Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Billy Atwell

12/3/2010 (3 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 (3 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 October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Technology

So, the Apple haters were wrong again - take a bite of this! Watch

Image of Apple has seen growth in the sales of its iPhones and Macs from this time in 2013, while sales of tablets have shrunk in the same time frame.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Tech giant Apple has sold 39.3 million iPhones over the past quarter, which includes sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus which were released in the United States on September 19. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sales of the iPhone rose past most expectations, ... continue reading


Lockheed Martin may have just won the alternative energy war Watch

Image of Lockheed Martin may start producing working Nuclear Fusion reactors by the end of the decade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lockheed Martin has announced a new breakthrough which may allow for the development of feasible nuclear fusion, which could help solve a potential energy crisis. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Maryland-based firm had revealed that the first fusion ... continue reading


Look out Mars! A future colony is expected to head out to the Red Planet in 2024 Watch

Image of A Dutch-based nonprofit organization, Mars One, intends to send a group of colonists to the Red Planet by 2024.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new study about the potential of sending humans to live on Mars for an extended amount of time has shown that there are still some major roadblocks; specifically, humans would likely begin to die within 68 days of arriving on the Red Planet. LOS ANGELES, CA ... continue reading


It's the rise of the machines! Robots will take a third of all jobs in less than 15 years Watch

Image of Peter Sondergaard, the research director for Gartner, says that businesses will be more reliant on software and robots in the future.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Gartner, an information and technology research and advisory firm, predicts that robots, drones, and software programs will replace a third of all workers by 2025. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - "One day, a drone may be your eyes and ears," said Peter ... continue reading


Meet Google's secret weapon in the global cyber war Watch

Image of Parisa Tabriz is Google's

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Meet Google's "Security Princess", the company's top secret weapon whom is charged with safeguarding one of the world's largest tech giants. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Her name is Parisa Tabriz, a professional hacker whom is paid to attack her own company to ... continue reading


Move over Clovis! Oregon may have been home to earliest humans in America Watch

Image of Archeologists digging in Oregon's Paisley cave complex.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Paisley Five Mile Point Caves, a network of caves in Oregon, may be the oldest site of human habitation in North America. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The find suggests that humans first reached the Americas at the end of the last Ice Age, a thousand years ... continue reading


What's that shiny, mysterious object in the sea of one of Saturn's moons? Watch

Image of Researchers suspect that the appearance of this feature could be related to changing seasons on Titan, as summer draws near in the moon's northern hemisphere.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Science loves a mystery, and so all eyes are upon a mysterious, shining object located on one of Saturn's moons, Titan. In one of the moon's hydrocarbon seas, dubbed the Ligeia Mare, a shining object has been visible to NASA's Cassini spacecraft. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Inventor of World Wide Web warns of encroaching government control Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The British inventor of the World Wide Web, 59-year-old Tim Berners-Lee has issued a dire warning concerning the freedom of the Internet. Berners-Lee says that freedom of expression on the Web is under threat by governments and corporations interested in ... continue reading


Vast new oil field discovered by Russia - with assist from U.S. oil company Exxon Watch

Image of According to the agreement, Rosneft and Exxon won't be able to do more drilling, putting the exploration and development of the area on hold despite the find announced.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Relations between the United States and Russia have been strained, what with ongoing hostilities in Ukraine and the threat that Russian incursions have made to the rest of the European continent. However, the recent discovery by Russian oil interests - with the ... continue reading


Why has the government erected fake cell phone towers across Washignton D.C.? Watch

Image of The U.S. federal government will neither confirm -- nor deny that they use such towers for law enforcement purposes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fake cell phone towers have been discovered throughout the Washington D.C. area. Their existence boggles the mind. Who would take the time to erect these structures that are of no use to anyone? The towers are located near the White House, the United States ... 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, Ephesians 3:2-12
2 You have surely heard the way in which God ... Read More

Psalm, Isaiah 12:2-3, 4, 5-6
2 Look, he is the God of my salvation: I shall have ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 12:39-48
39 You may be quite sure of this, that if the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Pope John Paul II
October 22: Karol J. Wojtyla, known as John Paul II since his October 1978 ... 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