...it's not dark yet, but it's gettin' there...

November 16, 2004

Gone Postal

Can you spot the irony in this holiday stamp webpage from the United States Postal Service's site?

i'll tell you. The word Christmas appears nowhere on either of the two pages from which you can order holiday stamps. Even though four of the eight selections on the first page are clearly and specifically Christmas stamps.

i can understand the view that the US government should not appear to endorse any particular religion by actually uttering the word "Christmas." i don't agree with that line of thinking, but i see how the argument can be made.

The problem with the USPS site is that their omission of the word Christmas, to describe stamps with Santa Claus, reindeer and even an image of the baby Jesus, cannot be based on any desire to adhere to the First Amendment.

Note that there are also stamps clearly identified with the names of two other religious celebrations: Hanukkah and Eid. (From what i understand, Kwanzaa and the Lunar New Year are cultural, not religious celebrations.)

As far as i'm concerned, the only way this PC bullshit can be interpreted is that the USPS thinks some people might be offended by looking at the word Christmas while shopping for stamps.* Either that, or the Postal Service marketing department has been taken over by anti-Christian wackos. (Not anti-religious wackos, mind you, just anti-Christian.)

i don't think anyone, even the most rabid anti-religious zealot, could possibly be offended by merely looking at the word Christmas. Those kind of people just do not exist. Oh i'm certain that there are some people who claim offense in order to advance a political agenda. But anyone who would be truly offended by the word Christmas simply could not function in society.

i think it's great that the USPS is commemorating Hanukkah and Eid-ul-Fitr with stamps. But how is calling a Christmas stamp a Christmas stamp somehow improper?

Maybe they should change their acronym to the USPCS.

* By the way, the function of the First Amendment's Establishment Clause is not, and has never been, to prevent people from being offended.

Posted by annika, Nov. 16, 2004 |
Rubric: Faith & The Huh? Files


Yep, the whitewashing of Christian influence in society is going on unabated. They did the same type of thing with the quotes on the national World War 2 memorial.

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 16, 2004

Oh Please,

You poor maligned christians. Turning white and translucent so no one can see you anymore.

The site says HOLIDAY. It is selling stamps of different holidays. Is it an example of egrigious PCness to not mention them by name? Jesus, did anybody really feel left out by that? Other than our hostess) Would anybody have felt more welcome if the proper names were in the banner? I thought the site was kind of dull and neutral. Here are a few ulgy stamps, why don't you buy some, or not. Just don't go to our competitor!

So, Raygun, you think this is an example of the "whitewashing" of christianity's influence in our society. This has you worried? Loosing influence? "Same kind of thing on the ww2 memorial"? Must be a conspiracy, eh? What influence are you talking about?

Posted by: mike on Nov. 16, 2004

Here's an example of intellectual dishonesty for your edification. Instead of acknowledging my point, then stating his disagreement with it(i.e. "Yes, the word 'Christian' has been omitted, but here's why I think that's a good idea."), the troll ignores the underlying point, then launches into condescension and argumentum ad hominem.

This particular troll has shown me some glimpses of reasonableness in the past, and just when i think there's hope for him, he always reverts back to following the "just another troll" playbook.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 16, 2004

Whoa, that is insane.

I mean, I could understand if they witheld 'Christmas' if they didn't have any stamps that had 'Hannukah' etc etc on their stamps, but since they do, I am just as confused about the omission of 'Christmas.'

If it's a matter of "offending" people just by using the word 'Christmas', then the USPS also needs to consider that as of right now the radio, the TV, every retail store, and every shopping center is bombarding us consumers with anything and everything 'holiday' -- including Christmas.

Posted by: Amy on Nov. 16, 2004

Oh Annika,

You are sooo sensitive. Sorry. I did make an opening statement that was uncalled for by your statement but was I thought called for by Mr. Raygun. (Ray, I have called you this many times before, but now that I am feeling so PC and pliable, if you wish me to stop just let me know.)

