ADF: ADF president proudly signs the Manhattan Declaration

by D. Bennett

The Alliance Defense Fund reports that its president, Alan Sears, along with nearly 150 Christian leaders, has signed the Manhattan Declaration, “a groundbreaking statement calling on Christians to take a stand and decline to comply with any policies that would violate their sincerely-held religious beliefs with regard to the sanctity of life, marriage, and the family.”

“It’s a great privilege for me to join with Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians,” Sears said, “in adding my signature, as an individual, to this historic document, and I hope others will join in support of this effort.”

The Manhattan Declaration: Christians Unite on Life, Marriage, & Liberty

by Tobin Grant

Yesterday, a coalition of Christian leaders (some political, some not) announced the “Manhattan Declaration“.  Most of the leaders were Evangelicals, but conservative leaders from Anglican, Catholic, and Orthodox churches were also signatories.

The Declaration is a call “to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good…These truths are:

  1. the sanctity of human life
  2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
  3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.”

You can read more about the Declaration at the NYT.

Most of the signatories are conservatives, both politically and religiously.  However, there were many influential conservative groups that are part of this coalition.  Here is a breakdown of which of the groups we tracked signed the Declaration.

Groups that were original signatories:

  • ADF
  • Al Mohler
  • Chuck Colson/Break Point
  • Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission and Richard Land
  • Evangelicals for Social Action
  • Family Research Council
  • Focus on the Family Action
  • Institute on Religion and Democracy
  • National Association of Evangelicals
  • Susan B. Anthony List

Groups that were not original signatories:

  • ACLJ
  • AFA
  • AUL
  • CBN
  • Center for Just Society
  • Center for Moral Clarity
  • CWA
  • Faith in Public Life
  • Liberty Counsel
  • National Right to Life Committee
  • Relevant’s “Reject Apathy”
  • Sojourners
  • Traditional Values Coalition

ACLJ: Protecting “God,” One Amicus Brief at a Time

by D. Bennett

The American Center for Law and Justice e-mailed subscribers today, asking for financial support as the group prepares to submit its amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court regarding Freedom from Religion Foundation v. Ayers.

The case originated after the phrases “God Bless America” and “One Nation Under God” were added to the new Capitol Visitor Center under instruction from Congress. Advocates for church-state separation want the references removed from the Center.

“If you don’t want to imagine a time,” the ACLJ writes, “when school children are banned from singing ”God bless America” simply because ”God” is referenced, please help us immediately.”

ADF: St. Louis to end “unconstitutional” policy

by D. Bennett

The Alliance Defense Fund reports that the city of St. Louis has agreed to stop enforcing a “problematic literature distribution policy,” thus avoiding a lawsuit filed by an ADF-associated attorney.

The city threatened members of a Christian group with arrest in 2006 as the group was handing out literature at the city’s annual “Pridefest” event.

“Christian groups shouldn’t be banned from public areas for expressing their beliefs,” said ADF-allied attorney Rick Nelson. “We are pleased that the city of St. Louis now recognizes the First Amendment rights of ministries who wish to share their viewpoint on important social and moral issues at events taking place at public locations.”

Sojourners

by M. Pulliam

Action alert: Sojourners asks Americans to let Congress know that the same old broken financial system that lead to the $700 billion bailout will not do, citing scripture, “as Christians, we can advocate for a just financial system based on the wisdom of scripture. The Bible commends ‘those who deal generously and lend, who conduct their affairs with justice’ (Psalm 112:5), and condemns those who oppress the poor and needy for their own gain (Ezekiel 18:10-13).”

Arizona Sheriff had his ability  to enforce immigration laws (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 287(g)) revoked as he became notorious for repeated abuses.

Sojourners asks if Obama’s Peace Prize is premature and concludes, that no, his vision and immediate actions especially are deserving of the prize and this award should encourage him to continue with that vision. Another blogger sees the award as more of an encouragement and a challenge to America. Jim Wallis also comments on his take, particularly addressing the problem with all of the critics.

Sojourners distinguishes itself from critics on the right and critics on the left, using abortion as an example (a good perspective on a few issues).

Sojourners attempts to break down some of the assumptions that Christians should have certain political theologies, referencing the “Left Behind” series, big government, and the Conservative Bible Project.  Read more about Sojourner’s take on the Conservative Bible Project here.

One blog mentions that President Obama sent two members of his Cabinet, Arne Duncan and Eric Holder, to Chicago to meet with high school students, hoping that he will bring constructive change to the current desolate division between the tourists’ Chicago and the Chicago that the friends of Derrion Albert see.

Liberty Counsel: Mojave cross case reveals ACLU’s ‘extremism’

by D. Bennett

The Liberty Counsel reports that the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments tomorrow in Salazar v. Buono, a case that has drawn national attention.

The Court will decided whether or not a 75-year old WWI memorial should be allowed to stand. The memorial, an eight-foot cross erected in 1935, is currently covered by plywood following a lower court’s ruling.

“This case reveals the extremism of the ACLU,” the release by the LC says. “For 75 years this cross in the Mojave Desert did not disturb anyone. It stood as a memorial to the heroes of World War I. Removing this memorial would be an insult to our war veterans.”

Evangelicals for Social Action: government, torture, climate change

by M. Pulliam

Evangelicals for Social Action direct readers to take action on abuse of detainees in US custody. The CIA Inspector General’s recent report describes more extensive torture than previous reports have described.

ESA describes what a Biblical perspective of government looks like and how it could help resolve meaningless conflict about health care reform.

A writer reports about her visit to India.

“Changes in monsoon rainfall patterns, flooding and drought, and the increased frequency of large-scale disasters like the 2005 tsunami are all climate-related circumstances that may be blips on the radars of nations in the North but that cut countries like India to the bone. Among the rural poor of India, in particular, these circumstances can’t be ignored, and their causes can’t be speculated on or argued over.”