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Can we be a pluralistic society when it comes to…the holiday stamp?

That’s what Tracy Simmons of USA Today wants to know.

Simmons recently published an article about the typical holiday stamp – the secular kind that include things like Santa, snowmen, etc.

Of course, Simmons notes that the U.S. Postal Service offers a Christmas stamp along with Hanukkah and Kwanzaa stamps. The government has also developed an Eid stamp (to celebrate Islam’s Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha holidays).

The Eid stamp controversy

Apparently a forward has been making its way around the Internet recently, claiming that the Eid stamp was developed after 9/11 and therefore celebrates Muslim terrorist attacks. The e-mail claims that the stamp is a threat to Americans.

The original e-mail can be traced to Mayor Johnny Piper of Clarksville, TN. What the mayor didn’t realize is that the stamp was actually developed by the Bush administration ten days prior to 9/11/01. Its intentions were the same as the Christmas and Hanukkah stamps — to give Americans a way to celebrate their religions, not to promote terrorism.

What about Buddha?

Simmons asks, should the government also develop a Buddhist stamp and a Hindu stamp? It probably comes down to supply and demand. If there is a demand for the stamps, the government will be more likely to develop those stamps that will sell. But in principle, a government that produces stamps for one religion ought to produce stamps for all religions – or leave religion out of postage altogether. What do you think?

Created by, 2009

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