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Manhattan Declaration signers submit revised appcomment (0)

December 23, 2010

NASHVILLE — Signers of the Manhattan Declaration — a Christian document at the heart of a growing controversy — have resubmitted a tweaked “app” to Apple in hopes that the company will approve it after pulling an earlier version from its iPhone/iPad app store. (“App” is short for “application” and is another name for a software program.) Chuck Colson, one of the three drafters of the 4,700-word document, said the proposed app has only the wording of the Manhattan Declaration itself and does not include a series of four introductory survey questions, as did the earlier app. Among those questions was “do you support same-sex relationships?” and “do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?”

“In reading some of the blogs and press on the Manhattan Declaration app, we understand that one element of the app, the poll, seemed particularly offensive to those who asked for the app’s removal,” Colson said in a statement. “As a sign of goodwill, we have removed the poll and have resubmitted the app without it.”

Colson and others say the declaration is simply a summary of Christian beliefs on life, marriage and religious liberty. Nevertheless, Apple pulled it from its app store in late November, saying it “violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.” The app, which was free, allowed owners of iPhones and iPads to read and sign the document with ease.

Apple originally gave the app a rating of 4+ — meaning “no objectionable content” — but changed its mind after roughly 7,700 people at the liberal website Change.org e-mailed Apple and asked it to remove the app. The Change.org webpage had argued that “supporters of equal rights and the right of women to control their own bodies” must stand together.

Meanwhile, more than 45,000 people have signed an online petition at ManhattanDeclaration.org asking Apple to reinstate the app.

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