December 9th, 2010
09:51 PM ET

Conservative Christians ask Apple to reinstate controversial app

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN

The conservative Christian leaders behind a controversial app that Apple recently discontinued said Thursday that they want the technology giant to reinstate a toned-down version of the app.

The Christian leaders created the app to promote a document urging opposition to abortion and gay marriage and support for religious liberty, among other positions.

Apple pulled the app from its online iTunes and iPhone stores in late November because "it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people," an Apple spokeswoman said last week.

The spokeswoman, Natalie Kerris, would not elaborate on about which part or parts were deemed offensive, saying "I'd rather not got into further detail."

But some of the criticism centered on a four-question quiz that featured questions like "Do you support same-sex relationships?" and "Do you support the right of choice regarding abortion?"

The app computed a score for the quiz depending on how many "correct" answers a user gave.

On Thursday, the leaders behind the app - called the Manhattan Declaration after the document it was meant to promote - said they were resubmitting the app without the quiz.

"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," said Chuck Colson, a former aide to President Richard Nixon turned evangelical leader.

"As a sign of goodwill," Colson said in a statement, "we have removed the poll and have resubmitted the app without it."

Calls to Apple were not immediately returned on Thursday evening. Manhattan Declaration leaders said Thursday that they have not heard from Apple since their app was pulled.

Those leaders sent Apple a petition Thursday asking CEO Steve Jobs to reconsider their app. The leaders said the petition garnered 43,000 supporters online.

"If you have a public communications company, you have a responsibility to see that certain views are not suppressed," Colson said last week. "This is a dangerous thing to do in a free society."

Colson helped draft the Manhattan Declaration last year. Promoters say it has garnered more than 478,000 signatures.

A spokeswoman for the declaration, Michelle Farmer, said that Apple had originally approved and posted the app in October and that it had received a 4-plus rating for "no objectionable content."

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Culture wars

soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. Marivone

    Folks who run in , you feel faster/lighter. All of the sudedn striking at your a0 feels like a collection of bounds in contrast to a resistive locomotive work. The runners who put on sneakers stated In lieu of the drive remaining transmitted into the heel bone, from the forefoot, drive is becoming transmitted for the muscle tissues in the leg. Runners can turn into substantially far more fatigued a lot previously in their distances for the reason that all those muscle mass are not designed up and sturdy enough. may possibly lower sensation of worn out and promoto full entire body. Women of all ages who like Yoga can don them, what's more, a0 may make your body far more adaptable. Only adult men will a bit upset that footwear cannot playing basketball.

    September 7, 2012 at 3:18 am |
  2. religion.blogs.cnn.com

    Conservative christians ask apple to reinstate controversial app.. OMG! 🙂

    April 20, 2011 at 3:31 am |
  3. this group is right

    Steve Jobs is a well-known Buddhist and the company is considered heavily, heavily leftist having publicly given money to support gay marriage. Is there any wonder that they would oppose this app although I agree with this group that they have a right to share their opinion and stance on religion. Apple is a platform and should not pick and choose based on a ultra leftist viewpoint.

    February 7, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
  4. mjed mazga

    This is why I do not purchase Apple products. Regardless of whether I share the same beliefs as the producers of any of the apps in their store, I refuse to have my content randomly, non-judiciously, and often biasedly filtered by Apple execs, whom have a clear track record of poor decision making regarding apps since the start of the app store.

    I am perfectly capable of deciding for myself what I do or do not want on my digital devices. Thanks, Stevie boy, but no thanks. Apple started down a slippery slope of remove apps based on content and not simply on operational capabilties, and they continue to muddy themselves in the process of sliding down said slope.

    December 24, 2010 at 6:54 am |
  5. Eric

    The story is inacceate. The rating is determined by the submitter, not by Apple. Developers agree to accurately rate their applications as part of the Developer Agreement. These guys had objectionable material and didn't rate their app properly. Apple received a bunch of complaints and removed the app. This process happens to apps on a daily basis.

