Evangelical Christians Say They Can’t Worship Jesus Without New Government-Issued Religious Icons
Two years ago, Florida Tea Party activists were working themselves up into conniptions with the belief that “United States Postal Service—- Has Taken Lord Jesus Christ and Merry Christmas………………………………..OUT OF CHRISTMAS.” The Tea Partiers were spreading an idea that had become viral among the members of the gullible community nationwide: There were going to be no Christian stamps celebrating Christmas in 2013, because atheist communists were trying to take over the country, using the lack of religious postage to do so.
This weird conspiracy theory turned out to be nonsense. There were postage stamps for sale with the baby Jesus on them, just as there are every year.
As things tend to go with conspiracy theories, the facts can never keep a zany idea down for long. This year, right wing extremists are at it again, spreading the word that the U.S. Postal Service has declared War On Christmas.
A neo-Nazi, pro-Christianity web site called the Daily Stormer, for example, tells its readers that there will be “No religious stamps for Christmas this year.” Other right wing Christian web sites have joined the Nazis in their outrage.
What’s the basis for the outrage, though? The Alliance for the Defense of Freedom, an organization that actually opposes freedom of religion under the First Amendment in the United States, complains that “This is one symptom of a very broader effort to purge religion from the public square.”
Is it true? Is the United States Postal Service involved in a conspiracy to convince people to stop celebrating Christmas by taking Christian religious imagery off of postage stamps?
The answer is simple: No.
The USPS is not banning Christian imagery on postage stamps. It isn’t removing Christian postage stamps for sale for the 2015 Christmas season in an attempt to censor Christmas.
What’s happening is that the United States Postal Service is not introducing any new designs for Christmas postage stamps, or new designs for postage stamps representing holidays from any other religions, for the rest of this year.
Mark Saunders, spokesman for the United States Postal Service, explains, “The Sept. 10 article, “Is the Postal Service Declaring War on Religion?” is incorrect and misleads readers into thinking Post Offices will not be offering religious-themed holiday stamps this year. Nothing could be further from the truth. Allow me to set the record straight. We have more than a half billion religious-themed holiday stamps in inventory and based on prior year’s purchases, that’s more than twice sold during a typical Holiday season. Our decision to print select holiday-themed stamps every other year is a business decision based on supply and demand while serving the needs of our customers.”
The United States Postal Service isn’t creating new designs for religious holiday stamps because it already has a stockpile of religious stamps that’s big enough to last for two years. It seems that Americans simply aren’t as interested in religious holiday stamps as the Postal Service thought they would be.
There isn’t a War On Christmas. Increasing numbers of people are simply choosing to walk away from the holiday. Why? It might just have to do with the annual screeching Christmas fans do about the supposed War On Christmas.
If it bothers the right wing religious set that the government isn’t giving them new religious icons with which to worship, does that suggest that there’s something wrong with the old one? Do Christian icons have an expiration date, or are they just out of date?