Saturday, January 30, 2010

How Saintly Was Mother Teresa and Does She Deserve a Stamp?

Whatever you think about Mother Teresa's (torturous) adherence to Catholic concepts of redemptive suffering and subsequent sainthood, that a Mother Teresa stamp violates separation of church and state seems a small issue considering the other Establishment Clause violations in the country: our health care delivery system is doctrinal and discriminatory; our schools continue to depart from science-based education, and in our political process is bullied by reverence for one particular Fundamental faith.

And yet it's a debate that's being had, thanks to a challenge by the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Here's a clip from Deceiver:

Forget about the Presidential Medal of Freedom and that little thing called the Nobel Peace Prize. (Okay, bad example…) But it’s obvious, at least to the folks at theFreedom From Religion Foundation, that the Postal Service has no business putting super-humanitarian and all around do-gooder Mother Teresa of Calcutta on a stamp.

Why? It’s the nun thing.

Freedom from Religion Foundation spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor told Fox News that issuing the stamp runs against Postal Service regulations because, quite simply,

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.

…There’s this knee jerk response that everything she did was humanitarian, and I think many people would differ that what she was doing was to promote religion, and what she wanted to do was baptize people before they die, and that doesn’t have a secular purpose for a stamp.

The Postal Service, of course, disagrees. As far as they’re concerned, the Mother Teresa commemorative stamp has nothing to do with her religion. As Postal Service spokesman explained:

Mother Teresa is not being honored because of her religion, she’s being honored for her work with the poor and her acts of humanitarian relief,” Betts told

“Her contribution to the world as a humanitarian speaks for itself and is unprecedented,” he added.

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