Postal Service Says “€œNo”€ To Religious Expression “€“ With Jeremy Dys:

Air Date: 02/26/2020

Guest: Jeremy Dys

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith and the Culture

Rick:

You find your way to WallBuilders Live, it’s the intersection of faith and the culture. That means we’re applying our faith, we’re taking a biblical worldview and applying it to the issues of the day, every area of the culture, nothing is off limits. And every single one of those areas, every single one of those issues, we look at it from a biblical, historical and constitutional perspective in order to apply those issues and those principles to whatever is going on in the world around us. It might be your backyard, your family, your kids, your education system, your politics, your government, I mean, not everything is addressed by the Bible. Everything affects our lives. And therefore, we need to find the right position on those things. We need have some wisdom and some discernment in this culture that seems to be going haywire in so many different ways. But in some ways, you see some bright lights of encouragement and hope and positive things happening.

And so here at WallBuilders Live, we just take whatever the hot issue of the day is and we look at it from that biblical, historical and constitutional perspective. We do that in a conversation with America’s premier historian David Barton. He’s the founder here at WallBuilders. And Tim Barton, president of WallBuilders, he”€™s a national speaker and pastor and joining us for that conversation. And my name is Rick Green. I’m a former Texas legislator and America’s Constitution coach.

We would encourage you to visit our website today. Before we dive into the topic of the day, I encourage you to check out wallbuilderslive.com. It’s got archives, the program from the last few weeks and a lot of other great information.

A Controversy With a Federal Agency

Most importantly, has a contribute button there that we would encourage you to click on and then make a contribution, because as a listener, you are the one that makes this program happen. We’re listener supported program. And we’re so thankful for all the folks across the nation and frankly, around the world that enjoy getting good information from WallBuilders Live. They get inspired, they get equipped, they share it with their friends and family and they make those contributions so that we can continue to do this great work. Thanks for being a part of that. Check it out at wallbuilderslive.com today.

Hi guys, we got a controversy with a federal agency we’re going to be dealing with later in the program. But just to get us started here, I mean, a lot of times things that were really, everybody agreed on initially you wouldn’t think would become controversial actually become some of the biggest fights in our country.

David:

Well, just out of curiosity, if I asked you guys to name the top controversies you can think of right now, what would come to mind?

Tim:

In America?

David:

In America or the world?

Tim:

Israel.

David:

Okay, Israel. There you go.

Tim:

Abortion, transgender, human sexuality.

David:

Trafficking.

Tim:

Human trafficking, sure.

David:

Rick, you got any to throw in?

Rick:

I think that, yeah, guns. For sure, let’s see. Right to worship or you know, express faith publicly.

David:

I noticed that none of you said postage stamps. And that is”€¦

Rick:

Oh, that was number one on our list. Right? It was, yeah.

A Federal Lawsuit

David:

But that’s the big controversy. That’s what the federal lawsuit is about and it involves the postal department and involves postage stamps. And who would have ever thought that this would be a big issue, a controversy? So I got to look at this and said, postage stamps, controversies? And it turns out that there have been 11 controversial postage stamps in history. Can you name any of them?

Tim:

Wow.

Rick:

Controversial meaning, you know, people got upset because the post office did it?

David:

Oh, yeah, people got upset and the Postal Service got beat down with comments and letters and contacts.

Tim:

Can you give us an era?

David:

I’m going to give you an era. The first big controversy was 1934 and the last big controversy was 1995 on postage stamps.

Tim:

1934?

David:

Yes. And you”€™ll never get it. I don’t bet, but I’ll lay whatever amount of money you want on this that you’ll never get this one. And it’s the biggest controversy in postal history.

Tim:

I am so intrigued, 1934, so era of American history. I mean, certain”€¦

Rick:

Roosevelt in office.

Tim:

Yeah. So there could be something with racial minorities.

Rick:

We’ve already messed up with the 16th and 17th amendment, so we’re 20 years after that almost or 15 years, 17 years after that. Hmm, what could it be, 1934? I have no idea. It’s depression time, right? I mean, is the depression started yet?

