Banned Christian iPhone App shows no sign of resurfacing despite fundie howls
HAT’S off Apple for refusing to bow to pressure from Christian fundies who want an iPhone application, The Manhattan Declaration, restored after it was removed earlier this month.
Despite the fact that over 480,000 loonies have signed a petition to have the homophobic and anti-abortion app restored – it was chucked into the rotten apple bin after more than 7,000Â people petitioned the company to ditch it – the App Store has shown no sign of knuckling down to pressure.
An Apple spokeswoman said that the app was removed:
Because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.
So just what is the Manhattan Declaration all about? This, from its website, says it all:
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.
It was in this tradition that a group of prominent Christian clergy, ministry leaders, and scholars released the Manhattan Declaration on November 20, 2009 at a press conference in Washington, DC. The 4,700-word declaration speaks in defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty. It issues a clarion call to Christians to adhere firmly to their convictions in these three areas.
After the app was removed, drafters of the Declaration submitted a revised one which no longer contained a poll that asked users about same-sex relationships and abortion.
The original poll comprised 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”. Twenty-five points were awarded for each “correct” answer. A pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage response was considered incorrect.
Said Chuck Colson, one of three drafters of the ecumenical document:
As a sign of goodwill, we have removed the poll and have resubmitted the app without it.
Colson insisted that the declaration contains no offensive or inflammatory language and does not promote hate or homophobia.
The Manhattan Declaration declares that God loves all people.
The only thing offensive about the document, he suggested, is the biblical view of sexual morality.
Stuart Shepard of Citizen Link, which is Focus on the Family’s advocacy arm, demonstrated the absurdity of the decision in a video, in which he said:
Yep, marriage is too offensive an idea for Apple. 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 â€¦ No, wait, it does that already.