A Facebook friend of mine joined this group called, “The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.” Their mission: to “affirm…marriage as defined by the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty….”
Wait, wait, wait. Let me get this right. This group “affirms” the right to religious liberty but wants to deny homosexuals the right to marry? What about a homosexual Wiccan’s right to religious liberty? What about a lesbian Buddhist’s right to religious liberty? Now, if this group were willing to say that marriage is purely a religious institution and tax breaks should not be given to married couples, fine. Define marriage however you want. But as long as marriage gets you, oh, 1,400 legal benefits, EVERYONE gets it!
THEIR religion defines marriage as between one man and, depending on the civil laws of your country, one woman. To define civil marriage that way is to oppress religions that define it differently. So which do they support? Marriage as defined by their religion or religious freedom?
Maybe what they really “affirm” is the right of their religion to be the only one given special privilege. That’s what “rights” only given to a few is called. Privilege. That’s what they affirm. They affirm their right to be the privileged religious class.
Let’s read it again straight form their website, http://manhattandeclaration.org/:
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.
We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
- the sanctity of human life
- the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
- the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
I love the fact that they call upon nonbelievers to join in defending the right of Christianity to be the defining religion of the U.S. The hypocrisy of wanting the government to both define marriage as their religion does and to simultaneously recognize a right to religious liberty is just appalling. I ask again: WHICH DO YOU WANT?
State religion or religious freedom? The problem with freedom is that it is granted indiscriminately. That means the Wiccan’s and the Buddhist and the Mormons and the Muslims and the Shintoists and the atheists and everyone else all get the same amount of religious freedom that the Christians do. And that includes being granted access to the tax breaks and legal rights of being in a government recognized committed relationship.
Anyway…thought I’d vent.