David:

No.

Tim:

Have we allowed women a voice yet?

David:

You have not got anywhere close. The controversies over Whistler”€™s mother. You know what that is?

Rick:

What?

Tim:

From like a book?

USPS “Mutilates” a Painting

David:

No, Whistler”€™s mother is the famous painting. It was iconic painting, Whistler”€™s mother and if you can”€¦

Tim:

Yes, I do know it.

David:

Okay. The painting is done as a horizontal landscape painting. Okay? Kind of from right to left. On the postage stamp, they made it a vertical portrait type painting, which meant they had to cut part of the painting off.

Rick:

How dare they? [crosstalk 04:54]. I’m actually looking it up so I know what the heck we’re talking about here. Now I see it. Yeah. Oh, that?

David:

That. Yeah, you see it now, right?

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

So the controversy was you mutilated the painting, how can you mutilate”€¦ this is the worst art disaster in history. A postage stamp.

Rick:

You modify the art.

David:

So this is a huge national controversy. The number two controversial postage stamps was 1936. Susan B. Anthony. Alright? Women’s rights, suffrage, etc. They had her on a crosshatch background, which is a lot of postal stamps have that. So it looks like she had a cigarette in her mouth when they put her on the postage stamp. So”€¦

Tim:

Hey, women have the right to do they want. Smoke”€¦

David:

Smoke and so it goes. And then the third one is the 1937. They came out with the union Civil War general. So they had Sherman Grant and shared it and as you can imagine, all of sudden just subjected, how dare you put those guys in a postage stamp? But then for equal release later that year, they came out with the Confederate generals and that was Robert Lee and Stonewall Jackson and so how could you”€¦?

Tim:

I feel like I would like most all of these stamps anyway.

Calling All Stamp Collectors

David:

Oh yeah.

Tim:

I don’t collect stamps, but I might now. This is kind of fun.

David:

This is kind of fun. It’s a great controversy to have. So”€¦

Rick:

I want to know if any of our listeners out there have, if they”€™re stamp collectors and they have each of these the David has mentioned, you got to send us an email and tell us about it.

Tim:

Send a picture.

David:

Alright. Now, I told you several war generals, Robert E. Lee was a particular controversy and not because he was from the south. But because southerners protested that in the picture they had him on the postage stamp, there were only two stars on his collar and there should have been three.

Tim:

See, that’s a controversy.

David:

Now, who sits there and looks at a postage stamp and says, oh my gosh, he’s only got two stars, it should have been three?

Tim:

I mean, in fairness, we probably would have.

David:

We might have.

Tim:

History people. Yeah, okay.

David:

Okay. Now, here, that Tim, you should be able to do something with this. We do a lot with young people, telling stories, the Pony Express, Bronco Charlie, etcetera, Buffalo Bill, all these Pony Express riders. So the Pony Express stamp was released in 1940. So, you know, we’re talking the anniversary here and so there was huge objection to the Pony Express stamp. You have a Pony Express rider on a horse galloping. So what are you going to [inaudible 07:25] to on that? Alright.

Somebody Brought Up These Problems

Number one, they said the horse’s mouth was open while galloping, which would not have been what the horse was doing when galloping. So that that’s a controversy. Number two, the rider was holding the reins too loosely while he was galloping. He should have had tight reins.

Tim:

I mean, back then, there was one road that you’re galloping on, right. There’s not a lot of trails. If it’s an open road, you can give the horse its head if you trust the horse. I mean, I don’t necessarily agree with that one. But okay, what else?

David:

And the saddle was too far ahead of his time. It wasn’t representative of what the saddle should have been at that point in time.

Tim:

Man, I’m so glad somebody brought up these problems.

David:

I mean, it’s so good that somebody points out all these.

