The Manhattan Declaration

Posted by T on November 28, 2009
Ethics

An Anglican priest is supposed to have lamented, “Wherever St. Paul went, a riot broke out; wherever I go, I am invited to tea.” Well, this could be said of most of our spiritual leadership, I’m afraid. A polite tea party was held recently, whereupon the gentle men wrote up their gentle findings as the “Manhattan Declaration.” (Note that the text displayed on the web page is twice-condensed: a once-condensed and full-text version can be downloaded.)

One line of criticism of their project is the ecumenicity of Prelatic and Evangelical, which is nicely parodied here. I would only add, that if the particular points of this manifesto are all they could come up with, then why not become even more ecumenical and invite like-minded Unitarians and atheists? True, they sign it “as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” but that comes at the end of the short statement, there is no attempt to show implication, and they are not signing it as authorized agents of the representative church of any of their branches. Why even mention that the group of signatories happens to include — and no more than hap can be claimed — individuals that are members of three branches of Christendom?

However, let us drill deeper. The three points, shorn of all the committeespeak, and put in plain English, are these:

1. Burning babies to death in saline solution is not a good thing.

2. Marriage is a relationship between a man and a woman.

3. Those that affirm the first two points should not be imprisoned and black-listed.

Is it not odd that as noisy “followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” they don’t think to mention the public blasphemy of his holy name in the movies being poured down the throats of the nation’s young people? At the end of the day, I suspect these men know whose bread needs to be kept buttered above all else.

On the other hand, in the full-text version, they do find time to praise historical Christian involvement in democracy, abolitionism, first-generation feminism and the American Civil Rights movement, even though there were undoubtedly more Christians rightly opposed to those movements than engaged in them. The great Plagiarist and Adulterer is also cited favorably.

Nevertheless, the three points are a summary of where we have arrived politically, sufficient to point out that this is not the stuff for polite position papers: it is the stuff of revolutions. If we had real leaders, they would be advising us as to whether it is time for men to rise up with arms in defense of their families and property, and kill the wicked usurpers — and if it is not time, explain how we will know when it is time. We certainly do not need more double-minded men writing up the minutes of their tea parties for the whole world to see. I don’t know which I dread more: a new string of conferences, special discounts available if you send your money in right away, or the inevitable “get the message out” fund-raising letters, no doubt coming soon. Meanwhile, the dragon yawns, his most essential principles having been conceded once again.

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23 Comments to The Manhattan Declaration

  • They just want their place at the table with the powers that be. They don’t want to be cast outside with the riff-raff: us.

  • Well, Paul might sign it! But if doctrinal perfection is required no one would sign it. Or any other. It would of course be nice if some protestant church in official status would make some declarations like this but that never happens. Meanwhile we all, like frogs in the frying pan, impotent of any action, but experts at hand wringing, bemoan the sin seeping into every crevice of our beings (it was there anyway) and fail at beseeching on our knees the King of all governments to bring His kingdom’s scepter upon all wickedness. We don’t sing Onward Christian Soldiers anymore, not because the song might be dated, but because we don’t believe the words. Just like we don’t sing the Psalms because the words are offensive. What has happened to “the gates of hell shall
    not prevail against the church?”

    On the positive side, it was uplifting to read through the list of signatories and see the unity across such a broad spectrum of God’s vineyard. It hasn’t always been the case since Roe v. Wade that there has been so much unity on the abortion issue among “evangelicals.”

    Interestingly, I didn’t see any Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses.

  • Axe — but I would only caution against taking on an inferiority complex. Hold your chest high and remember that our rulers are only there because we are more patient perhaps than we should be and are letting them for still a time.

    Jim — no of course St. Paul would not sign it — did you actually read the arguments? Evangelicals have been very united contra abortion until recently, when they have become more and more epicurean. I would rank this “declaration” as fully consistent with epicureanism. Above all, their praising the very movements that led to this mess (in the long version) shows what they are about. Like I said, the dragon need not worry about these sleepy popularity-craving fellows.

  • T, given the lack of genuine leaders, would you be willing to comment on when it will be time for us to rise up with arms in defense of our families and properties, and kill the wicked usurpers?

  • “Is it not odd that as noisy “followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life,” they don’t think to mention the public blasphemy of his holy name in the movies being poured down the throats of the nation’s young people? At the end of the day, I suspect these men know whose bread needs to be kept buttered above all else.”

