The Manhattan Declaration Is Not Made More Moderate Because Some Didn’t Sign

I have to say that I am rather confused by this analysis of the Manhattan Declaration from Tobin Grant in Christianity Today suggesting that the document is somehow not an exclusively Religious Right endeavor because some right-wing groups and individuals did not sign on

Late last week, representatives from leading evangelical political advocacy groups unveiled “The Manhattan Declaration,” a call for Christian unity on issues of life, marriage, and religious liberty. The coalition of advocacy groups and ministries cut across Christian traditions but did not include many leaders from what some consider the Christian Right’s old guard.

The Manhattan Declaration is noteworthy for both the leaders who signed it and those who did not.

The declaration has received national attention because, in addition to many American evangelical leaders, its signatories include nine Catholic archbishops, the president of the Catholic League, the primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, and the primate of the Orthodox Church in America.

However, notably absent are leaders from political groups seen by many as the “Christian Right,” including the American Family Association, American Center for Law and Justice, Concerned Women for America, and Traditional Values Coalition. The John Hancocks of Christian Broadcasting Network founder Pat Robertson and Sojourners founder Jim Wallis are also missing.

It is not clear whether these groups turned down an invitation to join the coalition or were not invited.

It is not a shock that Robertson and Wallis didn’t sign on, since Robertson is pretty much never invited to participate in anything like this and Wallis is not a member of the Religious Right.   Wendy Wright of Concerned Women for America has since added her name. But just because groups like the AFA, TVC, and ACLJ haven’t signed on doesn’t mean this manifesto is anything other than a Religious Right call to arms.

Rather than focus on who didn’t sign, all you need to do is look at who did.