Since when does the U.S. government actively prohibit people from expressing their long-held faith?
It is actually becoming troublingly common.
A North Texas graphic designer is fighting back, however, suing a federal bureaucracy for stifling her speech by preventing her from including a faith-based message on custom-designed postage stamps.
Susan Fletcher, of Frisco, who also serves as Collin County’s Precinct 1 commissioner, planned to create personalized stamps for Christmas and Texas Independence Day with a Christian message to family and friends, using a government-approved third-party vendor.
According to Texas Scorecard, she soon discovered that a United States Postal Service regulation prohibits custom stamp designs with any kind of religious content. Such content is categorized as “unsuitable for all-ages audiences.”
This lumps it in with political, violent, and sexual content.
“I just want to express my faith in everything I do, at Christmas and all throughout the year,” Fletcher said in a press statement. “I am truly saddened that the country I love would keep me from expressing the most important message I could share with others: my faith.”
According to Fletcher’s complaint:
The Supreme Court has repeatedly held that this kind of categorical exclusion of religious perspectives on permitted topics constitutes impermissible viewpoint discrimination in violation of the First Amendment’s free speech guarantee. It also creates a substantial burden on Ms. Fletcher’s religious practices in violation of the United States Constitution.
“Personalized postage stamps do not violate the First Amendment just because they reference religion,” said Chad Walker, a partner with Winston & Strawn who filed the complaint along with First Liberty. “Government regulations prohibiting religious speech by Americans offend the First Amendment.”