I have to admit I am not much of a joiner – or signer. I have a rather innate tendency to go against the crowd and avoid populist movements. But when a statement brings together Evangelicals, Catholics, and those of the Orthodox persuasion, it catches my attention.
The Manhattan Declaration is just such a statement – it addresses three fundamental issues, critical to Christians everywhere, of every ilk – it is introduced as follows:
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:
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. 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.
It’s pretty straightforward – three issues which require our response and steadfast affirmation. They are not popular positions to take, but this is time to be a shrinking violet Christian, compromising on principles.
The people who wrote this recognize that our backs are against the wall as it were, and at least on these issues we have much more in common than we have separating us, and these perilous times requires a unified response. Many of the names are immediately recognizable – but in my mind their names aren’t nearly as important as yours and mine – I would strongly encourage you to go to manhattandeclaration.org and sign their petition or common principles.