Perhaps you’ve heard about various communities which have determined that Christmas displays in public places are not acceptable. Some of the impetus for these decisions has come from atheist groups who are offended and cite the fact that the Constitution does not allow for government to establish any religion. They equate the displays as equivalent to violating this provision of our governing document.
Personally, I’ve never felt offended when I’ve seen public displays of Menorahs. I do have a lot of Jewish friends and I think that their Holiday is a wonderful one, signifying the indomitable nature of the human spirit. And my Jewish friends have never told me that they object to seeing Nativity scenes. If they were offended they certainly never aired that opinion. Nor would I be offended if I were to see a display advocating atheism, such as the recent display that was put up in Times Square.
It shouldn’t surprise us that there have been local protests aimed at individual homeowners who have put up extensive Christmas lighting displays and portray other aspects of the Holy Day. Some of those are, in my opinion, a bit over the top and garish. And if I lived next door I might have thought that a little less might have been more artistic. But knowing myself, I would have lived with it and kept my tongue.
The Christmas season will soon be over for another year, the decorations will be stored away and we can put this conversation back in the closet. No – wait, I misspoke. You see Christmas is not a seasonal event – it’s a Forever event – at least according to the United States Postal Service.
This year the USPS printed a new forever stamp – a Christmas stamp.
Following is the USPS’ description of this philatelic issue, taken directly from its website:
The Holy Family stamp, first issued in 2012, celebrates Christmas with a scene from the Nativity story that reminds us of the joys of the season: family, togetherness, and the birth of the baby Jesus. It continues the U.S. Postal Service’s tradition of issuing beautiful and timeless Christmas stamps and will be a treasured addition to cards and letters sent during this season of goodwill and sharing.
Working together, art director William J. Gicker, designer Greg Breeding, and artist Nancy Stahl created an evocative image of the Holy Family. The stamp illustration shows Joseph leading a donkey that carries Mary and Jesus, guided by a star shining in the twilight of a desert sky.
The Holy Family stamp is being issued as a Forever® stamp. Forever stamps are always equal in value to the current First-Class Mail® one-ounce rate.
While it is hardly part of my agenda to offer suggestions which further undermine the religious celebration of Christmas, it seems to me that if these people are so offended at viewing Christmas that way, they ought to be in front of Post Offices all over the country protesting the issuance of stamps such as these. And when they finish their morning activities, they can march to our Public Libraries, demanding that they remove all copies of the Bible on hand and throw them into the fire that they’ve built outside the front door.