Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Billy Atwell

12/3/2010 (4 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Does Apple find Christianity offensive?

56 Catholic Bishops and Cardinals signed the Manhattan Declaration, a call of Christian conscience, taking a stand for life, marriage, and religious liberty. The Declaration launched an iPhone/iPad application for its near 500,000 signers in early October with a 4+ rating, which means that it contains "no objectionable material," according to Apple. The application mysteriously vanished from the iTunes Store after a vocal group of opponents petitioned Apple. Manhattan Declaration supporters call for reinstatement of the application.

Manhattan Declaration iPhone App which has been deleted by Apple

Manhattan Declaration iPhone App which has been deleted by Apple

Highlights

By Billy Atwell

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

12/3/2010 (4 years ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Apple, Manhattan Declaration, discrimination, anti-Christian bigotry, Steve Jobs, Billy Atwell


WASHINGTON DC (Catholic Online) - In early October of this year, the Manhattan Declaration, a "Call of Christian conscience," signed by some of the most prominent Catholic, Orthodox, and Evangelical Protestant leaders including 56 Catholic Bishops and Cardinals, launched an iPhone/iPad application for its followers.

Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Apple discreetly removed the application from its iTunes Store with no warning or reason given to Manhattan Declaration leaders. Further perplexing many Christians, when Apple developers first accepted the application for the iTunes Store, the company rated it 4+, which means it displayed "no objectionable material."

The application allowed signers, which now breach 478,000 individuals, to sign the declaration, read the 4732-word document, post and share events and take a quiz testing the reader's knowledge of orthodox Christian teaching on the issues of sanctity of life, dignity of marriage, and religious liberty.

The application - or "app" as they are commonly called - was removed after Change.org, a progressive website supporting abortion and homosexuality, issued a petition to its followers asking Apple to remove the application, claiming the Manhattan Declaration "is offensive to Americans who support equality and free choice." The petition also said, "The Manhattan Declaration application exists to collect signatures on a website which espouses hateful and divisive language."

After several days with no response from Apple, reporters were finally able to pull a statement out of the corporate monolith of Apple headquarters.  The media team at Apple responded by saying, "it [the Manhattan Declaration app] violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people." If the application offered no objectionable material, than why did Apple remove it for being offensive to a relatively small group of people?

Catholic blogger Matthew Warner blogged today about this story with the title "Apple Finds Christianity Offensive To Large Groups of People, Removes App."  Warner points out that Change.org only gathered 7000+ petitioners.  Is that a large group, compared to the nearly 500,000 Manhattan Declaration signers?

Warner also writes, "Apple is making a huge mistake choosing to make this entirely traditional and innocuous declaration their example of what constitutes "offensive to large groups of people."  Not only because the language used in the Manhattan Declaration is more civil and has been more thoughtfully chosen than that used in just about any other app, but mostly because of what they are calling so offensive: Christianity. There is nothing in the Manhattan Declaration that isn't completely in line with Christian teaching. To call it offensive is to call Christianity offensive."

The three primary drafters of the declaration--Chuck Colson, Dr. Robert George, and Dr. Timothy George--sent a letter to Steve Jobs, President of Apple Inc, on Monday with no response. The Manhattan Declaration has since launched a petition and social media campaign to make all orthodox Christians aware of what Apple has done through Twitter and Facebook.

The petition says, in part, "Civil discourse is a hallmark of a civilized and free society. Disagreement is not hate. We urge you and Apple, therefore, to promote communication and civil dialogue on these important social issues by reinstating the Manhattan Declaration App."  They are also calling on Manhattan Declaration signers to call Apple and email Steve Jobs, voicing their disagreement.

Showing equal frustration to having the app pulled, the Manhattan Declaration leadership has voiced concern that a small group of opponents are able to sway the opinion of a multi-billion dollar company with lies about their intent.  Their website blog reads, "We emphasize with great sincerity that "disagreement" is not "gay-bashing."  Anyone who takes the time to read the Manhattan Declaration can see that the language used to defend traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life, and religious liberty is civil, non-inflammatory, and respectful."

The website also asks its signers to "reject 'disdainful condemnation" and "declares that all people are worthy of respect, because all are loved by God."

If the Manhattan Declaration uses Biblical and classically Christian language to articulate an orthodox Christian belief, as Warner indicates, then do Bible apps, Christian apps of various sorts, and other applications pose an equal threat of being "offensive to large groups of people?"

