Ben Carson, currently the 2nd leading GOP candidate for the nomination for the Presidency, said yesterday that, "I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that." Donald Trump, the LEADING candidate for the nomination, said that the U.S. has "a Muslim problem."
Carson further said that he felt Muslims, not one of them, should be president because their faith was not in alignment with the U.S. Constitution when he was asked if he felt the Islam consistent with the Constitution, he said, "No I don't, I do not."
Now, I won't, not for 10 words, not for one, will I defend Islam from this kind of hate, this kind of ignorance, this kind of stupidity, this kind of bigotry. How ironic it was said by a man who has almost certainly experienced bigotry in his own life aimed toward him. No religion owns the origin of our Constitution, no religion is void of moral structure just as none is free from histories of hatred and intolerance. If reacting to economic disenfranchisement, in one part of the world, means their religion is somehow indicted, then every religion in is ineligible to lead. The U.S. sank the U.S.S. Maine as a pre-text to attack the Spanish and take Cuba and other holdings in the Caribbean and to take the Philippines, does that mean all Christians are accountable for the acts of the Christian President who lead the country at the time?
The question, though, for those who support Carson's (and Trump's) worldview is this, if the word had been "Jew" instead of Muslim, how patient would they have been, how restrained would have been their response? I suspect it would not have been. I think it would be front-page, world-stopping news. Had the word been "Christian", saying no Christian should be President, and that there is an endemic problem with Christianity, manifested by "some" Christians, as Trump has said about Islam. He has said that the faith itself fosters, if that were said about Christianity, how would they have reacted? I suspect their would have been calls for impeachment of the person who said it were they a public figure, and their would have been dismissal and ostracizing acts against the person through private means. I suspect the radical right would have cried long and loud about the "attacks on Christianity", in ways that would make their bogus claims of "wars on Christianity" because we don't allow for school lead prayer, seem like whispers. They would have demanded action, they would have demanded change and they rightly would have gotten it.
In contrast, though, nothing will change in the radical right's worldview based on these comments or the reaction to them. They feel they are both right and these comments are justified, but the question for everyone else is, how many times does their bigotry have to slap you in the face for you to understand they blame EVERYONE else, hate that which is different, and seek to divide the world into the privileged (them) and the rest quite simply because they think the world is a hateful place where you have to be strong/violent/divisive to secure your own otherwise it will be taken from you? Their policies are those which divide, not unite. They do not seek to help all, to "be their brother's keeper." They violate their own faith, they persecute. The question is, will you follow?