Ben Carson Falsely Claims Founding Fathers Would Have Rejected Muslim President

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At the National Press Club on Friday, Ben Carson jumped back on his anti-Muslim bandwagon, claiming that the Founding Fathers would have rejected a Muslim for president. Yes, they put Article VI, the “no religious test clause” into the Constitution, but he thinks there is some wiggle room there in between “no” and “religious test.”

All he had to do was jump inside the Founding Fathers heads and invent some history. It’s all in a day’s work for a conservative, since genuine history won’t serve their purposes. To an audience member’s question about whether a Muslim could be loyal to the Constitution, he answered,

“A good understanding of the Constitution answers that question for you. Because when you look at the Article II, and we’re talking about requirements for the president, they have to be a ‘natural born citizen.’ Now why is that the case?”

Because of course, a Muslim can’t be an American citizen. You have to wonder if Carson even hear’s himself speak. Muslims are born in America every day. But he wasn’t finished expounding on his imaginary America:

I’m sure if you had gone to the Founders and said, ‘but what about this person? They may not be a natural born citizen but you know they’ve been in America for most of their lives, and they’re a fine upstanding citizen, they served in the military, they came back they were on the police force, can’t they be the president?’… they would have said no. They said ‘We don’t even want to take the slight chance that we would put someone in that position who had different loyalties.’ That’s the answer to your question.

Watch Carson’s live construction of a set of fantasy Founding Fathers more conducive to his prejudices (his answer begins at the 42:30 mark):

Of course, we DO have the no religious test clause and we also have the First Amendment. Added to that, we have the many words of the Founding Fathers relating to genuine religious freedom, not the religious tyranny supported by Religious Right demagogues. In truth, some of the Founding Fathers didn’t trust Christians to be president. Others were Christians themselves but still felt religion should play no role in politics.

Thomas Jefferson said that “our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions,” which is a point Carson apparently misses, since he feels civil rights are determined by religious opinions. Then again, Carson is one of those who would prefer to use fake Jefferson quotes rather than real ones.

The trouble for Carson is that the Jeffersonian ideal of religious liberty is of a species quite different from the bastardized version expounded by Carson and others.

According to Jefferson in his 1786 Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom,

[T]he proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages to which in common with his fellow-citizens he has a natural right; that it tends only to corrupt the principles of that religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments, those who will externally profess and conform to it…

Jefferson was never faced with the prospect of a Muslim running for president, but we know Jefferson owned a copy of the Quran, and that he cut his copy of the Bible up into little pieces to remove the miracles that form the basis of the Christian religion.

We also know that Jefferson wrote in his autobiography about the preamble to his Virginia Statute for Establishing Religious Freedom, which is a forerunner, or precursor to the First Amendment, that,

Where the preamble declares, that coercion is a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, an amendment was proposed by inserting “Jesus Christ,” so that it would read “A departure from the plan of Jesus Christ, the holy author of our religion;” the insertion was rejected by the great majority, in proof that they meant to comprehend, within the mantle of its protection, the Jew and the Gentile, the Christian and Mohammedan, the Hindoo and Infidel of every denomination.

We know that George Washington wrote in a similar vein:

We have abundant reason to rejoice that in this Land the light of truth and reason has triumphed over the power of bigotry and superstition … In this enlightened Age and in this Land of equal liberty it is our boast, that a man’s religious tenets will not forfeit the protection of the Laws, nor deprive him of the right of attaining and holding the highest Offices that are known in the United States (letter to the members of the New Church in Baltimore, January 27, 1793).

The key word here for Carson is “enlightened,” a concept which eludes him. If this is not a direct enough contradiction of Carson’s claims, then there is the letter Washington wrote to reassure a Jewish congregation in 1790:

All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it were by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support (letter to the Touro Synagogue in Newport, Rhode Island).

This is a pretty clear assertion of the equivalent legal standing of all religions, including, specifically, Islam. For Carson to assert, as he has, that the Founding Fathers would reject a Muslim, has to be seen as a complete fabrication.

34 Replies to “Ben Carson Falsely Claims Founding Fathers Would Have Rejected Muslim President”

  1. Mind-Blowing Plutocracy Must See:
    “Just 158 families, along with companies they own or control, contributed $176 million in the first phase of the campaign, a New York Times investigation found. Not since before Watergate have so few people and businesses provided so much early money in a campaign, most of it through channels legalized by the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision five years ago”.

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/11/us/politics/2016-presidential-election-super-pac-donors.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=photo-spot-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=2

  2. “The only way to stop this is through concerted political action. Yet the only large-scale political action we’re witnessing is that of Charles and David Koch, and their billionaire imitators”.

    http://billmoyers.com/2014/03/27/the-koch-brothers-and-the-danger-of-american-plutocracy/

    Can’t we Democrat’s get some ‘Political Action’ going here?
    TV Ads showing America what’s coming down…at least…
    Or Dem Meet-Ups like the Tea Party Holds?
    Something…We must do something! Ideas?

  3. Another example of how no damn good and corrupted by right wingers the MSM are is they refuse to mention or inform the public or question Carson about the malpractice lawsuits against him.

  4. Thanks for the link for the full Ben Carson talk.

    Encourage people to listed to the whole video, and not skip to the portion which the writer of this piece requested….

  5. Token is 100% well educated, But…some people can’t absorb a great amount of informatation. Token probably shouldn’t have attended college because of the brain limits he’s apparently exceeded. He’s brain damaged for real. Then again he may have his own stash of K-2. A disgrace to himself and is dragging his race along for the ride, with his dumbness and lack of common common. Reminds me of a snitch in the movie “Jango”. I can’t see this fool in the Whitehouse. What the hell leads him to think he can come close to being Barack Obama? Beady-eyed bastard.

  6. Can some of you liberals explain to me why you make so many apologies for islam? It’s against every liberal principal: free speech, freedom of religion, fair trials, equality for women, protection of children. Why, oh why, do you act like there is nothing wrong with this cult? Do you not see how the muslims are destroying Europe? Are you so blind, or stupid, or deluded that you would accept these vipers in great numbers here and pretend that they would want to be good American citizens? How dare you characterize yourselves as liberals? Or are you just so pussified that you are afraid?

  7. Most Doctors think they are next to GOD.
    Carson included, I’m sure!

    Have you seen the photo of Carson and his Wife juxtapose PBO and Beautiful Michele?
    Amazing contrast! I can’t find it.

  8. We make no apologies for Islam than we make for any other religion. Everyone has their right to practice their religion, no matter how STUPID it is (and they’re all stupid). And you’ll certainly find the same negative traits in Judaism and Christianity, too.

    By the way, Muslims are not destroying Europe. Europe is fine. It’s your own country that’s fvcked up and derided by the rest of the world as being juvenile and ignorant.

  9. There is definitely something wrong with Carson. I don’t know if he had a stroke, although I read rumors about him having had one and that he was forced to retire. It would explain why he retired as young as he did and left the field of medicine completely, which is unusual in itself. It’s quite common for physicians who retire to teach occasionally, give lectures, etc. but it’s as if he cut himself off from the field entirely.

    His responses are not the least bit accurate to most of the questions asked and he’s often quite slow to respond. Something is definitely not right with Carson, besides the fact that his answers are bizarre and he ignores facts.

  10. Adding to Fireman’s answer:

    It sounds like you believe Islamism is hard-wired, a permanent condition or state of mind; and that it’s expressed the same way by all its adherents. That’s just not true.

    Islamism is widespread and diversely practiced, just like Christianity. Muslims aren’t all fundamentalist extremists, just like all Christians aren’t fundamentalist extremists. BTW the ideology of Christian extremists is eerily similar to that of Muslim extremists.

    These are all things liberals know that you don’t.

    It’s the essence of liberalism to see past cultural and physical differences, to our common humanity. To use critical thinking skills rather than accepting dogma, stereotypes, and other narrow-minded thinking. To embrace diversity and multiculturalism. To choose compassion, empathy, and inclusiveness.

    These are among the hallmarks of liberalism.

  11. I don’t know whether Dr. Carson has had a stroke, but his bigoted and other bad politics should not be put to a medical condition any more than any of the other rethuglicans. I had a stroke a number of years ago, and i am still a leftist. Diseases do not change political ideas, unless you can tell me what disease the other republican nitwit candiates have.

