Wednesday, 2 December 2009

The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

On November 20th a formidable coalition of 150 Catholic, Orthodox, and evangelical leaders released a 4,700-word document, titled the "The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience," which calls on Christians to engage in civil disobedience to defend their doctrines.

It calls on Christians to reject secular authority — and even engage in civil disobedience — if laws force them to accept abortion, same-sex marriage, and other ideas that betray their religious beliefs.

Signatories ranged from evangelical leader Chuck Colson to two of the leading Catholic prelates in the United States, Archbishop Donald Wuerl of Washington, D.C., and Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York.

It is frustrating, even frightening to see the direction this world is travelling and it is easy as individuals to complain from the relative safety of our pews, generating our pet conspiracy theories and eschatological predictions. Leaders do not have the luxury of relative anonymity and carry a burden of responsibility the ordinary Christian rarely understands.

They cannot speak casually, have a good rant on a personal blog, or gather with others around their complaints to have a good moan. They know that when they speak people listen and make important decisions based on what they hear. These leaders are careful and measured in what they say and this makes it all the more important that they have made such an uncompromising and public statement.

The full declaration and a list of signatories can be found here

An executive summary can be found here

You can put your name to the declaration here

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