Rick:

I can’t help but think of some people that have come up to the book table after a presentation that reminded me of what these folks, you know, they find some little you said in your speech or your presentation and it just ruined the thing for him, because there’s”€¦

Tim:

So Rick to that point, I had somebody come up to me one time after a presentation and they said, I disagree with something you said. And I said, really, what was it? They told me? And I said, but why do you think that was wrong? And she said, because that’s not how they showed it on Little House on the Prairie. I was like, oh my gosh, I don’t even know what to do right now. I was like, well, yeah, you’re right, they probably didn’t show it that way. But yeah, this is the kind of controversy.

The Stamp Controversy of 1989

Rick:

If only Charles Ingles was here”€¦

David:

You got to love this one. This is the big controversy in 1989. The Postal Service delivered what they call the prehistoric animal series, dinosaurs, right. So the dinosaur that they labeled as a Brontosaurus was in fact [inaudible 09:01]. I can’t even pronounce it

Tim:

So, I’m offended right now that you could not pronounce that word.

David:

The [inaudible 09:09] is actually weren”€™t dinosaurs, they were flying lizards.

Tim:

See, yeah, that’s a problem.

David:

Can you imagine the Postal Service getting inundated with this kind of controversy?

Tim:

Wow!

David:

I mean, and so to set up the program today, there is a lawsuit against the postal service because the postal service, now for several decades has allowed you to customize your own stamps. So you know, Tim, if you want to do a family stamp of you and Gabby and Finley and put that out there and use that on your letters to your friends, postal service allows you to customize stamps. Now, you can’t do something that is a violent kind of scene. You know, you can’t have you shooting someone. You can’t do open porn kind of stuff. And the postal service says, and by the way, you can’t have anything religious at all on your stamps. You can do no religious content at all in your stamps. What if I want to do the national motto, In God We Trust”€™, that is by federal law, by the way? I can’t do that.

And so the Postal Service has said no religious content at all on any kind of personalized stamps. And so that’s resulted in our friends at First Liberty taking the postal service to court on this.

“No Religious Content”

And so this is the new postal controversy, is you can’t have any kind of religious content. I would say that by the way, this is actually a genuine controversy because this is constitutional, as opposed to other things that were perception of Whistler”€™s mother or whether the rains were too loose on a galloping horse. So this is going to be a fun one, but I thought we’d set it up with looking at postal controversies that have happened over the last century.

Rick:

Alright guys, quick break, Jeremy Dys is the attorney that will be with us from First Liberty on this case against the Postal Service and it doesn’t have to do with whether the picture is slightly cut off because it went portrait or landscape. Stay with us, you’re listening to WallBuilders Live.

BREAK

This is David Barton with another moment from America’s history. As the upcoming elections approach, what qualifications should we look for in our leaders? One prominent founding father, Governor Morris had a strong opinion on this question. Morris, a signer of the Constitution and its pediment openly declared, “€œThere must be religion. When that ligament is torn, society is disjointed and its members perish. Vicious and non-religious rulers placed in a situation where they can exercise authority for their own profits will betray their trust. They take bribes, they sell laws, they sell honor and office, they sell their conscience, they sell their country. The most important of all lessons is the announcement of ruin to every state that rejects the precepts of religion.”€ Therefore and the upcoming elections, withhold your vote from any who would be hostile to basic religious principles.

For more information on God’s hand in American history, contact WallBuilders at 1808REBUILD

Welcome Jeremy Dys

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. Jeremy Dys is with us from First Liberty. Always good to have you, Jeremy, thanks for your time today, man.

Jeremy:

Thanks for having me.

Rick:

Hey, so you’ve got a suit going now against the Postal Service over stamps, they don’t even want you to have any kind of religious content on stamps now?

Jeremy:

Yeah, you know, as incredulous as that sounds, that”€™s actually true. There’s a regulation out there that prevents you from having a list of things on customized postage stamps. I was back up for a second. I don’t know about you, but I’ve never created a custom postage stamp in my life, didn’t even know they actually existed. But I guess if we’re in a day and age where we customize everything and you can apparently get custom pictures and content on your postal stamp. But that is unless you have a number of things, like if you want to advocate sort of political activism on there or certain types of it, drugs, alcohol, sex, all that kind of stuff, that’s completely is permitted. You can’t do that.

