Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Warped Worldviews: The Manhattan Declaration of War and the Rick Warren Silent Declaration of Genocide

This is an act of terror and murder against an already beleaguered minority, and Warren is an accessory to it. As a powerful figure in distributing AIDS funding in Uganda, he cannot bring himself to oppose a law that would condemn someone in a gay relationship to death, and imprison him or her for touching another human being, and inciting a wave of informing on family members and friends and acquaintances in order to terrify a sexual minority. This alleged man of God cannot speak out on this - except to protect his own p.r.
- Andrew Sullivan, The Atlantic

Several weeks ago, the Christian Right finally unleashed its bigotry in a statement called The Manhattan Declaration, formally defining their role in America's culture war. Oh, it had some little "we're sorry" moments

While fully acknowledging the imperfections and shortcomings of Christian institutions and communities in all ages [In other words, they don’t intend to address the topic of pedophile priests or ministers], we claim the heritage of those Christians who defended innocent life by rescuing discarded babies from trash heaps in Roman cities and publicly denouncing the Empire’s sanctioning of infanticide. We remember with reverence those believers who sacrificed their lives by remaining in Roman cities to tend the sick and dying during the plagues [Like the onslaught of AIDS?], and who died bravely in the coliseums rather than deny their Lord.

And this gem:

We have compassion for those so disposed [to homosexuality]; we respect them as human beings possessing profound, inherent, and equal dignity;
Followed by an arrogant and totally disingenuous fabrication:

And so it is out of love (not “animus”) and prudent concern for the common good (not “prejudice”) that we pledge to labor ceaselessly to preserve the legal definition of marriage as the union of one man and one woman and to rebuild the marriage culture.
The entire proclamation is sprinkled liberally with paeans to how holy and wonderful its take on religion is and how the church has been scorned for being so holy. It conjures up images of people walking with immense dignity into a light:
Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.
Cue The Battle Hymn of the Republic.

So that you might have the full impact of the Declaration, here's the entire (and annotated) Manhattan Declaration.

Museveni's Pope?
Under the proposed Anti-Homosexuality Bill of 2009, homosexual relations are specifically targeted. Anyone in a position of authority who is aware of a gay or lesbian individual has 24 hours to inform police or face jail time. ... Those who engage in "aggravated homosexuality" -- defined as repeated homosexual relations or sexual contact with others who are HIV/AIDS infected -- will face the death penalty.

Enter Rick Warren, the most popular minister in America. The man who was excoriated by MSM after he filmed a commercial supporting California's Proposition 8 but answered that he had "many gay friends. I've been to their homes for dinner. I know gay leaders." Rick Warren is now engaged in a conundrum pitting his "empathy" for gays against his extensive relationship with the African country of Uganda.

Should he denounce the upcoming legislation as an attempt at genocide? Should he stress morality and compassion? Or should he, by proclamation or silence, agree that Uganda should have the most extreme punishments for homosexuality in the world?

So far, by Warren's silence, Uganda, is winning.

In the scheme of history, it was not so long ago that a high-ranking clergyman decided to keep silent about a genocide: Pope Pius XII, by his stubborn resolve to keep the Vatican's part of the agreement with Germany (the Reichsconcordat of 1933), effectively sealed the fate of millions of people by not speaking out against the Holocaust he knew was happening.

Think Progress:
On Meet the Press yesterday, Warren reiterated, “As a pastor, my job is to encourage, to support. I never take sides.” He has, however, said that abortion is a “holocaust” and pushed for the passage of California’s Prop. 8.

From a press release issued today:

The fundamental dignity of every person, our right to be free, and the freedom to make moral choices are gifts endowed by God, our creator. However, it is not my personal calling as a pastor in America to comment or interfere in the political process of other nations.

Warren has repeatedly emphasized that his assistance to African nations concerning AIDS would only take place if that nation promoted abstinence-only programs. Since those programs would need to be sanctioned by the country's department of education (which is part of the "political process" in countries like Uganda), Warren's statement is totally false. "I never take sides" is an incredible lie that can be proven quite easily. Even his "outreach" statements (like the speech to Muslims last Easter) are one-sided since they tend to glorify his work.

