Christian leaders reaffirmed their conservative stances on abortion, same-sex marriage, and religious liberty with a 4,700-word declaration released Friday.
Signed initially by 125 evangelical, Catholic, and Orthodox leaders, the Manhattan Declaration calls Christians to adhere to three primary convictions, even if this requires civil disobedience. Charles Colson, who helped draft the declaration, said the statement brings Christian leaders together on the issues of abortion, marriage, and religious freedom in the face of growing pressure.
"There are three issues that are foundational to a Christian perspective and society," Colson told Christianity Today. "It was important for us to ground all of our moral concerns in the three foundational truths."
Christian leaders realized they needed to come together and reaffirm their positions as a group, Princeton University professor Robert George said.
"We have all three levels of government committed to pro-choice views," George said. "[President] Obama has pledged he'll expand access to abortion, the Congress is now firmly in the hands of those who support legal abortion, and then of course in the Supreme Court there is still a 5-to-4 majority in favor of constitutional rights to abortion."
President Obama has also pledged to abolish the Defense of Marriage Act, and in his first year in office, he signed a bill expanding the federal hate crimes law to include homosexuality and lifted bans on the federal funding of embryonic stem cell research.
Drafters of the declaration met informally last January with about 150 Christians concerned with biblical orthodoxy. The statement was completed in September and signed over the last few weeks.
"We are Christians who have joined together across ...1