On Friday, November 20, 2009, His Grace Bishop Basil sent an invitation to his flock, inviting them to sign a statement affirming the historic Christian teaching on life, marriage, and religious freedom. He wrote:
"Dear to Christ:
We invite you to join with other Christians across the nation who support the sanctity of life, traditional marriage and religious liberty by endorsing the Manhattan Declaration.
Throughout the centuries, God has graciously provided His people with teachers and prophetic voices who apply His word to the critical issues of the day and who lead their hearers to embrace His life-giving authority and counsel in the midst of cultural madness. The Manhattan Declaration extends and honors that tradition, and we urge you to join us in affirming it. The Manhattan Declaration addresses with urgent eloquence the devaluation of human life, the corruption of marriage, and the erosion of religious liberty. With careful instruction, it brings light and clarity to all who read it. We trust that millions of believers will sign it, that countless others will be drawn or driven to give it fair consideration, and that our society will be changed by its strong yet sweetly reasonable message.
The Manhattan Declaration was released today, Friday - November 20, 2009, at a press conference in Washington D.C. It bears the signatures of many religious leaders, including myself, but this is just the beginning. The list of supports will grow dramatically in a short time and those who most need to hear this word will not be able to escape or downplay it. It has already grown ten-fold since its release at 12 noon (EST). So if, after carefully reading the document, you feel so moved, please endorse this document by your signature and spread the word to others who might endorse it as well. Thank you.
Click here to view the Manhattan Declaration and prayerfully consider lending your name to those who have already signed: www.ManhattanDeclaration.org .
+ B a s i l
Bishop of Wichita and the Diocese of Mid-America
Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America