Ben CarsonThe most recent Republican debate covered a wide range of topics, and was the source of a great deal of controversy, with the moderator seeming to intentionally pit the debaters against one another. This weekend, candidate Ben Carson added even more controversy when he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and stated that someone of the Muslim faith shouldn’t be president. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

As social media ignited in debate, the Council on American-Islamic Relations responded by stating that they think Carson should drop out of the race after his remarks. While Carson is free to hold any personal opinion from a legal perspective there is actually no rule on what religion a president must be or may not be.

Nihad Awad is executive director of the aforementioned Council, which is the leading group advocating for Muslim civil liberties in America. He expanded on his group’s statement by arguing that while Carson felt that a ‘Muslim’s beliefs that wouldn’t properly line up with the Constitution’, it is actually Carson’s views that are in direct conflict with that governing document. Awad pointed out that freedom of, and from, religion is one of the primary reasons our forefathers first colonized this land, a notion that has been codified in the legal fabric of the country.

Other Candidates Weigh In

After Carson made his controversial comments, many wondered how the other candidates felt about the possibility of a Muslim serving as president of the United States at some point in the future. Does the religion of US Presidents matter?

  • Jeb Bush thinks a person’s faith is irrelevant to serving in any branch of the government. He pointed out the Constitution prohibits a religious test.
  • Marco Rubio believes no one should be disqualified from running as president because of their faith. He went on to say he knew there were millions of Muslims in America who love their country.
  • Ted Cruz stated: “You know, the Constitution specifies there shall be no religious test for public office and I am a Constitutionalist.”
  • Rand Paul’s comments took a slightly different take than the other candidates. He said it’s more about what you stand for and not what your religious beliefs are. However, he also stated he understood how someone could be skeptical about having a Muslim as president. He feels this way because he says terrorist attacks are primarily committed by people who are Muslim.
  • Donald Trump said he thinks it is something that could happen in the future (it’s interesting then to note that he recently did not object when a supporter of his claimed Obama is a Muslim at a campaign rally). He didn’t say whether or not he would feel comfortable having a Muslim president leading the nation.
  • Mike Huckabee said he doesn’t think anyone should be disqualified from running simply because of their faith. He also pointed out the Constitution’s prohibition on making anyone running for office to take any sort of religious test.
  • Bernie Sanders expressed his disappointment in Carson’s comments. He pointed out how long it took this country to overcome discrimination.
  • Hillary Clinton simply stated a Muslim could become president of the United States and that we all needed to move on.
  • Martin O’Malley said “hate is not an American value” and American people are better than that.
  • Lincoln Chafee believes the comments should be enough to force Carson to drop out of the race. He too pointed out that the Constitution states a person cannot be forced to take a religious test to determine their eligibility for presidency.

Faith and the Presidency

Faith has always been somewhat of an issue in the race for the White House. John F. Kennedy was the first (and so far only) Catholic to hold the office, and the early days of his campaign were dominated by discussions of his faith. Many Americans feared that a Catholic president would act under the direction of the Vatican, therefore compromising the separation of church and state.

There is some evidence that several early presidents, such as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison, held Deist beliefs, which is to say that they had a belief in God not by a tradition of dogma passed down in churches, but rather by the use of science and reason. Their views on religion are often greatly misunderstood by the general public.

Obama supermuslimIt is true that thus far, overwhelmingly, this country has predominately had Christian presidents (perhaps only with the exception of some of those founding fathers), but it was by no means established to be the “Christian nation” many today claim it is while challenging same-sex marriage or the rights of non-Christians. Founding father and president John Adams said in 1797 that “the Government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion,” and his peers were in agreement.

Despite this, throughout our history, many candidates have been labeled as holding different beliefs than Christians in an attempt to attack or effectively disqualify them from holding office; Ben Carson is not by any means the first person to express this sort of sentiment. Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and William Taft were all accused of being atheists during their campaigns in hopes of hurting their chances at winning. President Barack Obama (a Christian) has been incorrectly labeled an atheist by some, a Muslim by others, and even a Satanist by a few.

It is also worth noting that attitudes may be shifting nationwide: the current field of candidates includes Bernie Sanders, who is of Jewish descent but doesn’t practice, and a number of Catholic individuals who (if elected) would be the 2nd Catholic President of the U.S.

Carson’s comments about the idea of a Muslim president showed a lack of faith in the voting system. If Americans don’t want a Muslim to be their next president, then they aren’t going to vote for him or her, it’s that simple.

We would perhaps go a step further and urge that as we prepare to pick our next leader, we should focus our attention on the specific policies each candidate has proposed. If you agree with the ideas put forth by a certain candidate, learning that their religious views may differ from your own perhaps shouldn’t warrant an immediate dismissal, but instead should just serve as one more item to consider.

79 comments

  1. Jessica Martini says:

    I like to think a good candidate understands and honors The Golden Rule – do unto others as you would have done to you, a principle that is in most of the world’s religions. Caring for the ‘widows & orphans’ , the sick, the underprivileged. Supporting education and healthcare and choosing discourse over hawkish foreign policy. But the present environment for public discourse lends itself to hyperbole and sensationalism, and shallow black and white litmus tests on narrow issues often misrepresented to an unknowing and loyal following. We risk falling to a mobacracy manipulated by monied powers which propagandize rather than carry on a well informed discourse. Yes, some form of faith matters. Faith in the better angels of our nature or Faith in the God of Mammon disguised as some righteous moral authority. Faith is what gives people and civilization hope to carry forward in all endeavors, for better or for worse.

    1. ava says:

      10/8/2015

      Does the Religion of US Presidents Matter?
      “The most recent Republican debate covered a wide range of topics, and was the source of a great deal of controversy, with the moderator seeming to intentionally pit the debaters against one another. This weekend, candidate Ben Carson added even more controversy when he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and stated that someone of the Muslim faith shouldn’t be president. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

      By Eve Taylor: This is what I said, to that subject.
      I absolutely agree with the one verity: which when you answer my question, I will affirm my opinion: Is the head of Japan a Japanese, or Greek? Is the head of Russia a Russian, or Mexican? Is the head of Rome an African or Italian? The head of Iraq, is what, an Arab, or who? Who is the head of Egypt an Egyptian, or Alaskan? Aye, you know where I’m going. Therefore, I say credo is not so much the concern. We have had in the White House much credence of excellent people from Catholics, Baptist, and Mormons to possibly even an Atheist. The devotion in faith of one’s religion should not matter. The question should be what preference of priority is for whom is the best candidate to delegate our Nation in times such as ours in this present age. However, we are discussing should a Muslim be president? Here is my answer to the topic of this inquiry; the origin of where a candidate was born, now “The rubber hits the road” I do consider the person’s wanting the presidential position: we do need to regard the nationality of citizenship, and birth-place of that person as written in the Constitution, long before any of us where born, and the answer is {A citizen born of The United-State’s of America.} You asked, I answered, “and no other will do!!!”
      By Eve Taylor

      1. Daniel says:

        Obama was blowing smoke out of his rear end, he was a sorry a$$ president, he don’t nothing for this country, and when things don’t go his way well he throws hiss little tantrums and then starts talking about Social Security, just to get what he wants, I knew that this would pop up sooner or later, I just hate hearing the word racist to get what they want, I am not a racist, I don’t owe anything to any one I do not agree the courts are telling us to take down everything that pertains to Heaven or God but they let these dirty A$$ immigrants they hate out country so bad then why in the world would they come to the united states. The Office of the President of the United States is not about race its about who is the best LIAR and has a silver tongue Obama thinks he has a fix for everything Get over your self, I myself am glad your presidency is almost over once it is it will be a glorious party. now Obama mentions that if he could run again he would win, sorry you rear end when it came to the popular vote you butt would have lost but the ddont know how you done it You are trying to shove your say or what ever and making ppl believe that you are the man for the job, I know your not God so you should be acting like a president and not no playground bully

        1. Casey says:

          You’re right, Danny. Obama hasn’t accomplished squat. He just TOLD us that he gave us healthcare, SAID he killed Bin Laden and protected our soil from attacks, SAID he stopped a recession, TOLD us he saved the American auto industry. Look at the facts, sheeple! We are still in a recession without healthcare.gov, Bin Laden is making televised threats daily and following through with numerous attacks in our cities and USA doesn’t even make a single car anymore. You are so right, Danny.

