Monday, September 21, 2015

Against The Law

Dr. Ben Carson will never be president of anything meaningful, and here’s why.

Carson ignited a media firestorm in a Sunday morning interview with Chuck Todd on “Meet the Press,” in which he said he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”

“I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said.

In an interview with The Hill, Carson opened up about why he believes a Muslim would be unfit to serve as commander in chief.

“I do not believe Sharia is consistent with the Constitution of this country,” Carson said. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”

Carson said that the only exception he’d make would be if the Muslim running for office “publicly rejected all the tenants of Sharia and lived a life consistent with that.”

“Then I wouldn’t have any problem,” he said.

Let’s apply the same test to other faiths and see how we do.  For example, there are some Christians who feel that their religion is very much a part of their public life and what they do as a public official.  Kim Davis, for example; the county clerk in Kentucky who went to jail for contempt of court rather than comply with the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality.  Clearly she’s putting her faith ahead of the law of the land.  How does Dr. Carson feel about that?

Carson, a longtime advocate for traditional marriage, said that Kim Davis’ beliefs should be protected by the First Amendment, which guarantees the freedom to exercise religion.

“I do believe in God. I believe in Jesus Christ,” the retired neurosurgeon told CBS12 in a Monday interview. “Congress has a responsibility to step up and create legislation that will protect the religious rights of all Americans.”

So he wants a Muslim who objects to marriage equality because of Sharia law to reject their faith and do their job, but Kim Davis should have Congress pass a law to allow her to defy the law because Jesus.

So either Dr. Carson is really inconsistent in his beliefs about the role of religion in public life, or he’s just a bigot against Muslims.  Or both.

He also is sorely lacking in his understanding of the Constitution.  It is very clear in its stand on religious tests: “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

To be fair, all religious dogma, be it Roman Catholic, Christian, Judaism, Muslim, and even what passes for Quaker dogma, is in one way or another inconsistent with the principles in our Constitution.  By definition dogma is antithetical to democracy.  In order to be a True Believer, you have to accept and live by their rules, not by those passed by a collection of people who happen to live in your country regardless of which supernatural being they believe in and the hoops they make you jump through to prove you’re one of them.  All religions require obedience to them, not the ballot box.  Some have made accommodations to government practices; some have not, and that apparently includes Dr. Carson’s dogma.

4 barks and woofs on “Against The Law

  1. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s consistent with Tea Party principles devoted to building a Christian nation – in everything but religious practice.”

    Fixed that for you, Dr. Carson.

  2. It boggles my mind that the god-bothered complement of American life continues to miss that their statements about faith are virtually identical with what they label as “Sharia Law”.

  3. Back before the Loving decision people were against miscegenation on religious grounds. Slavery itself was seen as the will of God by many a slave owner. I’m sure Benjamin Tillman thought of himself as a godly man who was doing the good work of the Lord in killing and oppressing blacks in South Carolina. Yes, we must not discriminate against these good Christian people.

  4. “All religions require obedience to them, not the ballot box.”

    I must disagree. I am a Unitarian Universalist. UU is a covenantal religion – as opposed to a creedal religion – and we “…affirm and promote seven Principles, which we hold as strong values and moral guides. We live out these Principles within a “living tradition” of wisdom and spirituality, drawn from sources as diverse as science, poetry, scripture, and personal experience.”

    Our Fifth Principle is:

    “The right of conscience and the use of the democratic process within our congregations and in society at large;”

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