When the wife of Kansas City Chiefs owner Clark Hunt recently tried to create a custom stamp, she discovered something astonishing about the United States Postal Service.
According to the Federal Register, a USPS policy proposed in 2017 and implemented this May forbids “[a]ny depiction of political, religious, violent or sexual content” on “customized postage.”
Tavia Hunt discovered this when she attempted to create a custom stamp at Stamps.com that contained a photo of her family standing in front of the St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia.
(Long but important:) My apologies to everyone for a late Christmas card this year. In November I tried to order customized postal stamps for our card. It was a special photo taken of our family at the World Cup in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral (a world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site). The stamp was rejected because it allegedly violates a new United States Postal Service regulation that bans any depiction of religious content on customized postage. Although the post office itself sells stamps with religious images on them. I spoke with Zazzle and Stamps.com numerous times and both companies apologized and admitted that the stamp was clearly not a religious stamp and simply a special family memory, and were very sorry. Zazzle told me that if I cropped out St. Basil’s they could print it. Stamps.com said that it was actually the Chiefs flag that was in violation. I told her that was GREAT. It was an easy fix and I would fax her the necessary form—but in truth it wasn’t the Chiefs flag—once I had the form, they changed the story back to the visible church as the problem. I just wanted a customized stamp of my family for my card, as I have had for the past decade +. It’s a super busy time of year for all of us, and sometimes feels especially busy for me with football and all that goes with that, and I don’t have extra time for dealing with this nonsense. But this is simply wrong. If I can’t order this benign stamp because “all religious content is forbidden no matter the intent or faith,” then ALL of our rights are being violated REGARDLESS of religion. This isn’t a left or right issue. It’s an issue for every American no matter who you are or what you believe. We live in the greatest country on earth because we enjoy the freedoms that this country was founded on. They’re worth preserving. So eventually you will receive my holiday Christmas card. You weren’t taken off the list. It’s coming with some sweet wishes for 2019. But I wanted you to know why.
Stamps.com rejected her request on the basis that it violates USPS policies. Hunt responded by linking up with the First Liberty Institute, a religious liberty advocacy and legal defense organization, to find out why religious imagery is a problem.
“If the USPS determines that Mrs. Hunt’s picture violates the criteria against religious depictions, then the regulations as construed are hostile toward religious expression,” the institute wrote in a letter to the USPS this week.
It continued by contrasting this draconian regulation with the agency’s other regulations, which remarkably enough permit custom stamps to contain so-called “incidental depictions of … alcohol, tobacco, gambling and weapons.”
“If the USPS determines Mrs. Hunt’s stamps were properly rejected under its regulations,
the regulations raise serious First Amendment concerns,” the letter added.
Not to mention concerns about inconsistency.
Speaking on Fox News’ “The Ingraham File” this Thursday, First Liberty attorney Hiram Sasser rightly noted that the postal service prints its own religious stamps.
“The postal service responded to us today saying, ‘Look, you just can’t have anything religious on a customized stamp, but we’ll sell you one,'” he told host Laura Ingraham.
The bizarre inconsistency left Ingraham practically speechless.
“This is not establishing a state religion — even by the most amorphous, squishiest of tests that the Supreme Court established. It seems like it would fit right into someone’s First Amendment rights in the Constitution,” she noted.
“You can have a picture at Hooters, and that’s OK, but you can’t be in front of a little cathedral. I don’t even understand the argument.”
Nor does anybody on social media:
Considering the @USPS issues religious stamps itself, this is bizarre.
— Αγία Σοφία (@nevrchek) December 21, 2018
Did you ban Christmas stamps?
Don’t you SELL Christmas stamps?
I am pretty sure I grew up with Christmas stamps on ever letter.
YOU BANNED RELIGIOUS CHRISTMAS STAMPS?
— Laura Marciano Gorleski (@ladyjanekane1) December 21, 2018
— G – MONEY (@RealNycPatriot) December 21, 2018
You Gotta be Kidding!! this shit has gone off the rails!! Christmas Stamps cancelled for being religious. How I long for the old days this is pathetic Liberal America is disgusting @USPS come on now with the religious ban on stamps!!#IngrahamAngle
— TRUMP ROCKS USA?? (@Detrocker2264) December 21, 2018
— Donna Brant (@golfloving2) December 20, 2018
— Stevie Bennett❌ (@ScreedofStevie) December 20, 2018
Judging by these tweets, it doesn’t look like the USPS will have a very merry Christmas.
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