The Manhattan Declaration was released from under some rock in New Jersey some time on November 20, 2009. It is reported to be the work of Christianist apologist Robert P. George, a Princeton University professor of jurisprudence with ostensibly sterling academic credentials in law and theology.
As recently reported in the New York Times magazine, Robert P. George is the notorious board chair of the so-called “National Organization for Marriage” which opposes civil marriage rights for certain minorities, supporting instead special rights for the majority. He founded a group called the “American Principles Project” which opposes and attempts to undermine the principles under which the United States was founded, and which has sponsored a witch hunt of lies and innuendoes aimed at Kevin Jennings, an openly gay member of the Obama administration. He assisted in the drafting of a proposed Federal Marriage Amendment, to enshrine bigotry in the United States Constitution.
At Princeton, Robert P. George founded The James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions, which opposes American ideals and is designed to subvert American institutions. While it invokes the name of one of the founding fathers, it certainly does not reflect Madison’s vision of American principles. He has also been a founder of the Witherspoon Institute. Robert P. George is reputed to have links to, or membership in, the shadowy Roman Catholic Christianist cult Opus Dei. According to Frank Cocozzelli, neither James Madison nor his “influential teacher at Princeton” John Witherspoon, would be happy with the association of their names with the subversive anti-American theories of government espoused by Robert P. George. Witherspoon and Madison actually opposed the idea of religious factions imposing their will on the American people that is championed by “Robby” George.
Robby? According to the article in the Times magazine, “Seemingly everyone from [Karl] Rove to Cardinal Rigali calls him, simply, Robby.” So, for the remainder of this proclamation, we shall simply refer to him by that familiar name.
Robby may be fairly called a Father of Lies, since his obviously tissue-paper thin rationalizations in the justification of prejudice and bigotry masquerade as being based on principles of “natural law” can be refuted point by point.
The first thing to point out are Robby’s appeal to Christians in the preamble as being “heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God’s word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.”
The thrust of the Manhattan Declaration is to cloak opposition to justice, imposition of tyranny, and oppression of women and minorities, in a sheep’s mantle of appearances. His opposition to human rights and dignity will be made apparent in short order, but the Manhattan Declaration begins with soothing thoughts of justice and compassion to lull the minds of the easily duped into complacency. So now we turn to responding to the document itself.
A RESPONSE TO “THE MANHATTAN DECLARATION
NOTE: The text of the Manhattan Declaration is "quoted," while the response is in Regular type
Christians are heirs of a 2,000-year tradition of proclaiming God's word, seeking justice in our societies, resisting tyranny, and reaching out with compassion to the poor, oppressed and suffering.
On the other hand, unlike real Christians, Christianists have misused the message, the teachings and tenets of Christianity for nearly 2,000 years to persecute and crusade against those whose beliefs are different, to oppress women, to enslave minorities, to twist the Good News of the Gospels and use it to persecute and oppress people of different natures. Augustine of Hippo was not the first, but was one of the most prominent of these early Christianist hypocrites, mixing his Manichean and Platonic philosophical leanings with Christianity to create a toxic brew from which the Roman Catholic Church has not overcome.
While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian
institutions and communities in all ages, we claim the heritage of those
Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash
heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire's sanctioning of
Christianists should be cognizant of the Judaeo-Christian traditions and biblical teachings that associate the soul with the breath of life, and that recognized that the soul is not infused in a human being until it is born and has taken at least one breath, which Christian tradition has been embodied in the Anglo-American Common Law from time immemorial. They should be aware of the meaning of the Sacrament of Baptism, which in its traditional form of immersion is a recapitulation of the time spent in the womb, and then birth and a new first breath. They should recognize and speak to the truth that the rules and laws they support that are against women’s reproductive choices, including opposition to abortion rights and denial of access to contraception, are intended for the purpose of oppressing women, and not for the purpose of protecting the lives of human beings. They should recognize and admit the truth, that abortion was expressly permitted by Christian teachings well past the thirteenth century.
We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by
remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues, and who
died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.
Real Christians will be aware that war and the death penalty are secular evils against which Christians should be willing to sacrifice their lives. The author and signers of the Manhattan Declaration elevate the value of human life in potentia over that of human lives in being.
After the barbarian tribes overran Europe, Christian monasteries preserved not
only the Bible but also the literature and art of Western culture.
It was Irish Celitic Christian monks who preserved much, but it was early Islamic Culture that preserved the works of Aristotle, which were later incorporated into Christian thinking through the work of Thomas Aquinas, and that later, when Western culture started to flourish, Islamic culture withered because of its leadership holding arcane religious tenets to supersede the teachings of science, and which started an oppression of women and minorities.
It was Christians who combated the evil of slavery: Papal edicts in the 16th and
17th centuries decried the practice of slavery and first excommunicated
anyone involved in the slave trade; evangelical Christians in England, led
by John Wesley and William Wilberforce, put an end to the slave trade in
that country. Christians under Wilberforce's leadership also formed hundreds
of societies for helping the poor, the imprisoned, and child laborers chained to machines.
It was Christianists who used the Bible to support the evil of Slavery – teaching that African slaves were the descendants of Ham, and condemned to be the servants of White slaveowners. There are Christianists today who would support evil practices such as racial segregation. We must be mindful of the preachings of many earnest white Protestant ministers in the 19th century who railed from the pulpit that the involuntary servitude of African Americans was biblically justified, referring to the slaves as “Children of Ham” and referring to the Genesis 9:20-27 story in which Ham’s descendants (Canaan and his children) are punished by God – to be the servants of the children of Shem and Japeth.
Yes, those white ministers of religion believed that Christianity endorses slavery - and their reliance on Genesis 9 shows that they were not limited to the teaching of St. Paul abjuring slaves to be obedient to their masters (Ephesians 6:5, Titus 2:9).
In Europe, Christians challenged the divine claims of kings and successfully
fought to establish the rule of law and balance of governmental powers, which
made modern democracy possible.
The divine right of kings was a Christian institution and a way to keep the papacy as a force above the kings; it was the work of enlightenment philosophers at the edge of Christianity, and of Deists, atheists and others, who successfully fought to create the American Experiment. America is not a Christian nation, but a nation which supports and encourages a diversity of religious belief and expression, centered on a higher morality in the common public square than that encouraged by religious intolerance.
And in America, Christian women stood at the vanguard of the suffrage movement. The great civil rights crusades of the 1950s and 60s were led by Christians
claiming the Scriptures and asserting the glory of the image of God in every
human being regardless of race, religion, age or class.
The truth is that the women’s movement was a movement of women of all sorts of religious backgrounds and traditions. It was and still is the Christianist objective to maintain and preserve the institutions of patriarchal dominance over women. In the 1830’s and 1840’s and even now, as evidenced by much of Robby’s writing once stripped of the smarmy rhetoric, many ministers of religion opposed basic human rights for women, particularly married women, because altering the laws relating to marriage by giving women control over their own inheritances, or wages, or allowing women to vote, would destroy the sacred institution of marriage. After all, just as slaves were told by St. Paul to be obedient to their masters (see Ephesians and Titus citations above), wives were told to be obedient to their husbands (Titus 2:5).
This same devotion to human dignity has led Christians in the last decade to
work to end the dehumanizing scourge of human trafficking and sexual slavery,
bring compassionate care to AIDS sufferers in Africa, and assist in a myriad of
other human rights causes - from providing clean water in developing nations to
providing homes for tens of thousands of children orphaned by war, disease and
Christianists such as the author of and signatories to the Manhattan Declaration have maintained a crusade against gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex people because they are different, and Christianists continue to oppress women. And how does Robby explain the Roman Catholic and Bush Administration policies that have crippled the fight against the spread of HIV in Africa? Not at all – caring for the victims may be compassionate, but halting the spread of disease would be a loftier goal. Abstinence education does not work.
