This apparently was the reason Apple removed an app (software that runs on electronic devices) from its iTunes store on Dec. 2. Apps are uploaded on Apple’s iPhones, iPod Touches and the hot-selling iPad, and allow users to do everything from online banking and gaming to accessing recipes and newspaper articles.
The app in question was called the Manhattan Declaration. It is named after a movement begun in 2009 by U.S. Christian leaders who believed traditional Christian views on religious freedom, marriage and the sanctity of life were being marginalized.
Unlike other apps, this one did not complete a task such as taking a photo. It was a “statement of conscience.” People could download the app and support the declaration. To date, about a half a million people have signed an online petition of support.
But soon after the app was approved (it received a 4-plus rating from Apple, which meant it was free from objectionable content), advocates of same-sex marriage, including Change.org, petitioned Apple to remove the app, arguing that it would lead to violence against gays. Leaders of the Manhattan Declaration movement reacted to Apple’s decision with obvious disappointment.
On its Web site, www.manhattandeclaration.org, the group said it was not “gay-bashing.”
“Anyone who takes the time to read the Manhattan Declaration can see that the language used to defend traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life and religious liberty is civil, non-inflammatory and respectful,” organizers stated, adding that “all people are worthy of respect, because all are loved by God.”
The group has organized an online petition asking Jobs and Apple to reinstate the Manhattan Declaration app. As of Dec. 6, more than 25,000 people have signed the petition.
The petition notes that civil discourse “is a hallmark of a civilized and free society. Disagreement is not hate.”
Apple’s image police dropped the ball on this matter. While the company has the right and responsibility to protect its image, this case clearly did not require a harmless app to be declared offensive. It’s up to Jobs to do the right thing and re-instate the Manhattan Declaration app. While this controversy isn’t quite the iPhone 4 “antenna-gate,” it does leave many loyal Apple fans miffed.
Those interested in signing the Manhattan Declaration petition to Apple can do so be visiting the group’s Web site. A link to the online petition is posted on the home page.