Manhattan Declaration

From RationalWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Christ died for
our articles about

Icon christianity.svg
Devil's in the details

The Manhattan Declaration is a manifesto issued in November 2009 by Protestant, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox leaders calling for Christians to re-affirm their support for the anti-abortion movement, and opposition to same-sex marriage. Notably, the manifesto calls for civil disobedience to laws affirming the right to abortion and same-sex marriage.

The drafting committee who wrote the manifesto includes Chuck Colson.

The signatories represent leaders from almost every branch of American Christianity, except for Mormons who are conspicuously missing from the list.[1]

"Vital issues"[edit]

The full text is nine pages; but their website lists these three "vital issues".

A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are discardable.

“Please don’t kill the child. I want the child. Please give me the child. I am willing to accept any child who would be aborted and to give that child to a married couple who will love the child and be loved by the child.” - MOTHER TERESA, NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST, 1994

By all means, be against abortion, but calling it a "culture of death" or that lives are considered "discardable" is nonsense and a profound misrepresentation of the pro-abortion movement. The disagreement on abortion is what exactly constitutes "life"; not whether or not life is "discardable".

Interestingly, they've added a quote from Mother Teresa; more than a few people (most famously Christopher Hitchens) have criticized Mother Teresa for nurturing a death cult on account of her beliefs that suffering is a good thing, and the abysmal medical standards in her clinics, where many people needlessly died.

The Union of one man and one woman.

Marriage is the first institution of human society - indeed it is the institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation.

“When the family collapses, it is the children that are usually damaged. When it happens on a massive scale, the community itself is crippled.” - LYNDON B. JOHNSON

That the authors are unable to imagine a society without marriage is a failure of imagination on their part. The Mosuo people of China are doing just fine without marriage.[2]

The LBJ quote is correct insofar as divorce can be terrible for children, but this is because it upsets their familiar environment, and may forcibly cut off contact to one of the parents. Not because the parents are two men or two women. The issue of divorce is completely unrelated to same-sex marriage.

No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions.

“Religious freedom, an essential requirement of the dignity of every person, is a cornerstone of the structure of human rights, and for this reason, an irreplaceable factor in the good of individuals and of the whole of society as well as of the personal fulfillment of each individual.” -POPE JOHN PAUL II

Almost everyone in the industrialized world agrees on this. Indeed, toleration for other religious views is considered a virtue by most people, both religious and otherwise. Persecution complex much?

Pseudohistory and other choice quotes from the manifesto[edit]

After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture.

Dubious framing here, given that almost all of the Roman Europe was under church influence at the time. It ignores the contributions of Arab scholars and the hostility of many Christians to pagan Greek ideas.[3]

In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which made modern democracy possible.

This is not the case. For most of its history, Christianity has upheld the divine right of kings, in Europe and elsewhere. Some did eventually challenge this, but only significantly with the Reformation and Enlightenment. Conspicuously, France is the first European power to become a republic with the French Revolution—though it did not do so until after the United States-a movement led by non-Christian (even strongly anti-Christian) revolutionaries. To make matters worse, when the republic was declared, it was soon taken over by an emperorWikipedia, then a kingWikipedia, then by the same emperorWikipedia for a bit, then the same kingWikipedia again, then another kingWikipedia, yet another kingWikipedia, and finally another emperorWikipedia before settling for a republic in 1870. In fact, most European states did not become free from rule by a royal elite until after World War I. Greece is a prime example of a European state gaining its independence prior to World War I, from the Ottoman empire, only to be ruled by a local monarch rather than a democratic republic.

The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.

Yes, of course, people like Malcolm X. Meanwhile, good fundamentalist Christians were denouncing the Rev. Martin Luther King as a Communist and New Left students in SNCC as outside agitators.

iPhone app[edit]

People can sign the declaration on the website; and for a time also offered an iPhone app to sign the declaration, which was removed from the app store by Apple for being "too offensive".[4] Note that there is no other way to install an app other than using the app store, apparently morality now needs to be policed by a multinational (and you get to pay hundreds of dollars for the service).

See also[edit]

External links[edit]