Like those who have gone before us in the faith, Christians today are called
to proclaim the Gospel of costly grace, to protect the intrinsic dignity of the
human person and to stand for the common good. In being true to its own calling,
the call to discipleship, the church through service to others can make a
profound contribution to the public good.
Christianists like Robby George and his ilk, on the other hand, feel a call to oppress women, lesbian, gay and transgender people as a contribution to the blight of bigotry and prejudice that they surround with lip service to allegedly Christian principles. You will know them by their works.
We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered,The preceding paragraph are flowery, nice sounding language that says that Christianists want to continue to oppress women by denying them reproductive health services, to persecute people whose sexual orientation or gender identity is different from what society’s majority expects, and to use their bigoted religious beliefs as a shield a pass for unlawful discriminatory activity in the public square. Marriage has been “redefined” over the years as society has evolved. Now that we have become more civilized, it is certainly a moral good to welcome previously despised ,ostracized and misunderstood minorities into fuller participation in the society as equals.
beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration,
which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking
to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God,
the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and
by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and
defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in
light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason
(which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very
nature of the human person. We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and
non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues
we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to everyone’s
conscience in the sight of God.
While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; 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.
Because the sanctity of human life
Which the Christianists reserve only for unborn babies and not for those on death row or the victims of war, and which Christianists use as a code to elevate the “sanctity” of human life in potentia over the sanctity of human lives in being.
, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife,
Which Christianists assume means that marriage can’t include husbands and husbands, or wives and wives, because they believe only Christianists should be entitled to dignity and legal protection.
and the freedom of conscience and religion
which is all well and good, except the freedom of conscience means choosing professions that do not require a “conscience” decision, and the freedom of religion must not be limited only to the freedom of religion of Christianists and those who share their beliefs.
are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled
by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we
affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a
creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal
dignity and life;
by which, somehow, the author and signers of the Manhattan Declaration mean fetuses, to the exclusion of lives already in being.
2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the
creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to
be the most basic institution in society and;
Which should not interfere with marriage as also encompassing a conjugal union of man and man, or woman and woman; after all, David and Jonathan were married, right there in 1 Samuel 18, right? As to marriage being “ordained by God from the creation” – that is a matter of one sort of religious belief, and there are other legitimate views, some of which involve a correct interpretation of sacred scripture, and others which do not rely on Judaeo/Christian/Islamic traditions,
3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the exampleChristianists believe that only they should have religious liberty – how about the religious liberty of Unitarians willing to marry gays? The author and signatories to the Manhattan Declaration make a hollow mockery of the very idea of religious freedom.
of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the
We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of
ecclesial differences to affirm our right - and, more importantly, to embrace
our obligation – to speak and act in defense of these truths.
No, Robby and his ilk are Christianists, joining together to oppress women and LGBT people.
We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on
earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or
acquiescence. It is our duty to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. May God help us not to
fail in that duty.
If they were truly Christians, they wouldn’t be making and signing this ridiculous Declaration. Remember that. And those of us who truly believe in religious freedom, pledge that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate *us* into silence or acquiescence. It is the duty of those of us who are Christian to proclaim the Gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in its fullness, both in season and out of season. It is the duty of those of us with other beliefs to maintain the freedom of our various and diverse religious beliefs in a diverse and multicultural society. May God help us not to fail in that duty.
LifeEVERY human being is created “male and female.” Every human being has the blueprints in every cell of their bodies, to build a male or female body. Many will develop as primarily male, and others will develop as primarily female, but still others have characteristics of BOTH. GOD’s true name is HE/SHE and the original Adam was fully male and fully female until he was separated into two people.
So God created man in his own image, in the image
of God he created him; male and female he created them. Genesis
Yet Robby and the people who follow his thinking are among the worst oppressors of the transgender community.
From a real Christian point of view, those who claim to be Christian might do well to read the warm and welcoming words of Isaiah. Chapter 56, in which we learn, in verses 3-8:
3Neither let the son of the stranger, that hath joined himself to the LORD, speak, saying, The LORD hath utterly separated me from his people: neither let the eunuch say, Behold, I am a dry tree.
4For thus saith the LORD unto the eunuchs that keep my sabbaths, and choose the things that please me, and take hold of my covenant;
5Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.
6Also the sons of the stranger, that join themselves to the LORD, to serve him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be his servants, every one that keepeth the sabbath from polluting it, and taketh hold of my covenant;
7Even them will I bring to my holy mountain, and make them joyful in my house of prayer: their burnt offerings and their sacrifices shall be accepted upon mine altar; for mine house shall be called an house of prayer for all people.
8The Lord GOD, which gathereth the outcasts of Israel saith, Yet will I gather others to him, beside those that are gathered unto him.
What most Christianists on the Robby George bandwagon don’t seem to realize, is that the biblical term "eunuchs" includes people who today would be called "transgender." And God loves transgender people, even if Christianists do not know how to love his neighbors who are strange and different.
Even the Lord Jesus knew that the term "eunuchs" includes a number of different kinds of people, when he is quoted in Matthew 19:12 as saying:
"12For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it."
Transgender people are "so born from their mother's womb." Misassigned a sex at birth, they spend their early lives being told they are something they know deep inside that they are not. Some transition early in life, while others continue their struggle into mid-life. Some will have surgical intervention, while others will not. Christians know that God loves transgender people and has a special place in heaven "in my (God's) house within my (God's) walls a place and a name . . . an everlasting name that shall not be cut off."
If Isaiah's and Jesus' own words are not enough, there is always Acts 8:
36And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And the eunuch answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38And the eunuch commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized the eunuch.
39And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
This story begins with the eunuch reading the Book of Isaiah, and already up to Chapter 53. The message is clear - here is a eunuch who, while already a eunuch, has accepted the kingdom of heaven and is baptized, and respected as a human being - something one does not see in the positions taken by many signers of the Manhattan Declaration.
These people do not even understand the biological sex is not solely resident in the genital duct development but includes the entire development of the bodily anatomy, including the brain.
Robby George, his several groups and think tanks, and many other misnamed and evil organizations slimily slither their anti-American agenda into the minds of Americans by clothing them in a wrapping of Christianity They are trying to seduce the American people into their Dominionist camp - trying to make America, which is a nation built and made great on the diversity of origin, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity, into a third world nation cowering in the thrall of false prophets of twisted religion.
The only difference between Christianists and Islamists, is that where they control government, Islamists are already stoning to death people who are different. Christianists merely want to introduce some electroshock therapy and other "reparative" treatments, and perhaps pre-frontal lobotomies, to "treat" people who don't agree with his agenda.
So when these people cite to Genesis 1:27, they’re usually misinterpreting it as a support of the artificial division of human beings into two and only two sexes without a proper recognition of the diversity of reality. They are usually interpreting it as meaning there people are “either male or female” and not understanding that even scientifically, each human being has the blueprints in each of our cells that would support either developmental path, or various different anatomical situations that result in transgender and intersex realities. While the Manhattan Declaration does not directly address transgender and intersex people, it is only because we are not always on their radar screen.
I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. John 10:10
And one might wonder who is entitled to life “to the full.” Robby does not include women, for some reason.
Although public sentiment has moved in a pro-life direction, we note withFirst, public sentiment is irrelevant to the civil rights, religious beliefs, moral beliefs and privacy rights of individual women. Second, the Christianists still maintain an ascendancy in governmental ideology – as evidenced by gag rules and lack of funding. The principle is that majority rule should not be used to unfairly restrict individual liberty.
sadness that pro-abortion ideology prevails today in our government.
Let’s take a look at the history of Christian teachings on the subject of abortion – far from being “unchanging,” we see that they change with the times.
The Church’s early teachings on “ensoulment” and abortion are based on writings of Aristotle, Jerome, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas – all of whom believed that “ensoulment” occurred several weeks after conception. Pope Innocent III, to whom one might ascribe “infallibility” (though there is the story of one Pope trying and condemning a deceased predecessor – try sorting *that* out), made it Catholic Church doctrine around the 13th century that abortion was permitted until fetal animation (called “quickening” - Aquinas posited that girl souls were implanted at 90 days after conception, while boys got souls after only 40.
