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Florida Tea Party Candidate Promotes Postage Stamp Conspiracy Theory

Florida’s 8th congressional district is currently represented by Bill Posey, a Republican with a 67 percent Conservative Action Score on the That’s My Congress legislative scorecard system. For the Tea Party, that’s not conservative enough. So, under the name of the Tea Party, a man named Karl Balone is challenging Representative Posey in the 2014 election.

Why should voters in the 8th district vote for Balone instead of Posey? Because, according to Balone’s campaign Facebook page, the “United States Postal Service—- Has Taken Lord Jesus Christ and Merry Christmas………………………………..OUT OF CHRISTMAS.”

Is it true? Has the Postal Service taken Jesus and Christmas out of Christmas? Does the Postal Service even have the authority to do that?

Balone didn’t come up with this issue on his own. He’s referring to a conspiracy theory that’s made the rounds of right wing activists this autumn, claiming that the US Postal Service is refusing to print stamps that celebrate Christmas or show Jesus. The conspiracy theory is based upon a poster that promotes the three most recent additions to the Postal Service’s holiday stamp collection. That poster shows a stamp for Hanukkah, a stamp for Kwanzaa, and a stamp with gingerbread houses on it – but no stamp for Christmas, and no stamp showing the baby Jesus.

Right wing activists has looked at this single poster and concluded that the US Postal Service has declared a war on Christmas. Other, more patient, Americans have noted that the Postal Service is a great deal more than just one poster.

In fact, the Postal Service prints, promotes and sells more stamps celebrating Christmas than it does for any other winter holiday. What’s more, many of the Postal Service’s Christmas stamps specifically show the baby Jesus, as well as his mother and father. The Postal Service has heavily publicized these stamps, including one featuring a painting by Jan Gossaert, which, as the Postal Service notes, has explicitly Christian religious imagery: “Draped in purple and blue, the Virgin Mary supports her own head by leaning on one of her hands. According to art historians, this pose was an unusual way to depict the Virgin Mary in Gossaert’s time and may have been meant to evoke both sadness and contemplation by reminding viewers of earlier artistic depictions of ancient scholars, St. Joseph in Nativity scenes, and mourners at the Crucifixion. Supported by the Virgin Mary’s other hand, a curly-haired infant Jesus loosely draped in a white cloth looks to the viewer’s right and holds a bunch of red currants, which scholars have interpreted as foreshadowing Christ’s future suffering.”

Karl Balone could have met the baby Jesus simply by taking a short trip to his local post office himself, but like most Tea Party members, he refused to go through the work of checking the facts.

christmas stamp outrage

10 comments to Florida Tea Party Candidate Promotes Postage Stamp Conspiracy Theory

  • Dave

    Karl Balone is a goofball. I like Tea Partiers in general, same as I generally like any fellow countrymen regardless of their politics. I find that Tea Party people are at least as smart as people of other affiliations, and are just as apt to be misinformed occasionally as anyone. That said, I think you’ve made a pretty big assumption by saying “but like most Tea Party members, he refused to go through the work of checking the facts.” Is there a poll or something showing a refusal on the part of most Tea Partiers to check facts, or is this similar to my own assumptions that the opinions of most people of any party are not particularly fact driven?

  • Teabaggers are idiots and wackos! Theyr’e great for getting Democrats elected though!

  • Dan

    They are pandering to their brain dead, ignorant, ill informed constituents……..what do you expect??

  • Dave

    Well, Bill, they (the commenters on teapartypatriots.org) certainly can’t spell, I’ll give you that. I have seen more sophisticated sites run by Tea Partiers, however, that actually state their arguments quite succinctly. As I recall, the Tea Party idea began with a rant about Fannie/Freddie during a market report from Chicago that was on CNN. The reporter asked a question, something like “why should we working slobs who have always paid our mortgages on time have to bail out people who are delinquent on 5 bedroom 3 bath mcmansions who never should have qualified for the loan? We need another tea party.”

    The Tea Pary will probably continue to garner support among “working slobs” until someone answers that simple question that made them come out of the woodwork in the first place.

    As for knuckle-mouthing drag breathers, remember that “why am I voting for Obama? ‘Cause Obama gonna give me a phone!” video that went viral during the last election. Would it be fair to say that that was a typical Democrat? Frankly, I don’t think vitriol and name calling really do much to win the opposition, and respect actually is a more potent force when building political consensus. Want a Tea Partier to believe in global warming? Well, maybe he or she still wonders whatever happened to the global cooling/coming ice age panic of the seventies. Hey, the numbers were irrefutable and only a knuckle-dragger wouldn’t believe. Treat them as though there is an intelligence at work that opposes your position and state your case. Want Wall Street to run Washington? Tell that Tea Party person why you do, and why they should too. Want the middle class to bail out the big banks and never be given an accounting of where the trillions went? Just tell those baggers why this is good, and why they should not complain.

    Folks who comment here seem to have a greater distaste for Tea Party social values and I understand the concern, but the Courts have most of that stuff on the docket and there is less threat at present from social conservatives at the polls. I have actually seen that the Tea and Occupy people have very similar views on Wall Street. Would it not be kinda smart to build political opposition to the one percent “banksters” wherever one can find it?

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