Ben Carson advocated discrimination against Muslims, and Fox News rushed to defend him

In  a week when presidential candidates and the American people made headlines for Islamophobic episodes, Ben Carson’s comments on Muslims not being able to hold the Oval Office is the one episode that should grab most attention. His comments were not only xenophobic and discriminatory towards a community that has been antagonized as much as undocumented immigrants, but they showed the lack of knowledge that Ben Carson has about the American Constitution.

But of course, every time a Republican politician says something stupid that reveals the true face of the right wing, Fox News, their political sweetheart, is the first to jump to the defense of their blunders. In a segment on Ben Carson shown on The Five, we see ridiculous examples of the show’s hosts trying to uselessly defend the GOP presidential candidate.

Ben is just kind of a sweet guy who just tells the truth as he sees it…My point is this is what he believes!” -Kimberly Guilfoyle

it is immediately clear that Guilfoyle is more concerned with making people feel sorry for this poor “sweet guy” instead of trying to defend the value of his comments. That’s because she knows he was wrong, so she goes for a blatant misdirection tactic.

The Constitution clearly states in Article VI that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” It is one of the sentences in the Constitution that has never changed, nor should it ever.

As one of the essential elements of the separation between church and state, the “no litmus test” clause ensures that citizens who wish to run for office are not discriminated against for holding a certain belief, which ensures the USA is holding the basis for a true secular democracy. To limit the ability of a person to run for office based on religion amounts to nothing more than treating an American as less than a citizen. It is comparable to advocating that free speech should be limited only to certain groups of people.

Therefore, it doesn’t matter if Ben Carson is a sweet guy who’s being sincere about his beliefs, when his beliefs contradict what has been written in the Constitution. As Geraldo Rivera pointed out, Ms. Guilfoyle should remind herself that whoever gets elected as President has the responsibility of upholding and defending the Constitution. After all, it would be hard for Carson to defend the principles that are embedded in the Constitution if he is not aware of them.

“In Islam, Sharia Law supersedes governing law, and unless you’re willing to denounce sharia law as the governing law over yourself… I wouldn’t vote for a Muslim either” -Eric Bolling

People of the far right, and a few mainstream Americans, tend to echo this claim because they fail to see the many nuances that exist in Islam. When the American media talks about Sharia Law, focus gets placed on female genital mutilations and husbands beating up their wives. Of course, like all religious texts, the tenets of Sharia Law have been taken out of context by radicals in order to impose their own oppressive ways on other Muslims.

Muslim Americans however, adhere to a much more moderate version of Sharia Law where it is simply a guide for Muslims to live their daily private lives in relation to their faith. In fact, the Qur’an advocates for Muslims to not get faith intertwined with politics. In that sense, American Muslims stand to benefit from a Constitution that guarantees them religious freedom. A majority of them have no problem in declaring their adherence to the Constitution in the secular realm of life.

Yet Bolling demands that if a Muslim candidate is to receive his vote, the candidate must first denounce Sharia Law. Again, for American Muslims, this part of their faith only governs their private lives, and to ask them to denounce an important part of their faith would be equivalent to asking a Christian to denounce his belief in the Ten Commandments before taking public office, something that would surely receive an outcry from the potent Christian faction of the United States.

 “If I were any of the candidates and was asked this question I think I would’ve said ‘Objection!’ It’s irrelevant. There is no Muslim running for 2016. I’m running for President in 2016. You wanna hear about my platform for taxes, energy, education…”-Dana Perino

Overruled. It is relevant. In the current state of nativism that is sweeping the country, the civil rights of  American Muslims is an issue that should be important to any presidential candidate. Especially on the heels of the Ahmed Mohamed story, Donald Trump’s failure to correct an anti-Muslim question, and less televised news such as the declaration of Tennessee sheriffs to impose surveillance on mosques and the Muslim community. It is important to know which candidates will stand with the civil rights that are granted to every American, and which candidates will Trump it up and go with the racist xenophobic flow.