    Or maybe they aren’t retards like you and they realize that once you start using public policy to ban blasphemy against one religious figure it will soon be used to ban it against others. Ban blasphemy against Jesus today, and tomorrow you morons who called for it to be banned get thrown in jail for saying Buddha isnt’ a god.

    These guys are concerned “that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions” while you are on the exact opposite side clamoring for a Calvinist theocracy. I know you are a Calvinist specifically and only because you seek theocracy. Only the Calvinists want to bring back the Mosaic commandment to stone blasphemers, because all true Christians realize such barbarism was nailed to the cross. And everyone with any sense whatsoever (and who isn’t a Calvinist Satan worshiper) knows that once you give a government the authority to define blasphemy, you have no way of controlling what they do with the definition. If you call for “Christian theocracy” in reality you call for the abolition of Christianity and the establishment of Satanism, and you will burn in hell for advocating such things.

  • “If we had real leaders, they would be advising us as to whether it is time for men to rise up with arms in defense of their families and property, and kill the wicked usurpers”

    Perhaps the practical thing to do from the persective of a DEIST, but not a Christian. When did Paul call for Christians to kill that wicked usurper Ceasar? You are no Christian. Go read the New Testament and stop reading and salavating over all the genocides of the Old Testament you wanna-be Jew.

  • Well, we retards don’t fear being called “retards” any more. And more and more of us “retards” are escaping from the asylum, and we are not going away: get used to it.

    Obviously, my remarks have touched a nerve of the modern sensibility that the Manhattan dissimulators will never be able to, since they share it.

    There is no historical precedent that I know of to see that when paganism (or judaism) takes over a nation, it uses previous historical Christian rule as an excuse for enforcing its blasphemies. It needs no such excuse. Can you give us even one example? Nor is the obverse at all credible: the idea that when jews and other pagans come to power they can be expected to “be nice” out of gratitude for the all the niceness that preceded them when Christians ruled. But even if it were so, counter-factually, your exhortation is, basically, to dishonor God in order to save one’s own skin if things were to change. We won’t do that any more. Real Christians have never done that.

    Think about your politico-religious theory in a nutshell: God the Son became incarnate, taking on the name Jesus, for he would save his people, and Christ, for he was the promised Messiah, in order that… civil magistrates everywhere would enforce the right to blaspheme the name of Jesus Christ, forever. And denying that warrants eternal hell-fire! Notice how quickly the logic of your modernism has driven you to such a perversion of the gospel.

    It is not a question of theocracy or non-theocracy. It is always only a question of, which god? This is why under the jewish rule, people today are thrown in prison for questioning the holomahoax or insulting jews. But Christian rule, in contrast, has always been tempered by mercy and governed by rules of evidence.

    By the way, neither Calvin, Luther, nor the Roman Catholics would have differed on the just penalty for blasphemy. Likewise, the great Czarina Elizabeth said, “As we must expect only great injuries to our loyal subjects from such haters of the name of our Savior Jesus Christ, we order: all jews, male and female, along with their entire possession, to be sent without delay from our realm, over the border, and in the future not allowed back in, unless it should be that one of them should confess our Greek-Christian religion.” At least don’t be an historical revisionist. This is a battle of Christianity in all its historical forms vs. modernism: not Calvinism vs. non-Calvinism. However, while we are on the subject: In 500 years of Calvinistic rule spanning several nations, you can point to maybe 25 unjust deaths. Maybe. While, on any good day of jewish rule, one can point to hundreds. Some day, modern Christians are going to wake up and stop supporting this godless — and lethal — nonsense. One day they hear screams, as Chambers put it.

    Note that nowhere in the post did I advocate or even mention theocracy. A simple tea-time-appropriate mention of the blasphemy problem from the Manhattan tea-timers would have sufficed. But they will be content if they are just allowed to mention “in the public square” that babies should not be burned to death, and not have their own sorry skins thrown in prison for it. This is supposed to count as a prophetic witness!

  • Siegfried (#4) — good question. The two aspects to the question are of right, and of probability of success. The latter sets the timing at least by negation. I would estimate that the number of men able and willing to fight to the death does not exceed 50,000 right now, and it would probably take about five times that. And even that number includes libertarians and other riff-raff that would do more harm than good in the long run. Indeed the largest part of the Christian right wing is still suffering under a von Misean vision of society as far as I can tell. More time is obviously needed.

