September 21, 2015 Andrew Chernoff
Ben Carson, currently a top contender for the GOP presidential nomination, taking third place with 14% of support in the latest CNN/ORC poll, released Sunday, is having to defend his thoughts about whether he would support a Muslim for, and as President, of the United States of America.
Carson said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.” He said he believed that Islam was “inconsistent with the values and principles of America” and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/21/politics/ben-carson-muslim-president-cair-drop-out/index.html
Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, responded in part by saying Carson’s views are inconsistent with the Constitution, as the document states that there shall be “no religious test” for candidates seeking public office.
So, what does the United States Constitution say about “no religious test”? The history behind this is as follows, from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
“Separation of church and state” (sometimes “wall of separation between church and state“) is a phrase used by Thomas Jefferson and others expressing an understanding of the intent and function of the Establishment Clause and Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. Since the First Amendment clearly places the restrictions solely on the state, some argue a more correct phrase would be the “separation of state FROM church”. Either way, the “separation” phrase has since been repeatedly used by the Supreme Court of the United States.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that and Article VI specifies that “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.” The modern concept of a wholly secular government is sometimes credited to the writings of English philosopher John Locke, but the phrase “separation of church and state” in this context is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper.
Echoing the language of the founder of the first Baptist church in America, Roger Williams—who had written in 1644 of “[A] hedge or wall of separation between the garden of the church and the wilderness of the world”—Jefferson wrote, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”
Jefferson’s metaphor of a wall of separation has been cited repeatedly by the U.S. Supreme Court. In Reynolds v. United States (1879) the Court wrote that Jefferson’s comments “may be accepted almost as an authoritative declaration of the scope and effect of the [First] Amendment.” In Everson v. Board of Education (1947), Justice Hugo Black wrote: “In the words of Thomas Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect a wall of separation between church and state.”
However, the Court has not always interpreted the constitutional principle as absolute, and the proper extent of separation between government and religion in the U.S. remains an ongoing subject of impassioned debate.
In political elections voters support particular people running for election for a number of reasons, including ones faith whether it be a religion or otherwise.
And it could be said that ones faith, whatever a person chooses to believe/not believe, will help develop and shape a persons values and principles, keeping in mind, that life experience, and as people age through life, may be redevelop and continue to shape a persons vales and principles.
After all, human beings are not perfect and faith by definition includes (http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith):
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another’s ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one’s promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
So, if you lose confidence or trust in a person or thing; if you are given proof or fact that does not support; if the observance of the faith is left lacking for some reason, a persons values and principles may be subject to change or refinement.
Now, let’s check out values and principles, and their differences. From http://www.differencebetween.com/:
Values vs Principles
As a human being, it is impossible to live in isolation. We live in a society of which we are a part and follow the unwritten rules, mores, customs, and traditions deemed right for the individuals. These rules can be about morality as to what is right and what is wrong or they can be religious in nature. There are two concepts of values and principles that become a guiding force in the lives of most of us. Though closely related and almost intertwined, values and principles have differences that will be talked about in this article.
Values are sets of beliefs about good and bad, right and wrong, and about many other aspects of living and interacting in the society with others. Though there are universal values like love and compassion, it is found that values vary from culture to culture, and there are also personal values that are dear to people. Values are beliefs and opinions that people hold regarding issues and concepts such as liberty, freedom, love, sex, education, relations, friendship etc. Most of the times, values tend to have a religious sanction and people hold them without knowing much about them. They consider some things as sacred and some others profane just because it is written in their sacred texts.
Values serve as a guiding force in life and provide a sense of direction to an individual in a society. There are times when there is a lot of confusion in the minds of people regarding an issue or a feeling. At times like these, clear cut values help an individual to come out of dilemma and move ahead in life. For example, abortion may be prohibited and disapproved by a religion, but the modern government in a country may allow it to allow women to decide their family size. If a woman holds positive views about abortion, she will not have any dilemma, and there will be no battle between her own value about abortion and what her religion says about this issue. In the case of contradiction between values, there can be a lot of mental conflict that can torment an individual.
Principles can be described as rules or laws that are universal in nature. These principles are about human behavior and set or govern the interaction between people in a society. Principles are unwritten laws that are expected to be followed and those seen flouting these principles are looked down upon in a society. People also make their own guiding principles in life. Whenever they are in doubt, they can take recourse to these principles, and all doubts are cleared. Having a set of principles is like having a compass in the journey of life when we feel that we are lost or unable to find the right path.
As described above, principles are always about universal truths or standards. One must have clear cut principles about concepts such as fairness, justice, equality, truthfulness, honesty, etc so as to be able to take a stand on any social issue or event. Having a principle allows one to have a stand that is a comforting thought as he is not groping in the dark as to what he feels about important issues and concepts.
What is the difference between Values and Principles?
• Both values and principles serve important roles in the life of an individual while dealing with others and social issues and concepts.
• Values are sets of beliefs about subjective traits and ideal while principles are universal laws and truths.
