The Freedom From Religion Foundation is calling for a boycott of the soon-to-be-released Mother Teresa stamp, claiming it violates regulations against honoring individuals whose achievements are associated with religion.
Rabid chain e-mails about Islamic terrorism went out blasting President Obama for supposedly releasing an "Eid Greetings" stamp during his first year in office. But Obama had nothing to do with the stamp, which the Postal Service first commissioned in August 2001 -- during the Bush administration -- to celebrate two important Islamic festivals, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
Though the stamps were put out during each year that Bush was president, few took notice until it was released yet again under the Obama administration. Both Presidents Bush and Obama have wished Muslims a Happy Eid.
The U.S. Postal Service released a set of four dino-stamps in 1989 to tie in with the hit movie "The Land Before Time," choosing fan favorites like the Brontosaurus.
The only problem? Everyone's favorite long-necked lizard never really existed, a point that was clear to scientists by the 1970s. The proper name for the massive creature is Apatosaurus, a fact the USPS knew but chose to ignore as they printed 100 million 25-cent stamps bearing the image of a non-existent beast. The feds were accused of fostering scientific illiteracy, though most kids didn't seem to mind.
The Freedom From Religion Foundation has long protested stamps bearing images of the Virgin Mary, including this one featuring a Boticelli painting of the Madonna and Child. The group's co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, said that such stamps, which the Postal Service has issued at Christmastime since the 1960s, are "in violation of their own policy."
In August 2008, a stamp collector discovered that an image of the U.S. flag on a 44-cent stamp had a little something extra: a 14th stripe on the bottom of Old Glory. The Postal Service said that the extra stripe was added to give the flag definition and that the mistake was never caught apologizing for the error.
The Postal Service honored Roman Catholic priest Fr. Edward Flanagan in 1986 for the founding of the landmark orphanage Boys Town and for his role as an orphan advocate in general.
While the Freedom From Religion Foundation did not officially protest at the time, Foundation co-president, Annie Laurie Gaylor, says she's "not too pleased about" it. "My understanding is what he ran was a religious charity I don't think you can separate him out from his religion either."
The Freedom from Religion Foundation said that following their protest of a Virgin Mary stamp, the Postal Service responded by issuing secular holiday-season stamps, and then issued stamps for other religious festivals including Hanukkah and Eid.
But that compromise hardly suited the foundation, said co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor. "The idea is not to add other religious things but to abide by the secular policies."
A forthcoming stamp featuring Mother Teresa is one of many issued by the U.S. Postal Service that has been met with protest.