The Constitution and Religion

This is already getting beat to death in the media, but I have an addendum question. On Sunday, Dr Ben Carson was asked about a Presidents [or candidates] religious faith.

He responded with “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…….I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”…..explaining moments later, that Islam was “not consistent with the Constitution”.

Of course, we needn’t remind the intelligent Doctor that Article VI requires public officials to be “bound by oath, or affirmation, to support this Constitution.” and “But no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

And Dr. Carson is possibly aware [whether he agrees with the premise or not] that many leading lights of the Christian Right believe the Constitution to be “divinely inspired” or at least traced directly back to the Bible.

My addendum question to this issue is this…..if Islam is “not compatible”, how exactly is Judaism or Christianity? We certainly have to look no further than the Constitutional provisions that protect equality of civil liberty, opportunity and government services….to all citizens…..not merely those who profess faith or align with a Biblical worldview. Further, for those it applies to, how does predestination, millennialism, dispensationalism or the general belief in a welcoming acceptance of the “end times” square with leading a nation of many faiths and none….toward a [hopefully] brighter future for our children?

Though I’m not an Atheist, I think I would welcome an Atheist candidate [provided that he/she protected religious liberty, in accordance with the Constitution]….in order to avoid the drama and distraction…and simply put mind to the task at hand, leading the nation…of all American citizens.

Wishful thinking? Yep.

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8 thoughts on “The Constitution and Religion

  1. I think we’ve probably already had a few atheist Presidents. It has never been politically viable to announce one’s atheism in America, and the farther back you go, the less viable a position is was. Only recently has atheism been a little more accepted.

    JMJ

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    • I hadn’t really thought of that. I have little doubt that several of our POTUSs [POTI?] have been “Christmas Christians” and that election season conversions have gone little noticed by the electorate, because the proper platitudes were offered to the masses, as it were. But it’s a compelling thought, to wonder if any had been truly Atheist. Can’t say I would respect their integrity…for being untrue to themselves and putting on a façade….much like current politicians.

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      • I have no problem with integrity in this case. Why should an atheist care if he or she has to pretend to be religious? The other way around is another matter, but the atheist has nothing to lose there. Besides, I’m an atheist and happen to be a huge fan Jesus Christ and regularly apply Christian principles to get people to do what I need, like at work.

        I’ve been dealing recently with a young man who’s having a very hard time getting along with anyone and everyone – including me, and I’m about the friendliest, warmest guy you ever met (I know, it’s hard to believe, but it’s true). He even tried going over my head after me, and was smacked back down to personally apologizing to me, told that if he couldn’t get along with me, that would pretty much have to be his problem, a problem he either fixes or takes with him elsewhere, in no uncertain terms. I got a call just after his effort. They asked me if I wanted him fired, which they intended to do upon my word. I said no. The young man obviously has some kind of personality or emotional disorder, and so I do not believe he’s a bad person, but rather just someone who needs some help. And I’m a patient man. A few nights later, it kinda came to a head again, so I gave him a nice loud little lecture on Jesus Christ. As he had told me he was Christian, and that he took it very seriously, I applied the Gospels to explain the real meaning of turning the other cheek, the Golden Rule, and the serenity that comes from knowing everything is gonna be alright. I got through a little. Last night, I gave him a ride home. We got along pretty good.

        Americans are a little weirdly religious. That’s just the reality of the situation. In order to be elected to higher office, the American people demand religiosity of at least some superficial level. As long as it is not used for evil (ahem… Sen Cruz… ahem…), it is perfectly reasonable and ethical to engage it a little, especially for purposes of the public good.

        JMJ

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  2. You’re very prickly on this issue, but I don’t blame you. If we had a Christian try to hijack government, I could understand the fear.

    I agree with Carson in this respect. IF we had a Christian candidate running for president who’s beliefs suggest we could hasten the apocalypse by starting a war in the ME involving Israel, then that person would be disqualified because of their narrow and crazy religious belief

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    • I’m suspicious of all religion, seeing how it’s long been used for political ends. And I wouldn’t accuse any past POTUS of necessarily pursuing this aim…..but it’s a possibility, and one that wouldn’t likely be publicly conveyed by said POTUS.

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      • But we would know by the church they attended, what the preacher was preaching, etc.
        For that reason I am wary of some fundamentalists and evangelicals. Some, but not all, are very intolerant of anyone who doesn’t share their beliefs, and candidates can be good at hiding this.

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