A few weeks ago, a coalition of prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders and scholars drafted an impressive document which addresses the sanctity of life, religious liberty and traditional marriage, and calls on Christians to answer the clarion call to act on their conscience. The Manhattan Declaration is thoughtful, moving in its simplicity and truth, and has predictably drawn the reflexive ire of supporters of gay marriage.
The Declaration states, in part, that its drafters are “especially troubled that in our nation today…the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies.” The Declaration also articulates serious concern 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.”
As the Declaration points out, centuries of human experience confirm that marriage is the sustaining institution for the health, education and welfare of every person and every society. The Declaration also makes three salient points about the need to legally support traditional marriage and the dangers inherent in changing its definition based on the selfish desires of the politically powerful.
1. If the covenantal union of a man and a woman is indistinguishable from
homosexual “marriage,” the religious liberty of those for whom this is a
matter of conscience is jeopardized.
2. The rights of parents are abused as family life and sex education programs
in schools are used to teach children that an enlightened understanding
recognizes as “marriages” sexual partnerships that many parents believe are
intrinsically non-marital and immoral.
3. The common good of civil society is damaged when the law itself, in its
critical pedagogical function, becomes a tool for eroding a sound
understanding of marriage on which the flourishing of the marriage culture
in any society vitally depends.
Where marriage between a man and woman is honored, and where there is a flourishing marriage culture, everyone benefits—the spouses themselves, their children, the communities and societies in which they live. That is precisely what our exceptional team of attorneys is fighting for in federal court right now.
Therefore, and contrary to the core of what our opponents in federal court contend, it is out of love and concern for the greater good of society -- not animus and prejudice – that we forge ahead to defend the definition of marriage that millions of Californians adopted last year.
Since the Declaration was published November 20th, nearly 300,000 people have signed it, indicating their belief that marriage between a man and a woman is society’s most fundamental institution. Opponents have wasted no time going on the attack, threatening to cause disruptions in the diocese of every Catholic bishop who signed the Manhattan Declaration.
Eight days after the Declaration was made public, a post appearing on GayBuzz.blogspot urged homosexual activists to punish Bishop Salvatore Cordileone of the Catholic Diocese of Oakland for signing the declaration.
Please take the time to support our legal efforts to defend your vote for Prop 8, add your name to the growing list of Manhattan Declaration supporters, and share the document with your friends, family and colleagues.
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