Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Manifesto Of The Week

Everyone seems to have a manifesto these days.  Groups of people are struggling to have their voices heard in a political climate that's heavy on the jackboot and shy on the First Amendment.  Here's the latest craze:  The Manhattan Declaration.

The Declaration in  nutshell:

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.

To me, the Declaration is disappointing.

Although I believe Americans need to strive to return to core values, I also believe that America was founded and built by many faiths.  Our great country was founded BECAUSE we demanded religious freedom.  The Declaration seems to be a gathering statement for Christians only.  This is perfectly fine, but I won't be signing it for this reason.

Another disappointment is the focus on man/woman marriage.  It's true that the institution of marriage has crumbled, but banning homosexual people from getting married isn't going to strengthen it.  Thomas Jefferson once commented:

The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbour to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

That's the way I feel about the function of government.  Gay marriage neither breaks my leg nor picks my pocket.  Who am I to tell my neighbor he doesn't have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness?  I expect my neighbor to support himself and his family, contribute his time and efforts to the well-being of our community, and occasionally mow his lawn.  I could care less if his spouse's name is Mary or Bill.  This is another reason I won't be signing the Declaration, but I respect the rights of others to express their own feelings about this subject.

What say you, good people of TCKT?

1 comment:

  1. I think the Manhattan Declaration strives to say as little as possible with a great abundance of words, and succeeds brilliantly.

    Personally I believe the rights of civil union for gay couples will be instituted by demographic momentum - younger people see it as a civil rights issue. I tend to agree.

    Whether those rights of civil union are given the title "marriage" in statute is of less concern to me.