The Bible and Politics (.org)

 

w/John Rankin

 

Television Show on SCTV, and its YouTube Channel

 

[Links for shows already broadcast are listed below; for any information or queries: email teii@teii.org or call 860.408.1599; for biographical sketches of participants, click here]

 

In this series, John Rankin will look at any question surrounding the place and nature of the Bible in political life, inviting guests from the widest theological and political perspectives to participate in an open-ended discussion.

John lives in Simsbury, grew up in West Hartford, and his father founded the Connecticut blood Bank and served as chief of hematology at the Hartford Hospital for nearly four decades. John is an ordained minister, graduated from South Kent School, earned a B.A. in history from Denison University, an M.Div. at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, a Th.M. in Ethics and Public Policy at Harvard Divinity School, and now in his advancing years is working on a PhD at the Oxford Centre for Mission Studies. His present thesis addresses the work of the late Jewish political theologian, Daniel J. Elazar, who focuses on the language of covenant and freedom in the Hebrew Bible, its impact on the Protestant Reformation and thus, on the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. In Elazar’s definition of Hebrew federalism — that of limited government, of checks and balances on political power — he sets the table for religious, political and economic liberty. Such biblical federalism is the basis for the simplest, just and most transparent government possible.

The Bible: When the whole biblical storyline of creation, sin and redemption is grasped, John’s primary focus is on the simple assumption within the text of Genesis 2 of “the level playing field for all ideas to be heard equally, and thus, where an honest definition of terms equals the power of informed choice.”

Politics: John’s politics seek to be fully biblical, and in the penultimate sense, he is a pro-life libertarian. This means that that all people are free in their individual and family choices, so long as they do not interfere with the unalienable rights given by the Creator to all others — their lives, liberties and property.

In John Rankin’s book The Six Pillars of Honest Politics, he defines 1) the pre-partisan; 2) the pro-life libertarian; 3) a proposal to reduce Connecticut law from 17,000 pages (as of 2006) to 36 pages and 4) a proposal to reduce federal law from 48,000 pages (as of 2006) to 24 pages — in other words, by more than 99% in both cases. This equals 1) simplicity; 2) trust; and 3) checks and balances on power; which yields 4) liberty, justice and prosperity. First Connecticut, then federal law, and for other states to model as well. Click here for the Preamble and Declaration of Rights for a proposed rewrite of the Connecticut Constitution and General Laws, followed by a summation of thirty specific proposed changes.

The show begins on SCTV (Simsbury Community Television) in December, 2018 (first airing date to be announced when scheduled), and once the first two 1-hour shows are taped, they will be forwarded for consideration to all public access television stations in Connecticut, via local sponsors.

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Episode 1, aired December 4, 2018: Click here. Participants: John Rankin (TEI), Joshua Plourde (businessman and pastor), Matt Kinnaman (former U.S. Congressional candidate from the Berkshires) and Mark Anderson (retired army and founder of the Connecticut Republican Assembly).

Episode 2, aired December 28, 2014: Click here. Participants: John Rankin (TEI), Nicholas Mumejian (editor of The Muslim World), Christina Bennett (Family Institute of Connecticut), and Joshua Plourde (businessman and pastor).