I have refrained from comment on the Manhatten Declaration, mainly because I was content to read blogs of friends who had very passionate opinions about it. I am weary of the culture wars and to me it smacks as the latest big campaign to gain political leverage. However, there are signers who I would not describe as right wing. Dr. Ron Sider who I’ve interviewed here is one of those. The document works very hard to be irenic and diplomatic. Even so, I won’t get behind for much the same reason I didn’t get behind the Evangelical Manifesto. True ecumenism is not finding like minded people to clarify and speak for the whole in order to gain more power. Under the FAQ on the Manhatten Declaration’s site I’d direct your attention to the answer to the question:
Isn’t this just a Republican initiative? How many of the signers would identify themselves as Democrats?
“In most cases, we do not know the signatories’ political affiliations, if any.”
I don’t believe that. They don’t know Chuck Colson’s political affiliation? So, to sum up, the document does more to circle the wagons than to say anything new about the issues it raises. It is far less a pastoral statement or a call to social justice than a gauntlet declaring that these people will not budge no matter what sort of pressure is applied. For this reason, the action beyond the statement is open to interpretation. For that reason it’s not a call to do any thing in particular beyond what the signers already believe.