Ben Carson, Constitutional Scholar Vs Unhinged Critics

The political-media establishment was enraged by Dr. Ben Carson’s answer to a question on Meet The Press regarding a hypothetical Muslim Presidential Candidate.

The context of the questionCarson-meet-the-press was a chorus of media and political indignation against Donald Trump for his failure to reprimand or correct a man who, at Trump’s town-hall style event had stepped to the microphone and claimed that President Obama was a Muslim and “not even an American.”

To conform with media priorities, Meet The Press host Chuck Todd needed Dr. Carson react to Trump’s conduct, as if that were more important to voters than Carson’s policy ideas.  Todd’s preamble included the phrase “finally dealing with” as if Carson had somehow dodged an obligation to address Trump’s behavior.  Both the questions and Carson’s answers have been widely misquoted and misrepresented.  So here’s a word for word transcript:

Chuck Todd: Let me wrap this up by finally dealing with what’s been going on, Donald Trump, and a deal with a questioner that claimed that the President was Muslim. Let me ask you the question this way: Should a President’s faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters?

Dr. Ben Carson: Well, 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.

Chuck Todd: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the Constitution?

Dr. Ben Carson: No, I don’t, I do not.  I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.

The sanctimonious fury from liberals was immediate and intense.  Typical was a seething column titled Unfit for the Oval Office” by Washington post’s Jonathan Capehart, who opened by daring to go where pundits of the left almost never tread, the US Constitution.  Said Capehart:

The last phrase of Article VI, paragraph 3 of the Constitution could not be clearer: “… no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

By quoting only the last phrase, Caphart omitted relevant context.  Here is Article VI, paragraph 3 in its entirety. (We’ve underlined the portion Caphart quoted):
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.

President-oath

The Constitution certainly does forbid a religious test, meaning that Congress may not enact a law making adherence to certain religion(s) a requirement for holding office.

But,the portion Capehart omitted requires every elected official, especially the President, to be bound by oath to uphold The Constitution.  This, as Dr. Carson understands, is the problem.  Islam, unlike other faiths, is both a religion and a political system.  Under Islam, government and religion are one.  Islamic law, or Sharia, is a complete system, not designed to coexist with or be subordinate to another authority, such as our Constitution.

Islamic law includes several provisions that directly contradict the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  Women are subordinated to less than equal status with men in almost every aspect of life.  In some matters, such as divorce women are treated as property.   Sharia forbids Muslims from choosing a different faith, with death being the penalty for violation.  Homosexuality is illegal and the penalty is death.  These are just a few examples of Islam’s draconian governance that Americans would find intolerable.

Dr. Carson was absolutely justified to answer the question as he did.  He could not advocate a Muslim President because the act of taking the Presidential oath of office, would constitute a repudiation of a Muslim’s faith.  Upholding the Constitution, to the exclusion of Sharia, would put this hypothetical President in direct conflict with his beliefs.  How could Carson, or anyone else, possibly advocate electing such a person to the Presidency?

Carson’s position is perfectly reasonable and makes perfect sense. His detractors have lost their minds in a swamp of irrational, political correctness.

1 Comment so far

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