• Principles serve the role of an anchor for a ship in its journey when confronted with conflicting issues, while values allow us move ahead with confidence expressing our beliefs.
Now, everybody has an opinion and God only knows the process of how it is formed. And we have a clue about Carson(http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/21/politics/ben-carson-muslim-president-cair-drop-out/index.html):
Carson’s business manager, Armstrong Williams, told CNN that Carson was not trying to “hurt or offend” but came to his conclusion about Islam “because of his love for America.”
“What an individual believes impacts how America is governed and what we become as a nation,” Williams said, adding that Carson is not alone in his view of Islam.
In fact, according to a Gallup survey published in June, 38% of Americans polled said they would not support a Muslim candidate for president, while 60% said they would.
“There are many Americans, if they search their hearts, they believe the same thing — they don’t want to believe it but when they look at the world and look at how Islam has become polluted and what is happening in Europe and in the Middle East and around the world, you have to take time to pause and ask what is happening around the world?” Williams said.
Williams also slammed what he called the “destructive tenets of Islam and Sharia law.”
And if that was not enough response to Carson, we have another organization weighing in on his comments(http://www.cnn.com/2015/09/21/politics/ben-carson-muslim-president-cair-drop-out/index.html):
The Anti-Defamation League, a group that fights anti-Semitism and other bigotry, called Carson’s comments “deeply offensive, un-American and contrary to the Constitution” in a statement from ADL National Director Jonathan Greenblatt.
“As the campaign season advances, we urge all presidential candidates to avoid innuendo and stereotyping of all sorts, including against people based on their faith, particularly American Muslims and, instead, to confront all forms of prejudice and bigotry. Remarks suggesting that all Muslims follow extremist interpretations of Islam have no basis in fact and fuel bigotry,” Greenblatt said.
Sooooo, love of country; painting all Muslims with the brush of “extremist interpretations of Islam”; belief in what an individual believes impacts how America is governed; and finally, a Gallup poll in June suggesting 38 per cent of Americans polled saying they would not support a Muslim candidate for President: what does all this mean??????
Have world events in the last two years including 9/11, helped spread fear mongering and led to generalizing all Muslims of the Islam faith as supporting the extremist view of their faith? Has fear replaced faith in Ben Carson and his supporters???? http://www.gotquestions.org/faith-vs-fear.html
Question: “Faith vs. fear – what does the Bible say?”
Answer: Faith and fear cannot exist together. Faith is described in Hebrews 11:1 as being “certain of what we do not see.” It is an absolute belief that God is constantly working behind the scenes in every area of our lives, even when there is no tangible evidence to support that fact. On the other hand, fear, simply stated, is unbelief or weak belief. As unbelief gains the upper hand in our thoughts, fear takes hold of our emotions. Our deliverance from fear and worry is based on faith, which is the very opposite of unbelief. We need to understand that faith is not something that we can produce in ourselves. Faith is a gift (Ephesians 2:8-9) and is described as a fruit (or characteristic) which is produced in our lives by the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The Christian’s faith is a confident assurance in a God who loves us, who knows our thoughts and cares about our deepest needs. That faith continues to grow as we study the Bible and learn the attributes of His amazing character. The more we learn about God, the more we can see Him working in our lives and the stronger our faith grows.
In all due respect to Ben Carson, I would suggest he come clean about his Christian faith and admit fear of Muslims in general and Islam period, which has weakened his belief in the word of his God to the point of fear mongering and spreading untruth of Muslims and Islam in general.
Love of country??? What does that mean?
Belief in what an individual believes impacting how America is governed?…..Remember Richard Nixon?
Nixon was a Quaker, commonly referred to as Religious Society of Friends.
It is a Christian movement which professes the priesthood of all believers, a doctrine it derives from 1 Peter 2:9. They include those with evangelical, holiness, liberal, and conservative understandings of Christianity. The Religious Society of Friends avoids creeds and hierarchical structures. In 2007, there were approximately 359,000 adult Quakers.
His religious faith did not stop him from the scandal of Watergate:
The Watergate scandal was a major political scandal that occurred in the United States in the 1970s as a result of the June 17, 1972 break-in at the Democratic National Committee (DNC) headquarters at the Watergate office complex in Washington, D.C., and President Richard Nixon‘s administration‘s attempted cover-up of its involvement. When the conspiracy was discovered and investigated by the U.S. Congress, the Nixon administration’s resistance to its probes led to a constitutional crisis. The term Watergate has come to encompass an array of clandestine and often illegal activities undertaken by members of the Nixon administration. Those activities included such “dirty tricks” as bugging the offices of political opponents and people of whom Nixon or his officials were suspicious. Nixon and his close aides ordered harassment of activist groups and political figures, using the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The scandal led to the discovery of multiple abuses of power by the Nixon administration, articles of impeachment, and the resignation of Nixon as President of the United States in August 1974. The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty and incarcerated, many of whom were Nixon’s top administration officials.