If Ben Carson was more knowledgeable of the Constitution, or at least displayed basic tolerance, his response to Chuck Todd could have put to rest any doubt that American voters, especially Muslims, had of his capabilities. He could have given an answer that reassured Muslim voters they could count on him. Instead he openly advocated for discriminating against a Muslim president.

“If you were trapped on a deserted island between an enlightened progressive… or a team sport Christian, who could set a broken limb, and cure disease while you’re there… you’re gonna pick practicality over progressivism”- Greg Gutfeld

It goes without saying that dealing with broken bones and cholera on a stranded island has nothing to do with leading a nation. Could someone ask Greg Gutfeld to be realistic for once in a while? Yes, Ben Carson is a very brilliant man, and his separation of conjoined twins is a testament to that.  But when Gutfeld talks about Carson having more pragmatic experience than an “enlightened progressive”, it is experience that seems more fit for being surgeon general, not president.

An enlightened progressive who has spent time in politics does seem more reasonable for POTUS than a neurosurgeon. Politicians not only know the Constitution as a basis for a lot of their political rhetoric and governing, but they also have the skills that are required to run a country. From policy analysis, to negotiating and compromising with hostile domestic and international forces, to knowing and having the connections of “who’s who” in Washington D.C., these are all resources and skills that are only attained through the trade of politics. Unless Ben Carson had to do serious analysis involving macro issues and conduct negotiations on how to operate brain tumors, there is no reason to believe that he would be ready for this job.

Of course, one can expect that Fox News will always jump right in to defend whatever hateful or bizarre statement the next Republican candidate has to say. But it’s frustrating that they do so by feeding their viewers with flawed logic and nonsensical arguments that end up making our nation a bit more ignorant.

Leave it to Republicans and Fox News to walk hand by hand in the land of make believe, dragging thousands of people along with them.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Just goes to show you that African Americans, in this case a very affluent African American can be racist and xenophobic too. That’s not the point, but attacking a faith is a sure indicator of a chicken shit. We should not care what religion any president is or isn’t, but rather care about the job he or she does. Of course nobody is more intolerant and less willing to work with any other viewpoint than a right wing Christian.
    In light of Boehner’s resignation, one idiot I have to work with was happy the Secretary of State was stepping down because in his view Boehner should have never tried to work with both sides and pander only to the extremist Tea Party right. And this is the same fuckhead who claimed he agreed with me that divisive politics are killing us. That is total bullshit.
    Carson is a hate monger just like the rest. The crop of GOP candidates are the biggest fools parade ever, immature as hell, and totally off their collective rockers. So are their supporters.
    We can credit FOX News with a lot of the problem, as they are about as fair and balanced as the Nazis were in Germany. We can also credit with this impending disaster the voters who worship FOX News, the Christian cult leadership and whichever maniacal candidate they support. These are people who think only of themselves, and have no respect for the views or lifestyles of others. They either hang out as good ol’ redneck racist haters, the types who go around wearing hunting jackets and have Confederate flags on the backs of their pickups and their homes. They are out of their element if they stray more than a few miles from their cocoons, feel intimidated and hostile toward those they don’t understand, which is most of us.
    Rather than welcome learning experiences, they retreat back into their shells and hate any outside influences.
    Then there’s the Christian cult. These people are some of the same as the redneck good ol’ boys who worship Duck Dynasty but have God and Jesus backing up their incredible hate and desire to impose their cult on the rest of us. They claim religious freedom, but really only want it for themselves. They claim they love, but they’re so full of hate their blood is probably acid. They get all worked up over a fetus but couldn’t give a rat’s ass less about the infant. We can try to breach the political canyon between GOP’s and progressives, but it’s doomed to failure because the right is incapable and unwilling to listen to anything besides their own trusted sources, who are laughing at the voters behind their backs, knowing what gullible fools they’re influencing. The GOP is pandering to hate and stupidity because they know it exists in massive quantities in right wing world. Can’t really say it doesn’t make sense in a twisted sort of way.

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