The U.S. Postal Service has some explaining to do. After all, they are about to give the Madonna and Child stamp the boot, claiming it is too religious.
They decided last month to discontinue the stamp, which has been issued every year since 1966. It is still available, but according to local postmasters, will not be next year.
An angel will supposedly replace the Madonna and Child stamp. Not bad, but why take away a beautiful portrait that has been depicted so often throughout time?
The Postal Service does not seem to care. As far as they are concerned, Christmas does not exist. In other words, bah humbug.
In the future, Christmas and Hanukkah greetings will not be allowed on stamps or in post office lobbies. “Seasons Greetings” will be the correct phrase. It is all a part of an effort to avoid favoritism to specific religions.
Has anyone ever suffered traumatic grief over feeling a bit excluded during the holidays?
If so, it probably had nothing to do with the post office. People suffer because they are alone or hungry, not because of stamps.
The recent decision is supported by a list of appropriate words and symbols that can be used during the holidays. For example, nativity scenes, Stars of David and other religious symbols are out. Wreaths, candy canes, Santa Claus and stockings are in.
Soon we will take our Fall Recess. Once, it was a Christmas Vacation, until someone realized that everyone did not celebrate Christmas. Once, Christmas was a religious holiday. Today it is widely celebrated, by religious and non-religious people alike.
Christmas has become such a commercialized holiday that it is hardly religious at all anymore.
This is a season of giving and receiving for just about everyone, no matter what they believe.
In a country where freedom is supposed to be in abundance, it seems unfair that the Postal Service would make a decision that would give to some and take away from others.
No one is forced to buy any particular stamp at the post office. Even someone who does not celebrate any holiday during this time of year has the option of buying non-holiday stamps.
We can still be pro-choice or pro-life in our complicated world, but we will no longer be able to express our simple holiday beliefs at the post office.
It is impossible to please everyone, but that is what the Postal Service is trying to do.
Some people may take offense to the Elvis stamp. What is an organization to do in that situation? Discontinue the stamps? Make one generic stamp for music lovers—a piano or quarter note?
Grocery stores do not stop selling meat because vegetarians shop there. If all the stores sold was meat, that would be unfair. However, something is being offered for everyone. That is how the post office should work.
If you do not like the stamps, deliver the mail yourself.
The whole irony of the situation lies in the fact that during the holiday season, the lines get just a little bit longer at the post office. People are holding bigger packages and more envelopes. They are buying more stamps. It is a busy time that we can only assume is a profitable time. Yet, the holidays that bring in so much activity must be kept hush-hush.
Next year, the price of first class postage will increase to 32 cents. The reason is that the Postal Service is trying to build up its revenue.
If only it could concentrate on generating business instead of making petty decisions about Christmas, maybe the price of stamps would not have to increase so often. So what if the annual stamps are religious? At least they sell.