Chuck Colson on the Manhattan Declaration

The Manhattan Declaration may be the first great sign of a significant schism between two great sections of America, the  Secularists who currently dominate every branch of government and the growing Christian army of Freedomists who are beginning to understand the life and death struggle the left has been engaging in for decades.

As the Christian sleeping giant emerges, the full ramifications of this widening schism may begin to emerge.  For now, it enough that the collective membership power of over 100 million American Christians has just served notice to the secularists in power, not so fast compartmentalizing and creating illegal status for Christian Americans

Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience

Drafted on October 20,

Released on November
20, 2009

Sign The Manhattan



Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of
proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our
societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with
compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering. 

While fully acknowledging the imperfections and
shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities
in all ages, we claim the heritage of those Christians
who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies
from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing
the Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide.  We
remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed
their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the
sick and dying during the plagues, and who died bravely
in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian
monasteries preserved not only the Bible but also the
literature and art of Western culture.  It was
Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal
edicts in the 16th and
17th centuries
decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated
anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical
Christians in England, led by John Wesley and William
Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in that
country.  Christians under Wilberforce’s leadership
also formed hundreds of societies for helping the poor,
the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.

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.  And in America,
Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage
movement.  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.

This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians
in the last decade to work to end the dehumanizing
scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery, bring
compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and
assist in a myriad of other human rights causes – from
providing clean water in developing nations to providing
homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war,
disease and gender discrimination.

Like those who have gone before us in the faith,
Christians today are called to proclaim the Gospel of
costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the
human person and to stand for the common good.  In
being true to its own calling, the call to discipleship,
the church through service to others can make a profound
contribution to the public good.

Sign The Manhattan


Read other comments on the Declaration before
you read the whole thing:

Touchstone Magazine – Mere Comments: Trouble Signing the

5 hours ago by
James M. Kushiner

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The Manhattan Declaration :

22 hours ago by

20, 2009—Friday a group of
prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders and
scholars released the
Manhattan Declaration
, which addresses the
sanctity of life, traditional marriage and
religious liberty. The 4700-word declaration issues

Semicolon –

Atheist Ethicist: The
Manhattan Declaration
III: Infidelity

8 hours ago by
Alonzo Fyfe

The Manhattan Declaration Part
III: Infidelity. I have been writing this month
on the
Manhattan Declaration

a document outlining a set of principles on
matters of life, marriage, and religious
liberty. The Declaration contains

Atheist Ethicist –

The Manhattan Declaration ::
Grace to You

6 hours ago by (Grace to You)

In short, support for The
Manhattan Declaration
not only contradict the stance I have taken
since long before the original “Evangelicals and
Catholics Together” document was issued; it
would also tacitly relegate the very essence

Untitled –

Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog: Europe and the

5 hours ago by
Carl Olson

From Sandro Magister of Chiesa:
The issuing of the
“Manhattan Declaration
” has received
extensive coverage in the media in the United
States, without anyone protesting against this
political “interference” by the Churches.

Insight Scoop | The Ignatius Press Blog –

Chuck Colson & The
Manhattan Declaration
Media Matters Action

7 hours ago by

The Manhattan Declaration,
touted as “an historic document,” has been
released as the official statement of various
Christian individuals and groups to state their
opposition to current laws regarding abortion
and gay marriage.

Media Matters Action Network – Fact Check –

Christians Unite! The
Manhattan Declaration

7 hours ago by
Matthew Warner

Here is something all Christians
can get behind together. If we stand together on
these important issues that are at the very core
of our Christian faith, both society and The
Body of Christ will benefit greatly.

Fallible Blogma –

The Manhattan Declaration
Kevin DeYoung

23 Nov 2009 by
Kevin DeYoung

Kevin DeYoung: “I urge you to
read it and consider signging.” Kevin,. What do
you think of Frank Turk’s explanation of why he
won’t sign the
Manhattan Declaration
“I Respectfully Decline?” Read the comment
thread as well.