          1. Tom says:

            I personally like Obama but your right in most things, The killing of Bin Laden had been in the works for over a decade and he is dead. The bail out (which I agreed with but your milage may vary) was in process under Bush, Obama just shepherded it along. He did change healthcare in some respects for the better, but it was in general poorly exacuted. I personally belive if the repubicans had a more constructive hand in it it could have gone better. I am a bit of a socialist when it comes to health care (many personal health problems).

            However, we *are* out of the recession, GNP is up and at least in my industry pay is up and jobs are plentiful. Yes, manufacturing is pretty much kaput in the US so we need to retool to a new economy, we did it before but it will be painful. But pretty much all of that is out of Obamas hands. An economics debate is off topic for this blog.

            Tom

  2. Randy says:

    They shouldn’t allow any Muslims to be president! Muslims are bound by Sharia law and in their heads that will always supersede the laws of the US. It is the mission of all Muslims to come to the West and to convert us all into worshiping their God and living like them or kill us. Doesn’t anyone remember what they did? They HATE us. The day a Muslim stands on that stage and swears his oath of office over a Koran is the day when we are all DOOMED.

    1. Jessica Martini says:

      Most ( the vast majority ) american Muslims are quite moderate and modern rejecting those ideas. Our country was founded on a few central ideas, one of which is the freedom to worship and believe as one’s conscience leads. While women are oppressed in Saudi Arabia and horrible things are sometimes done in the name of Allah it is no reason to assume that the majority of those who emigrate to the west do so in order to conquer the world for a sectarian cause. Sunni and Shiite have different world views, sectarian in nature. One might draw a comparison 30 years war which can be framed as a war between Protestant and Catholic states or as a continuation of the France–Habsburg rivalry for European political pre-eminence.

      1. MarilynMcKnight says:

        I lived in an Arab country for 2 years and I NEVER felt the hatred you speak of. You need to widen your horizons and experience life in the whole world.

      2. Silas Boyd says:

        Well stated!

        1. CR says:

          Carson had also stated that a Muslim would be fit to be president if the person did not go by Sharia law. He was not being hateful, but the United States constitution does not oppress women or take some freedoms away. So the fear of changing theses freedoms based on a religious view, is what Carson was talking about. People and the media have tried to twist his words.

          1. eve says:

            but CR isn’t that what the media does best to twist whatever so to sell the news and acquire popularity .. I agree with you, keep the faith..

    2. Glen says:

      this sounds exactly like the concerns the article brought up about JFK and him being bound by the rule of the vatican. those turned out to be silly concerns. its hard for me to see your worry any different

    3. Gary says:

      Could you not also argue that all Christians are bound by Biblical Laws? How can you say what is in their heads? The same arguments you are making were made against having Catholics as a President of leaders of government. We were told they would obey the Pope over our laws. You are either for the Constitution or against it. It says, there shall be no religious test to become President.

    4. David Griffith says:

      Ra

    5. David says:

      Randy-

      How can you be ordained? Religion is about love, sharing, caring, and kindness. I have traveled to Muslim countries and worked with Muslims and they have all been wonderful honest, trustworthy people.

      The Christians certainly spent a good deal of time “converting” or die. The Crusades, burning at the stake, witch trials, and to this day missionaries, they don’t kill, but if you don’t convert you go to hell is strong and scary language.

      Until hate leaves religion and people’s hearts there will be terrorism. In fact, more Ameicans have been killed by American terrorists than Muslim terrorists. All of the gun massacres happening are one example.

      1. eve says:

        10/8/2015

        Does the Religion of US Presidents Matter?
        “The most recent Republican debate covered a wide range of topics, and was the source of a great deal of controversy, with the moderator seeming to intentionally pit the debaters against one another. This weekend, candidate Ben Carson added even more controversy when he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and stated that someone of the Muslim faith shouldn’t be president. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

        By Eve Taylor: This is what I said, to that subject.
        I absolutely agree with the one verity: which when you answer my question, I will affirm my opinion: Is the head of Japan a Japanese, or Greek? Is the head of Russia a Russian, or Mexican? Is the head of Rome an African or Italian? The head of Iraq, is what, an Arab, or who? Who is the head of Egypt an Egyptian, or Alaskan? Aye, you know where I’m going. Therefore, I say credo is not so much the concern. We have had in the White House much credence of excellent people from Catholics, Baptist, and Mormons to possibly even an Atheist. The devotion in faith of one’s religion should not matter. The question should be what preference of priority is for whom is the best candidate to delegate our Nation in times such as ours in this present age. However, we are discussing should a Muslim be president? Here is my answer to the topic of this inquiry; the origin of where a candidate was born, now “The rubber hits the road” I do consider the person’s wanting the presidential position: we do need to regard the nationality of citizenship, and birth-place of that person as written in the Constitution, long before any of us where born, and the answer is {A citizen born of The United-State’s of America.} You asked, I answered, “and no other will do!!!”
        By Eve Taylor

      2. Rev. Theo. Klebes says:

        I agree with you Randy. I am a member of the National Interfaith Alliance and a past board member of the Interfaith Alliance of Marion County, FL. We meet once a month as a group made up of various Pastors, Rabbis, board members and members from our local Mosque. We are all strong friends, hold interfaith seminars and dinners at our local college. Every one is welcome and is encouraged to ask questions from our interfaith panel. If everyone would stop the discriminational attacks and get to know and accept others from different faiths, truly you will have a broader knowledge and make new friends. Now that is love!
        Rev Theo Klebes

    6. Minister Fisher says:

      I have to disagree, if the American people elect a Muslim….they elect a Muslim. I can’t imagine a Muslim candidate earning a lot of votes by talking about bringing Sharia law into effect. In the small chance that happened…do you honestly believe said Muslim would actually win? I have to say No sir, I don’t think so. However, if it happens you can always leave the country to find a place in the world better suited to your beliefs.

    7. Guy says:

      As one who has lived and worked in muslim countries I have to agree with you wholeheartedly. Most I have met that convert in this country have no idea and on the occasions when they have gone to a country under islamic control they find themselves regretting it greatly. As you pointed out, sharia law does in no way shape or form fit in the fundamental values of freedom and equality on which our Constitution or national theme are based.

