Forgetting about that whole “freedom of religion” thing, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson says the president of the United States should not be a Muslim.
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, the retired neurosurgeon and Republican presidential candidate declared:
I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
Asked whether a president’s faith should matter to voters, Carson said he believed the president’s faith should be consistent with the US constitution:
I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.
Asked if he considered Islam to be consistent with the Constitution, Carson said:
No, I do not.
Carson did say, however, that he is open to the idea of having Muslims serve in Congress:
Congress is a different story, but it depends on who that Muslim is and what their policies are, just like it depends on what anybody else is. If there’s somebody who is of any faith but they say things and their life has been consistent with things that will elevate this nation and make it possible for everybody to succeed and bring peace and harmony, then I’m with them.
For the record, the US Constitution clearly states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”
US Constitution: Article VI, Paragraph iii, reads:
The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.
Carson makes clear he places his Christian faith above the US Constitution, and the secular values upon which this nation was founded. More than this, Carson demonstrates a profound failure to understand the rationale motivating the US Constitution, and the separation of church and state contained within the Establishment Clause. As such, Carson should be disqualified for serious consideration as a presidential candidate.
Alas, Carson is surging in the polls, and many Republicans seem to love his un-American Christian extremism and fundamental disrespect for the US Constitution.
Bottom line: For Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, and Republicans like him, freedom of religion is great as long as you are a Christian. Muslims, and other non-Christians, need not apply.