Religious Freedom Forum in NY Commits to Protecting Marriage, Life

A forum hosted by several religious groups this week in New York City declared that Christians need to stand up for God's "divine revelation" and follow His plan rather than pick and choose what is convenient.

"We came here today because we believe in divine revelation and recognize that we have an obligation to completely give ourselves over to the plan of God. For us to simply pick and choose what is convenient about the message of the Church and Christ's teaching would be inauthentic," the Most Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn, said in a statement emailed to The Christian Post.

"Over 500 people gathered for the religious freedom forum, where the venue had to be changed several times because the enrollment kept increasing," added Stefanie Gutierrez, spokesperson for the Diocese of Brooklyn. "Mass with Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, followed by the speakers, really inspired the crowd."

The forum was hosted by several organizations, including Alliance Defending Freedom, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Diocese of Brooklyn, the Knights of Columbus New York State Council, and Priests for Life. It was held at St. John's University in the borough of Queens, and featured several key speakers, including ADF President Alan Sears, who addressed the crowd about what the organizations view as the "assault on marriage and the family" currently taking place in society.

"Today's religious freedom forum, a call for all people of faith to join and stand on the Manhattan Declaration, is a cry, 'to let us be free.' To preserve, protect, and defend the liberty and Constitution that millions have crossed oceans and deserts to obtain, and countless numbers have shed blood and given even their lives to preserve," Sears said.

Sears added that America's founding fathers "could never have imagined the numerous attacks on society that jeopardize the sacredness of innocent human life, marriage and the family, and in particular, our right of conscience and our first freedom: religious liberty."

The Manhattan Declaration is a 4,700-word statement in defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom, which has gathered more than 532,000 signatures since Nov. 2009.

Other key speakers that were scheduled for the event included Marjorie Dannenfelser, President of the Susan B. Anthony List, Dr. Robert P. George, McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, Eric Teetsel, Executive Director of the Manhattan Declaration and Michael A. Simons, Dean of St. John's University School of Law and John V. Brennan Professor of Law and Ethics.

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