Signers Withdraw from Manhattan Declaration: It’s not Intolerant Enough!

Rob Tisinai

September 26th, 2012

Oh, the irony.

Remember the Manhattan Declaration, where co-signers vow to break any law requiring them to treat “immoral sexual partnerships” as if they were equivalent to marriage? It’s in a spot of trouble now, according to its Facebook moderator:

This morning I’m returning phone calls to some who wish to have their name removed from the Declaration. It’s quite deflating. It seems a handful of signers don’t wish to be affiliated with an ecumenical movement. How they missed that part when they first signed is anyone’s guess.

At Manhattan Declaration, we don’t color over the distinctive characteristics of any Christian tradition; rather, we seek to be united despite those differences, in faith in Jesus Christ, to accomplish a mission we can all agree is of the utmost importance.

The Manhattan Declaration represents a Christian alliance: Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical. And apparently: Whoa! Some of these Christians isn’t my kind of Christians! I is outa here!

This is delightful. It will tickle me all day long. An organization founded to promote intolerance is upset its members are being intolerant. Who could have predicted that?

UPDATE: They’re deleting Facebook comments that point out the irony (and they’ve revoked my commenting privileges). I have to admit, I get an added kick at the idea that they now have to resource someone to scour their page to delete inconvenient facts.

Ben In Oakland

September 26th, 2012

At its core, fundamentalist religon defines intolerance, as far as I can tell. The only thing that can unite them is if they find someone they depsise more than they do each other.

As for those who are left, I’m glad they have so much in common, and that their religious beliefs about gay people unite them in a way that their religious beliefs about themselves, God, country, and Christiainty cannot.


September 26th, 2012

Separatism is a primary characteristic of religious or ideological extremists of any type. They must maintain the “purity” of their own views, so any contact with those who do not share them is putting them at risk of becoming “impure.”

This separatism is the foundation of their intolerance. It is not limited to fundamentalist religion although it is often justified on primarily religious grounds.

Rick Loesser

September 26th, 2012

I think revchicoucc has it exactly right. This is the basis (not logic)upon which we will win.

Timothy Kincaid

September 26th, 2012

Luke 18:9-14

To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable:

“Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector.

The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Isn’t it odd that so many “Bible-believing Christians” never seem to have read the book.

Ben In Oakland

September 26th, 2012

It’s not odd at all, timothy.

Who wants to read a book thattells you that what you think is wrong?

Timothy Kincaid

September 26th, 2012


I agree. But I would like to adapt your language to put it in the terms that they might use:

They must maintain their “holiness”, so any contact with those who do not share the minutia of their views is putting them at risk of becoming “worldly”.

They LOVE 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

I grew up around folks like this. They weren’t political but their world was insular.

Timothy Kincaid

September 26th, 2012


Yes I see your point. Tis far better to listen to someone tell you that the book says what you want it to say.

Lynnette C.

September 26th, 2012

As a preachers daughter, granddaughter, neice and cousin, I have been surrounded by those that would take verses out of context and then apply it to whatever situation suited them.
Like the father yelling, “Honor your father and mother.” Never qouting the verse directly under, “Fathers, Do not provoke your children to wrath.”
Methinks the religious rght has become so heavenly minded they are of no earthly good.

Lightning Baltimore

September 26th, 2012

Tolerance, schmolerance!

Deuteronomy 13:12-16

If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God hath given thee to dwell there, saying, Certain men, the children of Belial, are gone out from among you, and have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which ye have not known; Then shalt thou enquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, behold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought among you; Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword. “Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.” And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the street thereof, and shalt burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for the LORD thy God: and it shall be an heap for ever; it shall not be built again.


September 26th, 2012

@timothy.1 Ah, but they are not the Pharisee in this parable. They are not confident in their own righteousness, but confident in the atoning blood of Jesus to make them righteous. They the tax collector represents them before they confessed their unrighteousness and prayed the sinner’s prayer to receive Jesus into their hearts.

They have read the book and it’s not about them ever since they got saved.

@ben in oakland.2 Lots of people love the Bible without knowing what’s in it.

@timothy.2 A worthy adaptation. I grew up around these people, too, although not as extreme as those in your life, I think.


