Then come policy decisions on taxes, the economy, trade, healthcare reform, immigration…

That’s the message drafters of the Manhattan Declaration put out to all signers of that movement. It’s not politically partisan, it’s morally grounded in Christian values and primary among them the sanctity of life, the preservation of traditional marriage and the protection of conscience rights of religiously informed citizens. Those values happen to line up more closely with the platform of the Republicans than the Democrats, but the GOP started veering off from emphasizing them.

So the Manhattan Declaration organizers asked citizens to implore Republican Party leadership not to abandon these foundational principles.

Given the state of our economy and the exhaustive debt we have acquired—which is growing—it makes a kind of political sense for the Republican Party to focus on economic and fiscal issues; but it doesn’t make moral sense.  Some people want to hear about these surface issues.  We are in debt we might never fully recover from, and are adopting healthcare and fiscal policies that have failed in every instance in which they have been tried.  To focus on these issues makes sense, but to ignorantly look at social issues as superfluous and secondary to that of “social”, moral issues would be a fatal flaw in American politics.

One of the reasons we are suffering economically is because we have devalued the human person.  People are no long inherently good and valuable, which is why our culture accepts, and our governments legalize, the killing of babies in the womb, performing abortions on young women without the consent of her parents, murdering Terri Schiavo, and opening the flood gates of assisted suicide.  When people are viewed as contingent, whether on the desire of the parents, their ability to produce, or their ability to feel pain, they may become a means to an end.

When people are viewed as circumstantially good, rather than inherently good, Wall Street executives are content with selling mortgages that are bundled into securities that are analogous to a ticking time bomb.  Likewise, banks, with the assistance of the U.S. Congress, sleep well at night after selling mortgages to people who cannot afford them.  Devaluing the human person to a contingent state creates problems in every part of culture and at every level.

People spoke up about this in force and “brought the email servers down,” according to the latest mailing from Manhattan Declaration organizers. “We have just been informed that the Republican leadership will now include references to marriage and federal funding of abortion in their election agenda,” they write.

They’ve got a chance today. The appropriations bill to fund the military comes up for vote, and liberal Democrats have attached it to overturning ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ and paying for abortions at mililtary hospitals. Stay tuned…

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....