    8. ava says:

      I absolutely agree with the one verity: which when you answer my question, I will affirm my opinion: Is the head of Japan a Japanese, or Greek? Is the head of Russia a Russian, or Mexican? Is the head of Rome an African or Italian? The head of Iraq, is what, an Arab, or who? Who is the head of Egypt an Egyptian, or Alaskan? Aye, you know where I’m going. Therefore, I say credo is not so much the concern. We have had in the White House much credence of excellent people from Catholics, Baptist, and Mormons to possibly even an Atheist. The devotion in faith of one’s religion should not matter. The question should be what preference of priority is for whom is the best candidate to delegate our Nation in times such as ours in this present age. However, we are discussing should a Muslim be president? Here is my answer to the topic of this inquiry; the origin of where a candidate was born, now “The rubber hits the road” I do consider the person’s wanting the presidential position: we do need to regard the nationality of citizenship, and birth-place of that person as written in the Constitution, long before any of us where born, and the answer is {A citizen born of The United-State’s of America.} You asked, I answered, “and no other will do!!!”

    9. Todd66 says:

      We felt the same way about jfk in 1960. The worry was that he would take orders from the vatican rather than we the people and that never happened. The same hyperbole was thrown at mitt romney in 2012 for his mormonism.

      1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

        The difference here is that both Catholics and Mormons are Christians who do not believe in killing everyone who is not a Christian. There is no test of religion to be president because the founding fathers of the US never envisioned that we would be so stupid as to elect a president whose religion mandates the persecution and even death of everyone who does not accept his or her religion. We can see how much serious damage is going on in the Middle East right now. It is not because of Catholics, Mormons, or any other Christian sect.

        1. dwendt44 says:

          Mormons are not christians.

  3. William Thompson says:

    I believe that Dr. Carson’s remarks were absorbed and redistributed by the press trying to make this controversy a negative blemish on his record. The press did the very same thing to him that they are accussing him of doing to them. The actual charge is “political incorrectness”. Not unconstitutional thought and beliefs.

    When you separate the church from the state you are left with facts and reality. The facts speak for themselves and the reality is that Muslims follow the Quran and Sharia law which is in direct conflict to the United States Constitution. Muslims have waged a worldwide jihad against non believers and have vowed to kill them/us. Our government has turned a blind eye to the raping of young boys and then throwing homosexuals off roof tops, they are sexually violating young girls until they can’t walk and then beheading and stoning for being whores.

    As long as this is the case I will stand with Dr. Carson and reject Islam as a religion or bonafide authority. I believe Dr. Carson is a Christian and appropriately presented his beliefs. His run for President is as valid as anyone else’s.

    1. Jessica Martini says:

      While some of the things you write are true, to paint with a broad stroke, ‘they do this & that’ , ‘they believe this & that’ is to reduce a complex situation into a breeding ground for xenophobia. What if in the 1960’s and 1970’s all Irish immigrant had been labeled terrorists?

    2. Doc says:

      William, people such as Jessica M (who replied to your comment) are the growing majority of the U.S. “Those who fail to know history are doomed to repeat it AND lest we forget!” You bring forth simple facts that the man-made fear-based Islamic religion strives diligently to make all religion of one belief – infidels be damned. Jessica and those of her mindset obviously don’t know how very few it took to grow the Nazi party (-3% of the German pop.). The true wonder of life on earth is to revel in a state of wonderfully orchestrated contrast. And Jessica; the Islamic religion IS the Muslim’s government and that “Trumps” our American Flag by a royal flush!!! Islam thrives in a theocracy NOT democracy – this is why the U.S. Attempts to bring democracy to Islamic lands is simply foolish. Good article William!

    3. Gary says:

      With all due respect, how can his run for the President be valid when he rejects the very Constitution he would swear to uphold at his swearing in to the office?

  4. Mary says:

    You danm right it matters. look what happened in Egypt when the Muslims got in office there.

    1. Jessica Martini says:

      I see it more of the fault of ignorance. The illiteracy rate in many majority Islamic nations tends to be very high. This puts them at particular risk of falling prey to cults of personality. A persuasive mullah can sway and even incite crowds to action using propaganda press and the power of the pulpit as his tools. Unfortunately as our nation falls prey to a media environment which honors a cult of personality over reasoned discourse and insightful exploration of detailed nuance we, as a nation, risk electing representatives into office who would use the bully pulpit of modern media to incite crowds to action rooted in fear and ignorance.

  5. Tom says:

    Fist as stated by others, the USA is not a religious contry; however, it’s people in general are. This is fine and good, while the constitution can not and should not define any relgious affiliations, people need to vote their heart. That being said my personal opion is the being a Muslin does not in general disqaulify him/her from the presidency but I would look at him more closely than other candidates. Not because of any terrorism nonsense, but rather because of a conflict between his religion and the secular nature of the USA. From my study of Islam a devout Muslim (not an extremist) dose not differentiate between the “secular” and “non-secular,” God is the only authority and government on earth only exists to enforce Gods law, and of course support the comunity. This I belive might give a Muslin president a crisis of faith. However, if he/she can compartmentalize the secular and non-secular and he is the best candidate, then no problem.

    As a side note, while Sharia law is based on the Koran, countries interpert it differently, Saudia Arabia is an extreme example while many countries only apply it to personal matters; marrige, divorce and inheritance but are still are still Islamic countries. Law in any form, Saria or non-secular, is much more complex than a simple sound bite.

    Tom

    1. David says:

      Tom, are you looking at Rev Huckster more closely because he is a devout Christian! That is the same as the Muslim compartmentalizations you write of. I di know that I would not trust Rev Huckabee with the Presidency because I believe he would rule following the Bible, not the Constitution.

      People keep writing about Muslims and religion and their countries. All of you who do not know Turkish history need to take a look at it. Attaturk when he founded the country declared the government would be secular and if it became to religious the military had the right to have a coup and return the government to secular. I only wish the USA got religion out of the government.

      1. Tom says:

        A devout Christian still belives in the secular. In either case the checks and balances of the three branches of government would stop any egregious acts by either person (Hollywood notwithstanding). My concern is not with any damage they would do as much as how the conflict would affect the man (or woman), that would determine how effective he/she would be.

        In Turkey, you really think the people do not vote for people most like them? That have the same belief system? And as long as people are religious it’s going to be an issue, regardless of the country.

    2. Minister james Samuel. Perkins says:

      Let’s look at the bible, no matter who or whom is in charge it still come out bad. The way I see it if Jesus could not go all the way to show god world in the minds of all people. Life is still going to be more and more without thought or control on thing. People will feel that if things is become in front of what should be or go they way or the way the rich feel it should, whom or who can say what is right. Life has is ups and down and when the people not just people all the people in the USA come together and say what should be done together as a United of life, maybe the state of life we have here in our country will know what is real for every American, every American that is in the USA should know what should be done. Jesus try and look what happen to his, own people done turn they backs on him and was choose out to die for a murder to be free by the people he show what surprise to be a life of freedom to live without sin. So look at what was do good out all the president we had and done good they even was shot or killed or put out of office by people they trusted. This world only come to get her when the real crisis come. That should not be. It should. Understand it now not who who can can what can be done. USA. People look up and speak out. I am just a little person speaking for what I see and if Jesus could not do and god is still trying then you no who this world belongs too. Like Jesus said get behind me Satan and let our people go. Amen.

  6. Gallet christ Sampu says:

    No matter what religion you believe or you belong, the word came from God and, people form a nation and the words has been given to every nation with their own prophets and the words of the prophet it is the same word belong the to father and never change. It is only people change by their own pleasure, whereas the life of the world is but matter of illusion. Race one with another for forgiveness from your Lord and show love by obeying the commandment.
    May God bless all of you

  7. Thunder!965 says:

    Ahh some fallacies in this little article. First; while the American people vote, the popular vote really doesn’t mean anything. It’s the Electoral College that actually chooses the president. Secondly; a lot of Muslims hold to Sharia law. This is totally incompatible with our constitution. Thirdly; Until the passages about killing all the infidels where they are; lying and cheating them in business, and other very discriminating passages, a Muslim, by their faith, is duty bound to honor it. Muslim President? Not for a long time.