America had no doubts at all about what Nixon believed as exhibited by his actions. Yet Nixon was no Muslim. He was a Christian, so he said.
Jeb Bush, present candidate for GOP for 2016 Presidential election, was at one time of the Episcopalian religion:
The Episcopal Church was active in the Social Gospel movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Since the 1960s and 1970s, the church has pursued a more liberal course. It has opposed the death penalty and supported the civil rights movement and affirmative action. Some of its leaders and priests marched with civil rights demonstrators. Today the church calls for the full legal equality of gay and lesbian people, a movement partly inspired by their similar call for racial equality during the mid-1950s. The church’s General Convention has passed resolutions allowing the blessing of same-sex partnerships, and also approved an official liturgy to bless such unions, though it is not an official liturgy within the Book of Common Prayer. On the question of abortion, the church’s 26th Presiding Bishop, Katharine Jefferts Schori, adopted what she calls a “nuanced approach.” The Episcopal Church ordains women to the priesthood as well as the diaconate and the episcopate.
In 1995, Jeb Bush converted to Catholicism. To this day, his father and brother, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, past President of the United States, remain of the Episcopalian religion.
Would Carson suggest that the actions and comments of three past presidents and Jeb Bush, as declared Christians, of their Christian denominations (Catholicism and Episcopalian) are “inconsistent with the values and principles of America” and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution?????
Ben Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist (SDA), the same tradition claimed by his mother and his estranged father, who was a minister in the denomination. From http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/09/16/3702360/ben-carson-faith-profile/:
The enigmatic Protestant group emerged out of the Second Great Awakening — a 19th century American Christian revival movement — but has unusual origins. Its founder, Baptist preacher William Miller, was convinced he knew the exact date of Jesus Christ’s prophesied Second Coming, or return to earth. When several of Miller’s suggested dates passed without incident, however, swaths of his followers abandoned the tradition — including many who had given away all their possessions to be a part of the group. Still, a sizable portion kept the faith while fracturing into several subgroups, the largest of which is today’s Seventh-day Adventist Church, which now claims around 18 million members worldwide— but less than 7 percent reside in the United States.
Despite these odd beginnings and some unusual practices (for instance, members of the SDA church worship on Saturday, not Sunday), Carson has made it clear that he embraces many of his church’s eccentric teachings — especially its endorsement of health as a spiritual discipline. Carson, a highly successful pediatric neurosurgeon, has championed his faith’s reverence for a healthy body, where religious support for exercise, good diet, and aversion to alcohol and drugs has made it so that members of the SDA church live roughly 10 years longer than the average American. Carson has clearly taken this to heart himself, and an SDA Church-affiliated medical school in Nigeria currently bears his name.
Is the religion of Mr. Carson “inconsistent with the values and principles of America” and inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution????? We are all the same Christians, are we not. Just like all Muslims are the same because they are of the same Muslims faith. Right????
Further, Carson seems to have taken a different opinion of Muslims then voiced in his book: (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/09/16/3702360/ben-carson-faith-profile/):
Carson has repeatedly voiced respect for multiple faith traditions, and described a tolerant approach to religious pluralism in his 2012 book America the Beautiful.
“As a Christian, I am not the least bit offended by the beliefs of Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, Mormons and so forth,” Carson wrote. “In fact, I am delighted to know that they believe in something that is more likely to make them into a reasonable human being, as long as they don’t allow the religion to be distorted by those seeking power and wealth.”
By the way, Mormons consider themselves Christians: https://www.mormon.org/faq/mormon-christian And Carson puts them into the same vein as Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims “and so forth”
What is all that about, Mr. Carson? Mitt Romney might want to talk to you about that, Mr. Carson.
Chuck Todd, moderator of Meet The Press, asked Ben Carson (http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2015/09/20/3703527/ben-carson-says-there-should-be-a-religious-litmus-test-for-presidential-candidates/):
Let me wrap this up by finally dealing with what’s been going on, Donald Trump, and a deal with a questioner that claimed that the president was Muslim. Let me ask you the question this way. Should a President’s faith matter? Should your faith matter to voters?
BEN CARSON: Well, 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. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the constitution, no problem.
TODD: So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?
CARSON: No, I don’t, I do not.
TODD: So you–
CARSON: I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.
Now we are at the heart of it: it is not Ben Carson’s God that the faith is to be consistent with. Faith can not be inconsistent with the values and principles of America.
Damn the Seventh Day Adventist Christian denomination bible. It comes down to the values and principles of America.
So what are those values and principles of America that Carson knows all too well?
I am conflicted and can not conclude this edition of Just Saying…..
I have too many questions that I need answers to:
1)-What are those values and principles of America that you know all too well, Mr. Carson?
2)-What religion/religious denomination must the President of the United States be of?
3)-Can President of the United States be an atheist, not a believer of any “God”?
4)-Who do you consider to be the greatest President of the United States and why?
I welcome your thoughts….. I will start first at answering my own questions: