Atheists outraged over a stamp honoring Mother Teresa

posted at 1:13 pm on January 31, 2010 by Cassy Fiano

Mother Teresa was a woman universally beloved across the globe for her humanitarian efforts in India and around the world. Her work with the poor and the dying, the disabled and disadvantaged, with refugees, and so on earned her the Nobel Peace Prize (an honor that was actually earned, imagine that) in 1979. So when the United States Postal Service decided to honor her life with a commemorative stamp, most people were happy. But of course, since a Christian is being honored, a group of atheists are outrageously outraged and want the Post Office to cancel the stamp.

An atheist organization is blasting the U.S. Postal Service for its plan to honor Mother Teresa with a commemorative stamp, saying it violates postal regulations against honoring “individuals whose principal achievements are associated with religious undertakings.”

The Freedom from Religion Foundation is urging its supporters to boycott the stamp — and also to engage in a letter-writing campaign to spread the word about what it calls the “darker side” of Mother Teresa.

The stamp — set to be released on Aug. 26, which would have been Mother Teresa’s 100th birthday — will recognize the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize winner for her humanitarian work, the Postal Service announced last month.

“Noted for her compassion toward the poor and suffering, Mother Teresa, a diminutive Roman Catholic nun and honorary U.S. citizen, served the sick and destitute of India and the world for nearly 50 years,” the Postal Service said in a press release. “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.”

But Freedom from Religion Foundation spokeswoman Annie Laurie Gaylor says issuing the stamp runs against Postal Service regulations.

“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,” Gaylor told FoxNews.com.

Postal Service spokesman Roy Betts expressed surprise at the protest, given the long list of previous honorees with strong religious backgrounds, including Malcolm X, the former chief spokesman for the Nation of Islam, and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a Baptist minister and co-founder of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

“In fact we honored Father Flanagan in 1986 for his humanitarian work. This has nothing to do with religion or faith,” Betts told FoxNews.com.

Gaylor said the atheist group opposed Father Flanagan’s stamp but not those for King and Malcolm X, because she said they were known for their civil rights activities, not for their religion.

Martin Luther King “just happened to be a minister,” and “Malcolm X was not principally known for being a religious figure,” she said.

“And he’s not called Father Malcolm X like Mother Teresa. I mean, even her name is a Roman Catholic honorific.”

The “darker side of Mother Teresa”? Really?

And it seems to me that they’re kind of picking and choosing who they’re outraged over, aren’t they? Martin Luther King Jr. was just as well-known a Christian as Mother Teresa was a Catholic. I doubt Martin Luther King thought he “just happened to be a minister”.

What difference does it make if someone who is being honored for their good works was a Catholic nun or not anyways? Being a Catholic nun or a Christian leader is not something you can separate those two people from. Is the argument then that you cannot honor a good person who did amazing things for their entire lifetime simply because they were Christian? Gaylor also attacked Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, saying it was a “wealthy” charity, and that she — shockingly! — was against abortion and wanted to baptize people before they died. She says this is part of the Roman Catholic Church’s “PR machine” to make Mother Teresa a saint. Because, you know, canonization as a saint always involves shadowy conspiracies with the USPS.

I know it’s tough to understand for some people, but Christians tend to be… anti-abortion, and they want people to be baptized and accept Christ as their savior. They have this whole thing about not wanting people to go to hell, as crazy a concept as that might be.

And her charity did indeed massively expand over the course of her lifetime. At the time of her death, 610 missions were operating in 123 countries. The work being done at these missions included: hospices, homes for people suffering from diseases such as leprosy and HIV/AIDS, caring for the disabled, alcoholics, refugees, victims of natural disasters, the poor and the blind, soup kitchens, orphanages, and so on. But I guess because she was, after all, first and foremost a Catholic nun who didn’t struggle with her mission of humanitarian relief in a little hut on the side of some road in Calcutta, we should completely ignore all the good she was able to do. She was successful in helping thousands upon thousands of people around the world, but because she was Catholic, all of that should just be ignored? To the Freedom from Religion Foundation, a better person to look up to (and whose stamp we should all buy) is Katharine Hepburn… an actress and an atheist.

The USPS spokesman Roy Betts has said that the reaction to the Mother Teresa stamp has so far been overwhelmingly positive. Most people love and respect her because of all she did for so many others. So, to sum up, the FFRF wants to keep her from being honored — despite her good works and humanitarian efforts — simply because she was a Catholic nun, even though the majority of people seem to be unoffended. It seems pretty obvious to me that this is a gross overreaction, and an immature one at that. But let’s not underestimate their efforts or anything. They’re starting a letter-writing campaign… and that will surely teach the Post Office a lesson.

Cross-posted from Cassy’s blog. Stop by for more original commentary, or follow her on Twitter!


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I honestly dont know what the problem is, after all Obama’s press lady Anita Dunn likes Mother Teresa///

canditaylor68 on January 31, 2010 at 5:09 PM

Whenever I hear the cliche “You’re no Mother Teressa”, it reminds me of the cliche ” You’re no sadistic, money laundering, lying, stealing, religiously delusional, medevil, egotistical midget from Albania.”

