Former Revolutionary Becomes Big Brother – Steve Jobs and Apple Refuse a Pro-life and Pro-Marriage App

The video at the bottom of this post was produced by National Organization for Marriage. It details an unjust pulling of a pro-life app from the Apple Store.

Back in November, Apple took down an  app called “Manhattan Declaration” after receiving nearly 7,000  signatures in protest. The app in question had originally been approved by Apple. But it would seem its pro-life and anti gay Marriage stance upset some people.

As you can see by the name of the App it is a reference to the Manhattan Declaration which is a very well worded declaration stating traditional biblical values on a number of key issues including abortion, marriage and religious liberty. The document is carefully and respectfully worded. Here is a summary of the declaration contained in its opening lines:

We, as Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical Christians, have gathered, beginning in New York on September 28, 2009, to make the following declaration, which we sign as individuals, not on behalf of our organizations, but speaking to and from our communities. We act together in obedience to the one true God, the triune God of holiness and love, who has laid total claim on our lives and by that claim calls us with believers in all ages and all nations to seek and defend the good of all who bear his image. We set forth this declaration in light of the truth that is grounded in Holy Scripture, in natural human reason (which is itself, in our view, the gift of a beneficent God), and in the very nature of the human person. We call upon all people of goodwill, believers and non-believers alike, to consider carefully and reflect critically on the issues we here address as we, with St. Paul, commend this appeal to every one’s conscience in the sight of God.. (Excerpt – Manhattan Declaration).

While the whole scope of Christian moral concern, including a special concern for the poor and vulnerable, claims our attention, we are especially troubled that in our nation today the lives of the unborn, the disabled, and the elderly are severely threatened; that the institution of marriage, already buffeted by promiscuity, infidelity and divorce, is in jeopardy of being redefined to accommodate fashionable ideologies; that freedom of religion and the rights of conscience are gravely jeopardized by those who would use the instruments of coercion to compel persons of faith to compromise their deepest convictions.

Because the sanctity of human life, the dignity of marriage as a union of husband and wife, and the freedom of conscience and religion are foundational principles of justice and the common good, we are compelled by our Christian faith to speak and act in their defense. In this declaration we affirm: 1) the profound, inherent, and equal dignity of every human being as a creature fashioned in the very image of God, possessing inherent rights of equal dignity and life; 2) marriage as a conjugal union of man and woman, ordained by God from the creation, and historically understood by believers and non-believers alike, to be the most basic institution in society and; 3) religious liberty, which is grounded in the character of God, the example of Christ, and the inherent freedom and dignity of human beings created in the divine image

As you can see, the document is respectfully worded. Over 480,000 people, including Cardinal Wuerl  (and yours truly). This is far more than the mere 7,000 who protested the app.

The bottom line is that Apple and Steve Jobs have taken down the app that would lead you to and encourage you to read and sign the Manhattan Declaration.  Now mind you, there are over 300,000 apps available and some of them take you to some pretty edgy and controversial sites. There are any number of political apps, and others including pro-abortion and pro-gay marriage sites. For Apple to take down this app amounts to taking sides in the matters of abortion, gay “marriage” and religious liberty. Given the numbers of apps and the number of Apple users, this amounts to a kind of censorship. Jobs and Apple have no reason to limit discussion on these important topics and ought to take a careful look at what they are becoming. An individual (Jobs) and a company who once advertised how they could take on “Big Brother” with their products have now become what they once rebuked.

It is true, Apple is NOT the government. It is also true that Apple is a private company and can decide what to market in their Apple Store. However when a company becomes as large and influential as Apple has and then engages in this sort of bad behavior, they cannot avoid the charge that they have become a kind of “Big Brother” themselves.

Go to the Manhattan Declaration site ( )   to read and sign the declaration, if you have not already done so.  You can also sign a petition there asking Steve Jobs to reinstate the App. You can also e-mail Steve Jobs here: [email protected]

22 Replies to “Former Revolutionary Becomes Big Brother – Steve Jobs and Apple Refuse a Pro-life and Pro-Marriage App”

  1. Big Brother is someone who spies on people. I don’t see how a company doing what a company has the right to do – response to its customers’ demands, in this case removing an app – is anything close to Big Brother.

    Besides, instead of worrying over an app, why not worry over the “culture” against marriage and life? And instead of worrying over an app, why not worry over the persecution of Christians in various countries?

    1. Well of course the “big brother” image is merely a play on Apple’s own advertising campaign from the late 1980s. Further I think Big Brother is a little broader of a concept than you insist it be. Like most things in the culture it tends to become a broader notion than perhaps its original and rather specific meaning.

