The Manhattan Declaration – A Choice to foster a moral society

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other. — John Quincy Adams

“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We’ve staked the future of all our political institutions upon our capacity…to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.” – James Madison

“Without morals a republic cannot subsist any length of time; they therefore who are decrying the Christian religion, whose morality is so sublime and pure (and) which insures to the good eternal happiness, are undermining the solid foundation of morals, the best security for the duration of free governments.” – Charles Carroll, signer of the Declaration of Independence

What is the The Manhattan Declaration: It is; A Call of Christian Conscience in the form of a manifesto issued by evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox Christian leaders to affirm support for the pro-life movement, defense of traditional marriage (as contrasted to e.g., same-sex marriage), and one’s right to freedom of religion. The document calls for civil disobedience against laws which contradict Christian doctrines. It was drafted on October 20, 2009 and released November 20, 2009, having been signed by more than 150 American religious leaders.

The drafting committee includes evangelical leader Charles Colson, Princeton University professor Robert P. George, and Beeson Divinity School dean Timothy George. Notable signatories include Timothy Dolan, Justin Francis Rigali, and Donald Wuerl (Archbishops of New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, respectively), along with political activist Tony Perkins, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, National Association of Evangelicals president Leith Anderson, and Orthodox Church in America primate Jonah (Paffhausen).

My goal with this posting is not to preach or imply that Christian morales are the only way to live a principled and morale life. I struggle with endorsing the all of the positions of this group 100% because I also believe that some elements of this are personal choices. However, I do support the ideals of morality and the concept that moral behavior is a key to an ethical, civilized society. When a society becomes immoral, it’s leaders become corrupt and is often said afish rots from the head down. The down fall of  most great societies throughout history has been moral decay. It is time to rethink our values.

There is another reason that this group has banded together to take up this cause. The recent hate crimes legislation passed in the military spending bill opens the door for “thought crimes” and some religious leaders fear that their church teachings could be construde as hate speech if it offends a specific group that disagree with them. All of which leads to the even more worrisome issues around free speech and freedom of religion.

At the end of the day I believe that the majority of Americans want freedom, liberty and the right to pursue happiness. I also believe that we all generally agree with the principles of the constitution, the 10 Commandments and a higher power. We expect those that honored with the opportunity to lead us to be ethical and upright members of society not crooks. Our values made us strong before and they will again. If nothing else The Manhattan Declaration serves as a reminder that our country was founded on religious and moral principles and that we need to reconnect with those values. There is no political correctness in right or wrong, they are what they are.

Below you will find the Declaration itself and a link to go and sign the document if you so desire:

The Manhattan Declaration

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.

    If you are inclined you can sign the Declaration here: http://manhattandeclaration.org/

    “A constitution founded on these principles introduces knowledge among the people, and inspires them with a conscious dignity becoming freemen; a general emulation takes place, which causes good humor, sociability, good manners, and good morals to be general. That elevation of sentiment inspired by such a government, makes the common people brave and enterprising. That ambition which is inspired by it makes them sober, industrious, and frugal”.  - John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

    The breakdown of morality and the family in our society is taking its’ toll on our country. Great societies throughout history often murder themselves through corruption and immorality. It is time to return to the values that made our country strong and helped us survive the major challenges to our freedom and sovereignty throughout our history.

    “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We shall not fight alone. God presides over the destinies of nations.” – Patrick Henry

    Restore American Values and our Faith in God,  only he can help us Restore the Republic! God Bless America & In God, we trust!

    2 responses to “The Manhattan Declaration – A Choice to foster a moral society

    1. Interesting. I agree that our system works best — and possibly only — if the citizens are moral. After all, the will of the people is only as good as the people’s will. I don’t agree that Christian morals are the only kind, but I understand your perspective. However, it seems like civil disobedience against “non-Christian” laws sort of violates the spirit of Jefferson’s quote on your About the Author page. Even ignoring the First Amendment, Jefferson’s ideal was a government that flowed from the people, and the people have clearly voted in non-Christian laws.

      • I am not sure that “the people” have voted in anything other than corrupt politicians who misrepresent themselves for quite some time. Rather for years the laws are being influence by big money, lobbyists and groups with a political agenda rather than “the people”. I hate to use this term but in America there is a large and up until recently silent majority. We are those regular folks who are more involved in our own lives, our jobs and communities. We are the people that still believe in the American Dream and are working hard to obtain it for ourselves and our children. Recently we woke up to the fact that America was being hijacked by the special interests and our dreams were being stolen. I am not saying that Christian morales are the only morals. However at the end of the day strong family values, close knit communities and a sense of national pride. As for civil disobedience – we have tried to communicate with our elected officials and they are not listening. I think what we are talking about is peaceful protest and rallies to continue to try to get their attention. As for Jefferson he also said, “I hold it that a little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical. Unsuccessful rebellions, indeed, generally establish the encroachments on the rights of the people which have produced them. An observation of this truth should render honest republican governors so mild in their punishment of rebellions as not to discourage them too much. It is a medicine necessary for the sound health of government”.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

    Google+ photo

    You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

    Connecting to %s