Apple has limited religious speech again, setting a dangerous precedent that has the potential to negatively impact religious communication in America. Last fall, Apple approved the Manhattan Declaration iPhone application, and gave it a “4+” rating, indicating that it was free of objectionable material, only to remove it after a small number of gay-rights activists expressed their objection to the Declaration’s goal of supporting traditional marriage. In December the Manhattan Declaration reworked their proposal in response to Apple’s concerns, submitting nothing except the Declaration with the opportunity to sign it. Apple rejected this proposal also, stating it found its “contents to be objectionable and potentially harmful to others.”
This action by Apple is beyond political correctness. In effect, Apple has now taken a position against biblical Christianity, as well as against civil discourse and free speech. Rather than remaining true to the freedoms we enjoy in America, it has used its power to stifle the communication of biblically-based values, calling them “offensive.” This is not good PR for Apple.
In a civil, reasoned, and respectful way, the Manhattan Declaration promotes the sanctity of every human life, traditional marriage, and religious freedom. Apple’s rejection of the Declaration’s application paves the way for increased restrictions on religious speech regarding moral issues. The result of this decision will affect all faith groups if not overturned.