Press Release Nov 20, 2009

Richard Land joins Christian leaders, scholars in Manhattan Declaration on Christian conscience

WASHINGTON—Today a group of prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders and scholars released the Manhattan Declaration, which addresses the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty.

Dr. Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, was among the original signers of the 4,700-word statement. The declaration issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere to their convictions and informs civil authorities that the signers will not—under any circumstance—abandon their Christian consciences.

“It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of the process that produced the document,” said Dr. Land. “It is a sterling and forthright declaration of first principles. To paraphrase Martin Luther: Here we stand; we can do no other.”

Drafted by Dr. Robert George, Dr. Timothy George and Chuck Colson and signed by more than 125 Orthodox, Catholic and Evangelical Christian leaders, the Manhattan Declaration was made public today following a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington.

Excerpts from the declaration include:

* “We are Christians who have joined together across historic lines of ecclesial differences to affirm our right—and, more importantly, to embrace our obligation—to speak and act in defense of these truths. We pledge to each other, and to our fellow believers, that no power on earth, be it cultural or political, will intimidate us into silence or acquiescence.”

* “We recognize the duty to comply with laws whether we happen to like them or not, unless the laws are gravely unjust or require those subject to them to do something unjust or otherwise immoral.”

* “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 marriage or the equivalent or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.”

More information and the full text of the Manhattan Declaration are available at DeMossNews.com/ManhattanDeclaration.

_The Southern Baptist Convention is America’s largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches nationwide. The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission is the SBC’s ethics, religious liberty and public policy agency with offices in Nashville, Tenn., and Washington, D.C._

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