My Old Kentucky Homesite

Don’t Take Manhattan

Posted by Larry Wallberg on 03/12/2010

[NOTE: This is sort of a follow-up to “Unborn” Again. But I apologize in advance that you’ll have to read most of this post before you find the “stupid Kentucky” connection. Trust me, though … it’s here. ]

The New Yawk Background

Back on November 20th, I must have been lulled to sleep by the sun shining so bright and the people shining so dumb. Or, more likely, that was one of the many days when the only things I read in the newspaper were the Jumble and Zits.

So I was surprised to learn today that  nearly four months ago, a group of hate-mongers issued The Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience.  (Warning: Don’t click on the link if you have a sensitive stomach.)

Among the nearly 430,000 (!) signatories can be found the usual exemplars of loving kindness, people like Charles Colson, James Dobson, Gary Bauer, New York’s Archbishop Timothy Dolan, and hundreds of other so-called leaders of Catholic, Evangelical, and Orthodox churches. The declaration’s “celebrity” supporters include Bill O’Reilly, Ann Coulter, Karl Rove, and other such conscience-driven types.

The Web site summarizes the Declaration this way:

We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are (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. Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

If the summary doesn’t get you gnashing your teeth sufficiently, go ahead and read the whole thing.  But do that only if you don’t want to keep your hair — because you’ll be tearing it out of your head in anger as you work your way through the document. (I’m  already balding, so losing a few more of my curly locks wasn’t such a tragedy.)

Obviously number (1) is about opposing abortion, although it’s dishonestly couched as protecting the lives of “the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly.” Besides abortion, the Declaration also singles out for God’s wrath “embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide, and euthanasia.”

We pledge to work unceasingly for the equal protection of every innocent human being at every stage of development and in every condition. We will refuse to permit ourselves or our institutions to be implicated in the taking of human life and we will support in every possible way those who, in conscience, take the same stand.

In other words, the Pro-Forced-Maternity forces will continue fighting for the souls of good, Christian blastocysts.

Number (2) expresses concern that “the institution of marriage, already wounded by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is at risk of being redefined and thus subverted.” Watch out, you god-hating homos!

Number (3), though, is the slickest, slimiest, and most deceitful of all. Under the guise of promoting “religious liberty,” the Declaration urges civil disobedience among Christians if laws are not in keeping with numbers (1) and (2) — or, basically, anything else the churches dislike. That’s a pretty broad category, but it could well include a call to disobey environmental regulations, violate fiscal policy and controls, and teach whatever nonsense Christians choose to disseminate in publics schools. In its not-so-subtle wording, it could be used to justify clinic-bombing, gay-bashing, and the murder of science teachers who dare to inform their students about evolution. To put number (3) another way: if America refuses to become a theocracy, its laws are invalid.

The Eagerly Awaited “Stupid Kentucky” Connection

Thanks for your patience.

So yesterday, Kentucky’s House Resolution 232 was introduced and after what must have been whole seconds of debate it passed today by a voice vote on the floor. What is that resolution? Can you guess?

A RESOLUTION recognizing and honoring the efforts of those who have inspired thousands of Kentuckians with the Manhattan Declaration.

There’s a lot of pious blah-blah for a few paragraphs before the document actually states what those numnuts are seeking to resolve:

Be it resolved by the House of Representatives of the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Kentucky:

  • Section 1. The House of Representatives recognizes and honors the efforts of those who have inspired thousands of Kentuckians with the Manhattan Declaration.
  • Section 2. The House of Representatives further wishes great success to those who are committed to the principles upon which our Commonwealth and indeed the nation at large were founded, and appreciates the heartfelt motivation of those whose calling it is to minister to others even as they declare and advocate for truth.

This resolution had 45 “yea” (or “yay”) votes— yup, you read that right: forty-five — from among the state’s 100 elected representatives. That’s nearly half of the chamber, all of whom were listed as sponsors, not merely supporters, of this drivel. And, amazingly, there’s not even a single reference to “hoops.” In case you’re wondering what happened to the other 55 members, they were recorded as “not voting.”