Well, within that list of, you know, violent imagery and drugs and whatnot within that list is also as that of religious items can’t be on there. And so I guess you can’t have like you know, a [inaudible 13:16] or something on there. But at the same time, in the same category is a you know a Bible or the word, God bless Texas or something like that.

Rick:

Because of course, the Bible is you know, just as dangerous to people as drugs and prostitution and those sorts of things. I mean, we, of course, will throw it into that category.

The Hunt Family and the Kansas City Chiefs

Jeremy:

[crosstalk 13:35] general. Yeah, that’s right, exactly.

Rick:

Unbelievable.

Jeremy:

There’s this right that’s out there and the federal government has been forcing it that you just can’t have it. So for example, about a year ago, we worked with the Hunt family. Now, the Hunt family owns the Kansas City Chiefs. And Mrs. Hunt wanted to send out a Christmas card with her family standing in front of Basil’s Cathedral right there in Red Square in Russia in Moscow. And the postal service did turn that back as she was the vendor, the postal service. They turn that request back, because it was too religious, man. You got to be sitting there going, wait, wait, what was too religious about it? But here you have a family standing there, they got a banner that says Chiefs Kingdom on it. And behind them is that famous in shaped dome Basil’s Cathedral. Right? It was the cathedral that was too religious, just the very picture of that historic church was enough to violate his policy and say no, no, no, you actually can’t have that produced.

But look, the postal service can produce their own Madonna and Child stamp, but why can’t we just file one that one, so you know, picture of Basil’s Cathedral or something?

Rick:

Yeah, I mean, what do you think their motivation is? Is this fear of a lawsuit from Freedom from Religion Foundation or something that, you know, postal services allowing a religious symbol which should absolutely be allowed, but I mean, is that their reasoning, they just don’t want to fight the Leftist that would try to put a stop to it?

A Bunch of Boilerplate?

Jeremy:

We haven’t really learned the reasoning yet. And I’m circumspect on this, because I don’t want to speculate too much on it. But, look, I think it may just be a simple oversight. That someone grabbed a bunch of boilerplate, threw it in there and that’s what we’ve come out with now. The fact is [crosstalk 15:11] the vendors here. So if I can guests with the Postal Service themselves, they’re not the ones that should print these custom postage stamps. They leave it to online people and whatever, they’re out there that provide these things to do that. And so they make a little bit of profit off of that. And you know, that’s great, that’s our economy at work.

But I think, left them frustrated beyond measure that they want to service these things, but they’re caught by this regulation. So we filed a lawsuit against the United States Postal Service, which is already a fun day to be able to sue the federal government when you get to be able to do that. In this case, on behalf of a local graphic designer here in Plano, who wanted to have a variety of things. She’s a graphic designer, so she’s kind of artsy as it is anyway. She’s come with a number of designs that she wants to use, including the phrase, “€˜God Bless Texas”€™ that she would like to send out around the time of Texas’s anniversary. She’s got some stamps that involved missions work and he stamp”€¦

Rick:

Which now just as a side, Jeremy, just for our non-Texas listeners, we actually think it should be against the law for anybody to be against the phrase “€˜God Bless Texas”€™. I mean, I’m sure, not really.

A Violation of the Constitution?

But I mean, come on, “€˜God Bless Texas”€™, of course, that should be allowed. I”€™m sorry, go ahead.

Jeremy:

We”€™re kidding. But seriously, we are. So things like that, and even some picture of nativity set that involves just wanting to send up as Christmas and hasn’t been able to do so. So she’s designed these things and likes to be able to promote them elsewhere. But she can’t submit it, because she knows that even the submission process could get her into a bunch of hot water according to these regulations.

