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


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.

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  • J.P.

    Too bad we can’t ignore them. Next thing you know they’ll surround our children, molest them, and make the Catholic.

  • ggreen

    Quit giving tax money to papist loving idolaters.

  • terrwill

    Maybe time to revisit the separation of Church and State and the tax exemptions that they enjoy as a result of such laws. And same exemptions they are subject to lose if they violate such legislation. Funny ole’ Nino: the founding Fathers had THAT one right……….

  • MikeNYC

    Well I guess all the lawsuits against the RC church haven’t taught them much. They flaunted the laws for years with cover up after cover up and now they claim the “moral” right to do as they please again. It’s time the US said enough and started telling the RC church that they don’t run this country.

  • Bill

    I have nothing against Catholics. I even have a couple of Catholic friends.

    I just personally do not approve of their lifestyle choice.

    I also wish that they would stop cramming this down our throats.

  • Russ

    Actually, for those who know their history. There is no such thing as the separation of church and state. It was mentioned in a letter from Thomas Jefferson at the time. It is NOT in the constitution. Educate yourselves.

    Personally, I don’t recognize gay “marriages” either. and I’m not even catholic.

  • Tim

    That’s OK Russ, I don’t recognize YOUR “marriage” or your “humanity”. I guess we’re pretty much even.

  • Jaroslaw

    Well Russ, you stupid fuckwad, what the hell do you think “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” means?

    Yes, technically Thomas Jefferson wrote that to the Danbury Baptists in the very early 1800’s – but surely you are aware that there is more than one way to say the same thing?

  • Peter

    Equal is the word; you may not recognize me, but it is illegal to “deny” me my rights. That is not treating me as equal.

    “Under God” can mean anything; there are all kinds of “Gods”. Each ‘religion’ has it’s own ‘God’. But a specific religion (such as Christianity) is NOT part of the Constitution.

    Therefore Russ, I do not have to recognize your opinion; but I must recognize your right to state what you said. And therefor I can also state that you are completely misinformed if you state that the U S Constitution does not have a separation of church and state.

  • Charles Merrill

    Even though he was a champion and fought for our civil rights, the Vatican evil empire had the last word over Senator Kennedy’s soul and the whole world watched like the priests were sane swinging a pot of incense around his coffin. Kennedy even asked the Pope to forgive him of his sins in a letter hand delivered by President Obama to the Pope. It’s them against us, and they are winning, sad to say. Maine, California, and the story continues.

  • Kevin F.

    Russ, educate yourself. The fist amendment to the Constitution separates government from religion. Read it.

    Also, as a Catholic, I’d like to remind you that you will be burning in hell right alongside all the other sinners unless you become a member of the one-true-church. May God bless.

  • The Artist

    They need to redirect this energy to something a bit more positive.

  • jarvisbearcub


  • Attmay

    @6 Russ:

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    Stop lying, boy.

  • Steve

    The concept of religious freedom is sometimes difficult. The Catholic clergy clearly don’t understand. We each have freedom to believe what we want. But, that necessarily implies that we must each allow each other that same freedom.

    When one religion tries to impose its own beliefs on others by force, they are trying to take away the religious freedom of those other people. Catholics are free to believe whatever they want. But, when they try to write their beliefs into law, to use the force of law to impose their beliefs upon others, they are violating the very freedom of other people that they claim for themselves. If you want to have freedom of religion, you must allow others to have that same freedom.

    The proper role of the government is to “register” marriages, so that the registration records will be available to the judge whenever a right or duty that accrues to married people must be decided. To implement freedom of religion, a marriage must be allowed whenever ANY religious belief would allow it.

  • ms. spears

    serious question: Why is the Catholic Church obsessed with the abortion debate? I mean with all the mass genocides that have taken place why don’t they condemn all violence & murder so passionately?

  • Scot

    OK, correct me if I’m wrong, but if gays started a “religion” with MILLONS of members, organized, like cath-o-licks or any other crackpot religion, held gay religious weddings, wouldn’t the government be obligated to reconize those marrages as much as any other religion? I’m just asking!

  • B

    Scot wrote, “OK, correct me if I’m wrong, but if gays started a “religion” with MILLONS of members, organized, like cath-o-licks or any other crackpot religion, held gay religious weddings, wouldn’t the government be obligated to reconize those marrages as much as any other religion?”

    The obvious answer is “no” – the Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints (which split off from the Mormons due to the Mormons being too conventional) actively practices polygamy and the state does not recognize such marriages. Members of that “church” sometimes find themselves in jail.

