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July 6, 2010

Followers of the Center for Bioethics know that I have signed and endorsed the Manhattan Declaration (see A Christian Call to Action earlier this year). This public statement, drafted by prominent theologians and religious leaders, endorses three primary principles: 1) the sanctity of human life; 2) the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife; and 3) the rights of conscience and religious liberty.

This last idea has been under increasing attack in our public discourse. Last December, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton gave a speech at Georgetown University. In a subtle phrase that Chuck Colson refers to as an example of  Orwellian “newspeak,”she repeatedly referred to “freedom of worship” as a key democratic principle. But the Bill of Rights guarantees our “freedom of religion,” not the more narrowly defined right Mrs. Clinton spoke of. If we accept her terminology, we will lose the ability to define who may work in Christian organizations and churches. This would be an erosion of religious liberty similar to what is happening in Canada, with devastating results for faith-based organizations and charities.

To better understand this, check out Chuck Colson’s recent commentary (below, or go to his website):

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