Of course, this medieval and Aristotelian-based philosophical thinking ignored the majestic message of Sacred Scripture, in which the infusion of the soul (and the soul’s taking leave of the body) is inextricably intertwined with breathing – the soul itself involves the “breath of God” or “the breath of life.”
It was not until the 19th century that the Catholic Church started to change its position on abortion – and, of course, we have Pope Paul VI’s 1968 encyclical Humanae Vitae that is largely responsible for the Church losing its moral compass on the ideas and concepts of ensoulment and what constitutes a human being. It is clear that all life, including human life, is a continuum, but a human being does not exist until birth and breath. Humanae Vitae prohibited Catholics from the use of any sort of artificial birth control.
It’s clear what the current the Roman Catholic Church hierarchy teachings are on abortion and birth control – I submit that while these may be binding on those Roman Catholics who accept the apostasy of the Church hierarchy in its misguidance of the flock, it is in no way appropriate for the hierarchy use its twisted religious morality to interfere with the constitution and laws of the United States and the several states as they apply to those citizens and inhabitants of the United States and the states who do not subscribe to this particular religious belief that is counter to the message of sacred scripture.
The present administration is led and staffed by those who want to make
abortions legal at any stage of fetal development, and who want to provide
abortions at taxpayer expense.
And the decision to have an abortion is a personal moral decision for a woman, and a medical decision for her doctor. To do anything else is to oppress women. Period.
Majorities in both houses of Congress hold pro-abortion views. The Supreme
Court, whose infamous 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade stripped the unborn of legal
It may be sad that Congress can’t even seem to pass a health care bill that includes abortion funding; but Robby’s description of Roe v. Wade reflects a profound and willful ignorance of the nature of that decision – though Robby, as a professor of jurisprudence is most probably not ignorant at all, he is simply lying in the pursuit of his agenda.
The fact is that it is patently obvious to anyone with a modicum of reasonable intelligence and a lack of prejudice against women, that Roe v. Wade preserved the traditional English Common Law principle, which is based and deeply rooted in Christian Tradition, of “birth and breath,” while modifying it slightly to assert a state interest in potential life in the 3rd trimester, but not so much that it interferes with the health or life of the already-alive women in whom the fetus is a parasite.
continues to treat elective abortion as a fundamental constitutional right,
though it has upheld as constitutionally permissible some limited restrictions
on abortion. The President says that he wants to reduce the "need" for abortion
- a commendable goal. But he has also pledged to make abortion more easily and
widely available by eliminating laws prohibiting government funding, requiring
waiting periods for women seeking abortions, and parental notification for
abortions performed on minors. The elimination of these important and effective
What Robby is saying in the preceding paragraph is that the creeps behind the Manhattan Declaration want more and stronger laws to oppress women and reduce them to baby-producing uteruses.
cannot reasonably be expected to do other than significantly increase the
number of elective abortions by which the lives of countless children are
snuffed out prior to birth. Our commitment to the sanctity of life
Robby’s commitment to the sanctity of life clearly does not extend beyond birth – to Robby, life is only sacred while it is surrounded by a uterus.
is not a matter of partisan loyalty, for we recognize that in the thirty-six
years since Roe v. Wade, elected officials and appointees of both major
political parties have been complicit in giving legal sanction to what Pope John
Paul II described as "the culture of death."
Robby is one of the leading progenitors of the “:culture of death,” with his support and justification of aggressive wars waged by the United States in faraway countries, and his lack of opposition to the barbaric death penalty. Why does Robby do this? So he can rationalize his support of the evils of right wing philosophies by elevating them into a sort of moral good by way of rationalizations, not right reason.
We call on all officials in our country, elected and appointed, to protect
and serve every member of our society, including the most marginalized,
voiceless, and vulnerable among us.
What a nice sentiment – “protect” women. Protect gays, protect lesbians, protect transgender and intersex people – the most marginalized Americans, truly. But sadly, that is not what Robby means in his context.
A culture of death inevitably cheapens life in all its stages and conditions by
promoting the belief that lives that are imperfect, immature or inconvenient are
Abortion is not killing – war and the death penalty are killing and DO create a culture of death – so why is NOT ONE SINGLE WORD IN THIS DECLARATION aimed at warmongering or capital punishment? BECAUSE Christianists, like the authors and signers of the Declaration, in the deep recesses of their twisted little hearts, want to be able to stone to death those of us who are different. Because Christianists, like the author (perhaps) and some signers of the Manhattan Declaration, are loony-toons who see current events as leading to the “Last Days” and are trying to make the idea of the Battle of Armageddon a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As predicted by many prescient persons, the cheapening of life that beganSo it looks like these creeps are also against scientific advances. Life is cheapened by wars of mass destruction with huge tolls in innocent human life, such as have swept the world several times in the 20th Century and continue to mar the 21st. It is not cheapened by abortion – in fact, there is proof that the quality oflife increases where babies are wanted babies, not where babies are forced on unwilling women.
with abortion has now metastasized. For example, 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 President and many in Congress favor the expansion of embryo-research to
include the taxpayer funding of so-called "therapeutic cloning." This would
result in the industrial mass production of human embryos to be killed for the
purpose of producing genetically customized stem cell lines and tissues.
Embryos can’t be killed, they are not people, but merely human tissue that has a potential and a potential i n proper circumstances, for development into a human being - do not confuse the egg with the Chicken - one could invite Robby for a chicken dinner and serve him a pair of sunny side up eggs, asking him how he liked his pair of chickens. There is nothing morally wrong with these practices – and if the Christianists don’t believe in them, then they shouldn’t be using hospitals or getting medical treatment more advanced than a miracle faith healing anyway. Leave the advances in medicine to those of us who actually believe in medicine.
At the other end of life, an increasingly powerful movement to promoteEnd of life care should not mean needlessly prolonging a person’s pain. Christianists believe in prolonging suffering, do they? Perhaps Robby might like self-flagellating hair-short-wearing practices, but dying people should not be forced to suffer, unless that is their choice.
assisted suicide and "voluntary" euthanasia threatens the lives of vulnerable
elderly and disabled persons.
Eugenic notions such as the doctrine of lebensunwertes Leben ("life unworthy
of life") were first advanced in the 1920s by intellectuals in the elite salons
of America and Europe. Long buried in ignominy after the horrors of the mid-20th
century, they have returned from the grave. The only difference is that now the
doctrines of the eugenicists are dressed up in the language of "liberty,"
"autonomy," and "choice."
There is a huge difference between eugenics being foisted on people by a totalitarian or authoritarian government, and people choosing to end their own life with dignity at such time as their bodies are failing. Robby clearly thinks he can fool pwople into not understanding the difference. I am not fooled - is anyone else? (well, yes, ths signers of the Declaration, but even they know they are wrong.
We will be united and untiring in our efforts to roll back the license toUnborn children cannot be killed. They are not children until they are born - merely potential children. They are not yet ensouled, not yet lives in being, but only lives in potentia We see nothing in the Manhattan Declaration about the Death Penalty or the Waging of Aggressive Wars such as those being immorally prosecuted by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan as a substitute for rounding up and bringing to justice the criminals behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11.
kill that began with the abandonment of the unborn to abortion. We will work, as
we have always worked, to bring assistance, comfort, and care to pregnant women
in need and to those who have been victimized by abortion, even as we stand
resolutely against the corrupt and degrading notion that it can somehow be in
the best interests of women to submit to the deliberate killing of their unborn
Our message is, and ever shall be, that the just, humane, and trulyChristianists have never voted to fund adequate education and child care. For them, women are best left barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. They are more interested in the bottom line than in education, health or the welfare of children. Robert P. George was reported as advising Catholic bishops to “stop talking so much about the many policy issues they have taken up in the name of social justice.”
