Charles Krauthammer is not being honest with himself:
The latest example is Ben Carson, the mild-mannered, highly personable neurosurgeon and one of two highest-polling GOP candidates. He said on Sunday that a Muslim should not be president of the United States.
His reason is that Islam is incompatible with the Constitution. On the contrary. Carson is incompatible with a Constitution that explicitly commands that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”Andrew McCarthy also thinks you are wrong Charles.
Ever. And it is no defense of Carson to say that he was not calling for legal disqualification of Muslims, just advocating that one should not vote for them. That defense misses the point: The Constitution is not just a legal document. It is a didactic one. It doesn’t just set limits to power; it expresses a national ethos. It doesn’t just tell you what you’re not allowed to do; it also suggests what you shouldn’t want to do. For example, the First Amendment allows you to express whatever opinion you want — even, say, advocating the suppression of free speech in others. But a major purpose of the Constitution is to discourage and delegitimize such authoritarian thinking.
The Constitution is a legal document. It is not the Bible or the Koran. Its purpose is to allow for orderly limited representational government with peaceful transfers of power. It is far from perfect, has been corrupted over the last hundred years, but compared to other forms of government around the world it has been most successful.
The prohibition against a religious test for higher office means exactly what it says. Anyone (who meets age and citizenship requirements) can run for higher office. No one is saying Muslims are not qualified to run for office (certainly not Ben Carson). Just because someone qualifies as a candidate does not mean you as a voter are compelled to vote for them. People make their own subjective choices about candidates and religion often a big part of that decision. That always has been the case.
Most religions are compatible with the Constitution and the duties of the president. But some are not.
As Andrew Breitbart was apt to retort: So what? So what if Ben Carson had the temerity to express he would not support a Muslim being President?
Honestly, would Charles Krauthammer vote for a Muslim for president? Let's assume for purpose of argument Charles would: how observant a Muslim could they be before Charles wouldn't vote for that candidate? It is not such an easy question. While in theory Charles would suggest he would keep an open mind (fair enough), in reality Charles would probably never vote for a Muslim (unless of course that Muslim was running against Donald Trump--then perhaps).
If someone said they would not vote for a candidate due to their race, many would condemn that. But the truth is you can vote on that basis and there is nothing prohibiting you from doing so (obviously the vast majority of Black Americans voted for Barack Obama based on his race...just like a vast majority of Irish Americans earlier voted for John Kennedy because he was Irish American). I think such simplistic identity politics are personally wrong (Barack Obama has been objectively bad for Black Americans)--but I recognize that such identity politics exist.
When you have a significant portion of Muslims in the United States saying they would prefer Sharia over the Constitution, that should give us all a bit of pause. It wasn't Jefferson who first thought up separation of church and state, it was Jesus. That is not true in Islam, which demands state and faith be combined.
Even secular Muslims have admited Ben Carson has a point.
Mark Steyn: After The Balls and Bob has more
Darlene Click/Protein Wisdom
Most Americans agree w Ben
Rev. Wright's still out there
Instapundit: Powerline: The Camp of the Saints comes to Europe
Mark Steyn: Mohammed and the Movies and Last Laughs in Europe, Two Faces of Facebook, Wild Colonial Boy
Blogmocracy: Krauthammer wrong again
Never mind a Muslim, can a Catholic be president? And while I liked this article and agreed with it in principal, show me the hypothetical Muslim candidate (or Catholic for that matter) and I will tell you if I can vote yea or not.