I did say that I thought the USPS site was neutral(a good thing) That I disagreed with your painting it an act of PC bullshit ( a little over the top, no?) I thought I stated that I though no one would or should feel left out due to the missing word(s) and mostly my condescenion was for Raygun, who started bemoaning the whitwashing of christendom's influence in a country that is clearly swinging in the direction of more religious influence not less. It is a constant battle for the ACLU to thwart the christian influence. "God bless America" in the seventh ining, is this a sign of waning influence? The Supreme's turning back the case to remove "under god" in the pledge on a technicality they could have overlooked.

I think a completely neutral government with regard to religion is a blessing. I also do not feel threatend by the wise and beautiful words spoken by people of religious faith. I am adament, however, about the government staying out of the business of religion.

BTW, Annie, could you tell me where to get the "Just another troll" playbook? Sounds like a load of laughs.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 16, 2004

Haha, Mike. i was just trying to get your goat, dude. Cuz you haven't commented in a while.

Posted by: annika on Nov. 16, 2004

The word "Christmas" does not appear on this year's stamps. That is a factor of stamp design and "flavor of the month-ness" at the USPS. Some years the stamps say "Christmas", some years they say "Yule". Some years, as this, they are silent on the name of the particular holiday, but just say "holiday". Sometimes stamps only say "US" and the amount of postage it represents.

The Islamic stamp, for example, says "Eid", not a specific eid. "Eid" means "holiday", or more appropriately, "holy-day". Holidays are holy-days.

I don't think this is a big a deal as it's being made to be.

Posted by: John on Nov. 16, 2004

"The site says HOLIDAY. It is selling stamps of different holidays. Is it an example of egrigious PCness to not mention them by name?"

But it does mention SOME of them by name, Mike. The word Christmas is actually made more conspicuous by its absence than if it had been used alongside Hannukah and Eid, which I think was the whole point of the post. What exactly is your First Amendment argument for the USPS using the names of other religious holidays but specifically excluding Christmas? One would think a genuinely neutral position would have to be either mentioning them all by name, or referring to them all by the blandly ecumenical "holidays."

And before you start castigating me as a self-important Christian with a martyr complex, I'm Jewish. But I would be genuinely interested to know how exactly you think singling out one religion for disfavor like this is somehow defensibly neutral.

Posted by: Dave J on Nov. 16, 2004

Fucking Queers!

Posted by: Casca on Nov. 16, 2004

I must say that I never saw more Bullshit than me, when I read your place of installation. They are not cash which were they hung like you in Nuremberg? Shouldn't it your kind of the people lessons WWII have learned? I cannot believe that there are the people nor thinks that that some nations and cultures are better, when others.

it is not your type of people which should have learned that the war is NEVER each possible solution?

which you on UNO are despicable said. UNO is the only platform, the voice with everyone gives, however your multinational groupings of companies liked. The first thing made Hitler, after it had come, was exhorter, in Germany of the league of the nations to begin again. But you did obviously not learn the lesson that?

rejected Kyoto UNO, ICC, drew up UNO on Iraq, reject to accept the metric system and not the international law will subject. The UNO is the larger thugh on planet. The UNO precisely implemented the greatest flight armed in the history and controls 24 million innocent Iraqis nicht-weissem people.

has you with a trypically loves fachists that rifles. Million Americans have rifles and thousands each year are killed. Only the use of industry of rifle. What you said, the increase in total rifle being opposed is so stupid that I am it of my chair reading.

FREEDOM fell completely. Freedom by the Colt, Smith and by Wesson, the clay of Ing of rem, by Glock and the other trading of Todeskorporationen which Bumsen it does not give, how much the people are killed thus by their long products, as of the people will leave, to buy them.

like you, all these Todeskorporationen give the republicans with difficulty. were you with a downtown area? to declare to you with a mother her son in a fight on your invaluable second what one invites to modify rights.

they dissed also my personnel Hero Robert Fisk to germinate. Fisk is the most objective journalist whom I actually read. It is that only that which speaks the truth on the Israeli rassistischen and UNO fachist and illegal state regime.

briefly known as, satisfies you a Rabble rednecks like makes confidence, undertaken the linen of brain of FoxNews, attacks, Hannity, the KKK, RadioNewsmax conversation and rifle companies.

