It’s been several short weeks since the unveiling of the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience, which initially had about 120 co-signers. I’m thrilled to report more than 275,500 have added their signature to this important document. If you’re unfamiliar with the Manhattan Declaration, let me encourage you to read the entire proclamation and then consider lending your support, too.
In short the Manhattan Declaration is both a celebration of, and a commitment to, preserving life, marriage, and religious liberty in America. Fifty years ago there wouldn’t have been the need for such a document. For instance, the out-of-wedlock birth rate was less than 5% fifty years ago. If you weren’t married, you simply didn’t consider getting pregnant. Today? More than 40% of children in America are born out-of-wedlock. That’s alarming.
Without a doubt, during the last four decades the heart and soul of America has been compromised. On the broadcast and in his writings, Dr. Dobson has frequently documented the ways in which these three pillars of society—life, marriage, and religious liberty—have been attacked, undermined, or redefined.
There are those in society, for instance, who have cheapened the value of life—making it disposable at both ends of the spectrum through abortion and euthanasia. Others would have us believe a same-sex marriage which, by design, denies children the love and guidance from either a mother or a father, is somehow no different than the traditional model where children have the benefit of both uniquely designed parents. And there are organizations, such as the ACLU, who wish to strip away and suppress the free exchange of religious speech and symbolism in the public square.
Against the backdrop of these dismaying trends, the Manhattan Declaration was born. Those who have signed this declaration are publicly affirming:
- 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;
- 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;
- 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.
What’s more when I signed my name on the document I, along with the co-signers, drew a line in the sand with this statement of commitment to our core values:
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.
America may have lost her way for a season. She may have been bewitched by the siren call of those who have abandoned the Judeo-Christian values upon which this nation was founded. And yet I believe there is hope. The sanctity of life, the dignity of traditional marriage, and the freedom of conscience and religion can be strengthened when you sign this historic manifesto.
Will you stand with us?