So we’ve asked the court to basically look at this regulation and declare whether or not this violates the Constitution. And my hope is that this will lead to a resolution of this matter rather quickly. It doesn’t take a whole lot for the Postal Service and the Postmaster General to get a hold of this regulation and just simply strike through the word, religion, where it bars it here and allow things to go on as they should go on. As any common sense person realizes that you shouldn’t have to suffer some sort of federal lawsuit in order to have, you know, a nativity scene put on your stamp or a picture for goodness sakes of your family in front of St. Paul’s Cathedral. That kind of thing is absolutely ludicrous here. So hopefully, this will be a short live lawsuit, but a wonderful result for the people of United States.

Why Even Fight?

Rick:

You know, it’s the same kind of thing, I mean, you guys at First Liberty have pointed this out for years. And, you know, Kelly’s deal of the thing that points out all the different hostilities against religion year after year, I mean, this is really the result of that happening for decades and decades, all of that hostility towards faith and it’s probably, you know, just silly language to get thrown in out of a fear of all of those things happening. So, I really hope you guys have a quick victory on this and it just makes sense. And, you know, it seems like the environment is getting better, not worse. I don’t know, you fight this every day. I mean, you’re right there in the trenches. At least we’re winning more cases, I don’t know that the environment is getting better, but we’re winning more cases. Is that your sense on the front lines?

Jeremy:

Yeah, I think so. You know, I’m quick to add into that, that we lose exactly 100% of the cases we never bring. You know, we”€™re really good at what we do. So we win high percentage of the cases we bring, you know, in the public square or the court.

Rick:

But if people just shrug when it happens instead of fighting back, that’s a case you can’t win?

Jeremy:

Exactly, like this one, right? I mean, come on, as postage stamp. Do you even recognize what a postage stamp looks like when you get the mail every day? Hardly anybody does except for those that like collect them. It”€™s fine, it”€™s well and good. But look, it’s not that big of an issue. Right? Well, but it is, isn’t.

Rick:

Yeah.

Is Religion Dangerous?

Jeremy:

And when we think about it, that you get the federal government, the United States of America is saying that religion is so awful that has to be included within a list of drugs and depictions of violence and things like that, in the full weight and authority of the federal government is going to fine you and punish you if you even try to apply just a religious image on your stamp, it is silly. I recognize that. I think we should all recognize how absolutely ludicrous it is. But that’s how freedom dies, is when we wink at things that are so beyond the pale as to be ridiculous, but we don’t take any action on top of it.

So I’m really glad for our client, Susan Fletcher, who’s willing to stand up and say wait, wait, this is ridiculous”€¦ this is not, let’s correct this problem. If it takes fining federal lawsuit, but then we make a federal case out of it. Let’s do it.

Rick:

So good. So good. Jeremy, you guys, I just can’t tell you how much we appreciate you. We love First Liberty, you all do such great work and so glad to see you take on these fights and win. It makes a big difference for the next generation coming up in the environment that they’re going to enjoy here in our nation. So thanks, Jeremy. Appreciate it, man. Look forward to get an update from you and appreciate your time today.

Jeremy:

My pleasure. Thank you.

Rick:

Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

This Precarious Moment

Hi, this is David Barton. I want to let you know about a brand new book we have, I call, This Precarious Moment: Six urgent steps that will save you, your family and our country. James Garlow and I have co-authored this book and we take six issues that are hot in the culture right now, issues that we’re dealing with, issues such as immigration and race relations and our relationship with Israel and the rising generation of Millennials and the absence of the church and the culture wars and where American heritage is, our godly heritage. We look at all six of those issues right now that are under attack and we give you both biblical and historical perspective on those issues that provide solutions on what each of us can do right now to make a difference. These are all problems that are solvable if we’ll get involved.

So you can grab them bookThis Precarious Momentand find out what you can do to make a difference. “€˜This Precarious Moment”€™ is available at wallbuilders.com.

First Liberty

Rick:

We’re back here on WallBuilders Live, thanks for staying with us. And special thanks to Jeremy Dys, all the good work that First Liberty does, fantastic organization. Not only this case, but many, many others. They won at the Supreme Court. They won at every level. We love those guys and appreciate their time for coming on today. Back with David and Tim Barton.