Interestingly enough, he has not as yet signed the Manhattan Declaration. As Andrew Sullivan pointed out, he could be hesitating because it may not "protect his own p.r."

And if nothing else, Warren's image is about p.r.

To date, over 150,000 people have signed the Declaration. It is now time to look at those people who signed the initial document and consider who didn't. Below is the list of the initial signers. It's interesting that they fall into various categories:
  • People famous for being hand-in-hand with the Christian Right (Chuck Colson, Leith Anderson, Tony Perkins, Dinesh D'Szousa)
  • People connected to organizations or institutions strongly anti-abortion and/or anti-gay (Gary Bauer, Jim Daly, James Dobson)
  • And people whose institutions obviously need the publicity (Maggie Gallagher)
  1. Dr. Daniel Akin President, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary (Wake Forest, N.C.)
  2. Most Rev. Peter J. Akinola Primate, Anglican Church of Nigeria (Abuja, Nigeria)
  3. Randy Alcorn Founder and Director, Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM) (Sandy, Ore.)
  4. Rt. Rev. David Anderson President and CEO, American Anglican Council (Atlanta)
  5. Leith Anderson President of National Association of Evangelicals (Washington, D.C.)
  6. Charlotte K. Ardizzone TV Show Host and Speaker, INSP Television (Charlotte, N.C.)
  7. Kay Arthur CEO and Co-founder, Precept Ministries International (Chattanooga, Tenn.)
  8. Dr. Mark L. Bailey President, Dallas Theological Seminary (Dallas)
  9. Most Rev. Craig W. Bates, Archbishop, International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church (Malverne, N.Y.)
  10. Gary Bauer President, American Values; Chairman, Campaign for Working Families
  11. His Grace, The Right Reverend Bishop Basil Essey The Right Reverend Bishop of the Diocese of Wichita and Mid-America (Wichita, Kan.)
  12. Joel Belz Founder, World Magazine (Asheville, N.C.)
  13. Rev. Michael L. Beresford Managing Director of Church Relations, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (Charlotte, N.C.)
  14. Ken Boa President, Reflections Ministries (Atlanta)
  15. Joseph Bottum Editor of First Things (New York)
  16. Pastor Randy & Sarah Brannon Senior Pastor, Grace Community Church (Madera, Calif.)
  17. Steve Brown National Radio Broadcaster, Key Life (Maitland, Fla.)
  18. Dr. Robert C. Cannada, Jr. Chancellor and CEO, Reformed Theological Seminary (Orlando, Fla.) Galen Carey Director of Government Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals (Washington, D.C.)
  19. Dr. Bryan Chapell President, Covenant Theological Seminary (St. Louis)
  20. Most Rev. Charles J. Chaput Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver
  21. Timothy Clinton President, American Association of Christian Counselors (Forest, Va.)
  22. Chuck Colson Founder, The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview (Lansdowne, Va.)
  23. Most Rev. Salvatore Joseph Cordileone Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Oakland, Calif.
  24. Dr. Gary Culpepper Associate Professor, Providence College (Providence, R.I.)
  25. Jim Daly President and CEO, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  26. Marjorie Dannenfelser President, Susan B. Anthony List (Arlington, Va.)
  27. Rev. Daniel Delgado Board of Directors, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference; Pastor, Third Day Missions Church (Staten Island, N.Y.)
  28. Patrick J. Deneen Tsakopoulos-Kounalakis Associate Professor and Director, The Tocqueville Forum on the Roots of American Democracy, Georgetown University (Washington, D.C.)
  29. Dr. James Dobson Founder, Focus on the Family (Colorado Springs, Colo.)
  30. Dr. David Dockery President, Union University (Jackson, Tenn.)
  31. Most Rev. Timothy Dolan Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of New York, N.Y.