Christian answer to problem pregnancies is for all of us to love and care for
mother and child alike.
A truly prophetic Christian witness will insistently call on those who haveThis is dangerous – Robby is calling for violence for the purpose of institutionalizing their belief in the oppression of women! Beware these wolves who clothe themselves in the skins of sheep. They don’t care about the lives of women, only the potential lives of fetuses. Their concern is only for oppressing woman, and forcing the dying to suffer, ostensibly so they can give up their pain for the souls in purgatory, or something like that.
been entrusted with temporal power to fulfill the first responsibility of
government: to protect the weak and vulnerable against violent attack, and to do
so with no favoritism, partiality, or discrimination. The Bible enjoins us to
defend those who cannot defend themselves, to speak for those who cannot
themselves speak. And so we defend and speak for the unborn, the disabled, and
the dependent. What the Bible and the light of reason make clear, we must make
clear. We must be willing to defend, even at risk and cost to ourselves and our
institutions, the lives of our brothers and sisters at every stage of
development and in every condition.
Our concern is not confined to our own nation. Around the globe, we are
witnessing cases of genocide and "ethnic cleansing," the failure to assist those
who are suffering as innocent victims of war, the neglect and abuse of children,
the exploitation of vulnerable laborers, the sexual trafficking of girls and
young women, the abandonment of the aged, racial oppression and discrimination, the persecution of believers of all faiths, and the failure to take steps
necessary to halt the spread of preventable diseases like AIDS. We see these
travesties as flowing from the same loss of the sense of the dignity of the
human person and the sanctity of human life that drives the abortion industry
and the movements for assisted suicide, euthanasia, and human cloning for
biomedical research. And so ours is, as it must be, a truly consistent ethic of
love and life for all humans in all circumstances.
The author of the Manhattan Declaration is a tool of the Republican Party. Where abortion is not available, more children are abused and neglected, by parents who had them by accident and do not want them, see them as a burden and do not properly care for them. When abortion has been available, there has been a drastic reduction in violent crime that follows the availability by about a couple of decades – long enough for abused and neglected children born to unwilling parents to have grown up to lash out against a society that oppresses women and keeps them down, a society that ceases to care for children once they are born (take the Catholic Church in Massachusetts, only willing to run an adoption agency as long as they could take public money to do it), a society that wages aggressive wars without raising the money to pay for them, causing terrible economic repercussions. A society that fans the flame of the spread of AIDS by “teaching abstinence only” and opposing the distribution of condoms. A society that does not care for legitimate medical research because Christianists want more people to suffer. A society where Christianist Republicans place their warped version of Christianity at the head of the line – all other faiths must take a back seat to theirs,
The man said, "This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, for she was taken out of man." For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh. Genesis 2:23-24
This is a profound mystery - but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. Ephesians 5:32-33
And how about1 Samuel 18:1-4:
1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
And the First Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians, in which Christians are called to celibacy, and that marriage is only for the morally weak:
8Now to the unmarried and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. 9But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion. 1 Cor. 7:8-9
In Scripture, the creation of man and woman,Each human being is made in the image and likeness of God as male-and-female.
and their one-flesh union as husband and wife, is the crowning achievement of God’s creation.
Is Robby saying that it’s all about the sex? That sex (within marriage) is the crowning achievement of creation? Except for unicellular and asexually-reproducing creatures, even lowly creatures reproduce via sexual activity.
In the transmission of life and the nurturing of children, men and womenAnd what of the poor unmarried pregnant teenager whose boyfriend, who did not make her pregnant, marries her anyway so she would not be stoned to death, who journeyed to Bethlehem to give birth? According to the Roman Catholic Church, she was an “ever virgin” and never had any sex with her husband. To that Augustine-ridden Manichean-influenced Christianist theology, it is laughable for an adherent like Robby to ply these lofty words of mindless breeding as the highest and best human activity.
joined as spouses are given the great honor of being partners with God Himself.
Marriage then, is the first institution of human society - indeed it is the
institution on which all other human institutions have their foundation.
In the Christian tradition we refer to marriage as "holy matrimony" toChristianists only tell part of the story, as usual .
signal the fact that it is an institution ordained by God, and blessed by Christ
in his participation at a wedding in Cana of Galilee. In the Bible, God Himself
blesses and holds marriage in the highest esteem.
First, appealing to sacred scripture is fine for Christians – but marriage as “the crowning achievement of God’s creation?” Not according to St. Paul, who teaches that marriage is only for those who cannot contain themselves, Early Christian Fathers also taught that celibacy was a higher calling. (For that matter, the early Church Fathers misused scripture, such as Matthew 19:12 to indicate celibacy is a higher order of existence, but decrying an actual castration, as was done in many cases among early Christians – so much so that by the time of the Council of Nicaea, there was a prohibition against the ordination of eunuchs to further discourage the practice.)
Vast human experience confirms that marriage is the original and mostSo, marriage is good, and extending the right to those who are not heterosexual should also be good, right? But not according to the twisty turnings of the warped mind of Robert P. George.
important institution for sustaining the health, education, and welfare of all
persons in a society. Where marriage 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. Where the marriage
culture begins to erode, social pathologies of every sort quickly manifest
Unfortunately, we have witnessed over the course of the past several decadesDon’t blame gays for the failures of straights. The decline of marriage began with laws making divorce easier, laws that required men to pay for out-of-wedlock babies who were not voluntarily affiliated. Before the early 1950’s there were severe legal consequences for women who had sex outside of marriage and got pregnant – they had no “right” to child support. In the 1950’s, states started to try to make men obligated to support children born to women they had not married – this was the first blow against marriage.
a serious erosion of the marriage culture in our own country. Perhaps the most
telling - and alarming - indicator is the out-of-wedlock birth rate. Less than
fifty years ago, it was under 5 percent. Today it is over 40 percent. Our
society - and particularly its poorest and most vulnerable sectors, where the
out-of-wedlock birth rate is much higher even than the national average - is
paying a huge price in delinquency, drug abuse, crime, incarceration,
hopelessness, and despair. Other indicators are widespread non-marital sexual
cohabitation and a devastatingly high rate of divorce.
The real answer is to make abortion easier to get so fewer unwanted babies are born. Make it so men can voluntarily affiliate, but do not force paternity on them outside of marriage. Create a culture in which all marriages are celebrated, and that despite Christian teaching encouraging marriage only for the weak-willed, promoting married life as a lifestyle for straight as well as gay people.
We confess with sadness that Christians and our institutions have too often
scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage and to model for the
world the true meaning of marriage. Insofar as we have too easily embraced the
culture of divorce and remained silent about social practices that undermine the
dignity of marriage we repent, and call upon all Christians to do the same.
Wonderful – and by letting gays marry, and lesbians, too, that means that there will be less promiscuity, right? That would be a moral good. But not for Robby and his ilk.
To strengthen families, we must stop glamorizing promiscuity and infidelity
and restore among our people a sense of the profound beauty, mystery, and
holiness of faithful marital love.
We must reform ill-advised policies that contribute to the weakening of theThat paragraph is better than most! Perhaps one of the few that stands on its own as a good thing. But then Robby goes right into his evil thinking and we lose the thread of good stuff . . .
institution of marriage, including the discredited idea of unilateral divorce.
We must work in the legal, cultural, and religious domains to instill in young
people a sound understanding of what marriage is, what it requires, and why it
is worth the commitment and sacrifices that faithful spouses make.
