Sunday, January 31, 2010

The FFRF vs. The USPS

I remember a very funny piece of footage of Jay Leno’s monologue at a White House Correspondence Dinner during the Reagan presidency. Nancy Reagan had just been given international recognition for some program she had introduced and Leno said: ‘I’d like to congratulate Nancy Reagan for winning The Humanitarian of the Year Award. I’m glad she beat out that conniving little bitch Mother Teresa.’ The inference, of course, that brought the house down was the generally aloof and high-toned attitude that emanated from Mrs. Reagan and the monumentally humble character of The Good Sister Teresa. Well, it appears as if we’re going to snub this poor, departed woman once again. I was just edified by an article regarding the protestations by The Freedom From Religion Foundation toward the proposed issuance of a new US postage stamp bearing the image – and surely honoring – Mother Teresa. Apparently the USPS just unveiled its newly designed stamps for 2010 – I believe there are ten of them – and this one isn’t sitting well with our atheist pals. The article goes on to explain that the USPS has a list of a dozen or so regulations concerning that which can be lauded on a stamp and one of them includes language that they may not honor or celebrate religious organizations or individuals. So, I guess the non-believers have some foundation for their pushback. Nonetheless, these protests by the FFRF are harsh, over-bearing, insensitive, selfish, ugly, small, offensive, dogmatic and antithetical to the spirit of the recognition. Be she Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist or atheist Mother Teresa was an exemplary human being having demonstrated with her life a heart for humanity, a love for children, a disdain for poverty and the humility to go about her work with little fanfare. In other words, as few others in my lifetime, she should not only be recognized and honored – her story should serve as a template for all of us. Interestingly, the FFRF has not protested (nor do they plan to) the prior issuance and continued use of stamps bearing the images of either Malcom X or Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.: one the voice of The Nation of Islam and the other a minister. Both were certainly leaders of humanity with significant followers; both approached their work from a spiritual platform and both can surely be associated with ‘religion.’ The spokesperson for this hollow and bold organization responded to that charge by stating that, ‘King was just a minister.’ Soon the remaining sane citizens of our country are going to rise up and say, ‘That’s it!’ I do hope it is peaceful and I do hope it is successful. This continued, subversive undermining of our most sacred values must come to an end. To stop the celebration of such a devoted life is sickening, at least. Oh, by the way: the FFRF’s suggestion is that their base purchase the new Katherine Hepburn stamp as she was a professed atheist. Oh my. Oh my.