Alright, guys, this one is definitely more controversial than the portrait versus landscape and cutting off a little bit of the artwork and all the other things that they used to complain about. This one is for real. This is a constitutional right we’re dealing with here.

Tim:

Yeah, and even saying it’s more controversial, I think, more important, it’s more significant what happens with this. Yeah. Where you could look at some of the others, and you’re like, okay, it’s kind of silly, whatever, it doesn’t really matter. If you have whistler”€™s mother, it doesn’t really matter, the Pony Express. So those are cool. And again, we’d love to see some those pictures if somebody has those, that’s awesome. But this one is significant because it does deal specifically with religious liberty, with expression. And so there’s a lot at stake in what’s going on in this case.

David:

So part of what I think the Postal Service is going to have trouble with here is they have very ambiguous standards. But in addition to that, they’re violating their own standards. So let me give an example. I had, the research pull this out for me.

A History of Incorporating Religion

And I’ve got here in my hands, I have, I don’t know, 20 pages of postal stamps that have been issued by postal service that are religious stamps, religious in content, the four chaplains, World War Two. Here’s the Gutenberg Bible. Here’s “€˜In God We Trust”€™ all over several stamps. Here”€™s lots of Christmas stamps. Here’s Columbus praying in the new world. I mean, just stamp after stamp after stamp. And of course, as Jeremy pointed out, the Kansas City Chiefs owner stood in front of a church in Russia and that was objectionable, you can’t do that.

So number one, by their own record, there is a ton of religious stamps, they themselves have officially done. And second, they’re saying, well, it can’t be controversial. And so just looking, here are some stamps that the postal services allowed to go through, I would think they’re controversial. The stamp of Slobodan Milosevic. I may not have said that right, but I remember who he is. He’s charged with 237,000 deaths, went to war crime trials, so he’s okay. Nicolae Ceausescu, I heard you said the guy’s name recently. He was the guy that Czechoslovakia, I think the dictator there, charged with 60,000 deaths and so they’re okay putting him up.

You have Monica Lewinsky dress, that was okay. You have mass murderer, Ted Kaczynski stamp about him, stamp about Jimmy Hoffa. Anybody would think those are controversial, but the Postal Service did that. And then they’ve got all these pages of dozens of religious stamps and they’re telling her she can’t have any religious content, telling the Kansas City Chiefs you can’t have a church in the back.

The USPS is Going to be in Trouble

This is crazy. And so I think that’s where the Postal Service is going to be in a lot of trouble, is not only is this a constitutional right, but you”€™re subjective in your enforcement and in your definitions.

And so, you know, hopefully, this is one that they get settled real quick and gets done. This should be a slam dunk. But again, who would have ever thought that content on a postal stamp would be as controversial simply because it’s religious?

Rick:

Well, we’re so thankful for good attorneys out there and organizations that fight for these liberties for us that help preserve these things. And we’re thankful for you as a listener for supporting WallBuilders Live and many of you support these other ministries as well. Thank you for doing that. That’s an investment in freedom for future generations. And that’s what happens when you go to wallbuilderslive.com and donate there at our homepage, because it allows us to bring this inspirational, educational, equipping information that we do on a daily basis and equip citizens to go out there and make a difference in their communities, their states, our entire nation. You’re a part of that every time you make a contribution at wallbuilderslive.com. So thanks for considering that today. It’s very easy to do and we appreciate your consideration and your support.

We also appreciate you getting involved in other areas. So we want to give of our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor just like the Founding Fathers. And lives mean giving of our time. It means looking for ways to invest in freedom or perhaps to become a student of freedom.

Postal Service Says “€œNo”€ To Religious Expression “€“ With Jeremy Dys

Then fortunes, obviously, donating, giving of our dollars to candidates that are good that are standing for a biblical worldview and a constitutional perspective and for defending the Constitution, given the candidates and good organizations, like WallBuilders and so many others out there.

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