US: 77,000 Petition for Mother Teresa Stamp

Decry Bigoted Attacks of Atheist Groups

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CHICAGO, FEB. 17, 2010 ( U.S. atheists are fighting a proposed postal stamp honoring Blessed Teresa of Calcutta, known as Mother Teresa. Thousands of Catholics are pushing back against what they see as religious discrimination. issued a press release Tuesday calling for Americans to join the nearly 78,000 signatories of a petition supporting the Mother Teresa stamp.

The petition, addressed to U.S. Postmaster General Jack Potter, affirmed, «We are shocked and saddened by reports that atheist groups are now mobilizing to stop the [U.S. Postal Service] from issuing a new stamp honoring Mother Teresa.»

It urged Potter to «stand by your decision to issue the stamp on Aug. 26, and to reject the bigoted attacks aimed at trashing this faith-filled nun who spent her life caring for the poor and needy of our world.»

Brian Burch, president of the action group, stated, «We want the postmaster general to know that millions of Americans support their decision to issue a new stamp honoring Mother Teresa.»

«While we are pleased that Postmaster General Potter has defended the decision thus far,» he said, «we will continue to push back against those seeking to denigrate this faith-filled nun.»

Burch noted that the postal service policy prohibits stamps that «honor religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings or beliefs.»

However, he asserted that this policy should not exclude religious people who are also famous for their contributions to the world.

The action group noted that other religious figures have been honored by commemorative stamps in the past, such as John Witherspoon in 1976, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., in 1979 and 1999, Martin Luther in 1983, and Father Edward Flanagan in 1986.


«Mother Teresa was proudly Roman Catholic, and her religious faith clearly inspired her charity,» Burch said. «However, her service to the world is universally recognized as worthy of acclaim.»

He continued: «The fact that she was a Catholic nun should not disqualify her from the receiving honors for her amazing acts of charity and peace. To do so would constitute a gross form of religious discrimination.»

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is leading the campaign against the Mother Teresa stamp, claiming that she had a «darker side,» the communique noted.

Burch asserted that the «real cause of their anger seems to be her unapologetic defense of sexual morality and the dignity of all human life.»

He explained that the foundation accused the nun of making a «gratuitous tirade against abortion» when she accepted the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979.

The action group pointed out that there are many reasons why Mother Teresa should be honored.

The petition affirmed: «With love and her charity, Mother Teresa cared for tens of thousands of people regardless of need, race, sex, or religion. She cared for people because they were human, and continues to inspire millions of people even after her death.»

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On the Net:

Petition: www.stampoutbigotry.com»>>

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