Mars Hill Forum #129: Human Rights in the Bible and the Qur’an, September 20, 2007, University of Virginia, Guest: Dr. Abdulaziz A. Sachedina

Prepared Outline by John C. Rankin

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The Six Pillars of Honest Politics

  1. The power to give affirms the unalienable rights given by the Creator belong to all people equally,and leaders in human government serve such a gift.
  • Nature of Yahweh Elohim + Trinity + checks and balances.
  • Human nature and the image of God + POSH Ls.
  • Give or take at Smith College ; 100-0 v. 50-50 v. 100-100; covenant of marriage.
  • Nadine Strossen + Source for unalienable rights = God in Genesis 1-2.
  • Question of Qur’an: monad + unilateral nature of Allah w/no companions: checks and balances?

2. The power to live in the light means leaders in human government at every level should be as fully transparent as possible.

  • Physics, ethics and spiritual domains.
  • Question of Qur’an: Any basis to deceive?

3. The power of informed choice is rooted in an honest definition of terms in political debate, apart from which political freedom is not possible.

  • Positive definition of freedom in Genesis 2 + level playing field.
  • Religious, political and economic liberty provided.
  • Question of Qur’an: Any positive definition of freedom?

4. The power to love hard questions is in place when political leaders honor and answer those who pose them the toughest questions.

  • Biblical synopsis + Jesus as quintessential rabbi.
  • Question of Qur’an: nature of history prior and in Hadith; Muhammad has no witnesses, and the Qur’an does not quote the Bible it overrides.

5. The power to love enemies recognizes that even the harshest of political opponents share a common humanity and are to be treated with respect.

  • Sermon on the Mount.
  • Question of Qur’an: basis?

6. The power to forgive recognizes the need to address our individual and societal transgressions against other peoples, and to work together will all others of like mind.

  • Sermon on the Mount + atonement on the cross.
  • Question of the Qur’an: basis?

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These six pillars are by definition pre-partisan. In other words, they set the foundation for healthy partisan debates over public policy, in service to the consent of the governed. The deepest partisanship is the creation of a level playing field for all partisan ideas to be heard equally, where the pursuit of truth in any and all matters becomes possible. [See www.prepartisan.org.]

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