    You can’t sacrifice your children to Tláloc either, as was done in certain Aztec rituals.

  • Mike


    Can we sacrifice the Catholics to Tlaloc then?

  • Brian NJ

    They can make all the declarations they like. They started this fight and we are going to finish it.

  • Joe Mustich, JP

    As Tallulah Bankhead once said to a priest after a church service, “I love your dress darrrrling but your purse is on fire.”

    Cheers, Joe Mustich, Justice of the Peace,
    Washington, Connecticut, USA.

    CT just celebrated the one year anniversary of its marriage equality law. Kudos to CT!

  • romeo

    Churches should be taxed like any corporation. They can take deductions for legitimate charitable work, but they need to come up with the receipts. Money spent on trying to restrict human rights and harass innocent people because they don’t share their views would not be considered “charitable work.”

  • romeo

    Thanks for bringing up Talullah Joe. Read a great biography of her. When she was getting her usual a little too soused at the Monkey Bar one night, the bartender diplomatically offered to cut her bourbon with a little water. To which she drew herself up in complete disdain and told him, “I never drink water. Fish fuck in it.”

    I’m sure she was a handful, but I would have liked to be around to know her.

    Seems apropos to the catholic church somehow. LOL

  • naghanenu

    Although a devoted catholic, this manifesto is …well..unnecessary.

    Religious groups are allowed to reject anything against their beliefs so why this drama…

  • Judy DelMar

    It is about time that our Catholic Church and at least a few of the other Christian Churches are taking a stand against this Radical, Left Wing Socialistic Government. This Government is attempting to violate our rights as citizens of the United States of America by ignoring the Constituion that we were founded on which was to the people and for the people and founded on the belief in God!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Thank you for finally taking a vocal and active stand against this horrific Nonpartison government.

  • romeo

    Oh can it, Judy.

  • AxelDC

    Why are churches allowed to lie? Isn’t that a violation of the 10 Commandments?

    Religious leaders know that the 1st Amendment exempts them from performing marriages of ANYONE for ANY reason. The Catholic Church refuses to perform marriages of Catholics all the time, for whatever reason they choose.

    That doesn’t stop them from spreading the lie that gay marriage will FORCE them to perform gay marriages in Catholic Cathedrals by Catholic priests.

    Anyone with a basic understanding of the US Constitution knows that churches cannot be forced to perform gay marriages, but Catholics want to fear-monger to prevent an form of gay marriage. They know the truth: that once gay marriage is fully legalized, they will be forced by societal pressure to accept gays, and they want to prevent that from happening at all costs.

  • Kevin F.

    “Why are churches allowed to lie?”

    When you consider the reality, that there are no goblins, ghosts, spirits, elves, leprechauns, wood-nymphs, or Gods, then it becomes obvious that all churches and religion have is lies — it’s all one big lie — the biggest lie ever told.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    This is a young nation, an experiment that worked, a toddler, barely crawling onto the world stage. These fights, though unpleasant, are good to have. The church loses credibility, children of gays lose stabilizing benefits, gays lose pursuit of happiness, but in the long run, years from now, the loss of credibility will still hang around the necks of the church leaders that tossed the Word of God aside, in order to squawk and browbeat and pander to politicians. Children of gays will reach equality, queer communities will attain equality and pursue happiness, but the church will have fewer parishioners due to the lack of credibility. The parishioners that are attracted to the flock, now, are attracted for the wrong reasons. Over the years the symptoms of this will make itself known. So, in all, the bigger loser is the church, due to the poor decisions made by its leaders. Wisdom would have these leaders rely on the Word, not politicians, NOM-skulls, and beauty queens. Credibility is a terrible thing to waste.

    Peter J. Gomes, Professor of Christian Morals, Harvard University;Minister, American Baptist Church:
    “Religious fundamentalism is dangerous because it cannot accept ambiguity and diversity and is therefore inherently intolerant. Such intolerance, in the name of virtue, is ruthless and uses political power to destroy what it cannot convert. It is dangerous, especially in America, because it is anti-democratic and is suspicious of “the other,” in whatever form that “other” might appear. To maintain itself, fundamentalism must always define “the other” as deviant. But the chief reason that fundamentalism is dangerous is that, at the hands of the Rev. Pat Robertson. the Rev. Jerry Falwell and hundreds of lesser-known but equally worrisome clerics, preachers and pundits, it uses Scripture and the Christian practice to encourage ordinarily good people to act upon their fears rather than their virtues.”