It’s now going to be really dangerous driving on Sunday mornings. Thousands of Kentucky Christians, hurrying to get to church, will feel obliged to disobey those ungodly traffic rules.

There oughta be a law against the legislature wasting time and money on nonsense like this. But, of course, good Christians would just continue to ignore it. Now that HR 232 has passed, they can even cite their own resolution as justification.

[Frivolous Appendix for Earworm fans:
Much to my chagrin, the Manhattan of the Declaration is not the one in Kansas. I was shocked to discover that Kentucky representatives would admit to loving anything that referred to New Yawk. But I guess I wouldn’t be surprised now if they select this as their theme song.]

[Addendum: 03/13/2010, 2:55 a.m.:
It appears that some of my facts about the “Stupid Kentucky” Connection were not correct as originally written. Apparently, everybody is stupid here, including me. I’ve edited the material to conform with the truth — which is still as scary as what I errroneously wrote.]

21 Responses to “Don’t Take Manhattan”

  1. Sorry. If you think I’m going to click on your ear-worm link, you’ve got another thing coming to you, buddy. I learned my lesson a few posts back. Not gonna do it. Nope.

    Well maybe I’ll just have my mouse pointer hover over the link to see what it is.

    Oh, Nilsson. Harry Nilsson? Nilsson Schmilsson? Of “You’re breaking my heart / You’re tearing it apart / So fuck you” fame?

    Maybe just one little click.


  2. SI:
    God must have made you click.

  3. [We] call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us…
    We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

    Um, am I alone in seeing the disconnect there?

    I also think it’s funny for them to cry about redefining marriage when they redefine and relabel things constantly. Fetuses become the unborn, pro-choice becomes pro-abortion, welfare becomes charity, public option for healthcare becomes socialism, unChristian becomes unAmerican, and on and on.

  4. Philly:
    Good point; I missed that piece of illogic.

    The sad thing is that those religious fanatics don’t even think about whether they’re offending people who practice other or no religions. They’re under the impression that they’re doing everyone a big eternal favor by spreading Jesus’s “love.” It’s the missionary mentality.

    Of course, you and I would probably agree that some of those Manhattan Declarers understand exactly what they’re saying. They’re using widespread American ignorance to make a power-grab.

  5. the chaplain said

    The declaration and the resolution are both mind-numbingly stupid. But, we are talking about religion here, more specifically, about Christianity, and even more specifically, about American Christianity. What else would one expect except stupidity?

    By the way, many fundogelicals are actually pretty adamant in their opposition to euthanasia. They’ll “put pets to sleep” (how’s that for a warm fuzzy euphemism?), but they don’t dare to let a human die, or gently help the person along, before Gawd’s ordained time. If the human is suffering, well, tough shit – the timing is all in Gawd’s hands. They say this, of course, when people are hooked up to all sorts of machines that prolong life unnaturally. As I said earlier, mind-numbingly stupid.

  6. Chappy:
    I’m aware that Catholics are opposed to euthanasia. Hell, I’m surprised they approve of people wiping their asses, since there’s plenty of life in fecal matter.

    But I think “assisted suicide” and “euthanasia” are thrown into the mix mainly for “big lie” purposes. We all know the Manhattan Declaration is concerned primarily with abortion.

  7. the chaplain said

    I agree that abortion is the lead issue. I don’t agree that assisted suicide and euthanasia are thrown into the mix for “big lie” purposes. I think they’re thrown into the mix more for the purpose of tying everything together into a “sanctity of life” package. Unless you think the whole “sanctity of life” package is, itself, the big lie. That’s a possibility I’d entertain.

  8. Chappy:
    Get out the cocktail wieners and the party hats, and start entertaining. I think the whole Manhattan “Project” may be a big lie by the people responsible. As I said earlier, it could well be an attempt to gain political power by “pietistic” sneaks who are out to control the ignorant masses through a marriage between one government and one religion.