The impulse to redefine marriage in order to recognize same-sex and multipleThis has nothing to do with straight people – marriage equality does not lessen the rights of straights to get married. Extending the right does not diminish the right for straights. As to multiple partner relationships, I am sure that the authors and signers of the Manhattan Declaration might bother to open their scriptures and find the number of multiparty marriages found all over the Bible.
partner relationships is a symptom, rather than the cause, of the erosion of the
marriage culture. It reflects a loss of understanding of the meaning of marriage
as embodied in our civil and religious law and in the philosophical tradition
that contributed to shaping the law. Yet it is critical that the impulse be
resisted, for yielding to it would mean abandoning the possibility of restoring
a sound understanding of marriage and, with it, the hope of rebuilding a healthy
It would lock into place the false and destructive belief that marriage isSo, marriages are supposed to be arranged by peoples’ parents? If love is not supposed to be a part of marriage (what the author of the Manhattan Declaration decries as “romance”), then on what foundation should it be built? Should it be a forced financial arrangement in which women are subsumed into the patriarchal primacy of the husband so much that they become legally incompetent – under the English Common Law, “the two become one, and that one is the husband.” IS this the goal of the Christianists? To return to a “traditional” form of marriage as it existed before 1848 in New York, under which married women did not even have the right to their own inheritances or wages?
all about romance and other adult satisfactions, and not, in any intrinsic way,
about procreation and the unique character and value of acts and relationships
whose meaning is shaped by their aptness for the generation, promotion and
protection of life.
In spousal communion and the rearing of children (who, as gifts of God, areAnd there aren’t gays and lesbians with children? And since there are, there is no reason for the law to discriminate against their children if their parents want the protection that marriage allows them.
the fruit of their parents’ marital love), we discover the profound reasons for
and benefits of the marriage covenant.
We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual andThe LIES Robby comes up with - what can we expect from the Chairman of Maggie Gallagher's Anri-MArriage group's board of directors – first commingling things and calling homosexuality and polyamory “immoral conduct.” LIE, Robby, LIE. It is Patriarchal dominance that is immoral; marriage in which women are treated as property is immoral. Non-heterosexual people are not all polyamorous, and heterosexual people are not all monagamous. One can justify a moral form of polyamory if one wishes, too.
polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed
towards other forms of immoral conduct.
We have compassion for those so disposed; we respect them as human beingsThere is nothing less wayward than having a libido. St Paul recognized that those who cannot maintain a celibate lifestyle should get married! But one does not see Christianists like Robert P. George pushing all but the weakest straight people to be celibate – no, to Robby, it’s all about heterosexual sex for breeding, isn’t it?.
possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity; and we pay tribute to the men
and women who strive, often with little assistance, to resist the temptation to
yield to desires that they, no less than we, regard as wayward.
We stand with them, even when they falter. We, no less than they, areI’m sorry, but this “culture of sin” is a Manichean problem that some Christianists still have to deal with – “Sin” is not what they think it is. And the idea that gay people and their natural sexual orientation are somehow sinful is rather distressing – the sin would be for them to act against their natural orientations. It is a Christian sin for straight people to experiment with gay sex, much as it is a sin for gay people to experiment with straight sex. God has a special calling for those who are not called to be heterosexual, or cissexual. There is a special place and a name in God’s House that is better than children.
sinners who have fallen short of God's intention for our lives.
We, no less than they, are in constant need of God’s patience, love andRobby George should speak for himself – it seems as if he wrote a speech on this topic for George W. Bush not so long ago, complete with the “we are all sinners” bologna. It’s just fine for Robby to wear a hair shirt and self-flagellate with his Opus Dei cronies, but it is not fine for him and his friends to be flagellating others – so please keep your sins to yourself, and let us keep our sins to ourselves.
We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and
at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it.
Our rejection of sin, though resolute, must never become the rejection of
Robby characterizes us as sinners, by his definition of morality. Unfortunately, Robby and the Christianists don’t really get it – there’s nothing immoral or sinful about gay people in a loving committed relationship. Make it legal and bless it. Or allow the religious freedom to those who believe they should be able to! The morality of “making it legal” is incontrovertible – only those with an evil morality or who are under the sway of false prophets will oppose marriage equality.
For every sinner, regardless of the sin, is loved by God, who seeks not ourMaybe the Christianists should seek forgiveness for their own sins, rather than criticizing others – the whole mote and beam thing. They are so busy criticizing and demeaning those who are different, that they fail to understand any of the central message of Christian teaching. (Which isn’t, by the way, the whole death, resurrection and ascenscion thing, but is rather the idea that we should not put form over substance, that we should love our neighbors, even those who are strange and different.
destruction but rather the conversion of our hearts. Jesus calls all who wander
from the path of virtue to "a more excellent way." As his disciples we will
reach out in love to assist all who hear the call and wish to answer it.
We further acknowledge that there are sincere people who disagree with us,I know, Christianists like Robby George don’t understand what the Bible really teaches. Those who understand sacred scripture and natural law can see the folly of his parody of reason. I do not believe that he is at all sincere – he is bright enough to understand exactly what he is doing and has done – but he is a slave to his deeply held prejudices, and he uses his God-given intelligence to rationalize a way to make it seem that the prejudice is justifiable. The fact is I do not view Robby George as being sincere – he disagrees with me, but his motivation is not sincere, it’s pure evil. Even if the oppressor is sincere, he is still the oppressor. While I may forgive him his sin, he must still repent to be saved.
and with the teaching of the Bible and Christian tradition, on questions of
sexual morality and the nature of marriage.
Some who enter into same-sex and polyamorous relationships no doubt regardThey are. They are just as valid, and moral and should be as legal as Robby George’s marriage, though Robby George conflates marriage equality based on sexual orientation and gender identity with other things in an attempt to lessen them by association – same sex relationships are no more likely to be polyamorous as opposite-sex relationships.
their unions as truly marital.
Ask the wealthy Egyptian who submits to the Will of Allah – and has the maximum four wives allowed under his religious belief. Robby might wish to address the morality of this. Of course, Islam is not a wonderful example of a moral religion, not when many imams support stonings and executions of gay people.
They fail to understand, however, that marriage is made possible by theMarriage is made possible by the willingness of two people to enter into a valid and binding exclusive contract of mutual love and support. For heterosexuals, there is “sexual complementarity” between a man and a woman. For gay men, there is a “sexual complementarity” between a man and a man, and for lesbians, there is a “sexual complementarity” between a woman and a woman. Robby George might benefit from reading Plato’s Symposium. Then again, he might not get it, since Plato is somewhat deep.
sexual complementarity of man and woman,
and that the comprehensive, multi-level sharing of life that marriage isThis is false, to the extent that it implies that the capacity for reproduction is a biological necessity for marriage – As I have pointed out, St. Paul teaches that Christian marriage is only for the weak of will. Reproduction is a side effect. The fact is that gay and lesbian people should be allowed to have the same sort of “comprehensive multi-level sharing” as their heterosexual brothers and sisters.
includes bodily unity of the sort that unites husband and wife biologically as a
This is because the body is no mere extrinsic instrument of the humanDon’t gays and lesbians (or transgender people) get to have our own personal realities?
person, but truly part of the personal reality of the human being.
Human beings are not merely centers of consciousness or emotion, or minds,Except for the procreation-by-accident part, gays and lesbians can achieve the same sort of commitment on all levels – and in many cases children are involved, whether they come from a previous heterosexual relationship, are adopted, or are the result of in vitro fertilization or surrogate motherhood.
or spirits, inhabiting non-personal bodies. The human person is a dynamic unity
of body, mind, and spirit. Marriage is what one man and one woman establish
when, forsaking all others and pledging lifelong commitment, they found a
sharing of life at every level of being - the biological, the emotional, the
dispositional, the rational, the spiritual - on a commitment that is sealed,
completed and actualized by loving sexual intercourse in which the spouses
become one flesh, not in some merely metaphorical sense, but by fulfilling
together the behavioral conditions of procreation.
That is why in the Christian tradition, and historically in Western law,Robby can write that in a world that is plagued by overpopulation and overbreeding, without blinking an eye. Perhaps the morality of a tiny desert tribe struggling for existence in the desert is inapplicable to billions of people on onne fragile planet. Yet the Roman Catholic Church will annul just about any marriage on the basis that the parties were not “ready” at the time, regardless of how many children they’ve had in the interim 20 or 30 years. And yet the Roman Catholic church will invalidate any marriage in which one of the parties turns out to be transsexual. Is Robby George suggesting, by the use of the term “consummated” in this context, that for heterosexuals it’s all about the sex?
consummated marriages are not dissoluble or annullable on the ground of
infertility, even though the nature of the marital relationship is shaped and
structured by its intrinsic orientation to the great good of procreation.
Add to that the sheer exercise in pure rationalization Robby George uses to justify non-reproductive heterosexual relationships as involving “marriage” while not justifying non-heterosexual relationships. If natural reproduction is not a requirement of all marriages, then it necessarily follows that marriages that are not reproductively capable are both moral and allowed, regardless of the sexual orientation of the parties.
We understand that many of our fellow citizens, including some Christians,It *is* a denial of civil rights – but Robby George and the Christianists have an agenda to oppress women within marriage, which means that if there is no woman to oppress, or if both parties are women, marriage does not make sense to them. But it makes sense to anyone whose mind is not twisted with prejudice.
believe that the historic definition of marriage as the union of one man and one
woman is a denial of equality or civil rights.
They wonder what to say in reply to the argument that asserts that no harmPutting it in quotes is insulting– if we put the shoe on the other foot, just how really “married” is Robby George to the woman he breeds with? If he must insult my relationship by putting it in quotes, why should his not be in quotes as well? To the extent that marriage is not available on an equal basis, it is an immoral institution for those who can partake of it because it is used as an instrument of oppression.
would be done to them or to anyone if the law of the community were to confer
upon two men or two women who are living together in a sexual partnership the
status of being "married."
It would not, after all, affect their own marriages, would it?And it does not.
On inspection, however, the argument that laws governing one kind ofThe argument stands pretty well, Robby. There should be only one kind of marriage – making artificial distinctions is what cannot stand – which is why only marriage works as supportive of equal rights.
marriage will not affect another cannot stand.
Were it to prove anything, it would prove far too much: the assumption thatLet’s examine this carefully – Robby George’s twisted misuse of reason leaves him using the same sort of argument that comes from the people who liken marriage to relationships between adults and minor children, or animals, trees or inanimate objects.
the legal status of one set of marriage relationships affects no other would not
only argue for same sex partnerships; it could be asserted with equal validity
for polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers,
sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships.
The point is, the bottom line is that marriage should be a contract on informed consent between or among competent adults who are not under coercion and have no disability to entering into a valid marriage, Islam allows a man up to four wives. Patriarchal Hebrews did the same. There are still splinter Mormon groups that practice polygamy. Many Americans practice a form of polygamy known as “serial monagamy” where they have more than one spouse, only just one at a time (while paramours may be involved, too, they just don’t have legal recognition) – these are ultimately dishonest relationships that cheapen the institution of marriage. There are differing religious views that should be respected provided children and the incompetent are not harmed, and no competent adult is coerced.
Should these, as a matter of equality or civil rights, be recognized as
lawful marriages, and would they have no effects on other relationships?
Actually, YES!!! They would NOT have an adverse effect on other relationships. If the only reason for prohibiting marriage between close relatives is because of a fear of recessive genes being concentrated and the creation of birth defects, these are the same sort of “eugenic” concerns that Robby George abhors in other circumstances. But an “incestuous” marriage between consenting adults would not adversely affect a non-incestuous marriage – the incestuous couple would have to bear the burden of an increased potential for adverse birth defects, but many of these could be dealt with via pre-natal screenings.
The truth is that marriage is not something abstract or neutral that the lawThe Christianists are the powerful and influential people who use the power of “majority rule” and use lying rhetoric to scare people into oppressing minorities – but people who really understand natural law, and the rights and freedoms of Americans, do not fear their power – Any real Christian knows that Robby George and the hard of heart Christianists who have signed onto his Manhattan Declaration, whose motivation is to harm LGBT people, will be numbered among the goats unless they repent what they do – and they would know it, too, if they were not ensnared in the web of falsehood that is a parody of natural law reasoning. The Christianists fear that as people become more civilized and less under their thrall, that they may soon no longer be able to hide behind the “majority rule” of oppression.
may legitimately define and re-define to please those who are powerful and
No one has a civil right to have a non-marital relationship treated as aThat is exactly the reason why marriage equality is necessary. Calling our relationships anything other than marriage lessens them, cheapens them, makes them lesser than those of the heterosexuals among us. Christianists only want special rights for the majority while they belittle and demean those whom they wish to victimize.
Marriage is an objective reality - a covenantal union of husband and wife -
that it is the duty of the law to recognize and support for the sake of justice
and the common good. If it fails to do so, genuine social harms follow.
Marriage is certainly an objective reality – a covenantal union, but not limited to a special right for heterosexuals.
First, not recognizing marriage equality is discriminatory against an oppressed minority. The genuine social harms are being imposed on my people, by people like Robby George and his ilk.
First, the religious liberty of those for whom this is a matter ofSecond, the religious liberty of those who DO believe in marriage equality is jeopardized. Religious liberty is NOT just for Christianists, but for everyone.
conscience is jeopardized.
Second, the rights of parents are abused as family life and sex educationThird, children should be taught in school that many of them are heterosexual and some are bisexual, homosexual, or asexual, and that all of these orientations are natural and equally good for those who have them – then leave it up to the Churches to teach it is wrong for people to act against the nature God gave them. Of course, some Churches will teach immoral doctrines that make some people less worthy than others on the basis of their sexual orientation – provided they keep their bigotry in their Churches and keep it away from the public square, they can be tolerated. Perhaps Christianist parents should be seen as abusive of their children if they keep them from being educated about the reality of life. Perhaps these people should not be allowed to keep the children they abuse in this way.
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.
Third, 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.
Fourth, use that argument listed as “Third” in the Manhattan Declaration since a clear reading of it makes it work in favor of marriage equality! The common good of civil society is damaged when gay and lesbian relationships are treated as less than the special relationships for heterosexuals,
Sadly, we are today far from having a thriving marriage culture. But if weAnd limiting marriage to heterosexuals is a false proclamation. Live with it. The cure for heterosexual marriage does not include denigrating the marriages of non-heterosexual people.
are to begin the critically important process of reforming our laws and mores to
rebuild such a culture, the last thing we can afford to do is to re-define
marriage in such a way as to embody in our laws a false proclamation about what
And so it is out of love (not "animus") and prudent concern for the common
good (not "prejudice"),
Robbie is still lying - he knows or should know that it is purely out of animus, and prejudice, that he makes his false rationalizations.
that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of
marriage as the union of one man and one woman
Which means that the open bigotry of Robby George and his associates will continue, under a false mantle claiming to be “moral” but representing the corruption and evil of the Christianist whited sepulchres.
and to rebuild the marriage culture. How could we, as Christians, doRobby George is clearly a Christianist, and not a Christian at all. So he can’t even honestly ask the question.
The Bible teaches us that marriage is a central part of God's creation
And St. Paul, right there in the Bible, clearly and unequivocably teaches that marriage is only for the weak of will – Christianity does not have the answer for civil marriage – there is too much that is contradictory in Christianist teachings. While fecund heterosexual relationships certainly have their place, they may at best only claim to be primum inter partes (first among equals) because the human race would cease to exist if there was no reproduction at all.
Indeed, the union of husband and wife mirrors the bond between Christ andRobby George places his Christianist views ahead of the United States Constitution and the principles upon which the United States was founded. Considering that Christianity has been torn by schisms and there are many Christian churches, the “bond” must be a polygamous one between Christ and his Churches – unless Robby is going to be jettisoning his non Roman Catholic findamentalist friends. Only by cynical rationalization, can Robby George come to the false conclusions that he does in his parody of natural law.
