Two days ago Glenn Beck held his "Restoring Honor" Rally in Washington D.C. on the anniversary of Martin Luther King's historic "I Have a Dream" speech. Turns out he's not the only one trying to equate right wing ideology with the civil rights leader. The "Manhattan Declaration", which was released on November 20th 2009, is boasting nearly 500,000 signatures supporting it (Manhattan because it was presented in the borough to Christian leaders last September), and now one of its drafters just released a video haranguing people into supporting the morally questionable declaration.
For those of you unfamiliar with the Declaration, a major tenet is "civil disobedience" towards any government edicts relating to abortion, stem cell research, euthanasia, or same-sex marriage. The website says "The signatories to the Manhattan Declaration side with Socrates in saying that it is better to suffer a wrong than to do it. Like Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, we affirm that where one refuses to comply with an unjust law, one must do it 'openly, lovingly, and with a willingness to accept the penalty.'" Call it a gut feeling, but we're not sure that MLK would be too ecstatic about denying anybody civil liberties. [via Joe My God]
From their Declaration, here are the group's full views on Civil Disobedience:
Christianity has taught that civil disobedience is not only permitted, but sometimes required. There is no more eloquent defense of the rights and duties of religious conscience than the one offered by Martin Luther King, Jr., in his Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Writing from an explicitly Christian perspective, and citing Christian writers such as Augustine and Aquinas, King taught that just laws elevate and ennoble human beings because they are rooted in the moral law whose ultimate source is God Himself. Unjust laws degrade human beings. Inasmuch as they can claim no authority beyond sheer human will, they lack any power to bind in conscience. King's willingness to go to jail, rather than comply with legal injustice, was exemplary and inspiring.
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. We will fully and ungrudgingly render to Caesar what is Caesar's. But under no circumstances will we render to Caesar what is God's.
You can read the entire Manhattan Declaration here.