So do you remember that hefty statement that's being prepared by U.S. Catholic Bishops Conference which will condemn same-sex marriage? Well, the conservative evangelicals saw this and decided they wanted something similar for themselves.
More than 150 Christian leaders, most of them conservative evangelicals with a smattering of traditionalist Roman Catholic bishops, issued a joint 4,7000-word declaration Friday called “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience." It reaffirms their opposition to abortion and marriage equality and pledges to protect religious freedoms, referencing Martin Luther King Jr.'s "A Letter from a Birmingham Jail" as a call to civil disobedience.
Signatories include 15 Roman Catholic bishops, including New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan and Washington Archbishop Donald Wuerl; Focus on the Family founder James Dobson; National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson; seminary leaders, professors and pastors.
“We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence,” it says.
Even more, “We will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other antilife act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent.”
But you see, this is exactly what they want. Though it's far from the truth that they'll be forced to do any of these things (hence, the separation of church and state the protection of religious freedom), they want their followers to the believe the end times are nigh, which encourages drastic actions and behavior. (Remember the Bush years? He led them into what they were hoping was their Armageddon - it just ended up being the trap that is the Iraq War.)
Craig von Buseck of the Christian Broadcasting Network (click at your own risk) compares the Manhattan Declaration to the Declaration of Independence, claiming just like the colonialists fighting the English, they have been pushed far enough by the "anti-family" and "anti-religious" movement and their religious freedoms are threatened to the point of necessary action.
"Today, Bible-believing Christians find themselves in an eerily similar situation as the activist Executive, Legislative and Judicial branches of the U.S. Federal Government move swiftly to deny religious liberties, and impose a radical anti-family, anti-Christian agenda upon the people of America," says von Buseck.
"Christian leaders today have arisen to echo the words of the colonial patriots, 'You have pushed us far enough. We will be pushed no further.'"
Ah, but see, these Christians are themselves guilty of breaking the vows of marriage and committing a multitude of other sins. Some of them have even had "relations" with members of the same sex. But they have a way around that, writing in the manifesto:
"We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same."
So they confessed, they're absolved and are now free to strip the rights of others away in the name of their faith.
Oh, and they also rely on the old adage that allowing same-sex marriage will allow legalized polygamy and incest.
"We understand that many of our fellow citizens, including some Christians, believe that the historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman is a denial of equality or civil rights . . . the assumption that the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships. Should these, as a matter of equality or civil rights, be recognized as lawful marriages, and would they have no effects on other relationships? No. The truth is that marriage is not something abstract or neutral that the law may legitimately define and re-define to please those who are powerful and influential."
This does make sense. It really does. My not having a choice about my sexual orientation, something that the American Psychological Association confirms that I cannot change, but my conscious decision to be with only one person in a monogamous relationship is equivalent to a man or woman making the conscious choice to have more than one partner - They can't control themselves! They MUST have more than one spouse! They were born that way! So therefor must be legally recognized!
As for incest - c'mon, really? I do feel awful for those who have been abused in such a way or have fallen for a family member or are the shunned offspring of such a union, but comparing my relationship to these damaging circumstances is offensive.
But I'm not saying anything new here. And neither are they. All they're doing is trying to rally their troops and recapture the glory of their Bush years. We all know well they don't like it when other opinions are voiced as loudly as theirs and are actually considered!
The New York Times says, "They want to signal to the Obama administration and to Congress that they are still a formidable force that will not compromise on abortion, stem-cell research or gay marriage. They hope to influence current debates over health care reform, the same-sex marriage bill in Washington, D.C., and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation."
"They say they also want to speak to younger Christians who have become engaged in issues like climate change and global poverty, and who are more accepting of homosexuality than their elders," the Times continues. "They say they want to remind them that abortion, homosexuality and religious freedom are still paramount issues."
Which is ironic. Because they believe God gave us the Earth to take care of, Bush their hero is from an oil family, oil and the burning of oil causes global warming, global warming is effectively destroying the planet and could ruin the very world God bequeathed to us, but priorities people! DON'T LET THE GAYS MARRY OR WE'LL BECOME EXTINCT!
But I know full well not all Christians, Catholic and Protestant, feel this way. Many support marriage equality, encourage health care reform and believe that President Obama has our nation's best interests at heart. These I view as true Christians, who love their neighbor as themselves. These are true people of faith.
These manifesto Christians are political mongers desperate to stay relevant and to keep their political power. And all I have to say to them - "Oops, your hypocrisy is showing."