Ben Carson is rather impersonal on Twitter and tweets in a light tone. (Richard W. Rodriguez/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS)
By Gabe Morrison ’17 & Riley Morrison ’16
Presidential candidate and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson recently said, “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.”
Dr. Carson’s statements should be considered intolerant, and we as Americans, generally, and as part of the Brophy community, specifically, should show stern disapproval towards these ideas.
Brophy holds the value of being “Committed to Justice” in high esteem.
Being staunchly anti-Muslim, as a rule, is simply wrong, and that sentiment should not be tolerated by a community who holds justice so dear.
Admittedly, Dr. Carson has clarified his initial comment, suggesting that he would not be opposed to a Muslim running for president so long as that candidate renounced portions of his faith, specifically Sharia law.
Despite this, his comments are still highly troubling, especially given his supposed dedication to religious freedom and American values.
After all, no one, it seems, is asking Dr. Carson to abandon his faith or the particularly brutal sections of the Bible that advocate stoning and slaughter.
Additionally, it must be stated that the Constitution of the United States in Article VI says, “no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office” in this country.
Dr. Carson’s clarification suggests he does not believe that any Muslims could be president, which is where his views may depart from those of others.
To state that people are unfit to be our president simply because of their religious beliefs is bigotry. In addition, such a statement is irrevocably rejected by our Constitution.
We find Dr. Carson’s statements on Muslims in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper more concerning.
Tapper, seeking a comment from Dr. Carson, said, “You seem to be singling out Muslims as individuals who automatically, as a knee jerk, would put their religion ahead of the country, offended a lot of people, a lot of Muslims.”
At this point in the interview, Dr. Carson had the opportunity to clarify that he did not believe that Muslims would automatically put their religion before the Constitution.
Dr. Carson also could have pointed out other religions whose doctrines, in his eyes, were contrasting to that of the U.S. Constitution.
Instead, Dr. Carson said, “The statement stands,” rebuffing both this and a previous offer made by Tapper for him to clarify, qualify or modify his statement. Later, he suggested that the media was overblowing his comments.
At this response, we take offense. We take offense as students who respect intellectuality, as U.S. citizens who respect our code of laws, and as human beings who respect standards of decency.
In addition to the comment’s questionable constitutionality, Dr. Carson took on a bigoted stance on this issue.
Second, his suggestion that such a perspective is trivial is perturbing because we believe that any comments about how a potential president thinks are important and should be shared.
While we contend that every American should be concerned with Dr. Carson’s comments and their reflection of our society as a whole, the Brophy community should be especially dismayed.
For those who disagree with these viewpoints, we would ask that you research our nation’s Constitution and the practices of Islam, then reconsider your perspective.
Most importantly, show your support in the polls in the upcoming election and have conversations with people you know who can vote. Let’s make sure our future president upholds the Constitution and treats all people equally.