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM

You are just a disgusting nasty person. I suspect you know that. Go crawl back under your rock troll.

CWforFreedom on January 31, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Atheism…

The belief that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged its self for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turn into dinosaurs.

Atheism…sure makes sense

You guys (militant Atheists) are more obsessed about God than most Christians are. Does the Tooth Fairy really bother you? What about SpongeBob SquarePants? All those Saturday morning cartoons certainly have a direct influence on children. Do we need to take immediate action against old Bob?

If you truly don’t believe in God then what is your problem? Why do you people always target Christians, but rarely any other belief system?

And no, I do not believe in God, but if it comes down to it, I will stand with the Christians, as Atheists have a tendency to violence when in power. Witness the Guillotine, the Gas Chamber and the Gulag.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:22 PM

Wow – what an influx of trolls.
Did someone ring the bell at a junior high for little heathens?

katiejane on January 31, 2010 at 5:23 PM

I’m outraged at honoring anybody who chastised the US for not being Socialist enough (read: Social Justice crapola)… particularly a non-America.

mankai on January 31, 2010 at 3:43 PM

So, following that thought; shouldn’t MLK Jr. be less deserving of a stamp since he had ACTUAL communists among his personal confidants (Bayard Rustin). As an American, isn’t his betrayal worse?

Was MLK Jr. also a false prophet because of his failure to live up to his values through his frequent extramarital affairs?

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 5:29 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM
You are just a disgusting nasty person. I suspect you know that. Go crawl back under your rock troll.

CWforFreedom on January 31, 2010 at 5:18 PM

Your counter-point is very poor and lacking. If you would like to rebut my implied points then please do. I’ll refer you to my evidence, m. teressa’s life work. Read up on it!

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:30 PM

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:22 PM

You make a good point about atheists’ obsession over that which does not exist. But I’m a little confused about the “Atheism… sure makes sense” and the “No, I do not believe in God.”

entropent on January 31, 2010 at 5:30 PM

Wow – what an influx of trolls.
Did someone ring the bell at a junior high for little heathens?

katiejane on January 31, 2010 at 5:23 PM

To call others a “troll” because they disagree with you or have a more factual stance in lieu of a common misconception is myopic, childish and typically the product of a lack of a logical rebuttal.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:33 PM

You make a good point about atheists’ obsession over that which does not exist. But I’m a little confused about the “Atheism… sure makes sense” and the “No, I do not believe in God.”

entropent on January 31, 2010 at 5:30 PM

I don’t know!

I don’t buy the big bang theory, nor do I buy the theocratic explanation. There are good arguments on both sides.

To state that the universe came from nothing (the Singularity) is a cheap copout. It is no different than saying ‘In the beginning all was void’.

I don’t know!

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:36 PM

To call others a “troll” because they disagree with you or have a more factual stance in lieu of a common misconception is myopic, childish and typically the product of a lack of a logical rebuttal.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:33 PM

FWIW, once you begin making unsubstantiated charges while demanding others provide footnotes; you become a troll.

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 5:38 PM

The Freedom from Religion Foundation wants a Roman Polanski stamp instead.

SheofTwoMinds on January 31, 2010 at 5:41 PM

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Fair enough. Agnostic, then, and honest. As I can’t get around the concept of an “uncaused first cause” (which you illustrated fairly well) I have to believe in a Creator.

entropent on January 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:33 PM

I’m sorry – instead of calling you a troll I should have just called you an annoying juvenile POS. OK?

katiejane on January 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 5:38 PM

au contraire,

FWIW, once you begin making unsubstantiated charges

I didn’t feel the need to substantiate my play-on-cliche because it’s too funny to warrant it initialy, that is until small-minded indiv.’s troll by calling me a troll.

while demanding others provide footnotes; you become a troll.

this is simply a concoction of yours, I never requested footnotes but only a rebuttal of my “charges” instead of name calling. don’t get it twisted playa

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:45 PM

Fair enough. Agnostic, then, and honest. As I can’t get around the concept of an “uncaused first cause” (which you illustrated fairly well) I have to believe in a Creator.

entropent on January 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

That’s exactly why I cannot easily dismiss the possibility of a creator.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:47 PM

I’m sorry – instead of calling you a troll I should have just called you an annoying juvenile POS. OK?

katiejane on January 31, 2010 at 5:44 PM

Or your could have taken our relationship to the next level by engaging my points with counter-points, like somewhat of an intellectual, but now we are reduced to bantering over your predilection to name call verses a point for point discussion.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:48 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM

what is a medevil?

clarifides on January 31, 2010 at 5:48 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:45 PM

To call others a “troll” because they disagree with you or have a more factual stance in lieu of a common misconception is myopic, childish and typically the product of a lack of a logical rebuttal.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:33 PM

Your comments were meant to piss people off. When they respond don’t feign surprise.

Also, don’t whine about “name-calling” when you start out slandering an honorable person. It’s unbecoming of a great intellect.

FWIW

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM
what is a medevil?

clarifides on January 31, 2010 at 5:48 PM

that my friend, is a case of very poor spelling.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:52 PM

Cassy Fiano is a terrible writer and an embarrassingly underwhelming addition to Hot Air.

Grow Fins on January 31, 2010 at 1:16 PM

Translation: “I can’t defend this protest against the stamp, so I will desperately try and hijack the thread.”

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 5:53 PM

That’s exactly why I cannot easily dismiss the possibility of a creator.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:47 PM

I hope you find your answer. As they say, “vaya con Dios.” Heh.

entropent on January 31, 2010 at 5:54 PM

If evil people don’t hate your guts, you can be pretty sure that you’re not destined for sainthood. Mother Teresa apparently needn’t worry that she’s insufficiently hated. She’s got that covered.

RBMN on January 31, 2010 at 5:57 PM

Also, don’t whine about “name-calling” when you start out slandering an honorable person.

mother teresa = honorable? How so? Get the facts on the table, or you could just call someone a troll in lieu of the facts that you lack and then say that they’re whining when they call you on your tactic.

It’s unbecoming of a great intellect.

I never made the claim to be a great intellect but my rebuttals don’t come in the form of ad hominem attacks.

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 5:51 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:59 PM

sadistic, money laundering, lying, stealing, religiously delusional, medevil, egotistical midget from Albania.”

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:17 PM

That was all dispicable,however you’ve probably made it onto her list of people to pray for

clarifides on January 31, 2010 at 6:03 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Um, the fact that she is receiving a posthumous honor from the USPS.

Do I need to provide a link to Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary, etc.? Do you prefer MLA or Chicago notation?

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Um, the fact that she is receiving a posthumous honor from the USPS.

Do I need to provide a link to Merriam-Webster, the Oxford dictionary, etc.? Do you prefer MLA or Chicago notation?

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 6:06 PM

Well since we’re using awards to substantiate her character then I’ll cite her receiving of the Nobel Peace prize as evidence of moral turpitude. btw Elvis got a stamp too, and by Elvis I mean a drug-crazed honorary DEA agent.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Elvis got a stamp too, and by Elvis I mean a drug-crazed honorary DEA agent.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:10 PM

Well, you just had to go and cross the line with Elvis didn’t you.

Blasphemy!

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 6:12 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 5:59 PM

Do you know how burden of proof works? Time to substantiate, buddy.

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM

Elvis got a stamp too, and by Elvis I mean a drug-crazed honorary DEA agent.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:10 PM
Well, you just had to go and cross the line with Elvis didn’t you.

Blasphemy!

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 6:12 PM

did I get you “All shook up”? hehe

Do you know how burden of proof works? Time to substantiate, buddy.

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:13 PM

My statements were never called into question, only my character. burden of proof? whatchu talkin’ bout

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:16 PM

And it was hard to even make it through this post on Hotair. I sure hope this new contributer is here only temporarily, because the writing is pretty childish and simplistic.

thphilli on January 31, 2010 at 2:59 PM

Wow, Grow Fins’ lawn chair showed up.

BTW, you can’t criticize the writer of this piece’s writing, with a major spelling error in your post. Try again.

Del Dolemonte on January 31, 2010 at 6:16 PM

My statements were never called into question, only my character. burden of proof? whatchu talkin’ bout

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:16 PM

You keep on asking people to prove your allegations are untrue. You should first present an evidence-based case that they are true. That’s burden of proof.

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:17 PM

Of course the Atheists are outraged. It’s a common personality trait they share with the Progressive Left. They just aren’t happy unless they’re pi$$ed off about something. And everyone knows that stress can kill you… so… print the stamp and make sure that every one at The Freedom from Religion Foundation gets one.

ronnyraygun on January 31, 2010 at 6:23 PM

You keep on asking people to prove your allegations are untrue. You should first present an evidence-based case that they are true. That’s burden of proof.

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:17 PM

wrong, I only asked that a rebuttal be made instead of an ad hominem attack on yours truly. You’re trying to school to be cool but if you have any questions I’ll be more than happy to engage you on that level.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Of course the Atheists are outraged. It’s a common personality trait they share with the Progressive Left. They just aren’t happy unless they’re pi$$ed off about something. And everyone knows that stress can kill you… so… print the stamp and make sure that every one at The Freedom from Religion Foundation gets one.

ronnyraygun on January 31, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Easy with branding atheists as progressives. This just simply is not the case across the board. Most non-believers that I know are very conservative, pragmatic, logical, and patriotic. The lack of belief in a deity isn’t sufficient evidence of political persuasion.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:26 PM

wrong, I only asked that a rebuttal be made instead of an ad hominem attack on yours truly. You’re trying to school to be cool but if you have any questions I’ll be more than happy to engage you on that level.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Rebuttal to what? You mean you actually made a fact-based case? Where?

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:34 PM

Easy with branding atheists as progressives.
whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:26 PM

I didn’t… not even close. I said they shared a personality trait. Looks like you share the same one.

ronnyraygun on January 31, 2010 at 6:37 PM

I guess I would be outraged if they had a stamp for an atheist hero….like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, etc..