    December 12, 2010 at 9:35 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Eric: I did not know that. Thanks for the info.

      December 13, 2010 at 1:37 pm |
  6. shaky shaky

    I just love seeing hypocrits squirm!! yah Mike, maybe we outta ship jesus fruit loops off to a concentration camp. Hey, if your god is real he'll send down a heavenly host to rescue you if not, oh well, it must just be the will of the great heavenly father right? LMAO!!

    December 12, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      How do you, who don't believe or know of a God, tell God how he should act?

      December 13, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  7. Kris Smith

    I don't understand why Christians would want this app. anyway. Being a follower of Christ is about forgiveness, mercy, love and understanding. The book of Romans talk about how all of us have been turned over to sinful ways and because of this no one should judge another. If we are in Christ we repent and turn away from the worldly stuff. No one is right and we are all wrong, but we find salvation in Christ alone.

    December 11, 2010 at 12:40 pm |
  8. shadow_man

    LOL, how ironic. Christians complain about being censored, and i get my posts erased and censored on this blog. You christians need to learn a lesson in hypocrisy. Jesus said he hated hypocrites, and 90% of christians are just that =)

    December 11, 2010 at 10:17 am |
  9. Calus

    Conservative "Christians" deserve nothing in this world – all their possessions need to be confiscated and distributed to the needy.

    December 10, 2010 at 2:49 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      Yeah, maybe even send them to concentration camps... you have a lot of hate calus

      December 10, 2010 at 3:20 pm |
    • Bob

      There is a lot of hate, and you should understand why.. Conservative Christians seek to tell me how to live my life. They seek to deny me of my own rights.

      And do they do this because of a logical, well thought out position? No, they do so based on a book of fairy tales where a man lives in a fish's gut for three days, where angles of death come and play in egypt and where bats are birds. Where there are mentions of unicorns (one horned, four hooved animals), and where God thinks it wise to torture a man to win a bet with Satan. Oh, and let's not forget that it's wrong to eat shellfish!

      December 10, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
    • Sum Dude

      Didn't the early christians give up all their possessions to be put into a common pool?
      Why would any so-called "Christian" refuse to follow these precepts?
      They even enforced this communism with a death penalty – if you don't give up everything you should be killed according to the New Testament.
      Maybe Stalin was a Christian – he liked killing people.

      December 11, 2010 at 9:33 am |
  10. Otherhand

    I'm an evangelical Christian and I think Colson is way off base. His "Manhattan Declaration" has nothing to do with real Christianity and uses religion in it's most nefarious disguise–to shower contempt on others. God bless Apple for having the good sense to pull this shameful app.

    December 10, 2010 at 1:56 pm |
    • Porter

      I highly doubt Otherhand is an evangelical Christian (a term overused & stretched way beyond it's meaning to evangelize – proclaming the good news to the lost) when he/she says "has nothing to do with real Christianity and uses religion in it's most nefarious disguise–to shower contempt on others." The main tenets of the declaration being pro-life, pro-biblical marriage, and pro-religious liberty are direct results of a Christian worldview. These ideas would not be in the slightest nefarious or contemptual from an actual evangelical Christian perspective. I think it obvious to those with some discernment, and knowing that Jesus being seated at the right hand of God upon His ascension, that Otherhand based on his nom de plume, has more of a rebellious streak than an evangelical one. +++

      December 11, 2010 at 4:30 am |
    • okey dokes

      crazy Porter says wha?

      December 13, 2010 at 3:46 pm |
  11. E.D

    There isn't any free speech on ITunes. Apple is a private company and they can allow what they want on their program. I agree 100% with David Johnson's Grandma. It always depends on whose ox is being gored. Conservative Christians are always ready to point the finger when something offends their beliefs.
    I saw a great bumper sticker yesterday and this discussion reminds me of it. It said "Focus on your own darn Family!"

