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Apple pulls Manhattan Declaration app following petition

updated 03:50 pm EST, Thu December 2, 2010

Message targeted CEO Steve Jobs

Online petition hosting site is crediting one of its campaigns for the removal of a potentially offensive app. The app promoted the Manhattan Declaration, a manifesto created and supported by conservative Christians such as Charles Colson and James Dobson. Signatories must oppose abortion and the right of gays to marry, and support civil disobedience where law conflicts with Christian dogma.

Over 7,700 people are recorded as having signed the petition, which directed a message at Apple CEO Steve Jobs. "Apple has always been among the most progressive companies and earned a 100% rating from the Human Rights Campaign's Corporate Equality Index," part of the letter reads, "and yet, the company has approved application that is offensive to Americans who support equality and free choice.

"The Manhattan Declaration application exists to collect signatures on a website which espouses hateful and divisive language, the very kind of language I hope the iTunes Store will not want to help disseminate," it goes on. "Despite the store rating the application 4+ ('no objectionable material'), I can assure you that the application does in fact contain lots of objectionable material."

The petition may simply have called attention to the official App Store guidelines. "We view Apps different than books or songs, which we do not curate," one section of Apple's document reads. "If you want to criticize a religion, write a book. If you want to describe sex, write a book or a song, or create a medical app. It can get complicated, but we have decided to not allow certain kinds of content in the App Store."

Apple has granted itself the power to reject apps "for any content or behavior that we believe is over the line," which it acknowledges is a subjective matter. The company generally opposes apps which exist to attack identifiable groups. It has been accused of being inconistent, however, such as in the cases of a political caricature app, and another title promoting a Republican Congressional candidate.

by MacNN Staff



  1. trenchcoat77

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Thanks, Apple

    And before any conservatives start yelling "free speech," this has nothing to do with the government prohibiting what you say. Any store can decide what to sell or not to sell.

  1. SockRolid

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Take your dogma to Android Market

    There's plenty of room over in the Android Weedpatch for religious dogma, intolerance, and s***. The Manhattan Declaration will fit right in.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. MyRightEye

    Joined: Dec 1969


    My gosh

    You g***, are the single most hateful bigoted group of people on the planet. Anyone who actually reads their declaration: will see there's not a single hateful or dogmatic thing about it.

    You g*** really better get your vocal bigots under control - all they're doing is creating more and more hate towards you, and now, with this kind of behavior, it's fully warranted.

    Of course you'll all vote me down, but that's just because you're a bunch of lemmings that are incapable of filtering out the hyperbole from common sense.

    Comment buried. Show
  1. mgpalma

    Joined: Dec 1969



    Hardly surprising from the left-leaning Apple. Symbolism over substance. Liberal women cying 'keep your hand off my womb' while at the same time giving the government access to their whole bodies through Obamacare.

    *flame away*

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    oh dear

    didn't take long for the holier than thou now did it?

    my dear christians, you'll not win any fans here by starting your post with attacks. very VERY unchristian of you.

    that whole creating more hate towards people, well, that too sounds very VERY unchristian. i'm not at all certain what you're trying to achieve with your post, but i feel comfortable saying it's not very christian of you.

    symbolism over substance? who's substance might that be? yours? whole lot of vague nonsense in your post without any... uh... substance.

  1. QualleyIV

    Joined: Dec 1969


    I'm all for free speech and tolerance...

    as long as it doesn't conflict with my ideals. I really can't believe how many so-called "liberals" spew this tolerance BS until it comes to a viewpoint that they don't like. How can you not see the hypocrisy in that?

  1. wingdo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    re: My Gosh

    @MyRightEye You sir (or madam) are exactly what is wrong with our country. One one hand the extreme right wing marches on towns to prevent the building of Mosques as they don't want to be "governed by Sharia (sp?) law" but your linked document has no qualms what-so-ever with having us ruled by Biblical law.

    It's funny how Christian Fanatics (yes all religions have them) totally forget about the word of Christ when they quote the Bible. If you are right and I am wrong, let God sort it out in the end, I don't need you to do it for me.

  1. nat

    Joined: Dec 1969


    speech and tolerance

    hypocrisy? how so? we show compassion to homosexuals and raped women. we're not tolerant toward those that wish to marginalize them.
    me thinks you need to realize that it's tolerance we're fighting for. i can type that slower if it helps.

  1. cranfordio

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It is an interesting read

    I read the Declaration at there was nothing hateful in the declaration, there was a lot of them not agreeing with certain lifestyles, behaviors and actions, and definitely a lot of disagreeing with certain laws, but I did not read this and get the sense that it was about hate. I also could not find anything in the declaration about civil disobedience, they said they were not going to obey laws, if created (none exist yet), that would require their institutions to perform and/or allow things that they disagree with on a religious level. I doubt our governments, Federal, State or Local, would ever force any church into performing same-s** marriages, or religious based hospitals into performing abortions as birth control (that is an entirely different topic - abortion as birth control as opposed to rape/incest or medical reasons) if they as a religious organization don't agree with it. At the same time I don't think Christian, Jew, Muslim organizations should expect non-religious organizations to support any laws that are based on religion beliefs (except those that are just immoral, because one could argue that murder is religious because it is in the ten commandments).

    As to my thoughts on Apple pulling this App, it is hard for me to say whether this is right or wrong. I don't think Apple should be determining whether an App should be allowed just because they disagree with the content, that should be fro the customer to decide, but then again it is their right as a company to do what they want.

  1. DaisyT

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Read it!

    I've never much cared what Apple did because I had never owned anything Apple until a couple of weeks ago when I bought an ipod. When I saw this today, I did as cranfordio did and read this Declaration. It's long and it is a very interesting read. I didn't see anything that suggested hate or any wishing of harm to others. I fail to understand why some are so afraid of those who signed the Declaration that they requested that Apple pull that app. Are they afraid that those with whom they disagree will grow in numbers?

    Apple wants to make money, that's the bottom line. Look at all the free publicity that this has brought them. Apple knows what they are doing. $$$$ And at this time of year, when a huge Christian holiday is upon us!

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