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Have You Signed the Manhattan Declaration Yet?

Post Author: Bill Pratt

ManhattanDeclaration Have You Signed the Manhattan Declaration Yet?Almost one year ago, I wrote a short blog post asking our readers to sign a document called the Manhattan Declaration.  Why am I back again asking you to sign?  Because we need more of you to participate.

So far, the declaration has gathered 476,000 signatures – impressive, but not enough.  We should easily be able to get over 1 million signatures on this document – after all, if you are a Christian, or a person who believes in the sanctity of life, the sanctity of marriage, and the sanctity of religious liberty, then you should have no problem signing this document.

What does the declaration say about these issues?  Well, you can read it for yourself in full, or you can read a few excerpts from it below.

First of all, why these three principles instead of a myriad other possibilities?

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.

To repeat, these are foundational issues.  Without life, without traditional marriage, and without religious liberty, our civilization crumbles.

About life, the declaration has this to say:

A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who have been entrusted with temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of government: to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible enjoins us to defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot themselves speak. And so we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and the dependent. What the Bible and the light of reason make clear, we must make clear. We must be willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our institutions, the lives of our brothers and sisters at every stage of development and in every condition.

About marriage, the declaration has this to say:

And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”), that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, do otherwise? The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God’s creation covenant. Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ and his church. And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for the church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is marriage.

About religious liberty, the declaration has this to say:

The struggle for religious liberty across the centuries has been long and arduous, but it is not a novel idea or recent development. The nature of religious liberty is grounded in the character of God Himself, the God who is most fully known in the life and work of Jesus Christ. Determined to follow Jesus faithfully in life and death, the early Christians appealed to the manner in which the Incarnation had taken place: “Did God send Christ, as some suppose, as a tyrant brandishing fear and terror? Not so, but in gentleness and meekness…, for compulsion is no attribute of God” (Epistle to Diognetus 7.3-4). Thus the right to religious freedom has its foundation in the example of Christ Himself and in the very dignity of the human person created in the image of God—a dignity, as our founders proclaimed, inherent in every human, and knowable by all in the exercise of right reason.

Will you join us in signing this declaration?  Will you make your voice heard on these issues?  Please make your way to the Manhattan Declaration website and become a signatory to this important document.

 Have You Signed the Manhattan Declaration Yet?

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Comments

  • Jeff

    Thanks for the reminder – went out and signed today. I will forward this to all my friends.

  • Mark

    “1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life;”

    Denying a group of people the right to marriage is in direct conflict with this principle.

    If we ever get to a point where we know for sure exactly what causes homosexuality (genetics, environment, psychology, etc…) and we know how to reverse it, then perhaps you can make an argument against homosexuality. But we are not at that point, and it is cruel and wrong to tell homosexuals to deny themselves of their main expression of intimate love.

    There has been centuries of debate and bloodshed in the past over whether slavery was condoned by the Bible, and an attitude of love and humanity prevailed and forced a more “spiritual” re-interpretation of Biblical passages condoning slave-beating and slave owning. I believe the same will happen eventually regarding homosexuality – eventually an attitude of compassion and humanity will prevail and force the anti-gay-marriage proponents to re-evaluate their interpretation of Biblical passages on homosexuality.

  • MYOB

    Are you nuts? Why would I sign a declaration that I’m a nazi?

  • Fladabosco

    Attributing freedom of speech and religious thought to Christianity is pretty funny.

    Sure I would sign a declaration that we should all follow ancient scripture when it’s convenient and agrees with your current world view.

  • Andrew Ryan

    It seems the declaration was co-drafted by Chuck Colson, one of the Watergate Seven. What’s more, despite now preaching to us about the sanctity of marriage, Colson is himself a divorcee. Hmm…

    Why is that that the same officials and leaders who accuse gay people of ruining the institution of marriage invariably themselves get divorced or flout their wedding vows? Most recently we’ve seen Arnold Schwarzenegger – the only governor ever to have vetoed marriage equality legislation twice – admit that he fathered a lovechild, but he’s only the latest, added to a long, long list from John Ensign and Newt Gingrich backwards.

  • Bill Pratt

    Andrew,
    As I read your numerous comments all over my blog, I notice you going back and forth from personal attacks to legitimate argumentation. You would be so much more persuasive and even more interesting to interact with if you would stick with legitimate arguments and stay away from the personal attacks.

    The issue of the sanctity of marriage has nothing to do with the personal lives of Colson, Schwarzenegger, Ensign, or Gingrich. The more you write comments like this, the less I want to have any dialogue with you because it comes across as hysterical.

    Just a bit of friendly advice. Take it or leave it.

  • http://alabamatheist.blogspot.com/ Tim D.

    So basically, your declaration says:

    1) Christianity is the only way people can value life.
    2) Only men and women should be able to get married.
    3) We should all be free to be whatever religion we want….as long as it’s a denomination of Christianity.

    No thanks.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “The issue of the sanctity of marriage has nothing to do with the personal lives of Colson, Schwarzenegger, Ensign, or Gingrich.”

    But you still maintain it has everything to do with other men’s personal lives? You can’t have it both ways Bill.

    I’ll stand by everything I’ve said on this blog. I consider all my responses to be sober, sorry if you read hysteria into any of them.

  • http://alabamatheist.blogspot.com/ Tim D.

    But you still maintain it has everything to do with other men’s personal lives? You can’t have it both ways Bill.

    Yes, I find that bizarre. Personal attacks against the lifestyles of gays are pretty much standard fare for the anti-gay lobby. Reasons for not letting gays “pervert” the “institute” of marriage include such gems as “gays are promiscuous whores,” “gays are more likely to contract AIDS (because they are promiscuous whores),” and all manner of other personal attacks against people which, while statistically relevant, are in no way binding of any individual person or represent any form of official behavioral “code” on behalf of gays.

    I think it’s actually *quite* relevant that some of the most vitriolic opponents of same-sex marriage are themselves largely incapable of operating a functional marriage themselves. Who are the people who can’t work the machinery to tell us how to run it?

  • http://thatfresnoblog.com Benjamin Baxter

    Tim — that’s not at all what it says.

  • Manny

    Hi Mark,

    A few points to consider. First on your comment “If we ever get to a point where we know for sure exactly what causes homosexuality (genetics, environment, psychology, etc…) and we know how to reverse it, then perhaps you can make an argument against homosexuality” Now the answer is simple, it is SIN. We don’t want to call it sin. We hate the word sin. We want to remove the word sin from English language. We feel sin is not 21st century word. Now I’ll tell you the problem with the Church. The Church wants the government to act like a church. And this is because they don’t want to do their job. If the Church goes out and preach the Word, we will have less of these. The Church wants to sign but does not want to preach the Word of God to the mass. Homosexuality is SIN and the Church is LAZY. FYI: you CANNOT RE-EVALUATE the Bible doctrine. It is the same 2000 years ago and will be the same 2000 years from now.

  • Manny

    Sir, the world’s views will change. What was acceptable 1000 years ago is unacceptable now. What is acceptable now will be unacceptable 1000 years from now. But the Word of God will never change. “Ancient” as you call it is still relevant today. 100 years from now all murderers and rapists and thieves will go to hospitals and instead of jail. But the “Ancient Word” will still call it as SIN…………even if it is 10K years from now.

  • Manny

    Hi Tim,

    1)Christianity is not the answer……. Christ is the answer.
    2) Yes that is how God created man. (Please look closely at your body)
    3) God created you as a free person. Church affiliation(denomination) has nothing to do with your salvation and freedom from sin

  • Manny

    Now this is funny, What would you say if I rob you of everything you have and say it is my life style? The Church will call a spade a spade, sorry if you dont like it. Of course the Church should never ask the government to do their job of telling the world that homosexuality is sin.

  • Andrew Ryan

    “Homosexuality is SIN”

    Why should that carry any more weight than me declaring that eating bacon is a SIN?

  • Andrew Ryan

    Right, and the Old Testament condones slavery of non-Hebrews. This was cited in the 19th Century to justify slavery of black people. If you’d lived then, presumably you might well have claimed “Slavery might be outlawed 100 years from now, but the “Ancient Word” will still call it OK …………even if it is 10K years from now.”

  • Andrew Ryan

    Analogy fail. My freedom to swing my arms ends where your nose starts. What two consenting adults chose to do in their bedroom is not in the slightest bit analogous to a robber stealing your shopping.

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