The Manhattan Declaration and Apple Apps

These past few weeks there has been a little drama being played out that may effect religious texts on the web and Orthodox Judaism.

In Nov 2009 a group of conservative Catholics intellectuals and clergy issued the Manhattan Declaration on the nature of marriage.
It was designed to serve as an ideological and philosophic document for conservative Church reform and education. While acknowledging that “Christians and our institutions have too often scandalously failed to uphold the institution of marriage,” the group rejects same-sex marriage. The declaration states that opening a legal door for gay marriage would do the same for “polyamorous partnerships, polygamous households, even adult brothers, sisters, or brothers and sisters living in incestuous relationships.”

Apple has rejected twice an application to produce an APP for the document since they consider it harmful and hate speech toward same-sex marriage. Will this now cause a ripple for other apps? Would an APP for YUTorah be allowed if they know what if there? How about responsa or Rabbinic literature? There is plenty in contemporary rabbinic literature that would be just as against diversity and accepting the other. If this goes to court, there will be plenty of Amicus Curiae Briefs and could set the lines for relgion and the internet. Thoughts from a Jewish perspective?

Apple Says “No” to Manhattan Declaration App 2.0
December 23, 2010
We received notice from Apple last evening regarding their rejection of our resubmission of the Manhattan Declaration iPhone/iPad app to the Apple App Store. This is an appalling response from Apple. Nearly 500,000 Christians have signed the Manhattan Declaration including representatives from many major Protestant denominations, leading Catholic Bishops and leaders of the Orthodox Church.

Apple is telling us that the apps’ content is considered “likely to expose a group to harm” and “to be objectionable and potentially harmful to others.” Inasmuch as the Manhattan Declaration simply reaffirms the moral teachings of our Christian faith on the sanctity of human life, marriage and sexual morality, and religious freedom and the rights of conscience, Apple’s statement amounts to the charge that our faith is “potentially harmful to others.”

One response to “The Manhattan Declaration and Apple Apps

  1. The apps for the Talmud and Tanya immediately come to mind. Of course there are sections of those works that are just as “likely to expose a group to harm” and “to be objectionable and potentially harmful to others” as the Manhattan Declaration.

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