  12. Le Hunt. Such flawed reasoning. I am more concerned about your lack of intelligence than I am about Ben Carson’s. In the first place the Muslim faith is not a cult. It is a bona fide religion. If you want to condemn terrorists who also happen to be Muslims then have at it. However to paint all Muslims with the terrorist brush is not only unfair but incorrect. The same terrorists who happen to be Muslims are also the same ones who terrorize and kill other Muslims. In case you may have wondered, I do not happen to be a Muslim. (Actually, I am a Unitarian-Universalist.) Yes, Muslims are as welcome to be a part of the U.S. as are Christians, Jews, Buddhists and other religious faiths. We will even let you, Le Hunt, stay here as insufferable as you may be.

  13. Give it up. Fundamentalists of any religion are whackos, be it Christianity, Judaism, or Islam. You should notice that Americans are as leery of these right wing freak “Christians” who are determined to impose their religious beliefs on us and our government as you are of nonChristians. And I presume your antipathy for anyone not “Christian” extends to Jews, Buddhists, and atheists.

  14. What shocks me about Carson is that he is reputed as a celebrated brain surgeon. It appears he left his behind somewhere in an operating room. Jackasses such as Carson are running for president of our nation. That is not merely shocking; it is scary.

  15. Clue me in. What is all the fuss about? I pulled this from:

    https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20091120195900AA1Ftqj

    Why are Judaism, Christianity and Islam called “Abrahamic” religions?

    Best Answer: It’s because they all trace their roots back to Abraham
    Judaism–Isaac–son of Abraham
    Christianity–Jesus–Isaac–son of Abraham
    Islam–Muhammad–Ishmael–son of Abraham

    Comment about best answer:
    Because back in the day, this dude named Abraham did it with his wife and a female slave. They each had babies, one whose son was Isaac, and another named Ismael. Basically it went to all this drama about how Abraham was going to sacrifice Isaac to this “God” and then some other complicated stuff, causing the slave girl to run away, etc. making Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

    Seriously, if you want to learn the basics, go to Wikipedia.

    If you want it from the horse’s mouth, go here:

    http://www.islamicbulletin.org/intro.htm

    Did my Karma just run over yo…

  16. Article Six: The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.
    The First Amendment states: ““Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…”.

  17. And after the patient began to experience difficulties with that sponge being in her head, Carson diagnosed the sponge as being a tumor.

    I read he has something like 6 active medical malpractice lawsuits against him. Maybe he thinks as President he could duck out on the court dates. :)

  18. “he’s often quite slow to respond”—-Token was an accident victim while holding that lamp on the lawn late one night. He worked in all kinds of weather, Token was like a soldier for the Postal Service. One night there was a storm, it rained cats & dogs. A great Dane landed on his head, woke up the next morning and discovered his conservative talent for lying on a daily basis. He quit his light duty, the rest is history, he started to run for President of the U.S. That’s why his mouth can’t keep up with his campaign, just wannabe President even with the brain damage. I can’t see his poll numbers holding up for much longer. This man is obviously sick, like the other Republican candidates & their supporters. He’s dumb.

  19. Having been a working RN for over 45 years, I learned pretty quickly, and never saw it change, that MOST, if not all, brain surgeons, and some other surgeons as well, gave off an aura that they BELIEVED they were as smart as God, and that anyone who ever questioned them about anything had absolutely NO value to them. In fact, they usually berated anyone who dared question them. Ask any nurse, they will tell you.

  20. Carson would be a slave worker to the leadership owners of the USA, as the human rights have not got that far for black freedom yet, it took a civil war of bloody conflicts to change for that, and at a later time!!, and religions where prohibited to engage in State, and the United States civil laws, and affairs by church monarchies, and mythical masters, by the people’s US Constitution for civil laws and rights, not to obey any kind of kingman ownerships of Churches, temples or synagogues!! This is it!! These master’s for their religions will never change that!!

  21. Lets see we have Carson,Trump,Bush,Rubio,Cruz and Palin.What a group.I wonder if they all got together an intelligent thought would emerge.What a embarrassment to this country.I listen to what these people say and wonder good lord is this what it has come to.

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