Monday, September 18, 2006

Boycott a stamp??

Why do this? Why? Why? Why?

Okay, sorry. A little background: I received an email today telling me that if I am a patriotic American, I will boycott the 2006 USPS Eid stamp that will be coming out in early October. It celebrates two of the holiest days of the Islamic calendar and a message of celebration (roughly translated as "May your religious holiday be blessed") is printed on the stamp in Arabic. It's a beautiful stamp. (Plus, the same design was originally released in 2001--it's been around a while.)

But the email I got was so hate filled, so ugly and narrow-minded...

I have to say, I don't find this stamp threatening at all. It's just a stamp, people. It doesn't hurt my own personal religious beliefs to allow someone of a different faith a postage stamp that celebrates what they believe. My faith is strong enough to survive a postage stamp. We need to be careful where we put our energies. There is enough hate in the world already. As Christians what we need to worry about is practicing love and compassion.

All of the Muslims I know are peace loving, intelligent, moderate, contributing citizens of America. They abhor what the radical fundamentalists have done to attack America just as much as the rest of us do. Some of them lost loved ones in the attacks, too (and no, they weren't hijackers--they were innocent victims).

Think about it: the fanatics who attacked America also damaged the image of moderate Muslims. To them, the fanatics are like our very own American-made ones: Jim Jones who orchestrated a massive group suicide in Guyana, or David Koresh and his bizarre Branch Davidians in Waco, or the Fundamentalist Mormons who practice polygamy (illegally) and marry their daughters at age 12 to 50 year-old "prophets." All of these radical sects profess(ed) to believe in the Christian God.

My point is that every religion has its extremists, but they do not define the majority (they are just the loudest, most attention-getting ones). We need to be careful how we lump people together because of how we perceive their religion based on a few vocal / violent extremists. I would never want someone to compare me to David Koresh because I, too, believe in Christ.

Please, let's remember what it really means to be compassionate; and focus our energies on making the world less hate-filled...not more.


Clifford Garstang said...

Wow. People are nuts, that's all there is to it. On the other hand, I avoid ALL religious stamps, since none express my own beliefs, so I guess that's kind of a boycott, isn't it? Just not one based on hate . . .

Mary Akers said...

I don't know if that's a boycott so much as a personal preference. For myself, I don't buy flag stamps anymore. After 9-11 I felt that Americans really went overboard on the flag waving and I was sick of seeing them absolutely everywhere I turned.

William said...

Nice posting! I think I will buy the Eid stamps just to boycott this silly boycott!!!