By Herb Silverman
Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson said he would not support a Muslim for president because the Islamic faith is inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. He later added that whoever takes the White House should be “sworn in on a stack of Bibles, not a Koran.”
Here is my very qualified agreement with Ben Carson: Strict adherence to the Koran is inconsistent with the Constitution, but so is strict adherence to the Bible. Lawmakers take an oath to follow the Constitution, so I don’t see why they should swear on the Koran, stacks of Bibles, or any other so-called holy books. President John Quincy Adams was sworn in with his hand on a book of U.S. laws to demonstrate that he recognized a barrier between church and state and that his loyalty was to our nation’s laws above all else. Teddy Roosevelt also did not use a Bible at his swearing in ceremony.
So would I vote for a Muslim for president? It would depend on the position the Muslim takes on issues important to me, just as it would for Christian, Jewish, Hindu, or atheist candidates.
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