Jewish World Review Nov. 1, 2002 / 26 Mar-Cheshvan, 5763
http://www.NewsAndOpinion.com | I innocently stopped at the post office today to pick up some stamps and came face to face with the ugly underbelly of governmental discrimination -- I saw the five 2002 "Holiday Celebrations" stamps on display. At first glance it seemed there was a little something for just about everybody; a Christmas stamp depicting Mary holding baby Jesus for Christianity, a Hanukkah stamp for Judaism, a Kwanzaa stamp for baby boomer African-Americans, a EID stamp for Islam, and snowmen stamps for the secular. But wait. That's not EVERYBODY, is it?
As much as it pains me to say it, the United States Postal Service is guilty of blatant discrimination against many American citizens. I'm ashamed to say there was no, I repeat, no stamp commemorating Buddhism! And why not, may I ask? Just what does our government have against the Buddhist community, anyway? Why are they being left out of the American dream? Why are they being persecuted? What are we saying to the Buddhist children of America? What kind of a country have we become?
And that's not all, by a long shot. What about Hindus and the Baha'i? Neither of these religions are represented on stamps either, sorry to say. But if you think that's the end, think again. The shameful intolerance continues, I'm afraid ... there is no Shinto stamp. Imagine all the Shinto children who must feel totally disenfranchised! How insulting!
There is no stamp honoring Confucianism, either. No Christian Science stamp. Or Taoism. Or Scientology. There's not even a Druze stamp! Unbelievable! And while we're at it, what about the Atheists? Don't they deserve a stamp too? Are Atheist-Americans considered second-class citizens by our government? If so, why not at least issue them a second-class postage stamp?
There are many other groups deserving of recognition who are not represented on holiday stamps. For example, there is no Gay holiday stamp. Gays have done more for the holidays than they are given credit for. Think about it. Who do you suppose comes up with all that fancy wrapping paper and frou-frou bows for packages? Most of the Christmas songs are gay influenced too. Remember that line "now we don our gay apparel?" And who do you think goes around "decking the halls" and "dashing through the snow?" It ain't John Wayne.
Who do you think chose the color RED for Santa's suit with all those poofy white pompoms on it? Oh sure, Santa is as straight as an arrow -- married to Mrs. Claus, but have you ever seen a FEMALE elf at the North Pole? No. Those little guys are as queer as an igloo in Iraq. Why else would they dress in tights, turned-up pointed shoes, and little bells on their hats? Not only that, but they all love Judy Garland movies.
Another group discriminated against on holiday stamps are women. Why isn't there a stamp commemorating the important holiday contributions of women throughout history? Where would Christians be without Mary? Where would Jews be without mothers? Where would Islamics be without 72 virgins? And let's not forget perhaps the most significant female contribution to the holidays of all -- shopping for presents. You KNOW it had to be a woman that came up with that one!
Where's the Latino holiday stamp? Feliz Navidad, and all that sort of thing. They could put Jose Feliciano on it. Cesar Chavez toiling on a Christmas tree farm might make a good choice. Or it might feature a few prominent Americans of Latino heritage like Cameron Diez, Jennifer Lopez and Christine Agular. My vote would be Alfonso Bedoya in a Santa suit.
There certainly needs to be an environmental holiday stamp. This would be a stamp made completely out of recycled older stamps. It might depict a cheerful scene of environmentalists chained to the trunks of Christmas trees or a naked Santa Claus having discarded his politically incorrect fur suit. But I really think a scene of the North Pole melting due to global warming would hit just the right note of environmental holiday spirit.
There are many more groups that need to be represented on holiday postage stamps before we can truly be the land of the all inclusive. Until that time, I refuse to buy any holiday stamps at all. I call on all fair minded Americans to do the same. Stamps for all or stamps for none.
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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. A freelance writer in Southern California, you may contact him by clicking here.