Yes, our title is strange, but so is what we’re going to discuss today. This involves the Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience. In addition to that Wikipedia article you can read the actual document here: Manhattan Declaration.
The Declaration doesn’t mention Darwin’s theory, nor does it have a section devoted explicitly to creationism. But it’s definitely creationism-friendly because that doctrine is inherent in several passages that otherwise refer to the usual collection of social conservative issues. For example, the anti-abortion section begins by quoting scripture:
So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
That same section also mentions:
… human embryo-destructive research and its public funding are promoted in the name of science and in the cause of developing treatments and cures for diseases and injuries.
The section against gay marriage says:
In Scripture, the creation of man and woman, and their one-flesh union as husband and wife, is the crowning achievement of God’s creation.
In other words, it’s a document that is certainly congenial to creationism, and creationists find it entirely acceptable. We mentioned the Manhattan Declaration in this post about a genuinely wild rant: WorldNetDaily: Theocracy & Creationism, which gives you an idea of the kind of person who finds the Declaration attractive.
With that as an introduction, we present to you, dear reader, some excerpts from ‘Appalling’: Apple again rejects iPhone ‘app’, which appears in the Florida Baptist Witness. The bold font was added by us:
Apple has rejected an iPhone/iPad “app” that had been resubmitted by signers of the Manhattan Declaration, further frustrating Christian leaders who fear the controversy signals a growing societal intolerance of orthodox Christianity. Conservative leaders are now calling the company’s policy “appalling” and suggesting it reflects hostility toward Christian beliefs.
Strange world, isn’t it? Let’s read on:
At issue is an iPhone/iPad software program containing the text of the Manhattan Declaration, a 4,700-word document that includes basic Christian teachings and Bible verses on marriage, life and religious liberty. Key leaders such as Charles Colson, James Dobson, Richard Land, R. Albert Mohler Jr. and Timothy Dolan signed the document in 2009, and more than 480,000 people subsequently signed it online. It received widespread media coverage. Among its stances, the document opposes “gay marriage,” abortion and embryonic stem cell research.
You probably recognize some of those names. We’ve written about a few of them before. For example: in this post we mentioned a favorable review that Charles Colson wrote about Discoveroid Stephen C. Meyer’s book, Signature in the cell. And in this post we wrote about Albert Mohler’s uncompromising defense of young-earth creationism.
We continue with the article in the Florida Baptist Witness:
Apple pulled the free app from its online store in November, saying it “violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”
We don’t know what other function the app provides besides access, but we haven’t seen it. If access to the Declaration is all the app is good for, what does Apple accomplish by rejecting it — especially after they had previously included it? They can’t control the internet. Anyone can find the Declaration by using Google. Here’s more:
The iPhone/iPad app store contains more than 200,000 apps, some of them covering many subjects Christians no doubt would also find objectionable. There are dozens if not hundreds of apps containing the word “gay” in the iPhone/iPad app store dealing with such subjects as same-sex dating, “gay travel” and “gay news.”
Aha! Slowly the plot thickens. Moving along:
Manhattan Declaration leaders say they will resubmit the app to Apple’s App Review Board after Jan. 1.
We’re stopping midway through the article. Click over to the Witness to read it all. Also, their website has this article by Charles Colson: Distorting reality: Apple again rejects Manhattan Declaration. One excerpt will give you the flavor, and then you’re on your own:
And don’t think that gay-rights activists will be content with getting us removed from the App Store – their goal is to exclude us from the public square altogether. And the best way to achieve that goal is to convince people that simply holding a traditional view on marriage, family and human sexuality is a kind of “hate speech” and incitement to violence.
This is a very nuanced dispute. On the surface it doesn’t seem to involve creationism at all; yet we think it does. Nevertheless, it clearly doesn’t rise to the same level as a dispute about teaching creationism in a public school science class. Apple is — or should be — free to include and exclude any apps it likes with its products, and the creationists are free to complain and ask to have their own apps included.
So what’s this really all about? We’re not sure. In some ways it reminds us of the phony “war on Christmas.” Everyone — on both sides — is certainly touchy these days.
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