Kevin DeYoung –

Manhattan Document
Manhattan Declaration

12 hours ago by

Manhattan Document
Manhattan Declaration
Friday on November 20, 2009 a group of famous
leaders and scholars unveiled a manifesto
declared document. – Tea time news from around the world

Why I Signed <i>The Manhattan Declaration</i> –

22 Nov 2009 by
Albert Mohler

The signatories to The
Manhattan Declaration
evangelical leaders, as well as leaders from the
Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox churches.
The statement establishes the priority of the
issues addressed: – Radio –

Sign The Manhattan



We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians,
have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28,
2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign
as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but
speaking to and from our communities.   We act
together in obedience to the one true God, the triune
God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on
our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in
all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of
all who bear his image.  We set forth this
declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in
Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is
itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and
in the very nature of the human person.  We call
upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers
alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on
the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend
this appeal to everyone’s conscience in the sight of

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. 

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.

We are Christians who have joined together across
historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our
right – and, more importantly, to
embrace our obligation

to speak and act in defense of these truths.  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 is
our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of
season.   May God help us not to fail in that

Sign The Manhattan



So God created man in his own image, in the image of God
he created him; male and female he created them.

I have come that they may have life, and have it to the

Although public sentiment has moved in a pro-life
direction, we note with sadness that pro-abortion
ideology prevails today in our government.  The
present administration is led and staffed by those who
want to make abortions legal at any stage of fetal
development, and who want to provide abortions at
taxpayer expense.  Majorities in both houses of
Congress hold pro-abortion views.  The Supreme
Court, whose infamous 1973 decision inRoe
v. Wade
the unborn of legal protection, continues to treat
elective abortion as a fundamental constitutional right,
though it has upheld as constitutionally permissible
some limited restrictions on abortion.  The
President says that he wants to reduce the “need” for
abortion – a commendable goal.  But he has also
pledged to make abortion more easily and widely
available by eliminating laws prohibiting government
funding, requiring waiting periods for women seeking
abortions, and parental notification for abortions
performed on minors.  The elimination of these
important and effective pro-life laws cannot reasonably
be expected to do other than significantly increase the
number of elective abortions by which the lives of
countless children are snuffed out prior to birth.
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.”  We call on all officials
in our country, elected and appointed, to protect and
serve every member of our society, including the most
marginalized, voiceless, and vulnerable among us.

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.  As predicted by many prescient
persons, the cheapening of life that began with abortion
has now metastasized.  For example, human
embryo-destructive research and its public funding are
promoted in the name of science and in the cause of
developing treatments and cures for diseases and
injuries.  The President and many in Congress favor
the expansion of embryo-research to include the taxpayer
funding of so-called “therapeutic cloning.”  This
would result in the industrial mass production of human
embryos to be killed for the purpose of producing
genetically customized stem cell lines and tissues.
At the other end of life, an increasingly powerful
movement to promote assisted suicide and “voluntary”
euthanasia threatens the lives of vulnerable elderly and
disabled persons.  Eugenic notions such as the
doctrine of lebensunwertes
unworthy of life”) were first advanced in the 1920s by
intellectuals in the elite salons of America and Europe.
Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th century,
they have returned from the grave.  The only
difference is that now the doctrines of the eugenicists
are dressed up in the language of “liberty,” “autonomy,”
and “choice.”

We will be united and untiring in our efforts to roll
back the license to kill that began with the abandonment
of the unborn to abortion.  We will work, as we
have always worked, to bring assistance, comfort, and
care to pregnant women in need and to those who have
been victimized by abortion, even as we stand resolutely
against the corrupt and degrading notion that it can
somehow be in the best interests of women to submit to
the deliberate killing of their unborn children.
Our message is, and ever shall be, that the just,
humane, and truly Christian answer to problem
pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for mother
and child alike.

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.

