23 Nov U.S. Christian Leaders Issue Declaration: “No power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”
Friday, October 20, a group of more than 125 Orthodox, Catholic and evangelical Christian leaders gathered in Washington, D.C. to issue a statement proclaiming they will not stop defending what they view to be three essential truths:
- The sanctity of life
- The dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- The rights of conscience and religious liberty
The statement, the “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” also vehemently declares that that they will not be silenced or bullied into adopting policies and positions that violate these foundational beliefs.
Here is an excerpt that best summarizes the declaration:
“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.
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, the declaration continues. 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.”
The 4,700 word declaration addresses the issues of life, marriage and religious liberty separately and at length, giving leveled and reasoned validation for the declaration’s position and the need to unyieldingly defend it. You can read the full text of the statement here or an executive summary of the piece here.
Those most critical of the declaration view it as a call to civil disobedience, but given the uncompromising language of the declaration, it is not surprising. The summary provided by the drafters of the declaration concludes:
“Therefore, let it be known that we will not comply with any edict that compels us or the institutions we lead to participate in or facilitate abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, euthanasia, or any other act that violates the principle of the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every member of the human family.
Further, let it be known that we will not bend to any rule forcing 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, marriage, and the family.
Further, let it be known that we will not be intimidated into silence or acquiescence or the violation of our consciences by any power on earth, be it cultural or political, regardless of the consequences to ourselves.
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.”
Whether you agree or disagree with the religious roots of the statement, it is reassuring to hear such an unyielding voice in support of life and the family. As attacks against the family heighten and religious liberty is increasingly threatened by the radical agenda of a vocal minority, it is wonderful to know that there are still many who will stand up for the family.
If you support with the Manhattan Declaration and would like to add your name, you can do so here.