    1. Tom says:

      The votes of the electorial college is based on the popular so they do matter. However I do believe the electoral college is out dated and has caused miscarriages in the past. Again do not mistake moderates from radicals.

      Tom

  8. Totality says:

    Except for the fact that their god is Allah, and not your god of Christian faith.

    1. Tom says:

      Oh please, both are the god af Abraham, the same one.

  9. Bob says:

    contortion said that the religion of a person it doesn’t really matter as long as that person accepts and swears to the the beliefs of the United States Constitution. I think that is a very real requirements. Nobody really cares whether vs Muslim or Christian Catholic excetera.but America be careful that we’re not going to get a candidate who supports anti-americanism.

    Ben Carson wasn’t just against Muslims, but any person that cannot honor the Constitution of the United States. Perhaps, he is right, why not put God back into our politics and have candidates swear to uphold our beliefs.

  10. Shen says:

    Separation of Church and State. End of discussion. I care not what the religion or philosophy of the President are, so long as those beliefs not be allowed to color our nation. Quite honestly however, I would much favor a President based in Science and the pursuit of knowledge.

    1. Dave says:

      Shen, you are exactly right. I’m so sorry that many religious people are bigoted, hateful and in denial of facts. Science and the pursuit of knowledge are what counts.

  11. David W. WHITE says:

    A previous commenter said it best. You cannot grasp the complexity of this question from one sound bite. Barack Hussein Obama is undoubtedly a card carrying Chistian. However, his choice to join a Christian church back when he was a community organizer (agitator) has nothing to do withhis embracing the Holy Spirit in his life. He saw his influence waning when people in the community questioned his not belonging to any church. It was this fact which prompted him to join one of the many community churches from which to choose. Of all the churches available to him, he chose to join “Rev” Wright’s racist white-hating-America-hating congregation. He merely put on the mantel of Chistianity, rather than truly embrace it in his life. For him, it has been nothing more tham political camouflage.

    Obama’s true religion is Marxism/communism. Saul Alynski, an infamous Marxist community organizer/professor in the early 20th century was his menror in collage. He was a dutiful student and “outClintoned” Hillary (another Alynski protege) to win the 2008 Democrat primary. His parents and other family members were dyed-in-wool socialists. Obama surrouded himself with like-minded people throughout his life, to include Bernadette Dorn and William “I killed a cop but got away with it and wanted to kill more of them” Aires. On the other hand, he certainly did hid best to cover all up during the 2008 presidential election. He needed to come across as a middle-of-the-road liberal! His deception worked.

    Okay, Obama is not a card carrying Muslim. However, his experience being brought upin the Muslim faith during his formative years has clearly endured today. I doubt he even owns a prayer rug or ever uses same. It would be contrary to the image he wants to project to the electorate. Although, prostrating himself to Saudi Royalty, like did, was a definite clue. His actions, enabling the world-wide Muslim invasion caused by his pathetic foriegn policies, i.e., appeasing the Muslim Brotherhood by supporting the “Arab Spring” debacle, fulfilling his illconceived campaign promises at all costs (Iraq/ Afghanistan troop withdrawl), as well as placating the Iranians with the world’s worst nuke deal speak loudly to his Islamophilic position. Does any attentive person, using the common sense God gave them and paying attention to Obama’s current political affairs these past 6+ years, not see that Obama’s Muslim upbringing has misguided his judgment in these matters? As has already been stated, severe conflict exist between what the Quran dictates to its followers, moderate or otherwise, and what America holds dear in it precepts and accepted conduct.

    Religion is not a basis of vetting a candidate for president. It does not matter with what religion a person is labeled. However, American voters must still vet candidates, Muslim or otherwise, on the character. Are they truly committed to preserving, defending and living by the law of the land, our U. S. Constitution? If not, any other qualifications are moot. Obama was a Constitional law professor and yet he has proven to be this nation’s most lawless executive administrator. Just like an atheist reading the Bible or the Quran, Obama may has read and studied the words. Unfotunately, he is NOT a believer!

    Believe Obama has already shown us what a mMuslim in the White House is capable of perpetrating on the American people

    1. Gary says:

      How would you know why he joined a Christian church? How do you know he is not filled with the Holy Spirit? Because you don’t agree with him? If he is a Marxist, he is a pretty poor one based on his record. You talk about prostrating himself to Saudi royalty, take a look at George W. He held their hands, literally when he walked with them! You talk about Obama not being a real Christian, why, because you don’t agree with him? Take a look at the early Christian church and how the apostles led the early churches. That would be called socialism by any reconning today. Are you going to say they were not “real Christians”?

      1. CR says:

        The president stands up for all other religions except for Christian. You can bash Christian all day long and nothing is said. Sometimes saying nothing and tolerating hate for one religious group over others, shows his belief system.

      2. David W. WHITE says:

        You are correct. Obama is his own brand of socialist. He has embraced corruption to a large extent and is really more of a crapitalist than a true blue Marxist. His apparent narcissim makes him hungry for money, power and fame. He has also shown his appetite for vindictiveness. He has blatantly demonstrated these traits as our president since 2008. They do not reflect a person who has accepted Christ into his life.

        No. I do not agree with Obama, the neodemocrat, on much of anything, However, that is a totally separate issue.
        GOD Bless!

    2. Tom says:

      At worst some of his actions can be considered Socialist, not communist. Please get your political ideologies correct in you hate speech.
      .

      1. David W. WHITE says:

        No, not hate speech, but, a much needed reality check. Socialist, communist or crapitalist, the semantics are not that important. There is no significant distinction between them when the foremost goal of the proponents is to destroy America! Its time to stop sucking on that radical left “koolaid” teet and wake up!
        No person, unaccepting of America’s Constitutionally based laws, should ever be allowed to become president of the United States Obama.
        GOD bless!

    3. dwendt44 says:

      President Obama is a better christian that you are by a long shot. He is no more a socialist than you are and you sound a lot like a fascist that cares not for the truth. Stop listening to FixedNews and get some facts for a change.

      1. David W. White says:

        I’m not sure on what your opinion of bho is based. He appears to have convinced you he is your messiah. If that is the case, either reality has escaped you or you are convinced that bho’s mentor, Saul Alinsky, was not a dyed-in-the-wool socialist radical! That Saul was and Barack is a socialist is a documented fact. Just read Saul’s book, Rules for Radicals. Lying, cheating or worse is ok, so long as you gain and maintain power. Bho was his best student.

        Besides, liberals do not make very good Christians, since, in their world, everything is relative and anything goes. Liberals don’t believe in a higher intelligence. Big government is their god.

        Me a fascist? Hardly!

        1. Reverend Fisher says:

          Well stated, sir!

  12. Eykob 3 says:

    I feel like if a President has a Good heart with Good intentions for our country, why should religion matter. Every Religion has Good people and Bad…why judge them off religion…..