  • Confed — Looks like mealy-mouthed flattering pablum to me. But, we’re all about discussion here, so it would be interesting to know what you found interesting in it.

  • I’m lost. Please explain again the problems with the three points of the MD, and the objectionable pablum of Michael Horton. Thanks.

  • T,

    I posted it because the 2 Kingdoms/Law-Gospel stuff from Westminster Cali is supposed to be the top Reformed challenger to us retarded reconstructionists.

    What a contrast between your and his evaluation of the same piece.

  • The biggest problem is the lack of urgency in the face of such flagrant offenses, which is an immanent side-effect of thinking that the problem is simply a mistake of reasoning. It thus fails to be prophetic, and indeed comes across as either naive or stupid.

    Michael Hoffman II observed that in a healthy age, the peasants would have burned down the stem cell clinics by now. There would not need to be long-faced symposia on “difficult ethical issues.”

    Instead of honest peasants, we have become a nation of effete faux-aristocrats with arched eyebrows and impishly pursed lips — like a church of Wm F. Buckley, Jr.s, pretending to stand by the juggernaut yelling “halt” but actually enjoying the good life right well.

    A carefully worded, subtle argument bringing many lines of evidence into display with erudition and savvy ON THESE MATTERS (as opposed to say, raising or lowering the tax rate a couple points) is not what is needed, is futile, and is laughable in terms of the political reality. Add to that the “natural law” compromise and you have a statement that is actually quite despicable. Let me explain.

    If they had put out a statement,

    “killing babies is wrong, and if good men ever come back into power, the men that are doing this, and paving the way for it legally, are going to be publicly hung as worse than war criminals — far worse”

    that would say everything that needs to be said. It would make the point that it is good and evil that is being talked about, not a common search for how the “dignity of man” is best expressed. It would have the great advantage of brevity, and say it in the one and only way that communists understand: a just threat to their own sorry skins. That would get the rulers’ attention, and resonate. It would be a shot heard around the world.

    What we are dealing with is a communist takeover of our media and government proclaiming with force of arms that no magistrate may doing anything to prevent a “doctor” from stopping a baby halfway down the birth canal, sticking a needle into its brains, and sucking it out. They also say it is okay for two men that want to play with each other’s wee-wee to GET MARRIED.

    The proper response to such “rulers” is not “reason.” It is to arrest them, put them on trial, and execute them; failing that, the peasants should rise up and burn the Supreme Court and Capital Building down, and kill them with pitchforks.

    In other words, when things have reached this point, it is no longer a matter of polite exchange of clever rhetorical points. It is not as though our communist rulers just made a subtle mistake in their “natural law” reasoning. They know exactly what they are doing, or Romans 1 is false. They laugh at polite position papers, especially ones like this that are windy, diffuse, and which bend over backwards to make it clear that the first concern is to defend liberal causes past and present. Our rulers have absolutely nothing to fear from such accommodating gas.

    This should be clear right from the outset, when they appeal to natural law and such nonsense in addition to Scripture. To which their opponent is simply going to point out, that males in the animal kingdom do occasionally mount other males, therefore it is “natural.” Oops, so much for that argument. The effect however is to reassure our rulers that we will never ever take a stand on the Word of God alone; only if we think we can appeal to them on their “neutral turf” will we ever raise even a peep of protest to their march to perdition. And they will ALWAYS win on “neutral turf.”

    (The fact that a few Scripture verses are thrown in does not change anything. You could quote great literature, throw in a juicy quote from Cicero while you’re at it. The principle of “reasoning our way to a better consensus” has been conceded.)

    Of course, Scripture would not be effective here either, because LANGUAGE ITSELF is being destroyed, intentionally so, by our rulers. “Marriage” is a basic concept. Once homosexual marriage is even being debated — much less passed into law — the battle of words is over. You can’t win that debate with words, because words are no longer functioning honestly.

    The third point of the “declaration” is irrelevant and dishonest. What “right of conscience and religious liberty”? To perform human sacrifice? Someone has that religious liberty? Where does the Bible advocate religious liberty? On the other hand, no one is going to make these guys perform an abortion or marry a fag, so the point is largely posturing. But people are being thrown in prison, extradited, or black-listed from employment for a variety of political incorrectnesses, such as holocaust revisionism. If these men really believe in the right of conscience, let me hear EVEN ONE OF THEM publicly decry that. If they refuse, they are just liars, posturers.