Posted by: Robert Mac-lelland on Nov. 16, 2004

I hate the metric system.

Posted by: d-rod on Nov. 16, 2004

THATS IT! France and Germany hate us because the Evil Bush master refuses to change the measurement system of 300 million people in the US to the Metric system. How could I have been so Blind! LOL! Next thing you know, Bush will be hated because he refuses to change US currency to the Euro!

Posted by: lawguy on Nov. 16, 2004

Oh and by the way, that League of Nations sure did a bang up job of protecting Europe from another World war!

Posted by: lawguy on Nov. 16, 2004


I like the feel of that wind in my face. Thanks for the breeze of rationality amidst the knee jerkers, Robert M-I. It will, however, all be lost on the stone hearted, gun protecting, RW ers around here. They are certain guns are an important part of their being. Certain America is a place that EVERYONE envies and is living, or in the case of the Iraqi's, dying, to emulate. Certain that the press is LW biased, certain that Bush didn't lie about anything and more importantly, if he did, so what! M-Fing Iraqi's want to kill us and whatever it takes to kill them first is a perfect plan. And Iraqi's need to vote! They have spent countless years pining to vote. Now their destiny is just beyond the voting booth, down the road in their bombed out houses, with no running water, no electricity and no hope for the reconstruction of their lives. Oh, but the brutality has stopped! They are free to wander the streets and hold placards of dissent with out fear of their hands getting chopped off. What a lucky bunch. Soon they can wear tee shirts with political speech printed on them and get jailed for appearing at presidential rallies just as if they were in America. Ah, the pleasures of freedom! Smells like napalm in the morning.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 16, 2004

There is, in fact, one Eid stamp. It was issued in 2001. Ironically, the initial date for relase was to have been 9/11. The stamp is still in circulation in some places, but is mostly not available in post offices anymore. Oh, and that stamp took about 12 years to produce from the initial approval of the concept.

Posted by: John on Nov. 16, 2004

"Weren't barbarians like you hanged at Nuremberg?"

Just drink the kool-aid, Robert. Everything will be all better soon.

In the minds of the Left, only Clinton and Chirac can do no wrong with projected military power, but if a Republican uses force........

I'm sure Robert and Mike want us to do something to stop the genocide in the Sudan, but that would make them hypocrites if they did. Why, you might ask?

If we sent our troops to Darfur, the trolls would bitch about us stealing Sudanese oil. They would say that our peacekeeping forces are making the lives of the genocide victims' worse off. If they say that type of shit about our troops in Iraq, then they're gonna have to say it about our troops in Kosovo and Bosnia as well, but I doubt it since they were Clinton ops.

Oh yeah, we went to the UN to enact sanctions on the Sudanese government to stop the genocide, but guess who torpedoed that Security Council resolution? Oui, oui, the cheese-eating surrender monkeys wanted to preserve their business relations to the regime and keep their stakes in the Sudan's oil reserves instead of trying to help out the refugees and victims.

"It's all about FREEDOM. Freedom from Colt, Smith & Wesson, Remington, Glock and other merchant of death corporations who don't give a fuck how many people are killed by their products as long as people are left to buy them."

Oh boy, I can't wait to get me one of these........


I'm sure if you had it your way, cigarettes would be banned, fast-food would be banned, etc. since they are products that kill. Yep, that's freedom. I almost got myself killed on a dirtbike when I ran into a barb-wire fence, but you don't hear me calling for the banning of barb-wire or dirtbikes because I know that it is my foolish misuse of the bike that put me in the emergency room.

