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The Manhattan Declaration of Intolerance

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot

My proverbial bed wasn’t even cold yet from my romp with Amazon’s “Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure” when in jumped some more repulsive bedfellows: the producers of The Manhattan Declaration, a group of folks hell-bent on oppressing people by trying to sell an anti-gay app on iTunes. Don‘t you just love the smell of hypocrisy in the morning?

This Bible-based, self-proclaimed “grassroots movement” is taking “a principled stand” on a perceived Christian need to “defend the three critical moral issues of our time”:

Renee Antonelli Valente

(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.

So here we have yet another organization trying to convince the better part of the population that it’s looking out for them. Yawn…. Nothing new here. However, there are so many things wrong with this, it’s difficult to know where to begin.

First and foremost, they have completely missed the mark if they believe that THE three critical moral issues of our time are those described above.  One doesn’t need to be tied into the news to know that war, poverty, and other human indignities take place everywhere, every day. Real actions that hurt and oppress people. Circumstances that actually jeopardize the ‘sanctity of human life.’

It seems as if their noses are shoved so far up their anal-retentive behinds that they fail to see that in the name of their “cause,” they are promoting a negative view of a select group of people who can potentially expose them to prejudice and harm.

Tsk, tsk. You need to wonder about a group who, having such a vast list of “moral maladies” to choose from the Bible, chooses the one thing that can actually unite people and promote love, commitment and harmony. Not very Christian-like, folks.

In their zeal to unearth homophobic passages, did they perhaps miss where, in Matthew 7:2-5, Jesus warns against judging someone else for his ‘sin’ when they themselves are sinners? What about “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone”?

It appears they’ve also forgotten the 2007 scandal involving the head of the Evangelical Christian church, who was accused of paying for sex with a man who claims to have had a sexual relationship with the married pastor over a 3-year period.  Have they also forgotten about the countless other priests and pastors who got caught with their hands in other’s cookie jars?

I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the Manhattan Declaration should have been distributed via interoffice mail instead of over the Internet. I hate to break it to you, fellas, but if you’re looking to clean house, consider starting in-house.

I’m just sayin’.

I’m also wondering why the civil libertarians are nowhere to be found. Conspicuously absent, you could say. Why aren’t they defending the rights of the Manhattan Declaration’s supporters to petition? Why aren’t they fighting for the group’s right to express beliefs?

I have, reluctantly, read this pile of garbage masked as a declaration. It can be argued that there is no direct hate displayed therein (the key word being “direct”). There are no step-by-steps in this thing that promote how to accost, harm, or ‘rewire’ gays.

And even if it did, according to our civil rights, it does not matter. It has been argued before, as in the “Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure,” that even if an item “advocates an unlawful act,” its utterance is “not deprived of the protection of the First Amendment.”

So, to keep consistent with their message, shouldn’t the civil liberties organizations defend the signees of the Manhattan Declaration, as well?

I’ve got my ear to the ground, and I have yet to hear a stampede of solidarity towards these so-called “Christians.” It’s cases like this that make me suspect that these rights groups aren’t concerned with what is right as much as they are what’s politically correct. I can’t take any of them seriously.

In a world consumed with negativity, hatred and hypocrisy, one would think that people who would create the Manhattan manifesto — under the guise of peace, love and humanitarianism — would use their passions to actually fulfill the ideals they so staunchly proclaim. To promote love, not try to take it away. To defend all of humanity, not just those who lean in the same direction they do. To understand that the very hypocrisy they try to defend is the very hypocrisy they are creating. To stop patting themselves on the back for a job well done and ask: “What is the greater good here?”

I think Andre Gide hit the nail on the head: “The true hypocrite,” he said, “is the one who ceases to perceive his deception, the one who lies with sincerity.”

In the great irony of life, those who would claim to protect you are really the ones you need protecting from.

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