  32. Dr. William Donohue President, Catholic League (New York)
  33. Dr. James T. Draper, Jr. President Emeritus, LifeWay (Nashville, Tenn.)
  34. Dinesh D'Souza Writer and Speaker (Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.)
  35. Most Rev. Robert Wm. Duncan Archbishop and Primate, Anglican Church in North America (Ambridge, Pa. )
  36. Dr. Michael Easley President Emeritus, Moody Bible Institute (Chicago)
  37. Dr. William Edgar Professor, Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia)
  38. Brett Elder Executive Director, Stewardship Council (Grand Rapids, Mich.
  39. Rev. Joel Elowsky Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
  40. Stuart Epperson Co-Founder and Chariman of the Board, Salem Communications Corporation (Camarillo, Calif.)
  41. Rev. Jonathan Falwell Senior Pastor, Thomas Road Baptist Church (Lynchburg, Va.)
  42. William J. Federer President, Amerisearch, Inc. (St. Louis)
  43. Fr. Joseph D. Fessio Founder and Editor, Ignatius Press (Ft. Collins, Colo.)
  44. Carmen Fowler President and Executive Editor, Presbyterian Lay Committee (Lenoir, N.C.)
  45. Maggie Gallagher President, National Organization for Marriage (Manassas, Va.)
  46. Dr. Jim Garlow Senior Pastor, Skyline Church (La Mesa, Calif.)
  47. Steven Garofalo Senior Consultant, Search and Assessment Services (Charlotte, N.C.)
  48. Dr. Robert P. George McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence, Princeton University (Princeton, N.J.)
  49. Dr. Timothy George Dean and Professor of Divinity, Beeson Divinity School at Samford University (Birmingham, Ala.)
  50. Thomas Gilson Director of Strategic Processes, Campus Crusade for Christ International (Norfolk, Va.)
  51. Dr. Jack Graham Pastor, Prestonwood Baptist Church (Plano, Texas)
  52. Dr. Wayne Grudem Research Professor of Theological and Biblical Studies, Phoenix Seminary (Phoenix)
  53. Dr. Cornell "Corkie" Haan National Facilitator of Spiritual Unity, The Mission America Coalition (Palm Desert, Calif.)
  54. Fr. Chad Hatfield Chancellor, CEO and Archpriest, St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Yonkers, N.Y.)
  55. Dr. Dennis Hollinger President and Professor of Christian Ethics, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (South Hamilton, Mass.)
  56. Dr. Jeanette Hsieh Executive Vice President and Provost, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Ill.)
  57. Dr. John A. Huffman, Jr. Senior Pastor, St. Andrews Presbyterian Church (Newport Beach, Calif.); Chairman of the Board, Christianity Today International (Carol Stream, Ill.)
  58. Rev. Ken Hutcherson Pastor, Antioch Bible Church (Kirkland, Wash.)
  59. Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr. Senior Pastor, Hope Christian Church (Beltsville, Md.)
  60. Fr. Johannes L. Jacobse President, American Orthodox Institute; Editor, (Naples, Fla.)
  61. Jerry Jenkins Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Moody Bible Institute (Black Forest, Colo.)
  62. Camille Kampouris Editorial Board, Kairos Journal
  63. Emmanuel A. Kampouris Publisher, Kairos Journal
  64. Rev. Tim Keller Senior Pastor, Redeemer Presbyterian Church (New York)
  65. Dr. Peter Kreeft Professor of Philosophy, Boston College (Mass.) and at the Kings College (N.Y.)
  66. Most Rev. Joseph E. Kurtz Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky.
  67. Jim Kushiner Editor, Touchstone (Chicago)
  68. Dr. Richard Land President, The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the SBC (Washington, D.C.)
  69. Jim Law Senior Associate Pastor, First Baptist Church (Woodstock, Ga.)
  70. Dr. Matthew Levering
    Associate Professor of Theology, Ave Maria University (Naples, Fla.)
  71. Dr. Peter Lillback President, The Providence Forum (West Conshohocken, Pa.)
  72. Dr. Duane Litfin President, Wheaton College (Wheaton, Ill.)