    December 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm |
    • Mike, not me

      E.D., try to follow the whole story. The app wasn't removed because of Apple choosing not to host the app.

      " Apple had originally approved and posted the app in October and that it had received a 4-plus rating for "no objectionable content."

      It was removed because an annoymous group complained and Apple caved, so watch were you point that finger. And don't criticize this group for using the same method to get the app re-instated.

      December 10, 2010 at 3:18 pm |
  12. Frogist

    I'm glad they removed the poll. The idea that you Conservative Christians have the "correct" answers to those questions is laughable. I would like to read the actual content of the oath before I make comment on it. Also there is something to be said that if this goes against Apple's policies, then Apple has the right to pull it.

    December 10, 2010 at 10:10 am |
    • HotAirAce

      I took two shots at posting the declaration here but could not get past the naughty word test. The declaration can be found at http://www.manhattandeclaration.org.

      December 11, 2010 at 2:16 pm |
  13. HotAirAce

    As in the previous article about this, I've read the declaration and don't think the declaration is hate speech. It's "merely" a group's position on three social issues. If this doc-ument is hate speech, then so is any speech and vote made in the US Congress against changing the laws in the areas concerned, and the material on the group's website is hate speech too.

    If political representatives can say the same thing (as what's in the declaration) and it's permissable for the group to post their beliefs on their website, then I think it should be OK for Apple to sell an app that does nothing more than make the declaration available by a different path.

    But to be clear, I disagree with the content of the declaration and with a bunch of religious idiots trying to impose their silly dark age's beliefs on the American population.

    December 10, 2010 at 9:32 am |
    • David Johnson


      December 10, 2010 at 9:47 am |
  14. atty79

    "If you have a public communications company, you have a responsibility to see that certain views are not suppressed," Colson said last week. "This is a dangerous thing to do in a free society."
    Really Mr. Colson? That seems directly opposed to your 1993 stance against the Fairness Doctrine. Granted, the Fairness Doctrine has to do with the FCC ensuring that public broadcasts show both sides of controversial issues, but it's easy to see the hypocrisy where you argue against forcing a company to show both sides of an issue and then you argue for it!

    I think the truth is you don't want both sides to be shown when it helps your ideals–say, Fox News shouldn't be forced to show an actual fair and balanced broadcast. But should the tables be turned, say with your Apple app, where your ideals are hurt, you demand that both sides are shown, for to do otherwise is, as you say, a danger to a "free society".

    What do you REALLY believe, Mr. Colson?

    For those interested, here's Mr. Colson's argument against the Fairness Doctrine: https://www.colsoncenter.org/commentaries/3628-government-approved-radio

    December 10, 2010 at 8:57 am |
    • David Johnson

      My grandma use to have a saying: "It depends on whose ox is being gored".

      But then grandma drank heavily.


      December 10, 2010 at 9:24 am |
    • Frogist

      @atty79: You are absolutely right! He is just another Christian hypocrite. What a joke. Thanks for the article!

      December 10, 2010 at 10:06 am |
  15. Mike, not me

    A spokeswoman for the declaration, Michelle Farmer, said that Apple had originally approved and posted the app in October and that it had received a 4-plus rating for "no objectionable content."

    Scary that a small percentage of complains can drive such change.

    December 10, 2010 at 8:34 am |
    • David Johnson

      Such is the power of god, my friend.

      December 10, 2010 at 9:22 am |
  16. David Johnson

    How do you tone down hate? It either exists or it doesn't.

    I hope Apple turn them down.


    December 10, 2010 at 7:28 am |
    • Gemini

      G'day Barry Sorry can't do that as we get the ERSA etc in PDF format which means we can only dislpay it as-is.You may have seen some other programs around the world with a worldwide database of those kinds of information. The problem is, we can get hold of that info but its largely out of date in Australia so potentially dangerous. e.g. you may go into a CTAF using the wrong frequency.

      September 7, 2012 at 7:25 am |
About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.