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:34 PM

You obviously like circles. Do you have any question?

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

I’m seriously beginning to believe that atheism is a mental disorder.

MarkTheGreat on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

If you truly don’t believe in God then what is your problem? Why do you people always target Christians, but rarely any other belief system?

And no, I do not believe in God, but if it comes down to it, I will stand with the Christians, as Atheists have a tendency to violence when in power. Witness the Guillotine, the Gas Chamber and the Gulag.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:22 PM

very true…notice how they make common cause with the muslims against the christians….its VERY interesting…

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 6:41 PM

You obviously like circles. Do you have any question?

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Do you have any case? Common sense dictates that when you pick a fight, you should bring a weapon. All you’ve brought to this date are your lame comebacks.

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:44 PM

they’re pi$$ed off about something. And everyone knows that stress can kill you…
ronnyraygun on January 31, 2010 at 6:23 PM

quite right, atheists are very “fire and brimstone”.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 6:44 PM

very true…notice how they make common cause with the muslims against the christians….its VERY interesting…

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 6:41 PM

Richard Dawkins and his crowd are little more than anti-Christian bigots. They act like members of some strange cult whose avowed intent is to destroy Christianity. Muslims seem to largely get a pass from these guys, with the notable exception of Hitchens.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 6:51 PM

whiskeytango is a “sadistic, money laundering, lying, stealing, religiously delusional, medevil, egotistical midget from Albania.”

Ingenue on January 31, 2010 at 6:53 PM

I guess I would be outraged if they had a stamp for an atheist hero….like Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Mao, etc..

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 6:38 PM

Nah my favorite atheist is Thomas Jefferson. I’m pretty fond of Einstein as well.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Do you have any case?

Whenever I hear the cliche “You’re no Mother Teressa”, it

reminds me of the cliche
” You’re no sadistic,

“The suffering of the poor is something very beautiful and the world is being very much helped by the nobility of this example
of misery and suffering,” – Mother Teresa
-denied medical care to dying (ie pain killers, anti-biotics etc) despite emmense funding/donations for that very purpose and her private trips to a specialist in New York for her own ailments.

money laundering

“….she had taken money – over a million dollars – from Charles Keating, the Lincoln Savings and Loans swindler, even though it had been shown to her that the money was stolen.” The Catholic Church is under investigation for money laundering at this very moment.

, lying,

She claimed that she was doing god’s will and yet she didn’t believe herself in her latter years.

stealing

Shall I bring up Haiti, or even the Keatings scandal again?

egotistical

Used donations for the poor to open more “death houses” stamped with her name

midget

She was very short

from Albania.”

She was Albanian

Common sense dictates that when you pick a fight, you should bring a weapon.

metaphorically?

All you’ve brought to this date are your lame comebacks
Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 6:44 PM.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Nah my favorite atheist is Thomas Jefferson. I’m pretty fond of Einstein as well.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 6:56 PM

I guess Thomas Paine doesn’t get any. I guess they all can’t be fav’s

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 7:06 PM

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 7:01 PM

Thanks for deciding to bring something else.

Black Yoshi on January 31, 2010 at 7:10 PM

Nah my favorite atheist is Thomas Jefferson. I’m pretty fond of Einstein as well.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 6:56 PM

Say nothing of my religion. It is known to my god and myself alone.

The clergy … [wishing to establish their particular form of Christianity] … believe that any portion of power confided to me [as President] will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly: for I have sworn upon the altar of god, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man. But this is all they have to fear from me: and enough, too, in their opinion.
– Thomas Jefferson, to Benjamin Rush, 1800. ME 10:173 (capitalization of the word god is retained per original (see inset); see full letter in Positive Atheism’s Historical section)

Do you even read your own links?

Thomas J may not have respected the Church, but he clearly believed.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 7:11 PM

Nah my favorite atheist is Thomas Jefferson.

Actually, Jefferson was a diest, or an agnostic – a belief in a primary mover, but certainly not an atheist.

englishqueen01 on January 31, 2010 at 7:12 PM

Calling the Freedom from religion a bunch of asshole lawyers is an insult to assholes.

NOBOZONS on January 31, 2010 at 7:13 PM

Nah my favorite atheist is Thomas Jefferson. I’m pretty fond of Einstein as well.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 6:56 PM

I find this interesting…the atheists blame christians for slavery in this country, then claim the country is a secular state…having your cake and eating it too…

Jefferson wasn’t an atheist, he may not have been a conservative christian…but

The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend to all the happiness of man.”

“Of all the systems of morality, ancient or modern which have come under my observation, none appears to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

“I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.” [Letter to Benjamin Rush April 21, 1803]

“God who gave us life gave us liberty. And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are a gift from God? That they are not to be violated but with His wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just, and that His justice cannot sleep forever.” [Notes on the State of Virginia, 1781]

“It [the Bible] is a document in proof that I am a real Christian, that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus.”
[Jan 9, 1816 Letter to Charles Thomson]

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 7:15 PM

Actually, Jefferson was a diest, or an agnostic – a belief in a primary mover, but certainly not an atheist.

englishqueen01 on January 31, 2010 at 7:12 PM

That’s what I gather also but I wonder what his stance would be if he were here today.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 7:17 PM

Richard Dawkins and his crowd are little more than anti-Christian bigots. They act like members of some strange cult whose avowed intent is to destroy Christianity. Muslims seem to largely get a pass from these guys, with the notable exception of Hitchens.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 6:51 PM

BINGO!! they are members of a cult..they worship at the altar of charles darwin..marxism and darwinism are intertwined..

arx wrote that Darwin’s book ‘contains the basis in natural history for our views.’