Guns don't kill people. People that steal guns from law-abiding owners' homes and then use them in other crimes do. I'll bet that you blame guns for the suicide rate too........

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 16, 2004

Sorry, Robert is the worst kind of troll, a spammer troll who doesn't actually read the blogs he comments on. (i have never posted about Fisk.) i have had to ban him countless times for his disgusting, often racist bullshit rants. He slipped under the radar tonight, yet again.

i've translated his comment above for clarity.

Posted by: annika! on Nov. 17, 2004

OMG, that is HIL-ARIOUS! I like Robert remixed better than the original. Thanks, Annika, you're the best!

"The UNO is the larger thugh on planet."

Wow, I didn't know my college was that infamous. Stephen Ambrose would be saddened to hear that. Just kidding........%^)

Posted by: reagan80 on Nov. 17, 2004

Mr Raygun,

With out getting long winded, the clear difference that you wish to ignore in Kosovo is that it was NOT an occupation, not unilateral andit was a UN action limited in scope.

And Ray, the actual number of deaths from guns used in the commission of a crime is less than 10% of gun deaths. Guns kill loved ones, or once loved ones most of the time. The myth of stolen guns and crime is just NRA bullshit.

Posted by: mike on Nov. 17, 2004

The only thing I can figure is that Christmas is somehow problematic because it includes the word Christ. I don't know. I have been non-Christian my entire life and Christmas is my favorite holiday ever and I could just scream I am so excited for it and there is no way to end this sentence that won't be awkward.

Posted by: other Annika on Nov. 17, 2004

That page included a text box that you could use to search the USPS website. I searched for "Christmas" and got six hits, including the two Madonna stamps. This particular case doesn't sound like ACLU gone mad, and frankly the USPS wouldn't go for it.

The main goal of the USPS is to sell as many stamps as possible (especially to stamp collectors and other people who don't actually use the stamps; that's pure profit for the USPS). If the USPS could, I bet they'd sell stamps of Janet Jackson's Super Bowl moment in an attempt to make money. They're certainly going to do anything they can to sell Christmas stamps.

Posted by: Ontario Emperor on Nov. 17, 2004

Did no one follow the link to the USPS page? The Madonna stamps clearly have the word "CHRISTMAS" written at the top. Click on one, you'll see. Maybe you ought not trust everything you see on TV or read on the Internet.

Posted by: an observer on Nov. 19, 2004

Observer, you failed to observe my point. WTF is so hard to understand? Of course the stamps say Christmas on them, they're Christmas stamps! That's the point!

i wanna know why the USPS won't call them Christmas stamps in their advertisement. They call Hanukkah stamps Hanukkah stamps. They call Eid stamps Eid stamps. They call Kwanzaa stamps Kwanzaa stamps. They call Lunar New Year stamps Lunar New Year stamps. They call Happy Birthday stamps Happy Birthday stamps. They call Love stamps Love stamps. Why is a Christmas stamp identified by the generic name "Holiday." It doesn't make any sense, especially since the stamp itself says "Christmas" at the top. Are you all too brainwashed by the PC police to recognize that that's odd?

Posted by: annika on Nov. 19, 2004

I don't know. I guess I was not as offended as you were. Were I Jewish, however, I would be offended if a page of December holiday stamps were titled "Christmas," since I would not celebrate that holiday. Since both Christmas stamps and Hanukkah stamps were on the USPS web page, a more generic name -- "Holiday" -- was appropriately used as the title. The detail page with only the Hanukkah stamp was titled "Hanukkah"; the detail page of the other stamps were similarly given more specific titles, including "Madonna and Child." And no, I don't equate tolerance with brainwashing.

As a further aside, I do agree with you that the word "Christmas" ought not be considered offensive anymore since it seems to be more closely tied to Santa Claus and shopping than Christ or even religion. Then again, it wouldn't take but one of those die-hard religious conservatives who just re-elected Bush to cause a ruckus.

Posted by: an observer on Nov. 21, 2004