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The Ridiculous Catholic Manifesto Pledging to Ignore Gay Marriage + Abortion Laws

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OMG you guys, fun! Some Roman Catholic leaders say they just simply aren’t going to follow any same-sex marriage laws that force them to take part. They also won’t follow any abortion laws that do the same. Which, actually, IS NOT A NEWS STORY, because religious institutions will always remain exempt from these rules.

In what amounts to a grand publicity stunt, a manifesto (a manifesto! loves it!) will be released today in D.C., where the signatories “pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.” Civil disobedience, y’all. It’s like gays who refuse to pay their taxes, but with Jesus’s backing.

For a group that accuses the gays of a radical homosexual agenda, it’s curious to see a group of Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christian leaders fronting a radical Christian agenda, hoping to score a leg up in the health care debate, the ENDA debate, the stem cell and abortion debate, the gay marriage debate, and, probably, the boxers-or-briefs debate.

The document — authored by evangelical Prison Fellowship founder Charles Colson (pictured); openly practicing Catholic, National Organization for Marriage chairman, and Princeton professor Robert George (this guy!); and Alabama’s Beeson Divinity School dean Rev. Timothy George — is called “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.” It’s 4,700 words. It’s signed by Maggie Gallagher! And it is hilarious!

Particularly because, uh, it misses the entire point of any of these pieces of legislation: Religious groups, including the “always-victimized” Catholic Church, remain exempt. They don’t have to conduct gay wedding ceremonies. They don’t have to have their hospitals perform abortions. They can continue discriminating against gays in hiring.

What they can’t do, however, is continue receiving taxpayer dollars to fund their projects that do discriminate. That’s not an elimination of rights. That’s a correction of them.

NEXT PAGE: The entire text of the manifesto.