September 26th, 2012

Rob, Forgive me for being off topic and because I am I will keep this short. I wish you would write about the Collusion between Mark Regnerus (invalid, Gays Make Bad Parents)and Witherspoon Institute’s Brad Wilcox. Freedom of Information Act docs prove Collusion

And now Witherspoon is removing incriminationg webpages

Sorry for the interruption, back to your regularly scheduled programming.


September 26th, 2012

That first link above should be

Rob Tisinai

September 27th, 2012

SGM, I stay away from that stuff. If it’s genuine wrongdoing it’ll show up in the study itself (which, of course, is a wreck). Getting into issues of who funded whom can lead quickly to fallacious ad hominem arguments. We’ve got to remember that even the most biased, self-interested person can still be telling the truth. Proving bias and self-interest does not knock down the other side’s argument.

Reed B

September 27th, 2012

SGM – let Scott Rose of “The New Civil Rights Movement” pursue that topic? It’s been his beat for many and many an article now.

Lightning – thank you. That’s one of my favorite passages, especially the “with a sword” part, which is the absurdist icing on that cyanide cake.

Timothy K – If you’re going to be ultra-bitchy about your proof-texting, cite the translation? It lends a momentary veneer of scholarly solemnity that distracts before you return to the usual vitriol.

Timothy Kincaid

September 27th, 2012


I truly haven’t the faintest clue what you are talking about.

Maybe at some point later in the day I’ll have an epiphany and say “oh! duh! that’s where I was being ultra-bitchy and vitriolic”, but at the moment I’m just staring blankly at your comment, going “huh?”

But as for the translation, I almost always use NIV. Sometimes for sake of recognition of a very familiar passage I’ll use KJV but I find NIV to be the most readable.

Priya Lynn

September 28th, 2012

Timothy, the NIV may be the most readable, but its the most mistranslated in order to further a conservative agenda. Even some of the scholars who initially worked on it quit in disgust as they found political motivations were more important in deciding what the translation should be than what the original words actually mean. I never use the NIV when I’m studying bible passages, its been written to minimize controversial passages, support conservative ideology, and pretty up the ugliness that is througout the bible.

The NIV is likely the least accurate translation of the bible there’s ever been.

Timothy Kincaid

September 28th, 2012

Priya Lynn,

Do you have a source for that?


September 29th, 2012

I don’t have a source handy either, but I’m very familiar with what Priya is saying out of personal experience. It’s a fairly common opinion (that the NIV sucks) among not only mainstream Christians…but a decent number of conservative and Fundamentalist Christians also. The only churches I’ve ever attended that preferred the NIV were Pentecostal churches. A lot of the churches that I attended (Especially the Baptists) greatly preferred the King James Version for its supposed accuracy in translation. As a former Christian now, I still prefer the KJV but then I’m also a fan of Shakespeare, you do the math.

In my personal opinion, the NIV is not only a bad translation…it’s terribly boring to read as well.


September 29th, 2012

Timothy, it’s very simple to see the mistranslation. Simply go to and type in a few verses and read them in each translation. I know, that might seem like a bit of work, but if you make the effort you will see that what Priya Lynn says is in fact true.

As for the KJV some would tout, it is the most misogynistic of all the versions, as it was altered to diminish the role of women in the bible. It is the version most credited with keeping women out of the clergy and diminishing the role of Mary and other women f the bible.

And the Bible itself is missing quite a bit of what was originally in it, as Constantinethe Great altered and left out many books of the bible in First Council of Nicaea in aproximately 331 AD. They removed The Book of Mary, and a variety of other books that were extremely popular with the Christians of the time. They took them out because they elevated women, and in the Book of Mary, in particular, they felt it elevated Mary to a higher position than Jesus, as she was reported to also have been born of a virgin. Many historical painting will show the Ennunciation of Mary (in contrast to the Ennunciation of Jesus). Each and every “new” version changes some aspect depending on the motivations of those “translating” it. The biggest issue is that most translations are from other translations and not from the original Galilean Aramaic that Jesus’ words were written in, and the Hebrew langauage the majority of the rest of the books were written. It would be difficult to make an honest translation from faulty translations.

Timothy Kincaid

October 1st, 2012

Priya Lynn,

Do you have a source for your comment? I’m not disputing you, but I would like a source as some of what you say runs counter to my impression.

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