Suddenly the Republican presidential contest is all about a hypothetical Muslim who isn’t running. This after a dumb comment from a non-candidate at a Trump rally somehow became a news story, prompting members of the media to ask other candidates what they think of Muslims. NBC’s Meet the Press got the bite they were fishing for from Ben Carson. The Associated Press reports:
Responding to a question during an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” he described the Islamic faith as inconsistent with the Constitution.
“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said. “I absolutely would not agree with that.”
Carson’s comments have provoked all manner of indignation, including from our own Rick Moran, who wrote:
I suppose someone will come forward and show us chapter and verse in the Koran why Islam is “inconsistent with the Constitution.” They tried something similar in 1924 when Catholic Al Smith ran for president. Protestant preachers published twisted interpretations of Catholic doctrine (or outright lies) to “prove” that Smith would be the pope’s servant. It was wrong back then and Carson is wrong today. One’s religion is separate from one’s fealty to the Constitution. Kennedy proved that, and I’m sure the first Muslim president will prove it too.
Readers took issue with Moran’s stance. However, he hits upon the key distinction which Carson should have made. Theocracy of any kind is inconsistent with the Constitution, whether Islamic or otherwise.
The problem in a modern context is that Islam seeks theocracy far more than Catholicism does. So it’s an apples and oranges comparison.