Ben Carson is a patriotic, conservative, and retired neurosurgeon who is running for the office of President of the United States. He recently became a surprise frontrunner in the Republican primaries since launching his campaign. Although Carson has never held a public office, his short tenure in the race has provided ample opportunity for him to express his religious beliefs and stir up plenty of controversies. Allegedly, he wants to rule the country under the guidelines of his Christian faith, making sure others play by the same rules of his belief. Is Carson too religious to rule a free country?
Does the former surgeon’s desire to rule according to his faith go against the grain of the Constitution? In many countries, citizens are refused the freedom to worship as they please, yet America is different. This great country guarantees its citizens the right to practice religion in the manner they choose. For centuries, immigrants have come to America for religious freedom because of the safeguards which have been established to protect citizens from being forced into any particular belief system.
The problem many people find with conservative Christians is they are dogmatic against other religions and, generally, not too fond of other sects of Christianity. Sometimes, it comes across as if it is a contest to see who the most intolerant group is. Carson has many governmental ideas as a presidential candidate, but many fear he would find it difficult to relate to people who have different religious beliefs. He has had a lot of success as a Baltimore pediatric neurosurgeon, which is no easy profession, but leading the nation is a bird of an entirely different color.
Many of his supporters believe Carson is an answer to prayer. People have long complained that it is time to get someone in office who can turn the nation back to God because “right now it is going to hell in a hand-basket.” Others wonder if he truly understands the foundation of the U.S. Constitution and is willing to allow people the ability to pursue civil and religious freedoms or does he intend to run the country according to his faith alone.
Earlier this year, the Republican presidential candidate was disinvited from a Christian pastors’ conference because his religious beliefs were considered to be “too far out there.” In his book America the Beautiful Carson said:
As a Christian, I am not the least bit offended by the beliefs of Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Mormons and so forth. In fact, I am delighted to know that they believe in something that is more likely to make them into a reasonable human being, as long as they don’t allow the religion to be distorted by those seeking power and wealth.
Is Ben Carson too religious for a free country? The answer, according to the retired surgeon, is absolutely not. He stated during an interview that as President of the free world he wants to include everyone’s religious beliefs and intends to protect non-Christians, just as he would those who affirm the Christian faith.
Though not a former politician, the 64-year-old became a favorite among conservatives after he criticized the Obama Administration, in the presence of President Obama, at a 2013 National Prayer Breakfast. Carson stands firmly upon his faith but maintains he would run a balanced country allowing each citizen the right to religious freedom. The presidential hopeful has been very vocal about his convictions, but the question remains, “Is he too religious for a free country.”
By Cherese Jackson (Virginia)
Think Progress: 7 Ridiculous Things Ben Carson Believes
Ring of Fire: Christian Event Disinvited Ben Carson Because His Religious Beliefs Were Too Outrageous
All Images Courtesy of Gage Skidmore – Flickr License