Reverend Timothy McDonald, Founder of the African American Ministers Leadership Council and Board Member of People For the American Way Foundation, issued the following statement in response to the release by right wing leaders of the so-called "Manhattan Declaration,"
"Pretending that all moral questions can be boiled down to two hot button issues profoundly misrepresents the moral questions Christians encounter in America today. Seeing that every American has the health care they deserve and access to a quality education are not peripheral to our struggle for justice and righteousness-they are absolutely central to it. Many Christians of every denomination support health coverage for all people, high quality public education in every community, and, yes, reproductive choice for women and marriage equality for all.
"Perhaps even more importantly, I am deeply disappointed that the signers of this document would use scare tactics and mistruths to generate a wholly synthetic threat to religious liberty. Our First Amendment protections remain intact and protect the right of every American to worship and preach in accordance to his or her own faith. No church will ever be forced to bless any marriage it disapproves of. No minister will ever be compelled to take a particular stance on the morality of abortion or birth control.
"Americans of all faiths and no faith at all are engaged in serious issues that affect all of our lives. That debate requires honesty, mutual respect, and an understanding of the complexities that surround us. This document serves none of those virtues."