Our concern is not confined to our own nation.
Around the globe, we are witnessing cases of genocide
and “ethnic cleansing,” the failure to assist those who
are suffering as innocent victims of war, the neglect
and abuse of children, the exploitation of vulnerable
laborers, the sexual trafficking of girls and young
women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression
and discrimination, the persecution of believers of all
faiths, and the failure to take steps necessary to halt
the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS.  We
see these travesties as flowing from the same loss of
the sense of the dignity of the human person and the
sanctity of human life that drives the abortion industry
and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and
human cloning for biomedical research.  And so ours
is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of love and
life for all humans in all circumstances.

Sign The Manhattan



The man said, “This is
now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be
called woman, for she was taken out of man.”  For
this reason a man will leave his father and mother and
be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh
Genesis 2:23-24

This is a profound mystery – but I am talking about
Christ and the church.  However, each one of you
also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the
wife must respect her husband.

In Scripture, the creation of man and woman, and their
one-flesh union as husband and wife, is the crowning
achievement of God’s creation.  In the transmission
of life and the nurturing of children, men and women
joined as spouses are given the great honor of being
partners with God Himself.   Marriage then, is
the first institution of human society – indeed it is
the institution on which all other human institutions
have their foundation.  In the Christian tradition
we refer to marriage as “holy matrimony” to signal the
fact that it is an institution ordained by God, and
blessed by Christ in his participation at a wedding in
Cana of Galilee.  In the Bible, God Himself blesses
and holds marriage in the highest esteem.

Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the
original and most important institution for sustaining
the health, education, and welfare of all persons in a
society.  Where marriage is honored, and where
there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone
benefits – the spouses themselves, their children, the
communities and societies in which they live.
Where the marriage culture begins to erode, social
pathologies of every sort quickly manifest themselves.
Unfortunately, we have witnessed over the course of the
past several decades a serious erosion of the marriage
culture in our own country.   Perhaps the most
telling – and alarming – indicator is the out-of-wedlock
birth rate.  Less than fifty years ago, it was
under 5 percent.  Today it is over 40 percent.
Our society – and particularly its poorest and most
vulnerable sectors, where the out-of-wedlock birth rate
is much higher even than the national average – is
paying a huge price in delinquency, drug abuse, crime,
incarceration, hopelessness, and despair.  Other
indicators are widespread non-marital sexual
cohabitation and a devastatingly high rate of divorce.

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.

To strengthen families, we must stop glamorizing
promiscuity and infidelity and restore among our people
a sense of the profound beauty, mystery, and holiness of
faithful marital love.  We must reform ill-advised
policies that contribute to the weakening of the
institution of marriage, including the discredited idea
of unilateral divorce.  We must work in the legal,
cultural, and religious domains to instill in young
people a sound understanding of what marriage is, what
it requires, and why it is worth the commitment and
sacrifices that faithful spouses make.

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.  Yet
it is critical that the impulse be resisted, for
yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of
restoring a sound understanding of marriage and, with
it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy marriage culture.
It would lock into place the false and destructive
belief that marriage is all about romance and other
adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way,
about procreation and the unique character and value of
acts and relationships whose meaning is shaped by their
aptness for the generation, promotion and protection of
life.  In spousal communion and the rearing of
children (who, as gifts of God, are the fruit of their
parents’ marital love), we discover the profound reasons
for and benefits of the marriage covenant.

We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed
towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and
relationships, just as there are those who are disposed
towards other forms of immoral conduct.  We have
compassion for those so disposed; we respect them as
human beings possessing profound, inherent, and equal
dignity; and we pay tribute to the men and women who
strive, often with little assistance, to resist the
temptation to yield to desires that they, no less than
we, regard as wayward.  We stand with them, even
when they falter.  We, no less than they, are
sinners who have fallen short of God’s intention for our
lives.  We, no less than they, are in constant need
of God’s patience, love and forgiveness.  We call
on the entire Christian community to resist sexual
immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful
condemnation of those who yield to it.  Our
rejection of sin, though resolute, must never become the
rejection of sinners.  For every sinner, regardless
of the sin, is loved by God, who seeks not our
destruction but rather the conversion of our hearts.
Jesus calls all who wander from the path of virtue to “a
more excellent way.”  As his disciples we will
reach out in love to assist all who hear the call and
wish to answer it.

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.  They fail to
understand, however, that marriage is made possible by
the sexual complementarity of man and woman, and that
the comprehensive, multi-level sharing of life that
marriage is includes bodily unity of the sort that
unites husband and wife biologically as a reproductive
unit.  This is because the body is no mere
extrinsic instrument of the human person, but truly part
of the personal reality of the human being.  Human
beings are not merely centers of consciousness or
emotion, or minds, or spirits, inhabiting non-personal
bodies.  The human person is a dynamic unity of
body, mind, and spirit.  Marriage is what one man
and one woman establish when, forsaking all others and
pledging lifelong commitment, they found a sharing of
life at every level of being – the biological, the
emotional, the dispositional, the rational, the
spiritual – on a commitment that is sealed, completed
and actualized by loving sexual intercourse in which the
spouses become one flesh, not in some merely
metaphorical sense, but by fulfilling together the
behavioral conditions of procreation.  That is why
in the Christian tradition, and historically in Western
law, consummated marriages are not dissoluble or
annullable on the ground of infertility, even though the
nature of the marital relationship is shaped and
structured by its intrinsic orientation to the great
good of procreation.

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.
They wonder what to say in reply to the argument that
asserts that no harm would be done to them or to anyone
if the law of the community were to confer upon two men
or two women who are living together in a sexual
partnership the status of being “married.”  It
would not, after all, affect their own marriages, would
it?  On inspection, however, the argument that laws
governing one kind of marriage will not affect another
cannot stand.  Were it to prove anything, it would
prove far too much: 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.

No one has a civil right to have a non-marital
relationship treated as a marriage.  Marriage is an
objective reality – a covenantal union of husband and
wife – that it is the duty of the law to recognize and
support for the sake of justice and the common good.
If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow.
First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a
matter of conscience is jeopardized.  Second, the
rights of parents are abused as family life and sex
education programs in schools are used to teach children
that an enlightened understanding recognizes as
“marriages” sexual partnerships that many parents
believe are intrinsically non-marital and immoral.
Third, the common good of civil society is damaged when
the law itself, in its critical pedagogical function,
becomes a tool for eroding a sound understanding of
marriage on which the flourishing of the marriage
culture in any society vitally depends.  Sadly, we
are today far from having a thriving marriage culture.
But if we are to begin the critically important process
of reforming our laws and mores to rebuild such a
culture, the last thing we can afford to do is to
re-define marriage in such a way as to embody in our
laws a false proclamation about what marriage is.

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.

Sign The Manhattan


Religious Liberty

The Spirit of the
Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed
me to preach good news to the poor.  He has sent me
to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for
the captives and release from darkness for the

Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is

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

Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the
conscience.  Immunity from religious coercion is
the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience.  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.  What is true for
individuals applies to religious communities as well.

It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill
the unborn, aged and disabled and also a right to engage
in immoral sexual practices, and even a right to have
relationships integrated around these practices be
recognized and blessed by law – such persons claiming
these “rights” are very often in the vanguard of those
who would trample upon the freedom of others to express
their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of
life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal
union of husband and wife.

We see this, for example, in the effort to weaken or
eliminate conscience clauses, and therefore to compel
pro-life institutions (including religiously affiliated
hospitals and clinics), and pro-life physicians,
surgeons, nurses, and other health care professionals,
to refer for abortions and, in certain cases, even to
perform or participate in abortions.  We see it in
the use of anti-discrimination statutes to force
religious institutions, businesses, and service
providers of various sorts to comply with activities
they judge to be deeply immoral or go out of business.
After the judicial imposition of “same-sex marriage” in
Massachusetts, for example, Catholic Charities chose
with great reluctance to end its century-long work of
helping to place orphaned children in good homes rather
than comply with a legal mandate that it place children
in same-sex households in violation of Catholic moral
teaching.  In New Jersey, after the establishment
of a quasi-marital “civil unions” scheme, a Methodist
institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when
it declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to
permit a facility it owned and operated to be used for
ceremonies blessing homosexual unions.  In Canada
and some European nations, Christian clergy have been
prosecuted for preaching Biblical norms against the
practice of homosexuality.  New hate-crime laws in
America raise the specter of the same practice here.

