Manhattan Declaration

Check it out!

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Signatories range across quite a spectrum of Christian denominations, which makes it quite strange. Feels like it blurs important distinctions between the denominations and swallows them all up as 'fellow Christians' and 'fellow believers'. Evangelical signatories that I and my readers may know of include Charles Colson, Tim Keller, Bryan Chapell, Wayne Grudem, Josh McDowell, Al Mohler, Jim Packer, Cornelius Plantinga, John Woodbridge and Ravi Zacharias.

The statement itself seems like a pretty good statement to me, on some interesting and important issues; well worded and grounded.

Some good moments:

  • On abortion: "Our commitment to the sanctity of life is not a matter of partisan loyalty, for we recognize that in the thirty-six years since Roe v. Wade, elected officials and appointees of both major political parties have been complicit in giving legal sanction to what Pope John Paul II described as 'the culture of death.'"
  • On marriage: "The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multiple partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the marriage culture.  It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage as embodied in our civil and religious law and in the philosophical tradition that contributed to shaping the law. "
  • Again on marriage: "We further acknowledge that there are sincere people who disagree with us, and with the teaching of the Bible and Christian tradition, on questions of sexual morality and the nature of marriage.  Some who enter into same-sex and polyamorous relationships no doubt regard their unions as truly marital."
  • On religious liberty: "Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to hire people of one's own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions, for example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society, the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting in the soft despotism Tocqueville so prophetically warned of."
H/T Margaret.