBfCo. is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Yes, you can be a humanitarian with her stances. Unlike many, she actually took care of the actually born.
Not really, no.

You can't be a humanitarian and deny the humanity of the already living and those wanting to die.
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  #11  
Old 16 March 2010, 01:22 AM
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I don't see how she denied the humanity of the already living.

I do disagree with her about abortion rights and end of life issues, but I don't think that detracts from the care she took of people.
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  #12  
Old 16 March 2010, 04:28 AM
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Well, Christopher Hitchens can't really be called an objective source, but here's what he said after her death.

Interestingly, she was made an honorary US citizen.
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  #13  
Old 16 March 2010, 12:31 PM
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I find this silly and counter-productive, myself. Apparently the rules are applied rather loosely, so just buy the generic stamps.
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  #14  
Old 16 March 2010, 01:21 PM
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Maybe it's the thought of licking Mother Theresa's backside that some dislike the notion of.
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  #15  
Old 16 March 2010, 01:32 PM
rujasu rujasu is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Maybe it's the thought of licking Mother Theresa's backside that some dislike the notion of.
I can't remember ever licking a stamp, they've been self-adhesive as long as I can remember. Sealing the envelope is a different matter, however.

Also, ew.
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  #16  
Old 16 March 2010, 02:02 PM
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I saw a piece on this on The Daily Show: Global Edition. I honestly couldn't tell if the guy from the Freedom From Religion Foundation was being serious or not. Harvey Keitel showing up in Jason Jones' report was pretty awesome though.
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  #17  
Old 16 March 2010, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Eisenberg View Post
So objecting to a Mother Teresa stamp seems to me a bit extreme. So does suggesting an abortion POV litmus test for who appears on stamps.
I have no love at all for Mother Teresa or the cult of personality that has sprung up around her and it has little to nothing to do with her stance on abortion.

When discussing Agnesë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu what passes for charity is her basically setting up flop houses where the poor could die in misery via the rules of the Catholic church instead of in misery in the street right outside. The woman basically had some sort of suffering fetish, making it clear that she saw great value in the horrible conditions the people were in and intentionally did little to help them in any real, objective sense.

Her shady financial dealings with "Baby Doc" and Charles Keating didn't help either. To slightly extend one of my sig lines its not charity if you do it with 1.25 million of other people's money.
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  #18  
Old 16 March 2010, 03:26 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeBentley View Post
To slightly extend one of my sig lines its not charity if you do it with 1.25 million of other people's money.
Which means no charitable agency does charity.

I think that doesn't work.
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  #19  
Old 16 March 2010, 03:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglRdr View Post
Which means no charitable agency does charity.

I think that doesn't work.
I mean in the sense that if you swindle 1.25 million dollars from your stockholders and give it to a religious nutcase who then gives it to someone like Baby Doc, it's not charity.
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  #20  
Old 16 March 2010, 03:33 PM
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AnglRdr AnglRdr is offline
 
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Man, you're picky.
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