I’m sure you’ve already heard Ben Carson’s pronouncement from last month:

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

I was a bit taken aback by this, because 1. I have some pretty impressive Muslim friends, 2. I thought religious intolerance was generally considered passé these days, and 3. you know, article VI and all.

So when Carson clarified that he could support a Muslim who was “willing to reject the tenets [of Islam] and accept the way of life that we have and clearly will swear to place the Constitution above their religion,” I thought that was an interesting standard (even though he did caveat that “then, of course, they will be considered infidels and heretics”).

In the spirit of that clarification, I thought it appropriate to ask that question of all Presidential candidates, beginning, of course, with Dr. Carson himself.

So Dr. Carson, are you willing to reject the tenets of the Seventh Day Adventist Church and accept the way of life we have and clearly swear to place the Constitution above your religion? More specifically:

  1. Will you push to outlaw state lotteries, or will you reject your religion’s official position on state-sponsored gambling?
  2. Will you attempt to abolish the NFL, NBA, and MLB, or will you reject your religion’s admonishment of “exposure to commercialized, highly competitive activities?”
  3. Since you consider climate change “irrelevent,” are we to assume you will reject your religion’s official call for legislation to reduce in carbon dioxide emissions?
  4. Will you support free markets and economic growth and reject your religion’s official repudiation of “unbridled consumersm?”
  5. Will you declare Pope Francis a terrorist or will you reject your church’s view of the papal antichrist?
  6. Will you outlaw the teaching of evolution in schools, or will you reject your religion’s foundational belief in purely biblical creationism?
  7. Will you attempt to return the US to prohibition, or will you reject your church’s vigorous opposition to the use of alcohol?
  8. Your website says you stand with the people of Israel, so will you reject your religion’s replacement theology?
  9. Your website also says you will not support efforts to weaken the second ammendment. Does that mean you will reject your church’s call for a ban on semi-automatic weapons?
  10. Will you refuse to work on Saturdays? Will you ban college football games? Will you close government offices or stop Saturday delivery of mail? Will you punish VA hospitals for operating on Saturdays? Or will you reject your church’s requirement of strict observation of the Saturday Sabbath?
*In case the sarcasm isn’t clear, I am not actually concerned about Dr. Carson’s religious views. I am concerned about his hasty generalizations and the double standard he applies to Islamic jurisprudence.
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