.- In response to an atheist group calling for the removal of a proposed Mother Teresa stamp last month, a petition organized by CatholicVoteAction.org has received over 70,000 signatures from individuals who support the stamp.
Supporters of the stamp sent a letter to Postmaster General Jack Potter, asking him to reject claims from the atheist group that the stamp violates postal regulations. The Mother Teresa stamp is scheduled to be released on Aug. 26.
“We want the Postmaster General to know that millions of Americans support their decision to issue a new stamp honoring Mother Teresa,” said Brian Burch, president of CatholicVoteAction.org on Tuesday. “While we are pleased that Postmaster General Potter has defended the decision thus far, we will continue to push back against those seeking to denigrate this faith-filled nun who spent her life caring for the poor and needy of our world.”
The petition follows a recent claim by the atheist Freedom from Religion Foundation that the Mother Teresa stamp violates a postal regulation against “honoring religious institutions or individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings.” Annie Gaylor, spokesperson for the group, argued last month that “Mother Teresa is principally known as a religious figure who ran a religious institution. You can't really separate her being a nun and being a Roman Catholic from everything she did.”
Countering her claim, Postal Service spokesman Roy Betts said on Jan. 28 that “Mother Teresa is not being honored because of her religion, she's being honored for her work with the poor and her acts of humanitarian relief.”
Brian Burch echoed this sentiment, saying, “Mother Teresa was proudly Roman Catholic, and her religious faith clearly inspired her charity. However, her service to the world is universally recognized as worthy of acclaim. The fact that she was a Catholic nun should not disqualify her from the receiving honors for her amazing acts of charity and peace. To do so would constitute a gross form of religious discrimination.”
Burch's petition can be found at www.stampoutbigotry.com.