[Editor's Note: Catholic Online strongly supports the Manhattan Declaration. Our Editor-in-Chief is a signatory. We stand in solidarity with this call for reinstatement. We ask our readers to do the same. We call upon Steve Jobs and Apple to restore access to this application. To selectively exclude orthodox Christian expression is not only discriminatory, but fails to recognize that disagreement, when expressed with civility and respect, is a hallmark of authentic freedom.  Selective discrimination against Christians is not.]

-----

Billy Atwell contributes to Catholic Online, and blogs for The Point and the Manhattan Declaration. As a young lay Catholic and two-time cancer survivor he offers commentary on faith, culture, and politics. You can find all of his writings at For the Greater Glory.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Technology

Is Facebook changing? Facebook plans to conquer the virtual world this year Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Facebook's chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer promised that the Virtual Reality (VR) program will come into life within the year. The Oculus headset, which was on their top secret list before, was announced to be available soon, but the exact release date is not ... continue reading


Smartphones and Internet may be putting your child's mental health in jeopardy Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil

The number of young people being admitted for mental treatments since 2010 has rapidly increased. Julie Lynn Evans, a psychotherapist for over 25 years now, is grateful for the additional funding being sent into mental health services, but she believes the dilemma ... continue reading


Stealth fighter jets in U.S. set to get massive upgrades Watch

Image of Pentagon officials have stressed the importance of developing the new long-range strike bomber calling it critical to national security and nuclear deterrence.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A mainstay of United States military defense, stealth bombers have been around since the Seventies. The Air Force's aging fleet is now ready for an expensive makeover. The Pentagon intends to develop a high-priority, super-classified, next-generation bomber. ... continue reading


Will you say 'hello' to Barbie? Mattel's new Barbie doll is 'creeping out' parents, raising concerns of privacy Watch

Image of Hello Barbie will allow its owner to carry on a conversation through recorded audio and WiFi.

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Classic toy doll, Barbie, has been reinvented after the makers, Mattel received numerous requests for a Barbie doll that kids can talk to, according to a spokesperson of the toy company. Mattel's response is WiFi connected "Hello Barbie" that comes with an installed ... continue reading


Scientists find way to eliminate inherited diseases with genetically modified human eggs Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

New gene-editing techniques are being improved and could soon eliminate inherited diseases from future generations by modifying the DNA of human egg cells. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Although the idea of editing chromosomes in human eggs or sperm is feared, ... continue reading


Hidden spy cameras discovered at United States post office, installation confirmed by USPIS Watch

Image of freerepublic.com

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden camera disappeared just after an hour of being discovered at a Denver local post office, Fox31 Denver reported. People became alarmed that they are being watched as they drop-off their mails with the possibility of the camera collecting their facial features ... continue reading


Your selfie can now be seen by millions: Charity campaign puts selfies on billboards for donations Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

By participating in the Ultimate Selfie Campaign (#ultimateselfiecampaign), people can now have millions of people across the United States see their selfie or favorite photo on digital billboards, while helping charities with a $25 donation. The project was an ... continue reading


BIG, BIG things predicated on Apple's 'Smartwatch' Watch

Image of A solid gold version aimed at the very rich will tarnish a brand that promises

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

While Apple remains unusually successful, there are already naysayers lining up to predict that the company's forthcoming "Smartwatch" will be a flop. Many details about the new gadget remain under wraps. Questions remain about the watch's price, the battery ... continue reading


Let there be light: New urine-powered light bulbs bring light to refugee camps Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Pee Power" is what the people are calling this strange innovation. British students and researchers, from the University of the West of England and the OxFam global aid agency, have invented a mode in which light bulbs can be powered by urine. The University has ... continue reading


Zombie Apocalypse: Safest plan is to 'head for the hills,' according to experts Watch

Image of In the event of a zombie apocalypse, cities would fall quickly. However, it would take weeks for zombies to penetrate into less densely populated areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In the event the dead return to life and begin to cannibalize the living, turning them into hordes of the shuffling undead, theoretically - there would be few options. Researchers at Cornell University offer a practical bit of advice should this happen - head ... continue reading


All Technology News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Isaiah 50:4-9
4 Lord Yahweh has given me a disciple's tongue, for ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:8-10, 21-22, 31, 33-34
8 I am estranged from my brothers, alienated from my ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 26:14-25
14 Then one of the Twelve, the man called Judas ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 1st, 2015 Image

St. Hugh of Grenoble
April 1: Benedictine bishop of Grenoble, France, patron of St. Bruno. He ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter