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US Postal Service stamp ad = religious persecution?

December 3, 2013

Ah, religious persecution. It can come in so many forms. Torture . Imprisonment. US Postal Service advertisements.

Yes, the USPS omitted a religious Christmas image from its advertisement for holiday stamps. Hanukkah was featured. Kwanzaa was represented. But the third stamp in this holy trinity? A tasty-looking but very secular gingerbread house.  Some Christians are in an uproar. The post office DOES sell religious stamps (e.g. Madonna and child) to commemorate Christmas, and a spokesperson for the agency said the gingerbread design is new, which is why it was featured in this year’s ad. But the outrage persists out there on the Internet.

A former classmate of mine wrote on Facebook that her post office in Georgia did not display any Christian stamps, and when she inquired about them, she was told, “We have them. We just can’t display them anymore.” This woman is an evangelical Christian, and she was deeply troubled. As were her Christian friends, one of whom wrote the following comment: “Let the religious persecution begin!”

This is religious persecution? You sure? Here, let me help you sort that out: The answer is no. A poorly-conceived stamp advertisement in a country where you are a member of the majority religion does not amount to religious persecution. Sorry. You are not in danger of losing your basic human rights. You are not in danger at all. You might want to save your outrage for the plight of your fellow Jesus followers in North Korea or Iran or Pakistan. You might consider other actual forms of religious persecution perpetrated against Baha’is and Muslims and Buddhists. (Having interviewed such victims, I can tell you, their stories will make you shudder.) You might even spend some time reflecting on the meaning of Christmas and how much it depends upon the correct postage.

Look, we can and should have discussions about how we talk about religion in this country, how Christian privilege works and how silly political-correctness can be. But let’s at least have a little perspective.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Jack permalink
    December 3, 2013 3:59 pm

    Amen, dear lady, amen,

    The best government is always but a slumbering enemy to religion.

    The King will extend favor to those in whom he finds favor.

    But one must never forget that what the government does to one
    religion, it can likewise show to any religion.

    It is so now that the tenants of the Apostolic faith taught by the
    ambassadors of Christ are no longer seen as favorable in eyes
    of this current popular idea of America.

  2. December 5, 2013 12:59 pm

    “…the meaning of Christmas and how much it depends upon the correct postage.”

    Heh. Especially now that the American trend, regardless of affiliation, is to secularism.

    Meanwhile, Eileen, if you’re still counting me as a friend in your blogroll, my url has changed to this: http://texasscribbler.wordpress.com/

    Have a merry, merry, especially with the little one.

    Best regards,
    Dick Stanley

    • eeflynn permalink*
      December 15, 2013 3:45 pm

      Dick,
      So nice to hear from you! Sorry about my slow reply to this and the previous comment you posted. I’m trying to do better about posting here, but most days I find myself caught up in the chaos of two little ones. Here’s hoping I can be more disciplined in 2014!
      Your blog looks terrific. Thanks for the new url.
      Hope all is well with your family. I remember your boy as a little guy, but I’m guessing he’s not so little anymore.
      Thanks for reading!
      Eileen

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