Christians renew pledge to defend life, marriage and religious freedom

Christians urged to ignore laws that violate faith

NEW YORK (AP) -- Almost four years after Catholic and Protestant leaders issued the Manhattan Declaration, its executive director says traditional marriage, the sanctity of life and religious freedom are all "severely threatened."

In a forum at Columbia University titled "The Manhattan Declaration Returns Home," Eric Teetsel repeated the warning of one of the document's authors, the late Charles Colson, that Christians may be forced to practice civil disobedience.

New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan said laws become "toxic" when they violate what he called God's plan to protect life -- from conception to natural death -- and marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Alan Sears, president of the Alliance Defending Freedom, said Christians must refuse to obey laws that force them to violate their faith.

Dolan said, "Boy, do we ever need God's help, because the forces allied against us are powerful, but He's a lot more powerful.

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