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Christians Submit Revised Manhattan Declaration App to Apple

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By Lillian Kwon, Christian Post Reporter
December 9, 2010|6:30 pm

The drafters of the Manhattan Declaration on Wednesday submitted a revised app to Apple after the company pulled its original one for being "offensive" to some.

The revised app no longer contains a poll that asked users about same-sex relationships and abortion.

"As a sign of goodwill, we have removed the poll and have resubmitted the app without it," said Chuck Colson, one of the three drafters of the ecumenical document that upholds the traditional understanding of marriage and the sanctity of life.

Colson determined that the poll was what sparked the most outrage among those who called for the app's removal.

The survey consisted of four questions – including "Do you believe in protecting life from the moment of conception? Y or N" and "Do you support same-sex relationships? Y or N" – and 25 points were awarded for each "correct" answer.

A pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage response was considered incorrect.

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The Manhattan Declaration app was initially approved in October and rated as a 4+, which indicated that it contained "no objectionable material."

But opponents of the app started a petition on Change.org demanding that Apple remove the "anti-gay, anti-choice" application. It was pulled over the Thanksgiving holiday.

An Apple spokeswoman told CNET that the app was removed "because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people."

Since then, Christians have been calling out Apple for its decision.

Stuart Shepard of Citizen Link, which is Focus on the Family's advocacy arm, demonstrated the absurdity of the decision in a video.

"Yep, marriage is too offensive an idea for Apple," he said. "I can take the easy route and point to the many embarrassing and objectionable apps that are still available that would offend actual 'large groups of people' but we all know this is really only about a certain group of people."

He argued that Apple was stifling free expression and pondered whether it would stop at the app store.

"If I call my wife on one of your iPhones to say 'I love you too and I'm glad I married you,' will the phone cut me off in the middle of the call?" he posed. "No, wait, it does that already."

"As far as the Bible apps in your store, will you only delete the verses you find offensive or the entire Bible?" he continued. "And at what point will you start kicking me out of your store because I contain the beliefs that you say offend large groups of people or will you agree with us that having healthy debate is healthy."

The Manhattan Declaration was unveiled last November, outlining principles that uphold the sanctity of life, the historic understanding of marriage, and religious liberty. It has been endorsed by prominent evangelical, Orthodox and Catholic leaders and so far nearly half a million signatures have been added to it.

Colson insists that the declaration contains no offensive or inflammatory language and does not promote hate or homophobia.

"[T]he Manhattan Declaration declares that God loves all people," he said.

The only thing offensive about the document, he offered, is the biblical view of sexual morality.

Along with a revised app, a petition, signed by over 44,000 people, was also submitted to Steve Jobs of Apple. The petition urges Apple to reinstate the app.

 

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