  73. Rev. Herb Lusk Pastor, Greater Exodus Baptist Church (Philadelphia)
  74. His Eminence Adam Cardinal Maida Archbishop Emeritus, Roman Catholic Diocese of Detroit
  75. Most Rev. Richard J. Malone Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, Maine
  76. Rev. Francis Martin Professor of Sacred Scripture, Sacred Heart Major Seminary (Detroit)
  77. Dr. Joseph Mattera Bishop and Senior Pastor, Resurrection Church (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
  78. Phil Maxwell Pastor, Gateway Church (Bridgewater, N.J.)
  79. Josh McDowell Founder, Josh McDowell Ministries (Plano, Texas)
  80. Alex McFarland President, Southern Evangelical Seminary (Charlotte, N.C.)
  81. Most Rev. George Dallas McKinney Bishop, Founder and Pastor, St. Stephen's Church of God in Christ (San Diego)
  82. Rt. Rev. Martyn Minns Missionary Bishop, Convocation of Anglicans of North America (Herndon, Va.)
  83. Dr. C. Ben Mitchell Graves Professor of Moral Philosophy, Union University (Jackson, Tenn.)
  84. Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Ky.)
  85. Dr. Russell D. Moore Senior Vice President for Academic Administration and Dean of the School of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Louisville, Ky.)
  86. Most Rev. John J. Myers Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, N.J.
  87. Most Rev. Joseph F. Naumann Archbishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Kansas City, Kan.
  88. David Neff Editor-in-Chief, Christianity Today (Carol Stream, Ill.)
  89. Tom Nelson Senior Pastor, Christ Community Evangelical Free Church (Leawood, Kan.)
  90. Niel NielsonPr esident, Covenant College (Lookout Mt., Ga.)
  91. Most Rev. John Nienstedt Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis
  92. Dr. Tom Oden Theologian, United Methodist Minister; Professor, Drew University (Madison, N.J.)
  93. Marvin Olasky Editor-in-Chief, World Magazine; Provost, The Kings College (New York)
  94. Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Phoenix
  95. Rev. William Owens Chairman, Coalition of African-American Pastors (Memphis, Tenn.)
  96. Dr. J.I. Packer Board of Governors' Professor of Theology, Regent College (Canada)
  97. Metr. Jonah Paffhausen Primate, Orthodox Church in America (Syosset, N.Y.)
  98. Tony Perkins President, Family Research Council (Washington, D.C.)
  99. Eric M. Pillmore CEO, Pillmore Consulting LLC (Doylestown, Pa.)
  100. Dr. Everett Piper President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University (Bartlesville, Okla.)
  101. Todd Pitner President, Rev Increase
  102. Dr. Cornelius Plantinga President, Calvin Theological Seminary (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  103. Dr. David Platt Pastor, Church at Brook Hills (Birmingham, Ala.)
  104. Rev. Jim Pocock Pastor, Trinitarian Congregational Church (Wayland, Mass.)
  105. Fred Potter Executive Director and CEO, Christian Legal Society (Springfield, Va.)
  106. Dennis Rainey President, CEO, and Co-Founder, FamilyLife (Little Rock, Ark.)
  107. Fr. Patrick Reardon Pastor, All Saints' Antiochian Orthodox Church (Chicago)
  108. Bob Reccord Founder, Total Life Impact, Inc. (Suwanee, Ga.)
  109. His Eminence Justin Cardinal Rigali Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
  110. Frank Schubert President, Schubert Flint Public Affairs (Sacramento, Calif.)
  111. David Schuringa President, Crossroads Bible Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  112. Tricia Scribner Author (Harrisburg, N.C.)
  113. Dr. Dave Seaford Senior Pastor, Community Fellowship Church (Matthews, N.C.)
  114. Alan Sears President, CEO, and General Counsel, Alliance Defense Fund (Scottsdale, Ariz.)
  115. Randy Setzer Senior Pastor, Macedonia Baptist Church (Lincolnton, N.C.)
  116. Most Rev. Michael J. Sheridan Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Colorado Springs, Colo.