And so just as Christ was willing, out of love, to give Himself up for theThe fact is that it is the opponents of the Manhattan Declaration who are supportive of the inestimable treasure that is marriage equality. Perhaps Robby George should consider pulling back from the brink – if there is no justice, there should be no peace. And if the Christianists will sacrifice in their lust to oppress women and minorities, then those of us who love freedom can do no less than to pledge our lives, our fortunes and our sacred honor to support equal rights, and to oppose special rights..
church in a complete sacrifice, we are willing, lovingly, to make whatever
sacrifices are required of us for the sake of the inestimable treasure that is
Religious LibertyIf we understand the idea of rendering to Caesar, we should understand that what Robby wants if to have his understanding of God’s Will be substituted for the fairness and equality of the principles that provide the foundational structure of the American Republic.
The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. Isaiah 61:1
Give to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's. Matthew 22:21
The struggle for religious liberty across the centuries has been long andWait a moment – shouldn’t Buddhists have religious liberty? How about Jews? Is religious freedom reserved only for those who turn Jesus into God?
arduous, but it is not a novel idea or recent development. The nature of
religious liberty is grounded in the character of God Himself, the God who is
most fully known in the life and work of Jesus Christ.
Determined to follow Jesus faithfully in life and death, the early
Christians appealed to the manner in which the Incarnation had taken place: "Did
God send Christ, as some suppose, as a tyrant brandishing fear and terror? Not
so, but in gentleness and meekness..., for compulsion is no attribute of God"
(Epistle to Diognetus 7.3-4). Thus the right to religious freedom has its
foundation in the example of Christ Himself and in the very dignity of the human
person created in the image of God - a dignity, as our founders proclaimed,
inherent in every human, and knowable by all in the exercise of right
Robby uses the term “right reason” without understanding the concept in the least. All he does is “wrong rationalization” while calling it right, and reason – or maybe he means right-wing reasoning.
Christians confess that God alone is Lord of the conscience. Immunity from
religious coercion is the cornerstone of an unconstrained conscience. No one
should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will, nor should persons
of faith be forbidden to worship God according to the dictates of conscience or
to express freely and publicly their deeply held religious convictions. What is
true for individuals applies to religious communities as well.
But when your religious freedom is used to oppress me, you have to leave it in your church, and keep it out of the public square. Robby’s religious freedom must have limits, or else it is only Robby and those who are fellow believers in oppression and patriarchal dominance who will have freedom.
It is ironic that those who today assert a right to kill the unborn
You can’t kill that which is not yet alive.
, aged and disabled
No – it’s the right of the dying to die in dignity.
and also a right to engage in immoral sexual practices,
Robby is clearly blind to Truth. What is immoral for him as a heterosexual male Roman Catholic involves acting against his nature, is different from that which is moral from me as a transsexual lesbian Unitarian (and recovering Roman Catholic), for whom it would be immoral to act against my nature. In the public square, morality must be tempered with mutual respect and the overarching principles of tolerance for the beliefs of others – limiting acting on individual morality where it harms children, or involves coercion or abuse of others. Regardless of Biblical teachings ,an unmarried rape victim should not be forced to marry her attacker. Persons caught in adultery should not be stoned to death in the public square (or anywhere else). People should be entitled to equality of opportunity in the public square, particularly when discrimination would otherwise occur on the basis of prejudice.
and even a right to have relationships integrated around these practices be
recognized and blessed by law - such persons claiming these "rights" are very
often in the vanguard of those who would trample upon the freedom of others to
express their religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the
dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife.
If one’s religious beliefs and morality preclude proper performance of the job, the individual should see other employment that does not result in a moral conundrum. A physician opposed to abortion should not consider gynecology or gynecological surgery as a specialty. A pharmacist who can’t morally fill prescriptions for birth control pills should perhaps get a job in another profession. If one’s moral beliefs conflict with one’s job, the moral choice is to get another job.
We see this, for example, in the effort to weaken or eliminate conscience
clauses, and therefore to compel pro-life institutions (including religiously
affiliated hospitals and clinics), and pro-life physicians, surgeons, nurses,
and other health care professionals, to refer for abortions and, in certain
cases, even to perform or participate in abortions.
We see it in the use of anti-discrimination statutes to force religiousAnother Robby George lie – one thst has been used over and over by his “National Organization for (really against) Marriage.” The TRUTH is that Catholic Charities chose to end its adoption placements because it did not want to use its own money, and the use of state funds came with strings attached, such as a law prohibiting discrimination. The LDS religion continues to provide adoption services in Massachusetts, it does not sponsor gay adoptions, and does not accept state funds.
institutions, businesses, and service providers of various sorts to comply with
activities they judge to be deeply immoral or go out of business. After the
judicial imposition of "same-sex marriage" in Massachusetts, for example,
Catholic Charities chose with great reluctance to end its century-long work of
helping to place orphaned children in good homes rather than comply with a legal
mandate that it place children in same-sex households in violation of Catholic
In New Jersey, after the establishment of a quasi-marital "civil unions"
scheme, a Methodist institution was stripped of its tax exempt status when it
declined, as a matter of religious conscience, to permit a facility it owned and
operated to be used for ceremonies blessing homosexual unions.
Yet another Robby George lie – this involved the abuse of a tax exemption for a secular place, not a church building, located on a beachfront where the tax exemption was conditioned on equal access. No one was forcing a non-inclusive Methodist minister to preside at the ceremony. And the tax exemption that was lost was only for the affected pavilion, though I personally believe that churches should not be exempt fromt axation, since a tax exemption should be seen as an encouragement and support of churches by government.
In Canada and some European nations, Christian clergy have been prosecutedStirring up one’s flock to stone the nearest gay person is something that should be prosecuted – except in Robbyworld, where it is okay to preach violence, abuse and murder against minorities.
for preaching Biblical norms against the practice of homosexuality. New
hate-crime laws in America raise the specter of the same practice here.
In recent decades a growing body of case law has paralleled the decline inAs with any other freedom, there are reasonable limits - no freedom can be untrammeled else it devolve into mere license. When religion is used to oppress others, it cannot be freely exercised.
respect for religious values in the media, the academy and political leadership,
resulting in restrictions on the free exercise of religion.
We view this as an ominous development, not only because of its threat toReally? These developments exist to preserve the common welfare and culture of freedom – the limits on untrammeled exercise of a “freedom of religion” is clearly a question of examining the difference between true freedom, and license. Freedom of religion does not give Robby a right to stone me to death.
the individual liberty guaranteed to every person, regardless of his or her
faith, but because the trend also threatens the common welfare and the culture
of freedom on which our system of republican government is founded.
Restrictions on the freedom of conscience or the ability to hire people ofAlexis de Tocqueville warned against the tyranny of the majority – clearly Robby hasn’t read much of Democracy in America, either.
one's own faith or conscientious moral convictions for religious institutions,
for example, undermines the viability of the intermediate structures of society,
the essential buffer against the overweening authority of the state, resulting
in the soft despotism Tocqueville so prophetically warned of.1 Disintegration of
civil society is a prelude to tyranny.
As Christians, we take seriously the Biblical admonition to respect and obeyThen it is incumbent on us to resist the laws against marriage equality – it is incumbent on us to resist laws that oppress women and deny them their rights – it is incumbent on us to resist laws that oppress LGBT people.
those in authority. We believe in law and in the rule of law. We recognize the
duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws
are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or
The biblical purpose of law is to preserve order and serve justice and the
common good; yet laws that are unjust - and especially laws that purport to
compel citizens to do what is unjust - undermine the common good, rather than
Going back to the earliest days of the church, Christians have refused to
compromise their proclamation of the gospel. In Acts 4, Peter and John were
ordered to stop preaching. Their answer was, "Judge for yourselves whether it is
right in God's sight to obey you rather than God. For we cannot help speaking
about what we have seen and heard." Through the centuries, Christianity has
taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required.
This may well be a principle – but one that is only morally used in the
defense of justice, fairness and equality.
There is no more eloquent defense of the rights and duties of religiousAnd the unjust laws that Robby supports, and the just laws that he opposes, degrade all human beings – no one is free until all of us are free. It is a horror that Robby dares quote Dr. King in support of his oppressive imposition of his "morality" on the world.
conscience than the one offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a
Birmingham Jail. Writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, and citing
Christian writers such as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught that just laws
elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose
ultimate source is God Himself. Unjust laws degrade human beings.
Inasmuch as they can claim no authority beyond sheer human will, they lack
any power to bind in conscience. King's willingness to go to jail, rather than
comply with legal injustice, was exemplary and inspiring.
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any
edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions,
Robby does not have justice or the common good in mind when he preached bigotry. If a Catholic hospital accepts government money? Sorry. Operate it solely with private funds, and maybe the government might allow it to discriminate unjustly.
embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any otherAgain – I can possibly consider support ing Robby’s right for Catholic institutions to refuse to participate in any of these things as long as public money is not involved – but not if they accept one taxpayer dime for any purpose.
nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexualBlessing, okay. Sure, if a church is a church for bigots, it should have the freedom to bless religious marriages, but should NOT have a right to perform a civil marriage.
treat them as marriages or the equivalent,Whoops, this is where I have a problem with Robby. Civil marriage is different from religious marriage - it's perfectly all right for Robby or another bigot to not recognize my marriage as being real, as long as I have the right to believe that it's immoral for him to be breeding with a woman he thinks he is "married" to (especially a non-Catholic woman!) and contribute to overpopulation. If this is an employment issue, employees should be protected by the same laws. I can understand the possibility of exempting a church that hires only its own adherents. If the Catholic Church hires a Jewish housekeeper, she should be entitled to the same medical coverage she would get elsewhere, regardless of the Church’s position. If a Catholic hospital employs only Catholics, and treats only Catholics, an exemption should be allowable.
Hire a gay employee who has a civil marriage – they get the same benefit as other married people. Solution? Do not provide special benefits to anyone based on marital status, and the Church does not fall outside the law
or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality andThere are limits to the “proclamation of ‘truth’” – incitement to violence should not be exempt.
immorality and marriage and the family.
We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But underWell, Robby should not force his version of God on the people – and shouldn’t force his intolerant and unloving version of God on me, or on my civil rights.
no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.
1Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in AmericaOn Marriage, Transsexual people, and the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church
Robby George is a Roman Catholic, and has within his coterie of followers many bishops of the Roman Catholic Church. The following address that Church’s scriptural and logical errors.
The teachings of the Roman Catholic Church relating to homosexual and transsexual people (the latter available only in a sub secretum document issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000, leaked to CNS in 2003) are not firmly rooted in sacred scripture, and the ''science'' used to depict these different people as ''disordered'' is junk science.
Before his papacy, Pope Benedict himself dismissively cited the story of Sodom and Gommorrah as follows ''Thus, in Genesis 19:1-11, the deterioration due to sin continues in the story of the men of Sodom. There can be no doubt of the moral judgement made there against homosexual relations.''*-*LETTER TO THE BISHOPS OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON THE PASTORAL CARE OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS – Homosexualitatis problema (Epistula de pastorali personarum homosexualium cura), October 1st, 1986, §6, par. 2- The Pope sees a different story than that written in the Book of Genesis. The story I read involves the suspicious, inhospitable men of Sodom, whose disapproval of and lack of hospitality for strangers from outside the city translated into a desire to gang-rape them and throw them out of town, the ancient equivalent of tarring, feathering and riding out of town on a rail.This was a very macho thing – to show strangers that the men of Sodom were ''real men'' and the visitors were ''less than women.''This misogynistic mistrust of people who are different, strangers in our midst, is not a characteristic of gay people, but of those who condemn them as ''sodomites'' – who are themselves the real sodomites!
There is a difference between an Aristotelian-based understanding of biology parsed through a scriptural lens, and the actual biological reality of God's creation. Biological sex in reality is not as simple as looking at the gross shape of the 23rd chromosome pair. If one delves into the genetic blueprint, everyone is created ''male *and* female'' which one can also see stated in Gen.1:27. Developmentally, we usually end up with one or the other sex, and this works with over 99% of human beings. The other less-than-1% have biology that does not easily fit into one or the other of the sex designations. It is the height of human folly to arbitrarily limit God.
Transsexual and other intersex people were created to be different. It is not their choice to be created the way they were, and I suspect that we exist as examples of the diversity of creation.
The theories of John Money as to the malleability of sex identity were discredited by Milton Diamond, not by John McHugh, who misadvised the Vatican on transsexuality leading to my frustration with the sub secretum pronouncement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2000. We are indeed as God created us, but for those who are transsexual or intersex, that is ''other'' or ''both'' rather than ''either'' or ''or.''
Rabbi Mark Sameth of Pleasantville, New York, wrote something recently on a surprising disclosure of an aspect of the nature of God found by studying the Tetragrammaton, which dovetails nicely with Gen.1:27 - read YHWH backward and one gets HWHY, which reads (in English) as ''he/she'' - an epithet usually hurled at persons who are visibly different, but who are special to God (Is.56:5).
In Romans 1, often cited in condemnation of gay and lesbian people, Paul was being critical of pagan fertility (goddess cult) and Bacchanalic orgiastic practices, which led persons of a heterosexual nature to practice in their religious ecstasy behaviors that are against their natures as God created them. If one assumes a homosexual nature in those created by God with such a nature to be ''natural'' for that minority of God's creation, the passage could well be read as implying that we should not act against our nature as we are created.
An example: Jim, a gay Catholic striving to overcome his nature, marries Mary. He tries very hard to act against his nature, they even have children, but the marriage ends in divorce (and an annulment is granted) because his attempt to be ''straight'' has caused him to have psychiatric issues. Everyone has been hurt because Jim tried, but failed, to act against his nature. Indeed, had he gone into the marriage knowing his nature was homosexual (rather than buying into the idea that he could change his nature), one can argue that his getting married to Mary would be sinful.
Counseling gays into reparative therapy to make them try to act against their nature as they were created, is is not a good idea. Celibacy as an obligation for all who have a homosexual orientation is needlessly cruel and I would think it flies in the face of 1Cor.7:8-9. Paul indicates that celibacy is only for those Christians who can contain themselves sufficiently to live in continence. Those who cannot should marry rather than to fall into sinful behaviors. (Of course, that raises the issue of whether the Church should consider whether gays in monagamous relationships should be viewed as acting sinfully - I would think that God does not require us to do the impossible, and it is clear than not all are called to celibacy.)
This commentary of mine, of course, is a criticism of the current teaching of the magisterium.
Conclusion to this Response
The bottom line to the Religious Liberty argument professed by these Christianists, is that they are the only ones they think should have religious liberty. All others should have their religious liberty suppressed. How exceedingly obvious this is, and how sad.
For Robby George, whose appalling rejection of natural law is apparent from his writing, Reason is merely a tool of whatever prejudice strikes his fancy. True Right Reason is in favor of civil marriage equality, not opposed to it.
When he blames same-sex marriage for all the ills of heterosexual marriage, such as marital infidelity, divorce, and out-of-wedlock births, he makes no sense except through the lens of his prejudice.
Robby George wants to keep children ignorant, to keep women oppressed, and to discriminate against people just because they are different from him or have a different faith.
Robby George’s parody of Reason is proof of the corruption of his version of natural law, which is not based at all upon the reality of nature, but upon his prejudice. Perhaps he should return to Faith; even if that can still be twisted to suit his prejudice, as we know all too well.
Please join in condemning Robby George and those misanthropic misogynists who have promulgated and signed the Manhattan Declaration. They are hateful, abusive, intolerant Christianist bigots falsely claiming the mantle of Christianity to push their agenda of special rights and oppression. They have further hardened their hearts against all that is good and right and just, and showed the depth of the evil in their hearts.
And for those of us who believe in God, pray that God has mercy on their souls, lest they be numbered among the goats on the Day of Judgment.
In Peace and Love,
Serva Servarum Deae