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For broadcast on CBS Radio Network stations November 12-13, 2005:

A Holy Mess

The Stamp Collecting Report, I'm Lloyd de Vries. 

It's been awhile since Britain's Royal Mail issued Christmas stamps with religious themes, and 
now maybe the postal agency wishes it hadn't.

The idea was to show how the Madonna and child are portrayed all over the world. The 
sixty-eight-pence stamp, intended for mail to countries outside Europe, shows the Holy Family 
as Hindus. That angered Britain's Hindu Forum.

"The Hindu Forum claims that the figures are representing St. Joseph and Mary are worshiping 
Jesus. They're not."
RUNS :09]

University of London education professor Charles Posner says critics of the stamp don't 
understand the art.

"The painting is by an artist who was a contemporary of Rembrant, and what he was trying to do, 
as many Hindus did at the time, was to translate the symbols of Christianity into an Hindu 
RUNS :12

Indian newspapers agree.

But Royal Mail has ordered its clerks not to sell the stamp unless a customer asks for it.

And that's Stamp Collecting this week. 

I'm Lloyd de Vries, CBS News. 

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