  13. LordoLight says:

    If it wasn’t for the oil in the middle east we would not be there. The sunnis and shiites would be killing each other off as heretics. Sorry everyone, Allah is the god of Abraham, same Abraham as the jewish faith same Abraham as the christian faith. Only difference the prophet who declares his teaching. Take a look a the Sufi sect of islam. They are a very loving peaceful people. But in our ignorance of islam and all of it’s permeations we would gun them down as terrorists also.
    the biggest problem in the middle east is ignorance. A huge portion of the population is illiterate, that makes it very easy to manipulate the people. Don’t allow any opposing point of view. Kinda like what the US companies are doing and if the work force is too educated, they outsource that work to a place where the people are easy to manipulate.
    The fact that the media can generate enough bull that a spiritual site like this can have it’s members become xenophobic and hateful, is proof the powers that be are keeping everyone ignorant of the truth and their profits flowing!
    Take christianity back 400 to 500 years and it was just coming out of it’s convert or die phase. Just ask our Indian friends how that worked for them.
    Please remember Ignorance is Death for the individual and eventually for the society that promotes such ignorance.
    Robbie

  14. Rev. Starr Mayo says:

    Why a Muslim should never be President,
    I would like to contribute a quote from a Mr. Mike Loft:

    Can a devout Muslim be an American patriot and a loyal citizen… much less an American President? Consider this:
    Theologically, no. Because his allegiance is to Allah, the moon god of Arabia.
    Scripturally, no. Because his allegiance is to the five pillars of Islam and the Qur’an.
    Spiritually, no, because when we declare “one nation under God,” the Christian’s God is loving and kind, while Allah is NEVER referred to as our heavenly father, nor is he ever called Love in the Qur’an’s 99 excellent names. Democracy and Islam cannot co-exist.
    Geographically, no. Because his allegiance is to Mecca, to which he turns in prayer 5 times a day.
    Socially, no. Because his allegiance to Islam forbids him to make friends with Christians or Jews.
    Politically, no. Because he must submit to the mullah (spiritual leaders), who teach annihilation of Israel and destruction of America, the great Satan.
    Domestically, no, because he is instructed to marry four women and beat and scourge his wife when she disobeys him. (Qur’an 4:34). Can you see a court case brewing here?
    Religiously, no. Because no other religion is accepted by his Allah except Islam. (Qur’an, 2:256)
    Intellectually, no, because he cannot accept the American Constitution since it is based on Biblical principles and he believes the Bible to be corrupt.
    Philosophically, no, because Islam, Muhammad, and the Qur’an do not allow freedom of religion and expression.
    Every Muslim government is either dictatorial or autocratic. Therefore after much study and deliberation perhaps we should be very suspicious of ALL MUSLIMS in this country. They obviously cannot be both good Muslims and good Americans.
    Call it what you wish…it’s still the truth. If you find yourself intellectually in agreement with the above, perhaps you will share this with your friends. The more you understand this, the better it will be for our country.

    Also:
    In an interview with The Hill, Carson backed up his remarks and even doubled down, saying that the president should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Quran.”
    “I do not believe Shariah is consistent with the Constitution of this country,” Carson said in the interview. “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life and what you do as a public official, and that’s inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”
    Carson said he would make an exception for a candidate who “publicly rejected all the tenets of Shariah and lived a life consistent with that.”
    “Then I wouldn’t have any problem,” Carson said.
    Carson also brought up the concept of Taqiyya, a convention in Shia Islam that allows believers to conceal the nature of their faith to mislead.
    “Taqiyya is a component of Shia that allows, and even encourages you to lie to achieve your goals,” Carson said.
    “We are a different kind of nation,” Carson added. “Part of why we rose so quickly is because we wouldn’t allow our values or principles to be supplanted because we were going to be politically correct … Part of the problem today is that we’re so busy trying to be politically correct, that we lose all perspective.”
    Carson added that the question was largely irrelevant, since there is no Muslim running for the presidency in 2016. However, he also said the firestorm has “served a useful purpose by providing the opportunity to talk about what Shariah is and what their goals are.”
    “So often we get into these irrelevant things, because obviously if a Muslim was running for president, there would be a lot more education about Shariah, about Taqiyya,” Carson said.
    There you have it: Ben Carson, a man who remains unbowed by media pressure. Like him or not, he’s certainly not the malleable type the mainstream press is used to.

    In addition: quoting Dr. Tawfik Hamid; author of Inside Jihad: Understanding and Confronting Radical Islam:

    Ben Carson is a man who speaks the truth, according to a Muslim who now devotes his life to speaking out against radical Islam.
    “As a Muslim — and particularly as a former member of a radical Islamist group — I can state unequivocally that Dr. Carson is correct,” Dr. Tawfik Hamid, , wrote on Newsmax. “Without a single exception, the approved Islamic literature teaches violent principles such as killing apostates, beating women, killing gays, and enslaving female war prisoners for sexual purposes,” he said.
    Carson, when asked Sunday whether Islam is consistent with the Constitution, replied, “No, I don’t. I do not. I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation.” The comments touched off objections. “Unfortunately for the critics, ridicule, derision, and condemnation are not arguments,” Hamid wrote. “They are the last refuge of a defeated thought.”
    After citing ways Sharia law involves brutalizing women and dening others basic rights, Hamid suggested that Carson’s critics look for Islamic texts that contradict the Republican presidential candidate’s position. “Such a text does not exist,” he wrote. “Ben Carson is correct. These Sharia values and principles, which are so hostile to the American Constitution, are still an integral part of mainstream Islam,” Hamid wrote. “In other words, any Muslim who rejects killing gays and apostates, or beating and raping women is no longer considered a Muslim under Sharia. Such rules fly in the face of the Constitution.”
    Hamid was not the only prominent Muslim to support Carson.
    “Carson’s comments underscore a political reality in which Muslim communities, not only in far-flung theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, but also in the United States, still struggle with existential questions about whether Islam is compatible with democracy and secularism,” wrote Asra Q. Nomani, saying the struggle between mosque and state is very real for modern, secular Muslims.
    In too many instances, we are seeing an erosion of those boundaries, in part led by some Muslims, increasingly using America’s spirit of religious accommodation and cultural pluralism to challenge rules that most of the rest of America accepts. Many of those incursions have been led by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a controversial self-described advocacy group for Muslims that, not surprisingly, called for Carson to step down this week.
    “The presidential candidate is talking against a backdrop of 9/11 and a reality in which political Islam expresses itself violently in the West and in Muslim countries from Iraq to Indonesia,” she wrote, arguing that it is not time to silence Carson, but rather “to continue the politically incorrect but critical conversation that he started.”

    Last Thought of the day: When Fox News reporter, David Webb, asked if Sharia law is above the U.S. Constitution and American Law. And, which should Muslims follow.

    Leader of an Islam American Community says: “The U.S. Constitution comes from people. Sharia Law comes from Allah,” when responding to Fox News’ David Webb. “The Constitution governs this country. Sharia Law governs the whole world. Of course it is above.”

    1. Tom says:

      In rebuttal:

      Theologically, I agree with you, bit the same can be said of a Christian.
      Scripturally, how does, Prayer, Faith in one god, Giving to charity, ritual fasting, and a one time pilgrimage to Mecca conflict with the duties as president?
      Spiritually, I assume you never read the old testamate where God is a jealous god. But more to point how does whether you love or fear God matter? Also where does the Constitution say “One nation under God”? That was in a non-offical oath we took in school, which we don’t any more.
      Geographically, what? Does the Oval office not have a corner that points to mecca? Pun about corners in an oval office not intended. He/she needs to pray towards Mecca, not in Mecca.
      Socially, The Quran stresses frendship with other followers of the word (Christians and Jews) extremists corrupt the meaning.
      Politically, Yes he would be subordinate to religious leaders but not all preach the desruction of the west. However, the subordination is in general an issue to me.
      Domestically, while this may be allowed under the Quran it does not require this an other than royalty I know of no modern Muslim with more than one. Even Mohamad had only one true wife, the rest, which he married latter in life, he did to help them. And the Quran does not condone domestic abuse any more than the bible does, and untill recently even the Christian marriage vow included an “obey” clause.
      Religiously, The Quran does stress that Islam is the truth, but also stresses respect for other followers of the word, The Bible and Tora are considered to be “the word” but they were written by men while the Quran was written by God and just transcribed by Muhamad. Thus the do place the Quran as more athorative than the others, thy do not discount them. Again, extremists have corrupted this.
      Intellectually, in what world is the Constitution based on the Bible? At worst (or best depending) it’s based on the ten commandments, which all major religions (based on the god of Abraham) have in common.
      Philosophically, to an extent your right, once your a Muslum your in for life, but if your not the Quran stresses live and let live.
      Your last statement in that section is just plain ignorant, many Islamic countries are quite liberal, Turkey as another poster mentioned is an example.

      I’d rather debate Dr. Carson directly than comment on his statements third hand but he, as many others, confuse radical Islam with main stream Islam. But he is correct that radical Islam does condone lying in the furtherence of their goal an some masquerade as moderates making it hard to trust them.

      Lastly, I do agree that Sharia law is incompatible with the Constitution, but Islam is not tied to Sharia law in the same way as the Quran and not all Islamic countries follow it to the same extent.

      Tom

    2. eve says:

      Does the Religion of US Presidents Matter? “The most recent Republican debate covered a wide range of topics, and was the source of a great deal of controversy, with the moderator seeming to intentionally pit the debaters against one another. This weekend, candidate Ben Carson added even more controversy when he appeared on NBC’s “Meet the Press” and stated that someone of the Muslim faith shouldn’t be president. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”By Eve Taylor: This is what I said, to that subject. I absolutely agree with the one verity: which when you answer my question, I will affirm my opinion: Is the head of Japan a Japanese, or Greek? Is the head of Russia a Russian, or Mexican? Is the head of Rome an African or Italian? The head of Iraq, is what, an Arab, or who? Who is the head of Egypt an Egyptian, or Alaskan? Aye, you know where I’m going. Therefore, I say credo is not so much the concern. We have had in the White House much credence of excellent people from Catholics, Baptist, and Mormons to possibly even an Atheist. The devotion in faith of one’s religion should not matter. The question should be what preference of priority is for whom is the best candidate to delegate our Nation in times such as ours in this present age. However, we are discussing should a Muslim be president? Here is my answer to the topic of this inquiry; the origin of where a candidate was born, now “The rubber hits the road” I do consider the person’s wanting the presidential position: we do need to regard the nationality of citizenship, and birth-place of that person as written in the Constitution, long before any of us where born, and the answer is {A citizen born of The United-State’s of America.} You asked, I answered, “and no other will do!!!”

    3. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      Good analysis. Are you sure that taquiyya is limited to Shia Islam? I thought the Sunnis did it to. Interesting that some Muslim countries think that CAIR is a terrorist organization. Also interesting is that the current president’s middle name is not Jesus, Moses or Krishna. Dr. Carson believes that we need to be careful about what Muslims say, as their true intentions may not correspond to their words. The Sufi sect is not violent and a Sufi could in theory qualify to be president but most likely the Sufis will not be interested in running for president as they have better things to do with their time – on a spiritual level.

  15. robert says:

    why in th world would we want a Muslim president? are you kidding ? to even have the thought or debate is just plain stupid folks! i pray fire and brimstone on any that does want one!

  16. TigerMoon2 says:

    Separation of Church and State. As long as a President abides by this, it doesn’t matter what their faith is. And, by the way, this is the true meaning of religious freedom. That freedom to not be oppressed by the religion of the leaders of State. One should not work for the government if they expect others to abide by their personal beliefs. As in the case of the Kentucky County Clerk who uses hers to discriminate against those seeking same sex marriages. That’s not religious freedom, that’s oppression by a religion. Freedom of Religion includes freedom FROM religion.
    On a personal note, it irks me no end to hear Americans bashing the President of the United States. I care not what your personal opinion is, but to bad mouth your President in public, or on a public forum, is treason in my eyes, as the whole world is listening. It doesn’t matter if it’s President Obama or Bush, show your disapproval through the election process, not in public forums.

    1. Tom says:

      First paragraph, true dat! Second paragraph, the ability to bad mouth our leaders with out fear of reprisal is what makes us Americans. This does not condone slander however and free from fear of reprisal is not the same as rebuttal.

      Tom

  17. TK says:

    Our rights were not “given” to us by man, but by our Creator. Our Founding Fathers established the Constitution to put into words defining our rights; as a way to protect us. Understanding that all men are falible, including themselves, they made a way to adjust the constitution as needed; but without doing away with our basic rights.

    If follower of Islam believes they can lead our nation while upholding their oath as president, which states they will uphold the constitution, then yes. Even a Christian, Jew, Buddist, athiest can become president and break their oath.

    The problem we are having today, regarding politics, is that many of our politicians (from both sides of the isle) have forgotten what their oath is, or even what an oath is for that matter.

    I suppose that’s the long way of saying, if they can honestly adhere to and protect our constitution then yes. But thus far, our administration isn’t making the belief in that easy. 🙂

  18. James says:

    I haven’t read the above article or the comments that followed, but I feel the need to question a presidential candidate isn’t necessary. Ones beliefs should not be put into question with politics. In the end of the day religion isn’t a big deal. All faiths have the simple guidelines of bee a good person and do onto others as you wish done upon you.

  19. John Plunkett says:

    In a nation based on freedom of religion you would think a Muslim in the White House would not matter. however, The Muslim religion does not separate religion and government. A Muslim state would mean the end of all other religions. Our country was base on the belief in God and the Bible. Our forefathers knew we could not have the government choose one religion over another or else we would forego our freedom of religion.

    1. Tom says:

      John, A president is not a king, he can not arbitrarily impose a set of laws. We are in no danger of Sharia law from a Muslum president. The president does not make law, that is the purpose of congress, tempered by the judiciary. Yes a presidential decree has the force of law it also has review by congress and the judiciary. Also while our country was founded by Christians, disregarding the native Americans who were dragged into it kicking an screaming, they took great pains to leave God out of it. God is not even mentioned in the Constitution.

      Tom

  20. Rob Frizzell says:

    No a Muslim should not be president, nor a Christian, Pagan or any other religion. If a person can’t separate religion from politics then they have no business leading a country.

    1. Daniel says:

      that may be true its up to us to make sure the one you elected into office complain to them, but you probably wont get an answer until it gets closer to run for office

  21. Daniel says:

    I knew this would happen I thought they don’t a back ground check ( criminal that is ), and just go ahead and take the oath of office, into which he has not he is to busy putting his own agenda. He is a bully threatning to cut social security checks for the elderly, He has also made the statement that if he wanted to he would get voted in as President, he is a silver tongued Devil, Don’t listen to him. I have been a minister for 14 years, According to my bible we are in the last days any time God can call his children home, just wondering according to their bible but I have looked in the back of my bible and the Holy War is on, I am hoping I am called for the rapture, and I am not worried about a mansion just give me a cardboard box and I would be a happy camper to make it through

  22. Minister joseph r Godleski says:

    Really Barack Hussein obamma isn’t a Muslim name he went to a muslim school in Indonesia and he is very sympathic to the Muslim people making deals with the country of Iran and hosting Ramadan dinners but does not attend the yealy nation day of pray in May or attend the christian pray breakfast in January when we swear in the president

  23. James Pace says:

    I don’t recall seeing in the requirements for presidency a clause for religion…I don’t see how a person’s religion factors into their ability to be president of the United States

    1. Rev. Dr. Marion Ceruti says:

      The problem comes with the teaching of some religions, notably Islam, that require its followers to kill everyone who is not a member of their religion and who will not reject their former religion and convert. Read Chapter 9 of the Koran. Any religion that cannot separate itself from state governance should not be allowed to produce a candidate for president or any other office for that matter. Sharia law is not compatible with the US Constitution because according to Sharia, Islam must be the state religion and all other religions are not allowed. This is the case in Saudi Arabia. We do not want the US to look like Saudi Arabia, where there is very little religious freedom, even within Islam. Shara law contradicts the first amendment and we should never allow it in the US.

      For example, the Sufis were killed in great numbers before the establishment of the current ruling family. The Sufis are not violent and believe in mysticism and meditation. Sufis believe that they must kill their evil tendencies, not other people. They are very similar to other groups that practice mysticism. For this reason, they have been persecuted by the violent Islamic groups.

      I hope that this helps to explains the situation.

  24. Tom says:

    You have got to read these things in context. The Koran is very convoluted, which is why its so easy for radicals to mis-use it. Cap 9 talks about a treaty with the Pegans of Mecca, who at the time were killing Muslum willy-nilly. Verse 4 instructs them to wait 4 months to see if they stop. Verse 5 also states that if they do surrender to acept it and if they seek protection they should be protected.

    Chap 5 verse 12 expresely forbids killing “Whosoever kills a human being for Murder or Creating Mischief in the Land, it is as if he had killed the whole of Human Kind and whoso saved the life of one as if he has saved the life of all Mankind.”

    All chap 9 is saying is giving permission to retaliate if attacked and to stop when victorious, or when fighting ends.

    I am not a Sharia lawyer so I won’t comment as to what Sharia law says about other religions but the Koran itself expressly preaches freindship with other followers of the word (Cristianity and Jews). Chap 10 verse 99 and chap 3 verse 159, for example.

    Muslums have an almost pathological distrust of polythesist, mostly because at the time of the Koran they were the ones causing all the havoc. And many confuse Jesus with being on par with God (note: said it before God == Allah, same thing different name) which many radicals push to hate Christians. Udemy.com has a great on line course which is a set of lectures by Christian minister explaining the differences and similarities between Christianity and Islam. It’s inexpensive and I think every one should watch it.

    The Koran is very convoluted and contains many seemenly contradictory verses, clerics spend their whole lives studying it and as in Christainty can still get it wrong. A verse taken out of context by a learned leader, be it Jim Jones, David Koresh or Osama Bin Laden can lead weak minded followers to do outrages things.

    Tom

    1. Tom says:

      Sorry, this was supposed to be a reply to Dr. Marion Ceruti above. I hit comment rather than reply.

      Tom

  25. pascal behr says:

    The problem is that Muslims believe in killing the infidel or nonbelievers. Muslims don’t have the concept of the separation of church and state because religion is the government. It is based on the Code of Hammarabi or an eye for an eye and/or a tooth for a tooth. Muslims repeatedly say that theirs is a religion of peace. I have no example of that. They are always at war w/ one country or another. That religion is feudal or back to the Middle Ages. There is something primitive about it that is disturbing in this day and age. Our government is not perfect but it is better than anything else around and so much better than Islam. Personally I don’t think a Muslim steeped in that religion is suitable to be President of the United States. Paths are too divergent. There is something evil lurking in the background.

    1. Tom says:

      I agree that Islam does not seperate Church and state but “eye for an eye” is not a basis for Islam. While both Christianity and Islam have that concept, Islam literally means “submission”, submission to Gods will.

      Back when Islam was first founded they were beset by pagans and had to fight, in the middle ages the European Christians were try to steal their land so they had to fight. Later they were colonized by Europeans and had to fight for their freedom. Duh, they have been fighting most of their history. And you are only looking at Arab Islam, European Islam lived very peaceably with Christians untill the 1980’s when the Christians tried to wipe them out. In most cases Islam was retaliating when attacked.

      Even many of the Terroist of today belive they are retaliating to a perceived war on Islam by the west. Though I personally belive that to be bullshit and its just a grab for power by greedy, currupt clerics who exploit the creed of “submission to Gods will” to trick their followers. But the west has done some dogey things in that area so its not a stretch to make them belive that.

      Tom

  26. Arthur J says:

    Was this country not founded on religious freedom. Are we not free to worship as we please! Does this freedom not include our leaders.

  27. jerry lee rice says:

    rev. jerry l
    as far as a president of the united states, i believe that that country was founded on the word of GOD, and i believe that it is important that we stay as we were founded, i feel that this country is going to be in real trouble if we stray away from that aspect, GOD has blessed this country, if we let another religion to come in then we become as they are, and we cant give in, we have always had the freedom of religion, but as we look at the other countries and the views they have it does not match what we have been taught, this country has given in to the other religions and if you look closely you will see that this country is in turmoil, and will get worse as time goes by, we can not elect a president that is willing to kill thoes that do not believe in they way they believe, we must stand firm wit hte teachings we were brought up with, you think about it, the other religions are trying to take over this country, if that happens then we will be prisoners of that belief , teaching peace and yet violence to thoses that are not of the faith, this country is doomed if we stray from the religious freedom’

  28. Rev. George Armah Okine says:

    Our Founding Fathers included Islam
    Thomas Jefferson didn’t just own a Quran — he engaged with Islam and fought to ensure the rights of Muslims
    Excerpted from “Thomas Jefferson’s Qur’an”
    [He] sais “neither Pagan nor Mahamedan [Muslim] nor Jew ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the Commonwealth because of his religion.”
 — Thomas Jefferson, quoting John Locke, 1776

    At a time when most Americans were uninformed, misinformed, or simply afraid of Islam, Thomas Jefferson imagined Muslims as future citizens of his new nation. His engagement with the faith began with the purchase of a Qur’an eleven years before he wrote the Declaration of Independence. Jefferson’s Qur’an survives still in the Library of Congress, serving as a symbol of his and early America’s complex relationship with Islam and its adherents. That relationship remains of signal importance to this day.
    That he owned a Qur’an reveals Jefferson’s interest in the Islamic religion, but it does not explain his support for the rights of Muslims. Jefferson first read about Muslim “civil rights” in the work of one of his intellectual heroes: the seventeenth-century English philosopher John Locke. Locke had advocated the toleration of Muslims—and Jews—following in the footsteps of a few others in Europe who had considered the matter for more than a century before him. Jefferson’s ideas about Muslim rights must be understood within this older context, a complex set of transatlantic ideas that would continue to evolve most markedly from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries.
    Amid the interdenominational Christian violence in Europe, some Christians, beginning in the sixteenth century, chose Muslims as the test case for the demarcation of the theoretical boundaries of their toleration for all believers. Because of these European precedents, Muslims also became a part of American debates about religion and the limits of citizenship. As they set about creating a new government in the United States, the American Founders, Protestants all, frequently referred to the adherents of Islam as they contemplated the proper scope of religious freedom and individual rights among the nation’s present and potential inhabitants. The founding generation debated whether the United States should be exclusively Protestant or a religiously plural polity. And if the latter, whether political equality—the full rights of citizenship, including access to the highest office—should extend to non-Protestants. The mention, then, of Muslims as potential citizens of the United States forced the Protestant majority to imagine the parameters of their new society beyond toleration. It obliged them to interrogate the nature of religious freedom: the issue of a “religious test” in the Constitution, like the ones that would exist at the state level into the nineteenth century; the question of “an establishment of religion,” potentially of Protestant Christianity; and the meaning and extent of a separation of religion from government.
    Resistance to the idea of Muslim citizenship was predictable in the eighteenth century. Americans had inherited from Europe almost a millennium of negative distortions of the faith’s theological and political character. Given the dominance and popularity of these anti-Islamic representations, it was startling that a few notable Americans not only refused to exclude Muslims, but even imagined a day when they would be citizens of the United States, with full and equal rights. This surprising, uniquely American egalitarian defense of Muslim rights was the logical extension of European precedents already mentioned. Still, on both sides of the Atlantic, such ideas were marginal at best. How, then, did the idea of the Muslim as a citizen with rights survive despite powerful opposition from the outset? And what is the fate of that ideal in the twenty-first century?
    This book provides a new history of the founding era, one that explains how and why Thomas Jefferson and a handful of others adopted and then moved beyond European ideas about the toleration of Muslims. It should be said at the outset that these exceptional men were not motivated by any inherent appreciation for Islam as a religion. Muslims, for most American Protestants, remained beyond the outer limit of those possessing acceptable beliefs, but they nevertheless became emblems of two competing conceptions of the nation’s identity: one essentially preserving the Protestant status quo, and the other fully realizing the pluralism implied in the Revolutionary rhetoric of inalienable and universal rights. Thus while some fought to exclude a group whose inclusion they feared would ultimately portend the undoing of the nation’s Protestant character, a pivotal minority, also Protestant, perceiving the ultimate benefit and justice of a religiously plural America, set about defending the rights of future Muslim citizens.
    They did so, however, not for the sake of actual Muslims, because none were known at the time to live in America. Instead, Jefferson and others defended Muslim rights for the sake of “imagined Muslims,” the promotion of whose theoretical citizenship would prove the true universality of American rights. Indeed, this defense of imagined Muslims would also create political room to consider the rights of other despised minorities whose numbers in America, though small, were quite real, namely Jews and Catholics. Although it was Muslims who embodied the ideal of inclusion, Jews and Catholics were often linked to them in early American debates, as Jefferson and others fought for the rights of all non-Protestants.
    In 1783, the year of the nation’s official independence from Great Britain, George Washington wrote to recent Irish Catholic immigrants in New York City. The American Catholic minority of roughly twenty-five thousand then had few legal protections in any state and, because of their faith, no right to hold political office in New York. Washington insisted that “the bosom of America” was “open to receive . . . the oppressed and the persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges.” He would also write similar missives to Jewish communities, whose total population numbered only about two thousand at this time.
    One year later, in 1784, Washington theoretically enfolded Muslims into his private world at Mount Vernon. In a letter to a friend seeking a carpenter and bricklayer to help at his Virginia home, he explained that the workers’ beliefs—or lack thereof—mattered not at all: “If they are good workmen, they may be of Asia, Africa, or Europe. They may be Mahometans [Muslims], Jews or Christian of an[y] Sect, or they may be Atheists.” Clearly, Muslims were part of Washington’s understanding of religious pluralism—at least in theory. But he would not have actually expected any Muslim applicants.
    Although we have since learned that there were in fact Muslims resident in eighteenth-century America, this book demonstrates that the Founders and their generational peers never knew it. Thus their Muslim constituency remained an imagined, future one. But the fact that both Washington and Jefferson attached to it such symbolic significance is not accidental. Both men were heir to the same pair of opposing European traditions.
    The first, which predominated, depicted Islam as the antithesis of the “true faith” of Protestant Christianity, as well as the source of tyrannical governments abroad. To tolerate Muslims—to accept them as part of a majority Protestant Christian society—was to welcome people who professed a faith most eighteenth-century Europeans and Americans believed false, foreign, and threatening. Catholics would be similarly characterized in American Protestant founding discourse. Indeed, their faith, like Islam, would be deemed a source of tyranny and thus antithetical to American ideas of liberty.
    In order to counter such fears, Jefferson and other supporters of non-Protestant citizenship drew upon a second, less popular but crucial stream of European thought, one that posited the toleration of Muslims as well as Jews and Catholics. Those few Europeans, both Catholic and Protestant, who first espoused such ideas in the sixteenth century often died for them. In the seventeenth century, those who advocated universal religious toleration frequently suffered death or imprisonment, banishment or exile, the elites and common folk alike. The ranks of these so-called heretics in Europe included Catholic and Protestant peasants, Protestant scholars of religion and political theory, and fervid Protestant dissenters, such as the first English Baptists—but no people of political power or prominence. Despite not being organized, this minority consistently opposed their coreligionists by defending theoretical Muslims from persecution in Christian-majority states.
    As a member of the eighteenth-century Anglican establishment and a prominent political leader in Virginia, Jefferson represented a different sort of proponent for ideas that had long been the hallmark of dissident victims of persecution and exile. Because of his elite status, his own endorsement of Muslim citizenship demanded serious consideration in Virginia—and the new nation. Together with a handful of like-minded American Protestants, he advanced a new, previously unthinkable national blueprint. Thus did ideas long on the fringe of European thought flow into the mainstream of American political discourse at its inception.
    Not that these ideas found universal welcome. Even a man of Jefferson’s national reputation would be attacked by his political opponents for his insistence that the rights of all believers should be protected from government interference and persecution. But he drew support from a broad range of constituencies, including Anglicans (or Episcopalians), as well as dissenting Presbyterians and Baptists, who suffered persecution perpetrated by fellow Protestants. No denomination had a unanimously positive view of non-Protestants as full American citizens, yet support for Muslim rights was expressed by some members of each.
    What the supporters of Muslim rights were proposing was extraordinary even at a purely theoretical level in the eighteenth century. American citizenship—which had embraced only free, white, male Protestants—was in effect to be abstracted from religion. Race and gender would continue as barriers, but not so faith. Legislation in Virginia would be just the beginning, the First Amendment far from the end of the story; in fact, Jefferson, Washington, and James Madison would work toward this ideal of separation throughout their entire political lives, ultimately leaving it to others to carry on and finish the job. This book documents, for the first time, how Jefferson and others, despite their negative, often incorrect understandings of Islam, pursued that ideal by advocating the rights of Muslims and all non-Protestants.

  29. Rev. Theo. Klebes says:

    Sorry. My comment was supposed to be to David and his response to Randy.
    Rev. Theo. Klebes

  30. David W. White says:

    Theo,
    Your need to emphasize Christ’s expression of love and compassion toward all humanity is not lost on me. It is certainly the ideal. However, should not wisdom also be part in parcel to our approach to the world as well? Shall we ignore those fudamental premises in the Quran which cannot be reconciled with our own way of life, to live and let live? I have no doubt that your Islamic friends are very nice people. My concern is, what will they do when the radicalized Islamists carry their hate to our doorstep and it is no longer in a moderate Muslim’s best interest to compromise their faith? What will your ‘moderate’ Muslim friends do then? Will rebuke the radicalized jihadists? Or. Will they strictly follow the writings of their faith, the same Quranic writings the radical jihadist are enforcing? No one knows for certain what they will do. However, do you really trust them to do the right thing under those conditions? Meanwhile, Muslims outside of their homelands are going to be on their best behavior, whenever they are surrounded by infidels. Faith without wisdom only can end in disaster. Yours in Christ, Dave

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