Ben Carson’s Absurd Litmus Test

By Graham Glover


Last Sunday on Meet the Press, Dr. Ben Carson, a neurosurgeon from Detroit who is seeking the Republican nomination for president said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”

What made this member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church proclaim such nonsense is beyond me. It is a shocking statement from a man who wants to hold the highest office in our land.

Sadly, Carson’s comments were received warmly by many of his supporters. Apparently some of my fellow citizens think the faith one holds should be a litmus test as to whether or not they should be elected president. I’m not sure where they find such religious identification requirements in any of our federal laws. Did Congress pass a new regulation that requires our candidates to profess a certain creed? What am I missing? We still uphold the 1st Amendment, don’t we? We haven’t abolished the Established Clause, have we? Article VI, paragraph 3 of the US Constitution still applies, doesn’t it?


Why then do the likes of Ben Carson and his minions, along with thousands of other Americans, hold the asinine belief that someone’s faith should preclude them from becoming president?

If a Muslim can’t be president, what about a Jew? Should Joe Lieberman have been precluded from being on the Democratic ticket in 2000? Are Hindus, Buddhists, Native Americans, etc. precluded as well? What about Unitarians, agnostics, or atheists?

While I understand the theological “opposition” to Islam, as well as any faith that does not confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, I cannot understand why ones theological beliefs should even be discussed when deciding who should be our next president. One’s faith means everything with respect to their standing before the Almighty, but should mean very little, if anything, in our politics. If you think otherwise, you are either incredibly naïve or ignorantly close-minded (more on this below…).

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4 years ago Dr. Carson’s party nominated a man who is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Any learned Christian knows that Mormons are not part of the one holy catholic and apostolic church. This isn’t an indictment about Mormons as Americans, rather a statement of fact about their faith. They simply aren’t Christian – in any sense of the word. Nonetheless, Mitt Romney was a very qualified and competent man that millions thought should have been our president. While I take great exception to his church’s teachings and pray that those who confess the Mormon faith would repent from their errant beliefs, I think Mr. Romney would have been an exceptional president. His faith had nothing to do with whether or not I voted for him. Nor should it have for anyone.

Perhaps those who think like Carson have some particular faith in mind that would make someone an ideal president. If it’s Christianity, I’m curious what kind of Christianity is sufficient. Every American president to date has been a self-professed Christian (and don’t even try to suggest that President Obama is a Muslim). So I guess every man that has held this office has been ok by Dr. Carson’s standard? That would make Bill Clinton, a lifetime member of the Southern Baptist Convention, ok, right? I mean, he is a member of one of the most conservative Christian denominations in America. What about Ronald Reagan? The darling of the Republican Party that identified as a Presbyterian was hardly a churchgoer. If one says they are a Christian but never attend public worship, is that ok? Or what about Nixon? Elected twice by Dr. Carson’s party, Richard Nixon was a Quaker, hardly fitting the bill of orthodox Christianity. To that end, what about Roman Catholicism? I mean, many Evangelical Protestants believe the pope is the antichrist (and not just Pope Francis, whose politics they abhor.) Carson’s own Seventh-Day Adventist Church doesn’t have a lot of kind things to say about Romanism. So I guess the GOP should disqualify Senators Rubio and Santorum, Governors Bush, Christie, Jindal, and Pataki from consideration, since they too are Roman Catholics? I think you get my point…


If anything, Ben Caron’s comments illustrate his incompetence. They show to every freedom loving American that he clearly lacks the qualifications necessary to hold this office. They are absurd and have no place in our public discourse. And if you think otherwise, I’m curious why. Curious from a legal perspective. Curious from a biblical perspective. Curious from a champion of liberty’s perspective.