Atheists don’t like Mother Teresa stamp Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler, editor   
Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010 -- 1:00 AM

The U.S. Postal Service will be honoring Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta in 2010 with a 44-cent stamp. It will go on sale on what would have been her 100th birthday on August 26.

“Her humility and compassion, as well as her respect for the innate worth and dignity of humankind, inspired people of all ages and backgrounds to work on behalf of the world’s poorest populations,” said the Postal Service in announcing the Mother Teresa stamp.

editor's view by Mary C. Uhler

The Postal Service also noted that Mother Teresa received honorary U.S. citizenship in 1996 and was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 1997 for her “outstanding and enduring contributions through humanitarian and charitable activities.” Of course, she also received the Nobel Peace Prize.

It is wonderful that the Postal Service is recognizing the achievements of this remarkable woman, who will no doubt be canonized in the future. We assume that everyone in our country would welcome this news.


Atheists oppose stamp

The Madison-based Freedom from Religion Foundation is at it again. The atheist organization is opposed to the Mother Teresa stamp. Annie Laurie Gaylor, co-president of the foundation along with her husband Dan Barker, is leading a crusade against the stamp. She says the Post Office should not honor a religious figure.

But when asked about a previous stamp honoring Malcolm X, leader of the Nation of Islam, Gaylor said, “Malcolm X was not primarily known for being a religious figure.” And Martin Luther King, Jr.? He “just happened to be a minister,” she said.

The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights countered Gaylor’s statements. On the issue of Martin Luther King, the Catholic League said, “Perhaps she can get the NAACP to recast King as a secular orator, and not as a black clergyman.”

As the Catholic League explains, “What is really driving Gaylor’s hatred of Mother Teresa, besides her virulent anti-Catholicism, is the saintly nun’s opposition to abortion. She accuses the Albanian nun of making an ‘anti-abortion rant’ during her Nobel Prize acceptance speech. As a matter of fact, the ‘rant’ amounted to her saying that ‘abortion was the greatest destroyer of peace in the world.’”

Mother Teresa’s witness

If Mother Teresa were alive today, I think she might gently invite Gaylor and her husband to visit the Missionaries of Charity and see how they work with the poorest of the poor, the abandoned, the sick, and the dying.

In their book, Blessed Are You: Mother Teresa and the Beatitudes, Eileen Egan and Kathleen Egan, O.S.B., write about a man who visited one of the Sisters’ homes for the poor. He arrived just as some Sisters were bringing in a man out of the gutter who was covered with worms. Without knowing she was being watched, a Sister came to care for the dying man. The visitor watched as she worked, seeing how tenderly she cared for her patient.

The visitor turned to Mother Teresa and said, “I came here today, not believing in God, with my heart full of hate, but now I am leaving here believing in God. I have seen the love of God in action.”

Mother Teresa preached about the love of God for all people and she put her words into action in her beautiful witness. We have learned in recent years that even Mother Teresa experienced doubts in her faith, yet she persevered and put the Beatitudes into practice in her life. She is a wonderful role model for people today.

If you like this stamp, counter the atheists’ protests by thanking the U.S. Postal Service for honoring this remarkable woman. You can call 1-800-275-8777 or e-mail through the Web site