  117. Dr. Ron Sider Director, Evangelicals for Social Action (Wynnewood, Pa.)
  118. Fr. Robert Sirico Founder, Acton Institute (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  119. Dr. Robert Sloan President, Houston Baptist University (Houston)
  120. Charles Stetson Chairman of the Board, Bible Literacy Project (New York)
  121. Dr. David Stevens CEO, Christian Medical and Dental Association (Bristol, Tenn.)
  122. John Stonestreet Executive Director, Summit Ministries (Manitou Springs, Colo.)
  123. Dr. Joseph Stowell President, Cornerstone University (Grand Rapids, Mich.)
  124. Dr. Sarah Sumner Professor of Theology and Ministry, Azusa Pacific University (Azusa, Calif.)
  125. Dr. Glenn Sunshine Chairman of the History Department, Central Connecticut State University (New Britain, Conn.)
  126. Joni Eareckson Tada Founder and CEO, Joni and Friends International Disability Center (Agoura Hills, Calif.)
  127. Luiz Tellez President, The Witherspoon Institute (Princeton, N.J.)
  128. Dr. Timothy C. Tennent, President, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.)
  129. Michael Timmis. Chairman, Prison Fellowship and Prison Fellowship International (Naples, Fla.)
  130. Mark Tooley, President, Institute for Religion and Democracy (Washington, D.C.)
  131. H. James Towey, President, St. Vincent College (Latrobe, Pa.)
  132. Juan Valdes, Middle and High School Chaplain, Florida Christian School (Miami, Fla.)
  133. Todd Wagner, Pastor, WaterMark Community Church (Dallas)
  134. Dr. Graham Walker, President, Patrick Henry College (Purcellville, Va.)
  135. Fr. Alexander F. C. Webster, Ph.D., Archpriest, Orthodox Church in America; Professorial Lecturer, The George Washington University (Ashburn, Va.)
  136. George Weigel, Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center (Washington, D.C.)
  137. David Welch, Houston Area Pastor Council Executive Director, US Pastors Council (Houston)
  138. Dr. James Emery White, Founding and Senior Pastor, Mecklenburg Community Church (Charlotte, N.C.)
  139. Dr. Hayes Wicker, Senior Pastor, First Baptist Church (Naples, Fla.)
  140. Mark Williamson, Founder and President, Foundation Restoration Ministries/Federal Intercessors (Katy, Texas)
  141. Parker T. Williamson, Editor Emeritus and Senior Correspondent, Presbyterian Lay Committee
  142. Dr. Craig Williford, President, Trinity International University (Deerfield, Ill.)
  143. Dr. John Woodbridge, Research Professor of Church History and the History of Christian Thought, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (Deerfield, Ill.)
  144. Don M. Woodside, Performance Matters Associates (Matthews, N.C.)
  145. Dr. Frank Wright, President, National Religious Broadcasters (Manassas, Va.)
  146. Most Rev. Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
  147. Paul Young, COO and Executive Vice President, Christian Research Institute (Charlotte, N.C.)
  148. Dr. Michael Youssef, President, Leading the Way (Atlanta)
  149. Ravi Zacharias, Founder and Chairman of the Board, Ravi Zacharias International Ministries (Norcross, Ga.)
  150. Most Rev. David A. Zubik, Bishop, Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh
  151. James R. Thobaben, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Bioethics and Social Ethics, Asbury Theological Seminary (Wilmore, Ky.)
There are a great deal of institutions represented that appear to be so miniscule as to seem innocuous. However, therein lies the danger of this group: they may seem small, but, given the right occassion, will make valiant attempts of bigotry that could prove to be ... fatal. ALL of these people and their organizations deserve the utmost scrutiny from now on. Of course, while some of them may seem to be beyond reproach (like archbishops), remember that titles can cover a host of hypocrisies.