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Religious right activists urge civil disobedience in the wake of election

Religious right activists urge civil disobedience in the wake of election

In November 2009 and with great fanfare, religious right activists unveiled the Manhattan Declaration which called for civil disobedience over issues important to conservative Christians and called for a blurring of the wall of separation of church and state.

Originally signed by 150 leaders of the religious right, promoters believed that the Manhattan Declaration would receive at least 1 million online signatures within a month because of its stance against gay marriage and abortion.  That failed to materialize when the count barely surpassed half a million signatures after three years.  The Manhattan Declaration website has since removed its signature counter.

Things did not turn out well for religious right activists in the 2012 election.  Marriage equality was passed by voters in Maine, Maryland and Washington, and Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional ban on same sex marriage.  An Iowa Supreme Court justice who had ruled for marriage equality retained his seat on the judiciary.  Anti-abortion candidates such as Todd Akin were defeated.  Not surprisingly, supporters of the Declaration's call for civil disobedience over these types of issues are renewing their calls after the Nov. 6 election.

The Family Research Council, a Christian conservative activist group that helped to fuel the Christian values voter effort, held a 74-minute "Election 2012: Aftermath and Aftershocks" webcast the day after the election.  Tom McClusky, Senior Vice President, FRC Action, told the Family Research Council's president Tony Perkins that "civil disobedience" will now be necessary for people who refuse to recognize same-sex marriages. The People for the American Way's Right Wing Watch condensed the lengthy Family Research Council webcast to show the "civil disobedience" discussion:


{video link}

Father Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, a Catholic group that opposes abortion, issued a statement calling for an "unwavering commitment" to civil disobedience:

The collision course of the Obama Administration with the Catholic Church could have been averted yesterday, but now it is assured instead.

It is therefore time to recommit ourselves to the basics: a clear proclamation of the truth, an uncompromising fidelity to our principles, and an unwavering commitment to civil disobedience.

Many in Church leadership failed to connect the dots between personnel and policy. They prayed and preached against the HHS mandate, but then were silent about the election, and called the police to remove citizens who leafleted the Church parking lot trying to inform voters about where the candidates stood on this issue.

Meanwhile, the national pro-life groups have done outstanding work in this year's election, with initiatives, creativity, and energy as great as I have ever seen, and there is no doubt that the election results would have been far worse without that activity.

The pro-life cause will prevail in America. In the elections of 2014, we will work for a pro-life Senate majority to further blunt the ability of President Obama to damage the cause of life.

Commentator Glenn Beck isn't urging civil disobedience. He's advising his audience to buy farmland and guns, and pull the kids out of public schools.

About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • Peter

    Why is Lennon's "You say you want a revolution>" going through my head? "Well, you know, you better change your mind instead." If you can't change your mind, maybe you don't have one. (Anonymous)

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Joe-Gannon/1442366779 Joe Gannon

    They called for civil disobedience. So I guess that means from now on, the people who don't believe in same sex marriages will refuse to marry anyone of their own sex, and those who believe abortion should be illegal will refuse to have abortions. Surely a few years of that sort of radical action and their opponents will see the light and change their opinions.

  • gnarlyerik

    It appears some religionists are trying just as hard as Republicans to make themselves irrelevant.

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    I think they are going to find that the majority of people don't want them around and consider them absolutely insane.

  • labman57

    Socially-regressive Christian conservative extremists — the 21st century iteration of the Klu Klux Klan.

  • Sparky

    The mix of Religion and Political activism is creating a back lash.
    People are moving away from the church. They don't want to be associated with the hatred and discrimination being promoted from the Church.
    I am now a "Former Christian' and I am not alone.
    If the church wants to be political – it is time to remove their tax free status.
    I am amazed how many people are agreeing with the movement towards Repealing the Tax Free status from Religious organizations who have abused their positions.
    With the likes of Twitter and other social media – such a movement is relatively easy to organize.
    This is something the religious folks should be thinking about.
    When the church starts to look like the kKK – a backlash will develop

  • Ismaila Singley

    There is nothing wrong with same sex marriage.

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