  • B

    No. 27 · AxelDC wrote, “Why are churches allowed to lie? Isn’t that a violation of the 10 Commandments?” Well, there’s the joke about God hiring the devil to do some work on the Pearly Gates, and not being satisfied with the devil’s workmanship. When the devil refuses to make any changes, God says, “I’ll sue.” The devil smiles and says, “but where will you get a lawyer?”

  • ophu

    “In Scripture, the creation of man and woman, and their one-flesh union as husband and wife, is the crowning achievement of God’s creation.”

    There they go again, putting limits on God’s creativity.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    I hear He was the bomb in pottery class.

  • geglesias

    All the religious mumbo/gumbo in the 2 pages of their “far out” manifesto is fine for the catholics & evangelicals etc. to preach in their church ; But when they try to force it on everybody else that’s when they get into trouble. This country is not run by their religion or anybody elses. Pres.John Adams said quote “This country is in NO WAY founded on the Christian Religion. Further more all you religious Mumbo/jumboers read the First Amendment of the Constitution-it will tell you what you can do with your religion. “and let me give you a hint–“it will tell you in no uncertain terms to “keep your religion to yourself, and do not try to run the country by it.”

  • Mark

    Uh Judy, have you READ the Constitution??

  • Jaroslaw

    #33 for what it is worth, the books I read say George Washington said “in no way this is a Christian nation” and it was in response to a treat with Tripoli (an African Nation I think) 1796-1797.

  • Jaroslaw

    #33 for what it is worth, the books I read say George Washington said “in no way this is a Christian nation” and it was in response to a treaty with Tripoli (an African Nation I think) 1796-1797.

  • geglesias

    The problem with the bishops & the priests & the cardinals, & pope etc. the whole roman catholic shin-dig is; “That they are afraid that they will lose their power.” They have alot of $$$$ & power & they always did. They have easy, plush, jobs & all they do is sit on their ass & get payed alot of MONEY doing it too. But when they try to run the Government with their religion, and try to oppress a whole class of tax paying American Citizens they are crossing the line “BIG TIME”. For example in D.C. Council member Phil Mendelsen, Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, said “the council will not legislate based on treats from the catholic church.” The problem with the individual exemption is anybody could discrimminate based on their asseration of religious principle. There were many people back in the 50’s & 60’s during the civil rights era that said separation of the races was ordained by god. “Which of course as we know now it is NOT!”

  • Andrew

    Thank God the Catholic Church is nothing like actual Catholics.

  • SeaMex

    17.Cutting the head off the snake:

    The time has come to cut the head from the snake. We all have friends and relatives who attend churches and organizations who are opposed to LGBT Equality. I think the best way we can combat these groups is to take away the money.

    My 90 year old Grandmother has been a practicing Catholic all her life. We have a very good relationship and she is very supportive of my partner and me. She attends Mass every Sunday. I would not dream of asking her stop.

    She has decided that she will still attend Mass every Sunday but will no longer financially support the Catholic Church. When the collection plate is passed she now puts in an envelope that contains a message that due to the “church’s” inhumane views regarding LGBT Equality and Civil Rights, that the money she would have contributed to the church has been sent instead to a LGBT Equality organization.

    You see, she would not dream of supporting groups like the Klu Klux Klan, the Aryan Brotherhood, or the Westboro Baptist Church run by Fred Phelps. In that regard, I spoke to her that supporting the Catholic Diocese is, in my opinion, similar to providing monetary support to those organizations. I explained that I personally found that the Catholic church, by their intolerance of LGBT Equality and huge donations to groups like the NOM, is essentially similar to providing monetary support to a group that supports the KKK, et al.

    Now, I understand that many would say that we don’t have the right to tell friends and family how to live their lives or for that matter what to believe theologically. That said, personally, I believe that THEY neither own the right to tell us whom to love.

    I do feel we have the right to ask them not to contribute to Churches and Organizations who would deny us our Civil Rights or Equality. By explaining our position, opening a dialogue, sharing our concerns, do we bring the opportunity to change a mind one person at a time. By explaining in withholding financial support, we find that we can ‘cut the head off the snake.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Becket Fund concerns itself with the defamation of religions. They have bright minds and young lawyers who study, intervene, and speak on issues affecting the religious ideals. The defamation of GLTBs has been nauseating. Social excommunicators have money, church leaders, advertisements, and rhetoric creating an unequal bargaining power. Fear is one of the weapons utilized. A 50 foot wave of fear (No offense, Kristin). Not taking into account that gays are nurses, doctors, clergy, mothers, police officers, artists, and any other positive role model that can be listed; only the darkest, most seedy elements are discussed. That gets annoying. We need a “Becket Fund” to assist us when the attacks become unbearable. We need the Constitution to protect us from these blatant and unwarranted attacks. The talent we have is immense. The queer community has so much to contribute, once this “STORM” is over.

