Fresh from the Kim Davis controversy, during which liberals took the position that traditional Christians should no longer hold the government office of marriage clerk, liberals are denouncing Ben Carson for “bigotry” against Muslims. They piously quote the Constitution’s line from Article VI that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Of course, Carson never denied that Muslim Americans are eligible to run for office. He simply said that he wouldn’t vote for one who supported Sharia law. America’s founding fathers would have agreed.
They didn’t confuse eligibility with fitness for office. They had no problem voting against atheists and other adherents to beliefs that they deemed dangerous. The Left is pushing an idea that the founders regarded as mindless and destructive, namely, that the people are somehow constitutionally obligated to treat the religious beliefs of all candidates as equally valid, that it is somehow “un-American” for a voter to prefer a Christian candidate to a non-Christian one.
According to the contemporary definition of bigotry, which forbids any criticism of religion unless it is Christian, most of the founders were bigots. They certainly didn’t view Christianity and Islam as philosophically equal. Thomas Jefferson, who had to deal with the Barbary pirates, famously purchased a Koran not out of respect for Islam but out of wariness of it. He saw the Koran as a manual for war and sought to understand the tactics and motivations of the enemy. It is absurd to think that the founding fathers would have thought it a good idea for a historically and culturally Christian country to entrust its most powerful office to a devotee of a book that authorizes jihad against Christianity.
Contrary to the media’s extreme construction of his view, Carson isn’t taking the sweeping position that anybody who happens to be born into Islam is intrinsically unfit for the presidency. By “Muslim,” he means an adherent to Islamic orthodoxy. “Now, if someone has a Muslim background and they’re willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then, of course, they will be considered infidels and heretics, but at least I would then be quite willing to support them,” he told Sean Hannity.
In other words, Carson could support a bad Muslim for the presidency but not a good one—a position that shocks liberals even as they take an identical one with respect to Christians. What is the purpose of all of their propaganda against Christianity in the public square if not to scrub it clean of good Christians, leaving only heretical nominal Christians to serve in government offices? Liberals constantly lecture Americans on the dangers of voting for “evangelical” Christians, orthodox Catholics, and other members of the dreaded “religious right.”
Somehow the religious right by the Left’s estimate doesn’t include Islam, even as its extremist eruptions make even the most tenacious sects of Christianity look tame by comparison. Liberals would sooner vote for the officers of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which is a front group for Islamic terrorists, than Ben Carson, who has been declared by that sham PR outfit, with help from a deferential media, “unfit” for the presidency.
One wonders how long members of the chattering class, so outraged at Ben Carson for suggesting the undesirability of a Muslim presidency in America, would last under a Muslim president in the Middle East. If they turned up on a talk show in one of those countries and made equivalent remarks about the importance of a majority-Muslim population electing a Christian president, they would quickly find themselves in jail.
The more illiberal and non-Western a religion, the more liberals defend it. Browbeating Carson, they insist that the values of Islam are the values of America. Meanwhile, they define something as blameless as Christian opposition to gay marriage as “un-American,” to quote the actor Tom Hanks.
While liberals pressure Kim Davis and other Christians to leave public office, they swing its doors wide open for orthodox Islam. They long for that enlightened day when Americans cast aside their Christian prejudices and anxieties and fulfill the fundamental transformation of the Constitution under Obama’s imagining by electing a Muslim president whose first act will be to rip it up.