    I am suggesting that DOING NOTHING is actually better than publishing gaseous, compromised screeds like this. At least while we are doing nothing, the communists might worry what we are up to. With announcements like this, they know they are safe in the foreseeable future, their only potential enemy safely side-tracked by double-minded prevaricators.

    Now if a declaration were meant to be an opening salvo, invoking natural law, not to persuade, but to “show the world” as it were how far beyond good and evil our situation has become, to set the stage for a later revolution if necessary, then that would be something. It would be structured and worded quite differently. Compare Calvin to King Francis in the preface to the Institutes. Let this set the tone.

    Suppose, however, the whisperings of the malevolent so fill your ears that the accused have no chance to speak for themselves, but those savage furies, while you connive at them, ever rage against us with imprisonings, scourgings, rackings, maimings, and burnings. Then we will be reduced to the last extremity even as sheep destined for the slaughter… and may await the strong hand of the Lord, which will surely appear in due season, coming forth armed to deliver the poor from their affliction and also to punish their despisers, who now exult with such great assurance.

  • Bravo! Much better. Now you are explicating. Why not send this last post via email to all the signers of the declaration?

  • All great criticisms of the Declaration, and thanks for the response regarding when to act.

    The ineffectuality of the Manhattan Declaration will be shared by all such manifestos the “Christian Right” shall draw up, so long as they praise democracy, egalitarianism, and the deadly “Judeo-Christian tradition.”

  • T,

    Excellent comments on the wimpy, Enlightenment-thinking laced Manhattan Declaration. The signers of the document read like a Who’s Who list of Pietistic Churchmen who enjoy wielding their paper swords against the giant fiery dragon of the Secular tyrannical State. These “Leaders” are the same people who tell their Congregations to retreat into their Christian reservations because we “can’t legislate morality”. These are the same “Leaders” who exhort Christians to shadow box against the Devil by perpetually attending a mind-numbing “spiritual warfare” conference. These are the same “Leaders” who like the heretic Marcion shove down antinomianism down our throats because we do no live “under Law, but under grace”.

    I am sick and tired of the words and actions of our cowardly Christian “Leaders”.

  • Thanks for all the kind words fellas.

    I don’t think that all of the signers are pathological liars. Many have simply been beguiled by the “tinkling bells and cymbals” resulting from the destruction of language in modern discourse, so that their thinking has the patina of fine furniture that a vandal has scraped with coarse sandpaper. It is a moral lobotomy that has taken place.

    Conversely, many of the antis are not praiseworthy. In fact, some of them (like Horton) show deeper degradation of thought in the reasons they give than the double-speak of the MD itself.

    Everyone should study the trial scene at the end of Out of the Silent Planet. The way Ransom translates the diabolo-speak of Weston into plain English is masterful, and is the medicine we need now.

    Instead of writing nuanced, subtle manifestos, these guys would do well to START with writing what they are trying to say in plain English. Then the absurdity would be so obvious.

    “We can’t agree on much, except we’re all baptized, and we think that stomping on babies with jack boots is not good.”

    I’m not saying it’s easy, until the dues have been paid. They need to start paying their dues. But most are in cushy positions that they will by no means give up to do the kind of self-examination that is needed. I suppose their outfits would need to give them an all-expense-paid sabbatical.

  • A year and a half later, it is interesting to see the impact of the MD, especially given how hyped it was at the time. It’s major achievement, I think, has been to cement the notion that so often shows up in national surveys that “conservative” Christianity of just about every stripe (conservative Anglican, Evangelical, Catholic, Mormon (some did eventually sign), Eastern Orthodox, …) is defined primarily, if not exclusively, in terms of political positions: for marriage, against abortion, etc. It is viewed by the next generation not as something that is fundamental to life, but a movement one joins, a political campaign one supports. The reasons for these positions (sanctity of marriage, sanctity of human life) come primarily from natural law and are as axiomatic as opposing cannibalism is to secularists. It has, ironically, actually muted Christianity, blunted its influence, and made fuzzy its message: it is one more large political movement made up of people who disagree on almost everything more precisely defined than these broad political campaigns that, in practice, are usually organized and run by the Mormons anyway. Anyone seen Mohler at the barricades lately?

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