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'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Technology

Doomsday is approaching! The symbolic Doomsday Clock moves closer to the fatal end Watch

Image of This is the closest the world has been to Doomsday since 1953.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Doomsday is the closest it's been since 1953, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists' "Doomsday Clock." The clock now stands at three minutes to midnight. Midnight represents the end of the world. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Doomsday Clock, created ... continue reading


Search giant, Google, has daring plans to infiltrate the competitive wireless cellphone service market Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The wireless phone game may soon be changing up. Currently there are four major names competing for customers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile. However, Google reportedly has plans to enter the business of cellular service. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - It was ... continue reading


High-tech drug smuggling: Drone found bearing meth near San Ysidro Port of Entry Watch

Image of Plastic webbing and strips of black tape was used to secure the drug packages to the drone, police said. The aircraft itself had six propellers and a lithium battery.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Drug smuggling has entered the high-tech age. A drone carrying methamphetamine, a stimulant that goes under the street names of "crank" and "Tina," crashed in Mexico near the San Ysidro Port of Entry this week. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The unmanned ... continue reading


California-based rocket company gets big bucks influx from Google, Fidelity Watch

Image of SpaceX leader Elon Musk says that the revenue generated by the venture could go toward building a city on Mars. This, he says, would further his long-held goal of turning humanity into a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

California-based rocket company SpaceX has received a $1 billion investment from Google and Fidelity. The sudden influx of cash now brings the company's worth to more than $10 billion. SpaceX intends to construct a globe-spanning satellite constellation. LOS ... continue reading


Is it world domination? No, it's just Netflix Watch

Image of Netflix, the Internet streaming giant, has posted higher than expected growth and revenue for 2014.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Online streaming giant Netflix has finished 2014 with 57.4 million subscribers, up more than four million from their third quarter figures; making this their largest growth of subscribers all year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Additionally, the company's ... continue reading


Hacker's delight! BAD passwords make it airtight! Watch

Image of Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a few keystrokes, and voila! Your entire life is there for the taking!

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

As the recent attack on Sony Pictures by purported agents from North Korea prove, the more things change - the more they remain the same. Unimaginative, kneejerk and obvious passwords used to encrypt personal data means potential hackers just need to enter a ... continue reading


No longer a science fiction fantasy, the possibility of designer babies may threaten the world's reproductive future Watch

Image of While

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

"Designer babies" may soon be a reality as major strides have been made in germ-line genetic modifications. Dr. Tony Perry, of the University of Bath, has announced results in precise DNA editing at conception in mice, according to BBC. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


They could be watching you! Secret radar device unconstitutionally allows law enforcement to covertly 'see' through walls Watch

Image of The FBI and U.S. Marshals Service use a radar system to detect motion with radio waves.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A secret radar device, able to detect if anyone is inside a building, is now being used by at least 50 U.S. law enforcement agencies. According to USA Today, using this kind of technology is "a practice raising new concerns about the extent of government surveillance." ... continue reading


The cure for deadly Ebola virus is closer than ever! Scientists find the key to a working treatment in genetically engineered, cloned ... cows? Watch

Image of Genetically engineered cows are being vaccinated against a variety of deadly diseases with hopes of finding curing antibodies.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Ebola antibodies are being brewed up in cloned, genetically engineered, cattle. These animals were created with hopes of finding a way to treat the deadly Ebola virus. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to NBC News, the special herd of cattle is currently ... continue reading


Scientist uncover Greenland's fascinating 'Meteorite age' Watch

Image of The first humans to have arrived in Greenland are estimated at around 2500 BC, and were repeatedly colonized by waves of immigration from the islands north of Canada.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to archaeologists, prehistoric hunters in Greenland lived through a "Meteorite Age." Hunters at that time mined metal from fallen space rocks to make weapons. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Danish researchers say evidence suggests that ancient ... 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, Jonah 3:1-5, 10
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to Jonah a second ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 25:4-5, 6-7, 8-9
4 DIRECT me in your ways, Yahweh, and teach me your ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 1:14-20
14 After John had been arrested, Jesus went into ... Read More

Reading 2, First Corinthians 7:29-31
29 What I mean, brothers, is that the time has become ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 25th, 2015 Image

St. Peter Thomas
January 25: Carmelite Latinpatriarch and papal legate. Peter was born in ... 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