It seems that Chuck Colson has gathered together a group of right-wing activists and clergy for something called the “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience” in order to create a unified front in fighting the culture war:
The manifesto, to be released on Friday at the National Press Club in Washington, is an effort to rejuvenate the political alliance of conservative Catholics and evangelicals that dominated the religious debate during the administration of President George W. Bush. The signers include nine Roman Catholic archbishops and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.
They want to signal to the Obama administration and to Congress that they are still a formidable force that will not compromise on abortion, stem-cell research or gay marriage. They hope to influence current debates over health care reform, the same-sex marriage bill in Washington, D.C., and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
They say they also want to speak to younger Christians who have become engaged in issues like climate change and global poverty, and who are more accepting of homosexuality than their elders. They say they want to remind them that abortion, homosexuality and religious freedom are still paramount issues.
For some reason, the headline of the New York Times article is “Christian Leaders Unite on Political Issues” instead of “Right Wing Activists Unite On Political Issues,” which would have been far more accurate considering that a significant number of those who signed on to this declaration are standard Religious Right political activists:
Chuck Colson Founder, the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview
Jim Daly President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)
Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, VA)
Dr. James Dobson Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, CO)
Dr. William Donohue President, Catholic League (New York, NY)
Dinesh D’Souza Writer & Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, CA)
Rev. Jonathan Falwell Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, VA)
Maggie Gallagher President, Institute for Marriage and Public Policy and a co-author of The Case for Marriage (Manassas, VA)
Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, NJ)
Rev. Ken Hutcherson Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, WA)
Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, MD)
Dr. Richard Land President, The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, DC)
Rev. Herb Lusk Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia, PA)
Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, KY)
Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)
Alan Sears President, CEO, & General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, AZ)
Mark Tooley President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)
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, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion 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; 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; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image.
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. 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.