The article makes a persuasive case that Charles Krauthammer's comments on Ben Carson relative to Islam and the presidency were very ill advised. The article is quite long and detailed, the bottom line is this:
- Carson didn't say the Constitution didn't allow a Muslim, he said that HE doesn't find Islam consistent with the Constitution. Those that are claiming otherwise are either being frivolous or disingenuous in attempting to smear Carson.
- The Presidency is a special office -- it is one of the 3 branches of government in a single person. The basic world view of that person is critical, and since the founders were clear that it required a "natural born American citizen", it does have special requirements. Attention to that person's religion, philosophy, leanings, etc is a critical responsibility for voters.
- One can claim that being a "born again Christian" is a "personal faith" -- no creed, congregation or leadership to agree with for better or worse. Not so Islam or even Catholicism. While Kennedy declared the Constitution higher than the Pope, that is a legitimate question for a Catholic seeking to be President. A supposed "Islamic President" would have a LONG list of such questions, which would involve making statements that would make him an "infidel" rather than a "Muslim" in order to serve under our Constitution. Looking at the treatment of women, Christians, homosexuals, criminal jurisprudence, etc in Islamic countries will give you a start on how long that list would be.
- Given the above, the burden really ought to be on any Muslim (or person thinking that a Muslim would make a good president) to answer a myriad of "gotcha" questions relative to their religion as Christians often now are called to do ... eg. "Islam states that the earth was created in 6 days about 6K years ago, do you agree with that?", "Islam states that homosexuals should be killed, do you agree with that?", "Islam states that all governments should serve Allah and operate by Shariah law, what is your stand?" ... etc, etc.
The difference in the way Christians and Muslims are treated by the ruling elite gives some solid insight into what the game being played really is. Unless one is a practicing Christian, in which case one is forced to declare love for even enemies, human nature is that "Like likes like" -- in which case one is forced to understand why "liberals" like Muslims -- a seeming mystery actually easy to parse.
The outcry from left and right on Carson's statement gives us yet another marker on how really really bad the state of political discussion has become in this country. Krauthammer is brilliant, but he is not a Christian. Since he is human, he tries to make the Constitution into a religious, sacred "didactic" (teaching) document.
The Constitution is not just a legal document. It is a didactic one. It doesn’t just set limits to power; it expresses a national ethos. It doesn’t just tell you what you’re not allowed to do; it also suggests what you shouldn’t want to do.
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