      As for you Nick you appear to be in a bad mood or something as you comment. Why the dismissive sniffing at the post which is, in fact a post about the “culture against marriage and life” as you put it. This is one post, there is time for others on many topics. I am sorry that you seem to think this post is beneath the dignity of your attention and off the list of “approved” topics.


      “Big Brother” – a reference to George Orwell’s classic novel “1984” – sought not only to constantly keep people under surveillance, but also to control what citizens thought by controlling what they watched, read, and heard. The “Ministry of Truth” rewrote history when actual events did not suit their purposes.

      Once upon a time the FCC had limits on how much of the various forms of news media within a particular market could be controlled by a given corporation. I’ve no idea whether “1984” inspired said limits (nor whether or to what degree the limits still exist), but for one or just a few entities to control the information and viewpoints presented to us should be as frightening a prospect as the world presented in the novel.

      Think “1984” is too outlandish to be possible? Look at North Korea, whose leadership keeps its citizens cut off from the world at large and indoctrinates them in the cult of its Dear Leader. Look at how many TV, radio, and newspapers in your community are TRULY locally owned and operated…and how many news outlets are controlled by one corporation. Consider how a monopoly on media outets affects what is presented to the public.

      Msgr Pope is right to call out Steve Jobs for yanking an application that doesn’t fit popular culture – as presented by the “mainstream media.”

      1. I hope that “1984” still is required reading for high-school students. If it isn’t, our young people are being done a disservice.

  2. The Internet as originally designed was/is intended to be a distributed and open network, where no single point of control could have a strangle-hold on what happens over the network. Unfortunately, the trend today is for large corporate entities (e.g. Apple, Facebook) to take advantage of the communication opportunities and possibilities afforded by the Internet, while at the same time asserting a level of dominance and control over what users do that is contrary to the distributed and open ethos of the ‘net. The result are incidents such as this, where Apple functions as a de facto censor of information, based on arbitrary principles.

  3. Well, our culture is such that if you defend a baby’s right to live, suddenly you are violating a woman’s right to choose (murder). This came up in conversation about a 10-year-old child who was murdered and I mentioned that yes, one is outraged by this crime, but how come we don’t feel the same sense of outrage when millions of 10-week old babies are being murdered every day? Needless to say I was shunned and told to shut up. We live in a society that sanctions evil and when you speak the truth, it makes people very, very uncomfortable.

    Thanks for making this post. We don’t own any gizmos like this, but I signed the Declaration anyway).

  4. I signed the declaration long ago, when it first came out. After reading this I did write to Mr. Jobs—for what it’s worth, to express my displeasure.

  5. Well, I signed the petition a few weeks ago. And this just goes to show why I believe the National Catholic Register, and others, were wrong to rejoice when Steve Job’s announced that Apple was “porn-free” a while ago. While I really do like Apple Products, and I don’t think it is effective to boycott, it goes to show that everything Jobs does has a marketing undertone. Apple, by nature a very liberal company, tries to appeal to the conservative element by saying that they don’t allow pornographic content in their app store. If Steve Jobs says it, it’s probably a lie, or at least a gross exaggeration. There are plenty of apps unsafe for kids (and adults) in the app store.

    Now, in theory, I do believe Apple has every right to remove apps it deems unfit. They own the servers those apps are stored on, so they have every right to manage the content. However, I disagree with their choice to remove this app and I believe it reveals a bias by the company in favor of homosexual unions, etc. Granted, this is a well known fact, as Apple donated millions to see that Prop 8 would fail in California. We need to continue to petition Apple to stop offending Christians in this way though. While boycotting is really not effective presently, if Apple continues to demonstrate an anti-Christian bias, boycotting may be the only solution available.

    God Bless you Msgr.

  6. As history teaches us, when a revolutionary gains fame, power and money he/she usually turns into a dictator…

  7. I don’t use Apple for anything … don’t need to. Now, I certainly won’t even be tempted to use Apple. Uhm, but I’m sure there are plenty of Adams and Eves who will still use Apple.

  8. Hey folks, wake up! The very reason that people object to pro-life and anti-evil is that they have been brain washed by their new leader, SATAN. They get their information from Hollywood and ESPN (TV). Next they are taught by the uninformed in our government schools about life in the fast lane. When a group of teenagers were ask by a priest if they would be comming to pennance service the answer was–“we are having to much fun being bad so why would we want to spoil that? no”. And there you have it–while mild mannered christians sit on the side lines and watch, trusting the fate of their children to the establishment, it will only get worse. These companies and our government are being run by people who are not christians or any other religion for that matter. So instead of complaining get off your bottom and take some action. Maybe even take over the disciplin of your children which you have willed to the secular society.

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