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 7:20 PM

And Einstein on God:

I can’t answer with a simple yes or no. I’m not an atheist and I don’t think I can call myself a pantheist. We are in the position of a little child entering a huge library filled with books in many different languages. The child knows someone must have written those books. It does not know how. The child dimly suspects a mysterious order in the arrangement of the books but doesn’t know what it is. That, it seems to me, is the attitude of even the most intelligent human being toward God. We see a universe marvelously arranged and obeying certain laws, but only dimly understand these laws. Our limited minds cannot grasp the mysterious force that moves the constellations. I am fascinated by Spinoza’s pantheism, but admire even more his contributions to modern thought because he is the first philosopher to deal with the soul and the body as one, not two separate things.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 7:20 PM

Mother Teresa did the work atheists would never do. She poured out her heart filled with something that atheists should hope to experience. Those in her care received something that only God’s grace could deliver. A stamp to honor and condone the good work that this woman performed for those in need is merely the smallest token of remembrance that we can bestow upon her.

Government should do two things, condone that which is good, and punish what is evil. Remembering this woman is condoning what is good, and it should be pursued.

ted c on January 31, 2010 at 7:24 PM

Those in her care received something that only God’s grace could deliver.

That is to die in excruciating pain all the while being denied access to medical science (despite the millions of dollars donated and stolen for that very purpose), pursuant to a Nun’s belief that your suffering will bring you closer to jesus, although she preferred top-notch, high dollar medical care for herself. I guess she was too good for her own prescription. Sadist, yes….. Masochist, no.

whiskeytango on January 31, 2010 at 7:30 PM

Here is a more complete look at Jefferson’s writings on religion:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

Actually, Jefferson was a diest, or an agnostic – a belief in a primary mover, but certainly not an atheist.

englishqueen01 on January 31, 2010 at 7:12 PM

What you say is true, in a sense. His views were a little more complicated than that, though as seen in the many quotes listed above. I’ll just say that his ‘belief’ was closer to that of a god of nature, per his writings. Just using the word god does not automatically make you a religious person.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:36 PM

we’re still suffering from the two most pernicious ideas from the 19th century, darwinism and marxism, both born of atheism…have led to the death of 100 million or so, and suffering for untold numbers of others…

ideas have consequences.

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 7:36 PM

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:36 PM

you don’t think a web site like ‘nobeliefs’ might be just a bit biased??

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 7:37 PM

Cassy Fiano is a terrible writer and an embarrassingly underwhelming addition to Hot Air.

Grow Fins on January 31, 2010 at 1:16 PM

ROTFLMMFingAO!!!

This condemnation from the noted Hot Air troll who can’t make a cogent point without altering other people’s comments when he/she cuts and pastes them and out and out lies about what commenter’s said or meant.

Grow Fins, you should have been banned long ago for out and out directly misrepresenting statements which painted one commenter in the worst possible light unfairly. Never forget that Grow Fins is the noted Hot Air Comment Fabricator and Liar.

hawkdriver on January 31, 2010 at 7:45 PM

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 5:29 PM

I realize this might come as a shock to you, but MLK was an American who did a lot for Americans in America while honoring the history of America.

On top of that, you refuted nothing I said… and you gave no reason to honor her with a stamp… only that MLK had Communist friends. Is that your rationale for honoring her?

Logical fallacy.

mankai on January 31, 2010 at 7:46 PM

Mother Teresa did the work atheists would never do. She poured out her heart filled with something that atheists should hope to experience. Those in her care received something that only God’s grace could deliver.

ted c on January 31, 2010 at 7:24 PM

In many cases those in need of help appear a long way from God’s grace. Christ’s life is a profound inspiration for some charities, though organizations like UNICEF also help the poor without a religious foundation. We should honor people who get results in relieving poverty, whether they are religious figures or not.

dedalus on January 31, 2010 at 7:49 PM

Here is a more complete look at Jefferson’s writings on religion:

http://www.nobeliefs.com/jefferson.htm

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:36 PM

I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.

-Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

The link was in fact less complete than the previous one.

The Militant Atheists desperately want to claim the adherence of famous men who contributed something positive as there are too many Atheists like Stalin, or Mao, whose contributions were less positive.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 7:53 PM

I see a few new posts while I was composing mine. Jefferson said a lot of things, which can be extracted to support either viewpoint (nod to right4life). He was a politician. He was not a fan of organized religion. Given a 200+ year gap, his views were so outside the mainstream as to probably qualify, today, as atheistic.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:54 PM

Ah hem….The people that are arguing against this stamp are doing so because, and only because she was a CHRISTIAN.

Whether or not You believe in God makes no difference at all. Whether or not You believe that she did good works when alive makes no difference at all.

And then the fighting over who was an atheist and who was not and what they did, good or bad…..uhh…people…hello? Perspective. Not one of us knows what ANY of these people truly believed in their heart of hearts. Not one of us. The entire conversation just seems foolish.

This thread is wack, jack. And all over a tiny little stamp.

Back to my original idea: When I get these stamps I’m sticking one on a postcard of a picture of Mother Teresa and I’m sending it to the Freedom from Religion Foundation, with love.

bridgetown on January 31, 2010 at 7:57 PM

Pompous atheists foaming at the mouth is the main reason I bailed as a Hot Air commentor years ago. I still read the site to stay up on news, but life is too short to give a crap about anything you atheists have to say. Go screw yourselves.

Buck Turgidson on January 31, 2010 at 7:57 PM

while being denied access

So those horribly poor and destitute people she took in had medical care available to them and Mother Teresa had the ability to bring it to the slums and actively denied them that care?

Bullshit.

BTW,”Nuns” are cloistered. She began the “Missionaries of Charity” which are an order of sisters. Sisters are not cloistered. “Cloistered” means living and usually not leaving a convent. It is the difference between monks and friars.

Ignorant

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:00 PM

you don’t think a web site like ‘nobeliefs’ might be just a bit biased??

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 7:37 PM

The domain ‘fools.com’ was taken…

daesleeper on January 31, 2010 at 8:00 PM

Logical fallacy.

mankai on January 31, 2010 at 7:46 PM

No logical fallacy, I was just curious about your litmus test for who deserves a stamp. Her myriad accomplishments (and eligibility for a stamp) have been better described many times elsewhere.

I have nothing but respect for MLK Jr. but he stumbled much more than Mother Theresa and was far more socialist than her (this was your point of contention in the quoted text). So if that is not the issue, I guess it’s simply that she criticized America? She was Catholic?

darclon on January 31, 2010 at 8:03 PM

This is why most all atheists are fools…they don’t get it.
What drives a person to compassion is just part of the story…but the real story is the compassion.
Now, how many hospitals have the atheists built? How many lives have been saved by atheists?
This one woman has done more for humanity then all the atheists have ever done, or dreamed of doing.
While atheists were whinning, Mother Teresa was doing.

The have dones, and the have done nothings….

right2bright on January 31, 2010 at 8:04 PM

though organizations like UNICEF also help the poor without a religious foundation.

UNICEF is the United Nations childrens fund and promotes abortion around the world. I’m sure there must be a foundation with the aim of helping the poor and destitute and which does not also promote marxism and infanticide; the United Nations is not one of them. I’m also sure that they do some good work but killing off the poor should not be one of thier goals.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:06 PM

Unicef Promotes abortions? Please link me to proof of this.

bridgetown on January 31, 2010 at 8:09 PM

I think Jefferson would be more concerned about America’s complacency with Islam than some meaningless atheistic protest about a postage stamp. If he was asked to comment he’d probably just mock and ridicule the opposition for wasting everybody’s time. Jefferson warned America back in 1784 that Unless a nation submitted to Islam, whether it was the aggressor or not, that nation was by definition at war with Islam. One thing that Jefferson was very clear about when it came to religion was BEWARE OF ISLAM.

ronnyraygun on January 31, 2010 at 8:10 PM

UNICEF is the United Nations childrens fund and promotes abortion around the world. I’m sure there must be a foundation with the aim of helping the poor and destitute and which does not also promote marxism and infanticide; the United Nations is not one of them. I’m also sure that they do some good work but killing off the poor should not be one of thier goals.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:06 PM

There is a lot to criticize with UNICEF, though they do spend a couple billion a year fighting poverty. Christianity is a great inspiration for helping the poor. However, that charitable desire exists in humans beyond the bounds of religious belief.

dedalus on January 31, 2010 at 8:13 PM

http://tinyurl.com/yjsblbm

This is just one of 2,250,000 hits on google for unicef and abortion. This is the specific reason that Catholic schools do not allow UNICEF collections.

Years ago we got a new principal in our Catholic elementary school. She sent home the UNICEF halloween collection boxes with the children. I mentioned to one of the priests that I was surprised that the Church allowed collections for the United Nations considering their stand on abortion. It caused a huge flap and the principal had to write letters of ignorance and apology home.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:15 PM

If you note, I agree that I was sure that UNICEF did some good work, however, I could never donate to them because of their promotion of abortion.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:15 PM

Wow. I must live under a rock. I’ve never heard about this. Thanks for the info!

bridgetown on January 31, 2010 at 8:17 PM

Yep. It’s really creepy stuff. How ’bout this from the Catholic Family and Human Rights Council:

UNICEF also funds a South African group called loveLife, whose website, as of the beginning of 2003, actively encouraged teenage girls to have abortions. The site described the abortion procedure as a “gentle suction,” assured girls they could have abortions without telling their parents, and even provided them with the toll-free telephone number of Marie Stopes International abortion clinics.

It makes me sad.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Do you see why the trolls came out on this thread? They do not want Christian charities to be honored and receive funds they want charities like UNICEF to be funded. With that you get the agenda of the marxists and dictators, the victimization of the poor, and the genocide of the eugenics movement. They accuse Mother Teresa of crimes because they want to deflect the attention of the world from their own nefarious agenda. It’s not about her, it’s about world-wide communism.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

UNICEF also funds a South African group called loveLife, whose website, as of the beginning of 2003, actively encouraged teenage girls to have abortions. The site described the abortion procedure as a “gentle suction,” assured girls they could have abortions without telling their parents, and even provided them with the toll-free telephone number of Marie Stopes International abortion clinics.

It makes me sad.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:22 PM

doesn’t surprise me…Eugenics has been part of the progressive agenda from the beginning….its like Margaret Sanger, and the ‘negro project’ the progressives really want to eliminate those they consider inferior…

right4life on January 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

So much anger, guess its a different cheek turning.

That an Atheist group is upset about a Mother Theresa stamp doesn’t mean much even in the small scale of things.

While this article is a decent post, it doesn’t include all sides, Mother Theresa did many wonderful things, made even more wonderful by the fact she performed them even during a time she lost her faith.

I call, I cling, I want — and there is no One to answer — no One on Whom I can cling — no, No One. — Alone … Where is my Faith — even deep down right in there is nothing, but emptiness & darkness — My God — how painful is this unknown pain — I have no Faith — I dare not utter the words & thoughts that crowd in my heart — & make me suffer untold agony.

People who feel a lack of control in large issues will escalate small ones in an effort to compensate.

The most efficacious way to engage people who compensate is to rebut with cold logic, responding with outrage is a kind of victory for the asymmetrical attack but as proven with every thread like this, outrage is a mandatory and integral part of religion.

Speakup on January 31, 2010 at 8:41 PM

I don’t buy the big bang theory, nor do I buy the theocratic explanation. There are good arguments on both sides.

To state that the universe came from nothing (the Singularity) is a cheap copout. It is no different than saying ‘In the beginning all was void’.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 5:36 PM

Since you cannot get further back than the beginning to see how it started it follows that if you can ‘understand’ the beginning then it cannot possibly be the beginning. Consequently the beginning of the universe must, by its nature, be impenetrable and incomprehensible; it is just a ‘given’.

However we can show that in fact there was no ‘void’ prior to the beginning. This is easily accomplished because it is logically impossible to derive reason from non-reason and since reason exists now it must therefore have always existed. Furthermore reason exists independently of space, time and matter hence it is quite true to say that reason is eternal … having neither beginning nor ending.

“Reason is eternal” is thus a true statement, and since it concerns an eternal entity it follows that truth (as an abstract concept) must also be eternal … existing, like reason, independently of space, time and matter.

Consequently it follows that there could never have been an ultimate ‘beginning’ or its prior void. At the very least, truth and reason have always existed and will always exist.

You might already know that in most modern New Testaments the opening words of (John 1:1) are not exactly wrongly translated but are translated unhelpfully. In English the text usually says something like “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God and the word became flesh and dwelt amongst us …”. The English word ‘word’ in this text is a translation of the Greek word ‘logos’ which also gives us ‘logic’ and ‘logical’ and which to Greeks signified the whole of rationality. It is translated as ‘word’ because logic and language are inseparable; you cannot have language without rationality and you cannot have rationality without language … hence to translate ‘logos’ as ‘word’ is quite acceptable but for the average reader a lot of the profundity of those opening passages is lost in translation.

In any case, the New Testament begins with a statement that rationality exists eternally and this you can prove for yourself by a simple thought experiment. Thus the NT begins with a profound and demonstrably true statement about the origins of the universe (In the beginning was the word …). That doesn’t make what follows true, but it is a much better starting point than any hypothesis that claims that ‘everything came from nothing’ since such a hypothesis is demonstrably false (since truth and reason must have existed eternally there could never have been a ‘nothing’).

YiZhangZhe on January 31, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Do you see why the trolls came out on this thread? They do not want Christian charities to be honored and receive funds they want charities like UNICEF to be funded. With that you get the agenda of the marxists and dictators, the victimization of the poor, and the genocide of the eugenics movement. They accuse Mother Teresa of crimes because they want to deflect the attention of the world from their own nefarious agenda. It’s not about her, it’s about world-wide communism.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 8:27 PM

I pointed out that there is much to criticize with UNICEF. However, they aren’t a Marxist organization and the USA has been one of its biggest contributors, whether the president was Reagan or Clinton or Bush.

dedalus on January 31, 2010 at 8:59 PM

I was involved with litigation against her charity in India. Her charity engaged my firm after we offered free services up to a very generous limit. When they reached that limit I told them we could no longer offer free services and recommended some very good local firm who could do the same work at a fraction of our charge rates. They insisted we continue to work for them. Later, they tried to avoid paying and even insinuated they would ruin our reputation if we tried to obtain payment.

