MP3 Available Here
JOHN C. RANKIN, president of the Theological Education Institute (TEI) in Hartford, CT, will address the theme: "HATE SPEECH & HATE CRIMES: What is the Reality?"
On November 8, 2008, our guest Rev. John C. Rankin addressed a panel discussion at Chase Collegiate, a day prep school, in Waterbury, Connecticut. The topic concerned “hate crimes.” There were ten panelists, and Rev. Rankin was the only one representing a biblical view concerning marriage as one man and one woman. Two of the other panelists were Connecticut legislators, one of whom is avowedly homosexual and co-chairman of the Judiciary Committee.
With same-sex marriage having been imposed on Connecticut by the State Supreme Court just weeks earlier, the homosexual-rights movement here is seeking a new point in its agenda – the imposition of extra legal penalties on people guilty of “hate speech” or “hate crimes.”
According to Rev. Rankin: "The problem is this: How can law interpret a person’s frame of mind when slander is spoken, or attitude of heart when a crime is committed? Everybody’s unalienable rights to life, liberty and property should be simply protected, and those who violate those rights should be punished according to the law where all people are treated equally. As Thomas Jefferson said, law applies not actions not opinions." (Read the entire blog entry on this topic at http://revjohnrankin.blogspot.com/)
Today Rev. Rankin will address the agenda behind so-called "Hate Crimes" laws and the subsequent harm that may be a result of passing them.
A West Hartford, CT native, Rev. John C. Rankin grew up in an agnostic Unitarian setting, influenced by secular humanism and Darwinian evolution before his conversion to a biblical faith as a 14-year old in 1967.
Rev. Rankin is a graduate of South Kent School , Denison University (B.A. History), Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and Harvard Divinity School (Th.M. Ethics and Public Policy), and he is presently pursuing a Ph.D. in Islamic Studies in a joint program with Hartford Seminary and the University of Exeter . He is an alumnus of the Fellowship of Christians in University and Schools (FOCUS), and InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF).
He served in pastoral ministry from 1978-1983, headed up a New England wide evangelical pro-life organization in Gloucester and Boston, MA from 1983-1991, founded the TEI in Boston in 1990 before returning to his native Connecticut in 1992, and founded the Mars Hill Society in 2005. Through the Mars Hill Forum series Rev. Rankin has interacted with leading skeptics of his biblical worldview on university campuses and elsewhere. His goal is to provide freedom for the toughest questions of the Gospel to be posed in a hospitable and intellectually rigorous setting. His home church since 1992 is the Covenant Presbyterian Church of Simsbury, CT.
Rev. Rankin is also the author of the three-volume series, "First the Gospel, Then Politics", "The Six Pillars of Honest Politics: The Biblical Nature of a Level Playing Field" and "The Six Pillars of Biblical Power: A Simple Key to Understanding the Whole Bible". He and his wife Nancy were married in 1977 and have three sons and one daughter.