In recent decades a growing body of case law has
paralleled the decline in respect for religious values
in the media, the academy and political leadership,
resulting in restrictions on the free exercise of
religion.  We view this as an ominous development,
not only because of its threat to the individual liberty
guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her
faith, but because the trend also threatens the common
welfare and the culture of freedom on which our system
of republican government is founded.  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.1
Disintegration of civil society is a prelude to tyranny.

As Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition
to respect and obey those in authority.  We believe
in law and in the rule of law.  We recognize the
duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them
or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require
those subject to them to do something unjust or
otherwise immoral.  The biblical purpose of law is
to preserve order and serve justice and the common good;
yet laws that are unjust – and especially laws that
purport to compel citizens to do what is unjust –
undermine the common good, rather than serve it.

Going back to the earliest days of the church,
Christians have refused to compromise their proclamation
of the gospel.  In Acts 4, Peter and John were
ordered to stop preaching.  Their answer was,
“Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight
to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking
about what we have seen and heard.”  Through the
centuries, Christianity has taught that civil
disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes
required.  There is no more eloquent defense of the
rights and duties of religious conscience than the one
offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a
Birmingham Jail.  Writing from an explicitly
Christian perspective, and citing Christian writers such
as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught that just laws
elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted
in the moral law whose ultimate source is God Himself.
Unjust laws degrade human beings.  Inasmuch as they
can claim no authority beyond sheer human will, they
lack any power to bind in conscience.  King’s
willingness to go to jail, rather than comply with legal
injustice, was exemplary and inspiring.  

Because we honor justice and the common good, 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 anti-life act; nor will we bend
to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral
sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the
equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we
know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and
the family.  We will fully and ungrudgingly render
to Caesar what is Caesar’s.  But under no
circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God’s.

Sign The Manhattan


1Alexis de
Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Drafting Committee

  • Robert George         

    Professor, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence,
    Princeton University
  • Timothy George 

    Professor, Beeson Divinity School, Samford


  • Chuck Colson 

    Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian
    Worldview (Lansdowne, Va.)

Signers (as of November
19, 2009)

  1. Dr. Daniel Akin

    President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary
    (Wake Forest, N.C.)
  2. Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola

    Primate, Anglican Church of Nigeria (Abuja, Nigeria)
  3. Randy Alcorn

    Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries
    (EPM) (Sandy, Ore.)
  4. Rt. Rev. David Anderson

    President and CEO, American Anglican Council
  5. Leith Anderson

    President of National Association of Evangelicals
    (Washington, D.C.)
  6. Charlotte K. Ardizzone

    TV Show Host and Speaker, INSP Television
    (Charlotte, N.C.)
  7. Kay Arthur

    CEO and Co-founder, Precept Ministries International
    (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
  8. Dr. Mark L. Bailey

    President, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas)
  9. Most Rev. Craig W. Bates

    Archbishop, International Communion of the
    Charismatic Episcopal Church (Malverne, N.Y.)
  10. Gary Bauer

    President, American Values; Chairman, Campaign for
    Working Families
  11. His Grace, The Right Reverend Bishop Basil Essey

    The Right Reverend Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita
    and Mid-America (Wichita, Kan.)
  12. Joel Belz

    Founder, World Magazine (Asheville, N.C.)
  13. Rev. Michael L. Beresford

    Managing Director of Church Relations, Billy Graham
    Evangelistic Association (Charlotte, N.C.)
  14. Ken Boa

    President, Reflections Ministries (Atlanta)
  15. Joseph Bottum

    Editor of First
  16. Pastor Randy & Sarah Brannon

    Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church (Madera,
  17. Steve Brown

    National Radio Broadcaster, Key Life (Maitland,
  18. Dr. Robert C. Cannada, Jr.

    Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary
    (Orlando, Fla.)
  19. Galen Carey

    Director of Government Affairs, National Association
    of Evangelicals (Washington, D.C.)
  20. Dr. Bryan Chapell

    President, Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis)
  21. Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver
  22. Timothy Clinton

    President, American Association of Christian
    Counselors (Forest, Va.)
  23. Chuck Colson

    Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian
    Worldview (Lansdowne, Va.)
  24. Most Rev. Salvatore Joseph Cordileone

    Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, Calif.
  25. Dr. Gary Culpepper

    Associate Professor, Providence College (Providence,
  26. Jim Daly

    President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado
    Springs, Colo.)
  27. Marjorie Dannenfelser

    President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, Va.)
  28. Rev. Daniel Delgado

    Board of Directors, National Hispanic Christian
    Leadership Conference; Pastor, Third Day Missions
    Church (Staten Island, N.Y.)
  29. Patrick J. Deneen

    Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor and
    Director, The Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of
    American Democracy, Georgetown University
    (Washington, D.C.)
  30. Dr. James Dobson

    Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs,
  31. Dr. David Dockery

    President, Union University (Jackson, Tenn.)
  32. Most Rev. Timothy Dolan

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of New York, N.Y.
  33. Dr. William Donohue

    President, Catholic League (New York)
  34. Dr. James T. Draper, Jr.

    President Emeritus, LifeWay (Nashville, Tenn.)
  35. Dinesh D’Souza

    Writer and Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
  36. Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan

    Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North
    America (Ambridge, Pa. )
  37. Dr. Michael Easley

    President Emeritus, Moody Bible Institute (Chicago)
  38. Dr. William Edgar

    Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary
  39. Brett Elder

    Executive Director, Stewardship Council (Grand
    Rapids, Mich.
  40. Rev. Joel Elowsky

    Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
  41. Stuart Epperson

    Co-Founder and Chariman of the Board, Salem
    Communications Corporation (Camarillo, Calif.)
  42. Rev. Jonathan Falwell

    Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church
    (Lynchburg, Va.)
  43. William J. Federer

    President, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis)
  44. Fr. Joseph D. Fessio

    Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press (Ft. Collins,
  45. Carmen Fowler

    President and Executive Editor, Presbyterian Lay
    Committee (Lenoir, N.C.)
  46. Maggie Gallagher

    President, National Organization for Marriage
    (Manassas, Va.)
  47. Dr. Jim Garlow

    Senior Pastor, Skyline Church (La Mesa, Calif.)
  48. Steven Garofalo

    Senior Consultant, Search and Assessment Services
    (Charlotte, N.C.)
  49. Dr. Robert P. George

    McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton
    University (Princeton, N.J.)
  50. Dr. Timothy George

    Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity
    School at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.)
  51. Thomas Gilson

    Director of Strategic Processes, Campus Crusade for
    Christ International (Norfolk, Va.)
  52. Dr. Jack Graham

    Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, Texas)
  53. Dr. Wayne Grudem

    Research Professor of Theological and Biblical
    Studies, Phoenix Seminary (Phoenix)
  54. Dr. Cornell “Corkie” Haan

    National Facilitator of Spiritual Unity, The Mission
    America Coalition (Palm Desert, Calif.)
  55. Fr. Chad Hatfield

    Chancellor, CEO and Archpriest, St. Vladimir’s
    Orthodox Theological Seminary (Yonkers, N.Y.)
  56. Dr. Dennis Hollinger

    President and Professor of Christian Ethics,
    Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton,
  57. Dr. Jeanette Hsieh

    Executive Vice President and Provost, Trinity
    International University (Deerfield, Ill.)
  58. Dr. John A. Huffman, Jr.

    Senior Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church
    (Newport Beach, Calif.); Chairman of the Board,
    Christianity Today International (Carol Stream,
  59. Rev. Ken Hutcherson

    Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, Wash.)
  60. Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr.

    Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville,
  61. Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse

    President, American Orthodox Institute; Editor, (Naples, Fla.)
  62. Jerry Jenkins

    Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Moody Bible
    Institute (Black Forest, Colo.)
  63. Camille Kampouris

    Editorial Board, Kairos Journal
  64. Emmanuel A. Kampouris

    Publisher, Kairos Journal
  65. Rev. Tim Keller

    Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New
  66. Dr. Peter Kreeft

    Professor of Philosophy, Boston College (Mass.) and
    at the Kings College (N.Y.)
  67. Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
    Louisville, Ky.
  68. Jim Kushiner

    Editor, Touchstone (Chicago)
  69. Dr. Richard Land

    President, The Ethics and Religious Liberty
    Commission of the SBC (Washington, D.C.)
  70. Jim Law

    Senior Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church
    (Woodstock, Ga.)
  71. Dr. Matthew Levering

    Associate Professor of Theology, Ave Maria
    University (Naples, Fla.)
  72. Dr. Peter Lillback

    President, The Providence Forum (West Conshohocken,
  73. Dr. Duane Litfin

    President, Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.)
  74. Rev. Herb Lusk

    Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia)
  75. His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida

    Archbishop Emeritus, Roman Catholic Diocese of
  76. Most Rev. Richard J. Malone

    Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine
  77. Rev. Francis Martin

    Professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major
    Seminary (Detroit)
  78. Dr. Joseph Mattera

    Bishop and Senior Pastor, Resurrection Church
    (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  79. Phil Maxwell

    Pastor, Gateway Church (Bridgewater, N.J.)
  80. Josh McDowell

    Founder, Josh McDowell Ministries (Plano, Texas)
  81. Alex McFarland

    President, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Charlotte,
  82. Most Rev. George Dallas McKinney

    Bishop, Founder and Pastor, St. Stephen’s Church of
    God in Christ  (San Diego)
  83. Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns

    Missionary Bishop, Convocation of Anglicans of North
    America (Herndon, Va.)
  84. Dr. C. Ben Mitchell

    Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union
    University (Jackson, Tenn.)
  85. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

    President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
    (Louisville, Ky.)
  86. Dr. Russell D. Moore

    Senior Vice President for Academic Administration
    and Dean of the School of Theology, Southern Baptist
    Theological Seminary (Louisville, Ky.)
  87. Most Rev. John J. Myers

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark,
  88. Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City,
  89. David Neff

    Editor-in-Chief, Christianity
    Stream, Ill.)
  90. Tom Nelson

    Senior Pastor, Christ Community Evangelical Free
    Church (Leawood, Kan.)
  91. Niel Nielson

    President, Covenant College (Lookout Mt., Ga.)
  92. Most Rev. John Nienstedt

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul
    and Minneapolis
  93. Dr. Tom Oden

    Theologian, United Methodist Minister; Professor,
    Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
  94. Marvin Olasky

    Editor-in-Chief, World Magazine;
    Provost, The Kings College (New York)
  95. Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted

    Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix
  96. Rev. William Owens

    Chairman, Coalition of African-American Pastors
    (Memphis, Tenn.)
  97. Dr. J.I. Packer

    Board of Governors’ Professor of Theology, Regent
    College (Canada)
  98. Metr. Jonah Paffhausen

    Primate, Orthodox Church in America (Syosset, N.Y.)
  99. Tony Perkins

    President, Family Research Council (Washington,
  100. Eric M. Pillmore

    CEO, Pillmore Consulting LLC (Doylestown, Pa.)
  101. Dr. Everett Piper

    President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University
    (Bartlesville, Okla.)
  102. Todd Pitner

    President, Rev Increase
  103. Dr. Cornelius Plantinga

    President, Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand
    Rapids, Mich.)
  104. Dr. David Platt

    Pastor, Church at Brook Hills (Birmingham, Ala.)
  105. Rev. Jim Pocock

    Pastor, Trinitarian Congregational Church (Wayland,
  106. Fred Potter

    Executive Director and CEO, Christian Legal Society
    (Springfield, Va.)
  107. Dennis Rainey

    President, CEO, and Co-Founder, FamilyLife (Little
    Rock, Ark.)
  108. Fr. Patrick Reardon

