Over the weekend, I saw the media screeching petulantly that Ben Carson apparently thinks Muslims shouldn’t be elected President of the United States, because apparently Islam is incompatible with the principles of the Constitution. This comes on the heels of yet more outrage about Trump refusing to correct some drooling conspiritard in New Hampshire, who screeched about Obama being a Muslim, and not American, and…. something. (I try not to pay too much attention to Trump, because a) he’s kind of nauseating, b) he’s immature, spoiled, and narcissistic, and c) he’s a douchebag.)
But back to Carson. I’m not a fan. He sounds like a nice enough guy – probably too nice to be in politics – but he’s also ignorant on policy, is a piss poor public speaker, and downright SUCKS on guns and free market issues. Sure, he NOW claims it was just political inexperience talking when he claimed that the right to own a semi-automatic weapon depended on whether someone lived in a rural or an urban area, but you know what? A guy who doesn’t even comprehend what a semi-automatic firearm is, clearly doesn’t understand the original intent of the Second Amendment, spews complete dumbassery on the topic, and then tries to backpedal when called on his ignorance, is not someone I want leading this country. I’m not particularly fond of his economic protectionism and support for increasing the minimum wage, either. It shows a lack of understanding about basic economic principles and free markets. Stick to neurosurgery, Dr. Carson.
But what I think of Carson is irrelevant for the purpose of this post. I’m more curious about his contention that a Muslim should not be elected President (Congress is apparently OK – never mind that the Speaker of the House is second in the line of succession should anything happen to the President). He claims that Islam is incompatible with the values and principles of our constitution and of America, and for this, CAIR is now shrieking that Carson should withdraw from the Presidential race, which kind of proves Carson’s point, n’est-ce pas?
Here’s the thing. Why should ANYONE care what religion our President chooses to exercise? Aren’t we conservatives always talking about shrinking the size of government? Aren’t we always advocating a government that does not intrude on people’s personal lives? So why should we make a religious test part of whether or not we support someone for President? Why should the President’s personal religious beliefs be an issue?
I mean, I get it. It’s not like Sharia doesn’t influence legislation in a number of Muslim countries. Hell, it’s a source of legislation for many of them that governs everything from prayer to personal relationships to sexual intercourse, and that’s clearly unconstitutional here in the United States. But then again, there seem to be some here in the United States who don’t have a problem with Judeo-Christian beliefs being imposed on everyone via government force. I don’t see any good reason why a government – ON ANY LEVEL – should be involved in personal relationships between consenting adults. And yet Kim Davis and the current crop of politicians that supports her are certainly doing exactly this. They seem to be OK with her refusing to do her job and with her discriminating against those with whose relationships she disagrees using her government position – BECAUSE OF HER FAITH.
I don’t care what religion you are. If you believe gay marriage violates your faith, don’t marry a person of the same gender. If you believe that you shouldn’t eat meat on Fridays or that you shouldn’t eat bacon, you are free to lead a miserable baconless existence. No government should be able to stop you. If your religion dictates you must birth as many children as possible, and both parties in a marriage agree it’s a great idea, you’re free to turn your vagina into a clown car and have those 19 kids. Can’t drink alcohol? Then don’t. Your God tells you that you shouldn’t drink coffee? By all means, don’t drink it then.
But the moment you stand up and proclaim that you want the tenets of your personal faith to be a part of America’s legal code – the moment you start yammering about changing the Constitution to reflect the word of the “living God,” you’re done. Yes, I’m speaking to you Huckabee. Go away!
I tell you what. I would rather vote for a Muslim presidential candidate who respects the law, respects the Constitution, understands and respects free markets, and protects our fundamental rights without trying to rewrite the Constitution to reflect his or her personal religious beliefs than a Christian who thinks it’s his or her personal duty to save us all by imposing Biblical principles on society at large via government force.
And yes, I’m aware that deception against non-Muslims is permitted and encouraged in certain circumstances. So I would wonder if Taqiyya would rule the candidate’s mindset when he or she proclaimed respect for the Constitution and commitment to the principles of limited government and free markets. But frankly, I’m also aware that politicians lie through their teeth regardless of faith. This has, unfortunately, become an all too common assumption when it comes to American politics, and certainly not limited to Muslims.
All this aside, my bottom line is this: I couldn’t possibly care less how you worship. I don’t care if you kneel on a rug five times per day, go to church on Sundays, attend synagogue on Fridays, or Buddhist temples on whenever you choose. I don’t care if you celebrate Yule, Christmas, or Hannukah.
Celebrate. Be happy. Commune with your deity of choice. Just leave the rest of us alone.