Anglican Church Blasts ‘Jesus is Alive’ Postmark
LONDON (AP) _ The Archbishop of Canterbury’s office on Friday attacked the ″Jesus is Alive 3/8″ postmark that is being stamped on millions of letters mailed in Britain, but the Post Office said it would not withdraw the slogan.
Bishop Ronald Gordon, Archbishop Robert Runcie’s chief of staff, said the Post Office’s decision to frank letters with the Easter message was inappropriate and an imposition.
″The belief that Jesus is alive is at the heart of the Christian faith and Christians must be expected to wish to affirm it on appropriate occasions,″ Gordon wrote in reply to a letter of protest from the British Humanist Association.
″But the imposition of a postmark by a public monopoly is hardly an affirmation of faith since the sender can exercise no choice in the matter. In this respect the imposition may be regarded as insensitive,″ he added.
The Post Office said it was surprised by the criticism and said many religious groups had used the postal service in the past to spread religious messages.
″There has been a large measure of popular support for this particular postmark,″ said a Post Office spokesman, speaking on condition he not be identified.
The postmark, which also has drawn protestfrom Jews, is being stamped on nearly all letters mailed in Britain. It says ″Jesus is Alive 3/8″ next to a cross.
Paul Slennett, an evangelist bookseller, paid the Post Office the equivalent of $92,000 to use the postmark for six weeks starting March 1. He says it is an Easter message and that God told him to do it.