  • B

    No. 35 · Jaroslaw wrote, “#33 for what it is worth, the books I read say George Washington said “in no way this is a Christian nation” and it was in response to a treat with Tripoli (an African Nation I think) 1796-1797.”

    The Treaty of Tripoli was signed by John Adams and drafted by
    Joel Barlow, the U.S. consul-general to Tripoli. Article 11 of the treaty states: “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.”


  • 1EqualityUSA

    SeaMex, I enjoyed your post. My mother no longer contributes either, due to all of the molestation law suits. The only thing keeping her on the pew is a promise she made long ago, but she thinks the service is bogus. Spiritual anorexia.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Manifesto bragging: Robert P George and all had listed what was being done for the poor and downtrodden. The Bible clearly states in Matthew, “When you do good deeds, don’t try to show off. If you do, you won’t get a reward from your Father in heaven.When you give to the poor, don’t blow a loud horn. That’s what show-offs do in the meeting places and on the street corners, because they are always looking for praise. I can assure you that they already have their reward. When you give to the poor, don’t let anyone know about it. Then your gift will be given in secret. Your Father knows what is done in secret, and he will reward you.”
    Read between the lines on this letter (go up to “view”, hit “customized toolbar”…) No, it’s not that easy. In order to do all that they want to do in this manifesto, they have to send in the dogs, slander, bloody up politicians, roll around in the mud, manipulate forcefully, and push their way of life on other Americans that don’t believe as they do. The mere fact that they would hold the needy hostage and then turn around and brag about all that they do for the world tells me that, indeed, they have reduced themselves down to earthly, worldly politics, and not acting out of true love in Christ. True Christians never talk about the good deeds done for the Father in secret, because it isn’t for this world that those good deeds are being done.

  • Jaroslaw

    thanks #41 – I guess my book has the wrong info! But I did google “George Washington + Tripoly” before I posted and two or three links did ties GW and “in no way is the US founded as a Christian nation” so I’m confused. It makes sense it was Adams because as the first president, GW probably didn’t make a whole lot of treaties as the country was brand new.

    Still, from recent reports of users tinkering, I don’t know if Wikipedia is exactly an unimpeachable source to be quoting either! (although personally, I’ve found it to be fairly accurate.)

  • Francis

    These Christians scare me. They talk so much about how loving they are and how much good they did. They dismiss the horror of their bloody history by saying they aren’t perfect. No one is perfect but at least people try to learn from their mistakes. These people continue to condemn others, like they have throughout history, only in the past they also tortured, mutilated and murdered millions of people. These Christians are all about amassing more and more power for their agenda of Christian theocracy in America. They are already serving at all levels of government and there have been news stories about how they are trying to take over the military.

    They worship a genocidal deity who they say destroyed the world and promises to, again, a deity who seems to have a fondness for condemning and punishing. I believe that if someone worships a deity, they become like that deity. Is it really any wonder why these Christians are so condemning of others and so fond of punishment? These are the folks who are actually looking forward to the end of the world! And they say they are pro-life! They truly scare me.

  • Schteve

    I love how they say “No one should be compelled to embrace any religion against his will” just a few paragraphs after saying everyone should be forced to accept the notion that marriage is a holy institution ordained by their god.

  • Rainfish


    Loving figment of your imagination
    or dangerous delusion?

    … you decide.

    Now discuss it amongst yourselves
    — without guns and knives.

    ~ E. Lewis Evans (“Beneath the See” page 43)

  • Russ

    God, so many stupid people believing they are right. not “establishing a religion” is totally different than the existance of a “separation of church and state”. Are you all buffoons?

  • Russ

    Kevin F. you will see how much God is a lie. You will have all eternity to think about it while you are burning in hell.

  • Peter

    Russ; only you will burn in hell. People who do not follow your ideas of a religion, are not bound by its rules or ideology, and therefore will never suffer the consequences of its wild claims. A religion ONLY applies to those who follow it. The rest of us are home free. AND that is why there is to be a separation of the church and State. Everyone, now have a good day.