    Pastor, All Saints’ Antiochian Orthodox Church
  109. Bob Reccord

    Founder, Total Life Impact, Inc. (Suwanee, Ga.)
  110. His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
  111. Frank Schubert

    President, Schubert Flint Public Affairs
    (Sacramento, Calif.)
  112. David Schuringa

    President, Crossroads Bible Institute (Grand Rapids,
  113. Tricia Scribner

    Author (Harrisburg, N.C.)
  114. Dr. Dave Seaford

    Senior Pastor, Community Fellowship Church
    (Matthews, N.C.)
  115. Alan Sears

    President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance
    Defense Fund (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
  116. Randy Setzer

    Senior Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church (Lincolnton,
  117. Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan

    Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs,
  118. Dr. Ron Sider

    Director, Evangelicals for Social Action (Wynnewood,
  119. Fr. Robert Sirico

    Founder, Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  120. Dr. Robert Sloan

    President, Houston Baptist University (Houston)
  121. Charles Stetson

    Chairman of the Board, Bible Literacy Project (New
  122. Dr. David Stevens

    CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Association
    (Bristol, Tenn.)
  123. John Stonestreet

    Executive Director, Summit Ministries (Manitou
    Springs, Colo.)
  124. Dr. Joseph Stowell

    President, Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids,
  125. Dr. Sarah Sumner

    Professor of Theology and Ministry, Azusa Pacific
    University (Azusa, Calif.)
  126. Dr. Glenn Sunshine

    Chairman of the History Department, Central
    Connecticut State University (New Britain, Conn.)
  127. Joni Eareckson Tada

    Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International
    Disability Center (Agoura Hills, Calif.)
  128. Luiz Tellez

    President, The Witherspoon Institute (Princeton,
  129. Dr. Timothy C. Tennent

    President, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore,
  130. Michael Timmis

    Chairman, Prison Fellowship and Prison Fellowship
    International (Naples, Fla.)
  131. Mark Tooley

    President, Institute for Religion and Democracy
    (Washington, D.C.)
  132. H. James Towey

    President, St. Vincent College (Latrobe, Pa.)
  133. Juan Valdes

    Middle and High School Chaplain, Florida Christian
    School (Miami, Fla.)
  134. Todd Wagner

    Pastor, WaterMark Community Church (Dallas)
  135. Dr. Graham Walker

    President, Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, Va.)
  136. Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster, Ph.D.

    Archpriest, Orthodox Church in America; Professorial
    Lecturer, The George Washington University (Ashburn,
  137. George Weigel

    Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public
    Policy Center (Washington, D.C.)
  138. David Welch

    Houston Area Pastor Council Executive Director, US
    Pastors Council (Houston)
  139. Dr. James Emery White

    Founding and Senior Pastor,  Mecklenburg Community
    Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  140. Dr. Hayes Wicker

    Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church (Naples, Fla.)
  141. Mark Williamson

    Founder and President, Foundation Restoration
    Ministries/Federal Intercessors (Katy, Texas)
  142. Parker T. Williamson

    Editor Emeritus and Senior Correspondent,
    Presbyterian Lay Committee
  143. Dr. Craig Williford

    President, Trinity International University
    (Deerfield, Ill.)
  144. Dr. John Woodbridge

    Research Professor of Church History and the History
    of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity
    School (Deerfield, Ill.)
  145. Don M. Woodside

    Performance Matters Associates (Matthews, N.C.)
  146. Dr. Frank Wright

    President, National Religious Broadcasters
    (Manassas, Va.)
  147. Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl

    Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of
    Washington, D.C.
  148. Paul Young

    COO and Executive Vice President, Christian Research
    Institute (Charlotte, N.C.)
  149. Dr. Michael Youssef

    President, Leading the Way (Atlanta)
  150. Ravi Zacharias

    Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ravi Zacharias
    International Ministries (Norcross, Ga.)
  151. Most Rev. David A. Zubik

    Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
  152. James R. Thobaben, Ph.D., M.P.H.

    Professor, Bioethics and Social Ethics, Asbury
    Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.)

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