While not a reflection on the old bat herself… it shows a little of what her charity was all about. I defer to Christopher Hitchens’ excellent expose for more sordid details on her and the charity.

lexhamfox on January 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

However, they aren’t a Marxist organization and the USA has been one of its biggest contributors, whether the president was Reagan or Clinton or Bush.

The UN is, on its best day, marxist. The U.S. should stop funding this ridiculous excuse for a world wide peace organization. It provides a forum for thugs and dictators, ie Chavez and Castro, makes resolutions it does nothing to uphold, and has a long history of corruption. Politically, no president can pull out, and that’s why we continue to fund it and house it. Just because it has been funded since the 1945, our participation in it is another piece of progressive program of FDR/Truman.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 9:15 PM

insinuated they would ruin our reputation if we tried to obtain payment.

While not a reflection on the old bat herself… it shows a little of what her charity was all about. I defer to Christopher Hitchens’ excellent expose for more sordid details on her and the charity.

lexhamfox on January 31, 2010 at 9:03 PM

How did they imply they would do this, and why should anyone assume that the organization you worked for was free of responsibility? What were their complaints against the organization you worked for?

That said..none of it has anything to do Mother Teresa or her work. Guilt by association?

Itchee Dryback on January 31, 2010 at 9:29 PM

I defer to Christopher Hitchens’ excellent expose.

BTW, the author of the book “God is not Great”

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 9:33 PM

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 9:15 PM

The UN is ineffective and corrupt. However, having a forum for words and resolutions can provide a buffer against differences being resolved by warfare. Wilson’s League was a reaction to the idiotic waste of WWI.

There are more effective organizations than UNICEF, but their objectives of reducing childhood death, malnutrition, disease, and exploitation are ones that are laudable and transcend religious views.

Personally, I prefer social entrepreneurs to NGO’s. Applying the start-up mentality to societal problems in order to generate sustainable solutions seems more efficient.

dedalus on January 31, 2010 at 9:33 PM

YiZhangZhe on January 31, 2010 at 8:48 PM

Well if truth and reason are not eternal all bets are off. So yes, I would say that they must have always existed in the material universe we currently know.

Something from nothing (true Nothingness, not just a neutral energy state) is irrational!

The universe therefore requires an Agent outside of its confines (the Singularity, Alternate Dimension, or God) to posit creation.

If matter is eternal then entropy is wrong. Physicists try to get around this by suggesting the Singularity where the physical laws did not exist. They are essentially creating a mindless god to explain existence.

Therefore something nonmaterial (God?) must be eternal.

The logic seems to suggest that the theocratic explanation is the more sensible one.

sharrukin on January 31, 2010 at 9:50 PM

Given a 200+ year gap, his views were so outside the mainstream as to probably qualify, today, as atheistic.

GnuBreed on January 31, 2010 at 7:54 PM

This is revisionist in the extreme. Jefferson disdained the organized (Anglican, later Episcopal) church of his time.

No one who’s writings (many cited on this thread) made reference to God (or even god, without the capitals) could be thought to be an atheist, by either the standards of their day, or by modern standards.

His views were not even out of the mainstream, for his time – there was, in colonial, and post colonial times, a movement away from “the established church,” and toward what we today would call “un-churched spirituality.”

What you’d need to find, in order to make Jefferson into an atheist, is a statement that even came close to “there is no God.”

massrighty on January 31, 2010 at 9:53 PM

who’s = whose.
Jack Daniels attacks my grammar, yet again.

massrighty on January 31, 2010 at 9:53 PM

May I suggest, to all who are bothered by Freedom From Religions’ take on this, a little pranksterism:
1. Buy the stamps when they come out.
2. Send Freedom from Religion letters, with fictitious return addresses, using the stamp.
3. Mark the letters “donation enclosed” – so they have to open them.

This will give them something even more pointless to do with their time than protesting Mother Theresas’ recognition on a stamp.

massrighty on January 31, 2010 at 9:57 PM

hawkdriver on January 31, 2010 at 7:45 PM

HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAWKDRIVER!!!

yoda on January 31, 2010 at 9:58 PM

WOW! This blog has really brought out the lowest of the low! It is amazing that a little, old, sister from the catholic church could be so threatening to a bunch of no- good atheists who have done nothing for the good of humanity!!!! Let her have her stamp…go back to bed trolls!!!

sweet92169 on January 31, 2010 at 10:00 PM

massrighty on January 31, 2010 at 9:57 PM

Or just send them a letter with “donation enclosed” and enclose a whole lotta Mother Teresa stamps =D

Ingenue on January 31, 2010 at 10:09 PM

There are more effective organizations than UNICEF, but their objectives of reducing childhood death, malnutrition, disease, and exploitation are ones that are laudable and transcend religious views

I repeatedly said that they do some good work. I do not however believe that they should include abortion in the services they fund, especially with the money they receive from the United States taxpayer.

Haunches on January 31, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Or just send them a letter with “donation enclosed” and enclose a whole lotta Mother Teresa stamps =D

Ingenue on January 31, 2010 at 10:09 PM

Also a good plan!

massrighty on January 31, 2010 at 10:14 PM

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