  • Steve

    Many right-wing churches have had “anti-gay” at the top of their priority list for several years. Nothing new there. They have claimed to be victims of intolerance whenever any gay person has criticized their anti-gay actions. And they have objected to every pro-equal-rights action by any government, since before the civil war.

    The claim that their religious freedom might be infringed is completely bogus, of course. No clergy person has ever been forced to celebrate a wedding in this country. Their religious freedom is entirely protected, both in law and constitution. The only “right” that is not protected is their “right” to violate the equal rights of other people who do not subscribe to their same religious beliefs.

    The reason for the bogus claims and fear mongering is, of course, power and wealth. They use fear of gay people to obtain power and wealth, just as their predecessors used fear of black people to obtain power and wealth.

    They should stop to think, “how can we minister to these people?” If they did, they would write an entirely different document.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    #49 Dear Russ, I didn’t know it was up to you decide who burns in Hell. Are you usurping God? The Reader of hearts understands the whole person, to depths unfathomable, so until you have this skill, until time has no boundries for you, and until you are capable of knowing a spirit before that spirit enters into these temporal vessels, I would suggest you refrain from grandiose threats of Hell. Your tortured interpretation of a Book that is far beyond your comprehension, does not give you the authority to make statements such as the one in post #49. The ice, on which you are standing, is likely thinner than Kevin’s.

  • Brian

    “Faith” is defined as “the ability to believe something you cannot prove.” Similar to “con.”

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Interesting 2005 lecture from Robert P. George:

    “Some conservative critics of the FMA fault the proposed amendment for not going far enough. They would prefer an amendment that would have the additional feature of banning even legislatively adopted state schemes of civil union and domestic partnership. I myself oppose such schemes, but I do not think it is necessary or politically feasible to attempt to deal with this issue at the federal constitutional level. So long as marriage is protected by an understanding–implicit in the terms of the FMA–that states may not create “faux marriages” by predicating rights, benefits, privileges, and immunities on the existence, recognition, or presumption of sexual conduct or relationships between unmarried persons, I am content to leave the question of civil unions and domestic partnerships to the people of the states acting through the processes of deliberative democracy.

    Other conservative critics of the FMA believe that it goes too far by removing from the individual states the authority to define marriage as they see fit. Many of these critics agree that a federal constitutional amendment is needed, but believe that it should do no more than prevent the judicial imposition of same-sex marriage nationwide, whether by judicial action manufacturing a federal constitutional right to same-sex marriage or by a ruling that Massachusetts same-sex marriages must be given “full faith and credit” by other states when same-sex couples from Massachusetts move into those states.”

  • Rev. Debra Haffner

    Neither the Manhattan Declaration, nor the handful of Catholic bishops and evangelical leaders who created it, speak for most Christians, much less people of other faiths. Read another religious viewpoint here:

  • 1EqualityUSA

    Dear Rev. Debra Haffner, “Page Not Found” popped up when the site was clicked.

  • Steve

    I noticed that the link posted by Rev. Debra Haffner this afternoon does not work. There is an extra period at the end of the url. The correct url seems to be:

  • B

    No. 44 · Jaroslaw wrote, “Still, from recent reports of users tinkering, I don’t know if Wikipedia is exactly an unimpeachable source to be quoting either! (although personally, I’ve found it to be fairly accurate.)”

    A study in Nature showed that on technical topics the Wikipedia is about as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica. I.e., both contain errors at comparable rates. The “tinkering” was mostly on either “hot button” issues or biographies of politicians or other public figures whose staffs decided to try some resume buffing or rewriting of history. I don’t think a factual discussion of the Treaty of Tripoli would be something anyone would have a reason to sabotage, but both URLs agreed about it and only one was for the Wikipedia.

    They’ve been tightening procedures where problems have occurred, but aren’t doing that “just in case”. One of the goals is to try to find the minimum level of QA you need while still providing a high-quality service, and it is easier to fix a problem when something goes wrong than to figure out if something you are doing is not necessary.

  • 1EqualityUSA

    B, you must read 50 hours a day.

  • noclosets

    To much time on this one, oppression and repression is a fundamental tool for the Catholic Clergy but they couldn’t dupe Henry VIII hehe.

  • Jaroslaw

    #60 – Dupe Henry 8? You’re kidding of course – he beheaded how many wives? And stole all the money & buildings from the Church?

  • Russ

    @Attmay: just went back and reread these posts. I wish you people would educate yourselves about what the first amendment means. People are so ignorant.

Comments are closed.