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


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?


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]