The U.S. Postal Service is set to issue a stamp in honor of Mother Teresa on what would have been her 100th birthday, August 26, 2010. So, instead of simply using another stamp, the Freedom from Religion Foundation is urging a ban of the stamp and promoting a letter-writing campaign to “spread the word about hat it calls the ‘darker side’ of Mother Teresa.”
The foundation said issuing the stamp runs against Postal Service regulations. “Mother Teresa is principally known as a religious figure who ran a religious institution. You can’t really separate her being a nun and being a Roman Catholic from everything she did.”
On the one hand, they are completely right. Being Roman Catholic made her who she was because she took her faith seriously. You cannot separate the Catholic Teresa out of Mother Teresa. But that likewise does not mean that if you praise what she did then you are praising the Catholic Church.
The postal service spokesman was surprised considering there was no protest from the group for the stamps for Malcolm X, a former chief spokesman for the Nation of Islam, or Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The atheistic group did, however, protest the 1986 stamp for Fr. Flanagan, the founder of Boys Town.
Martin Luther King “just happened to be a minister,” and “Malcolm X was not principally known for being a religious figure,” she said.
“And he’s not called Father Malcolm X like Mother Teresa. I mean, even her name is a Roman Catholic honorific.”
Gaylor said Mother Teresa infused Catholicism into her secular honors — including an “anti-abortion rant” during her Nobel Prize acceptance speech — and that even her humanitarian work was controversial.
Being Muslim was a part of who Malcolm X was because he took his faith seriously. Being a Baptist minister was part of what made King who he was. Could you separate the minister from the civil rights leader? Anyone who takes their faith seriously will not be easily divisible into their religious selves and their secular selves.
So is it the fact she is known by her religious name “Mother?” If there was no “Mother” in front of her name they would have no objection? Yeah, right. So a person should only be honored for great work IF they didn’t take their religion seriously? Or just if they aren’t Catholic?
The Postal Service defended their decision stating that she was not being honored for her religion but her work with the poor and her acts of humanitarian relief. “Her contribution to the world as a humanitarian speaks for itself and is unprecedented.”
Mother Teresa was one of the greatest humanitarian in the 20th century and she should be refused a stamp, or any honor?, because she was Catholic? Could the prejudice be any more obvious.
Even some atheists recognized the group’s hypocrisy.
The postal service confirmed that despite the letter-writing campaign, the response to the stamp has been overwhelmingly favorable.
I hope I get to buy a Mother Teresa stamp.