Ben Carson Would Fail U.S. HistoryRoundup
tags: election 2016, Ben Carson
On Sunday, when GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” he entered into a debate about the presidency—and the Constitution’s religious test—that began in the 18th century. Carson now stands on the wrong side of history, projecting the distorted view of an exclusively Christian nation.
Could a Muslim be president of the U.S.? The concise, legal and constitutional answer is: yes. The Constitution’s Article VI, section 3 clearly includes Muslims: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The idea of a Muslim president was first debated 227 years ago, in 1788, during the state-by-state battle to ratify the Constitution. Many feared a Muslim president then, but, arguably, more feared a Jewish or a Catholic one, at a time when these religions had minorities of 2,000 and 25,000, respectively.
One Massachusetts politician insisted: “There is a door opened for Jews, Turks, and Heathens to enter into publick office, and be seated at the head of the government of the United States.” At the time, all Muslims were conflated wrongly under the ethnicity “Turks.” Delegates to the New Hampshire ratification debate worried that “a Turk, a Jew, a Roman Catholic, and what is worse than all, a Universalist, may be President of the United States.”
On July 30, 1788, in Hillsborough, N.C., the possibility of a Muslim president became a flash-point. At the ratification debate, Henry Abbot, an Anti-Federalist delegate, argued: “They suppose that if there be no religious test required, pagans, deists, and Mahometans [Muslims] might obtain offices among us.” ...
comments powered by Disqus
- 20 years since America’s shock over Clinton-Lewinsky affair, public discussions on sexual harassment are changing
- The Trump Presidency: Year One
- From presidential nominee to freshman senator? Romney would make history if he runs.
- From King George IV to President Trump, The Fat Men Who’ve Ruled The World
- Here’s How One Family Prepared for Nuclear War in 1954
- Steve Bannon says historian Walter Russell Mead was the inspiration for hanging Jackson’s picture in the Oval Office
- A historian is helping students register to vote
- Pension report shows that a historian continues to be the highest paid pensioner in New York State education system
- Ibram X. Kendi’s NYT op ed drew a strong response
- Andrew Roberts says Trump might even win a second term