Got this in my mailbox today. It's heart breaking but stirring at the same time. Half a million people have already signed! Please help and join in!
Take Action to Defend Religious Liberty
Dear Manhattan Declaration Signer,
We have arrived at the crisis point we knew would come. Our religious liberties are in the greatest peril and we need you to act immediately and sign this petition.
Our federal government, charged under the Constitution not only to respect, but to protect and defend, our most fundamental freedoms, has now imposed upon people of all faiths a mandate that their institutions provide insurance to their employees to pay for abortion inducing drugs, surgical sterilizations, and contraceptives. There is, for all intents and purposes, no recognition of the rights of conscience for those Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, or other faith-based employers to be free of this imposition.
The Catholic Church, as the largest provider of faith-based education, health care, and social services for the poor, is on the front lines of the struggle, but because of the required abortion drug coverage and the violation of religious freedom at the heart of the mandate, it is a struggle that implicates all believers. If the mandate is rammed down the throats of Catholics, no people of faith will be safe.
The Catholic bishops of the United States, dozens of whom are signers of the Manhattan Declaration, have made clear that they cannot and will not bend to the mandate. If forced to choose between the law of Christ and the edict of Caesar, they have no doubt about which master they will serve. If necessary, they are prepared to close institutions, and even go to jail, rather than comply with a human dictate in violation of what they believe, in conscience, to be the will of God.
All of us pledged such fidelity in the Manhattan Declaration. We saw this day coming, though few of us realized it would come so soon. Now we face the test: Will we, as we promised to do, “ungrudgingly give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, but under no circumstances give to Caesar what belongs to God”?
For our part, we renew our pledge to each other and to each of you. We ask you to do the same. Let us not scatter in fear or yield our precious spiritual and constitutional rights. Let us stand with the Catholic bishops and with those of every faith who will stand with us in the defense of religious liberty and the rights of conscience.
We ask you to do two things:
First, we posted on the Manhattan Declaration website a petition to President Obama prepared by the Becket Fund, which we’re asking everyone to sign. Please let your friends know about this petition. Get 10 others to come to the ManhattanDeclaration.org website to sign it, and at the same time ask them to sign the Manhattan Declaration itself if they haven’t already. Please encourage all of your friends, family, and colleagues to sign it today! Those who would deny our liberties need to know millions of Christians are standing together to oppose them.
Second, we are also raising funds to hire a full-time helper with the Manhattan Declaration enterprise. The list of Manhattan Declaration signers could now double, and there will be significant grass roots activity that we want to encourage. Up until now, three of the sponsoring ministries have provided funding and part-time staff support. To get the job done we must have a separate staff dedicated to the work of the Manhattan Declaration movement. We haven’t had staff enough to answer all the correspondence let alone do some events.
If you can make a donation to help with this, please do so, but not at the expense of your church or other Christian organizations. We are asking you to contribute only if you can make an extra, sacrificial gift above and beyond your regular donations. Only twice have we asked the Manhattan Declaration signers to make a gift and you responded. However, if there is a moment for sacrifice, the moment is now.
Like no other time in recent American history we must stand together no matter the consequences. May God use our strong alliance to prevent this outrageous attack on our most fundamental civil liberty.
The Manhattan Declaration is a non-partisan statement of conscience in defense of human life, traditional marriage and religious freedom.
Visit us online at www.manhattandeclaration.org