They call it the “Manhattan Declaration.” The document is an attempt by conservative Christians to reignite the culture wars that so consumed the nation in the early years of the last decade. The Declaration compares pro-choice advocates to eugenicists and Nazis and argue that same-sex marriage will be the road to polygamy and incest.
That, in a nutshell, is pretty much it. It contains the usual hype and bluster about creeping totalitarianism in the United States, even though its issuers would like nothing better than to turn America into a theocracy that would replace the Constitution with Leviticus. (Granted, stoning is a cost-effective means of execution, but really, now…)
The first thing to understand is that this is not a Christian documents because the individuals who drafted it and those who signed it are not Christians; they are Christianists. Christianism is an ideology that does its damndest to steer Christianity around the teachings of Jesus and resurrect the wrathful Jehovah of the Old Testament.
The whole concept of Christian love and forgiveness is anathema to them. They prefer their deity pissed off and ready to kick some ass. This is what makes organized religion so dangerous. As theologian William Stringfellow puts it, “The American churches more often than not have been among the most menial, manipulated and degraded vassals of the power of death.
Christianists hide behind the ramparts of dogma and express their piety in a spittle-spray of rage. Slaughter rocks when done in the name of God, and mendacity tastes sweeter when flavored with scripture.
As far as abortion goes, I refuse to entertain any pro-lifers unless they are active as hell in the peace movement. If they were serious about the “sanctity of life,” they would be storming the Pentagon, and Roman Catholic bishops would be demanding that our military budget be cut to the bones. But, that would mean an end to the patriotic violence they find so stimulating.
One of the best defenses of abortion was told me by a devout Roman Catholic who attended mass daily. He quoted Genesis 2.7, which reads: “then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a living being (emphasis mine). In other words, the Bible tells us that life begins when an infant draws its first breath, or when is can survive outside the womb. Prior to that, it is simply a mass of cells.
But then, how could you have a culture war with thinking like that.
As far as homosexuality goes, Leviticus does have some nasty things to say about it. But the same book also prohibits the eating of shell fish. Now, the ban on shell fish had a practical basis since eating them in the days before refrigeration could be deadly.
When you stop and think about it, the ban on homosexuality also had a practical basis. In biblical times, the average life expectancy was somewhere around 21 years. The average was dragged down by an inordinately high rate of infant mortality. Back then, a woman had to go through six pregnancies just to keep the population stable.
Couple that with the fact that the main source of labor for the labor-intensive endeavors necessary to keep the village or farm going was children and we can understand why homosexual unions were banned since such a union would deprive the village or farm of twelve pregnancies.
However, fast forward to the modern area when Homo sapiens cover the earth like vermin, a homosexual unions start to make a lot of sense.
To date, 419,000 people have signed the declaration. (That’s .002 percent of the population for those who keep track.)
The religious right wants a utopian society that would consist of well-behaved Christians living lives of piety and obedience who would behave with propriety while attending a public stoning. I have no doubt they would oozed Christian love while the victim died a slow and painful death.
The problem with any utopian society is that you have to wade through so much blood to establish it. All you can do with the legions who don’t buy into your particular brand of ideology is herd them into a stadium and kill them.
But then, Christian love has always been a great rationale for murderous mayhem. Hell, if someone won’t convert the best thing to do is send them upstairs to have a heart-to-heart with the old man.