  9. MacNutz said

    Yowsa, I left the South to live in Canada many years ago. I see all my reasons for leaving have remained and become even more entrenched. Ugh.

  10. Mac:
    I’m stuck living in the South, but maybe I’ll start drinking Canada Dry Ginger Ale. I wonder though: Isn’t ginger ale supposed to be wet?

  11. MacNutz said

    No, the ginger ale is dry but you are supposed to put the wet in. Personally I never use ginger ale for a mixer

    I am in the opposite situation. Born and raised in a shit hole little almost town in the south, I escaped and made a new life in Canada. As a kid in Alabama I dreamed of fleeing to New york to do my music thing and escape all semblance of the deep South. You have my heartfelt condolences, truly heart felt. Been there, done that. Escaped with my sanity almost intact,wounded but landed in a great place to recuperate.

  12. MacNutz said

    having said that about the South I want to say that I also take special pleasure in meeting intelligent critical thinking Southerners who still live there.

    Now I’m a typical Southern writer. You know, writes about the South but won’t live there anymore.

  13. Mac:
    Thanks for what I think was a compliment.
    You have the dubious honor of being the very first person to refer to me as a Southerner. It gave me the chills, and not in a good way. (It was more like brain-freeze). So don’t do it again. (I’ve already told my wife that if she ever hears me doing a rebel yell, she should hit me over the head with a knish.)

  14. MacNutz said

    No man, didn’t call you a Southerner, just stated that I like meeting that variety of southerner. Such as some of your commentators.

    No way did I refer to you as a Southerner. That would be right insensitive of me. Especially after offering my heart felt condolences for your circumstances. I still have bad dreams about being stuck back in Alabama and I’m trying desperately to get back home. Home being Vancouver. That is my reoccurring nightmare.

    Ever dream you’re fleeing back to New York and keep ending up back in Kentucky?

  15. Mac:
    Ever dream you’re fleeing back to New York and keep ending up back in Kentucky?

    Yes, every fucking day. But when I pinch myself, I discover that I am in Kentucky.

  16. Let’s not forget, that the claimed source of this absurdity is New York. Even considering the handjob the Manhattan Declarationists got from the Kentucky state legislators, the villain here is the North.

  17. Des:
    I’m afraid that the evil of the Manhattan Declaration can’t be classified as a simple Northern/Southern thing. Those people supporting and/or signing it are from all over the place.

    On the other hand, it would be a Southern legislature that goes all rah-rah over the thing. I doubt that you’ll find a resolution like ours being passed in Massachusetts or Oregon or even Pennsylvania. But I might be wrong, because those Christians have taken over nooks and crannies of all the state governments, while atheists/skeptics/doubters/freethinkers — a large percentage of whom are too fucking afraid to acknowledge their position even to their own families — keep sitting on the sidelines with their thumbs up their asses. I, for one, will never again vote for anyone who continues to empower the religious right through incessant “God” talk.

    My wife and I have two different theories about the word “Manhattan” in the title. I think it was put there to give the document a false veneer of intellectual sophistication and “melting-pot” inclusiveness. My wife thinks it was put there to increase its hits on Internet Search Engines.

  18. It must have been to make it sound more sophisticated, like how Friday the 13th, Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan simply screams “sophistication.” Sidenote: Type “Manhattan” into Google and the top suggestion is “Manhattan Declaration.” NYC should sue.

  19. Des:
    Type “Manhattan” into Google and the top suggestion is “Manhattan Declaration.”
    The Google suggestion is what made my wife suspect that the title was meant to generate Web traffic. I’m sure if they’d called the document something like the “Kankakee Declaration,” they’d have only about one-tenth of the signatures.

    Maybe I should have called this blog My Old Manhattan Homesite.

  20. But I thought you were from Brooklyn?

  21. SI:
    Nope, I never lived in Brooklyn. Or on Staten Island, either, for that matter. My boroughs were, in order: the Bronx, Queens, and Manhattan. Oh … and my house in Lexington, Kentucky (which is a very small, but genuine, section of New Yawk).

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