Ben Carson said he would be okay with a Muslim president if that individual swore to uphold the Constitution and denounced Sharia law. That is not really the same thing as "no Muslim for president". As student of psychology, I'm sure you are well aware of the inflammatory difference between what you addressed and what Carson actually said. (Yes, at one point, he did make the statement he did not want a Muslim for president but later clarified the statement. If you are going to use the first words out of anyone's mouth as their one and only opinion, you are just as guilty of bias as you have accused others.)
This is surprisingly political and lacking in facts. Something that you apparently only find distasteful when others commit such actions.
Carson's "clarifications" are about as bogus as your comment.
Every President has to swear to uphold the Constitution as part of the oath of office, so insisting that a Muslim president do so is meaningless. No Muslim could become president without swearing that oath. Vehemently insisting on an inevitability is another way of not saying anything.
As for the denunciation of "Sharia law," since "Sharia law" just refers to the requirements of the Muslim religion, expecting a Muslim to denounce Sharia law is like expecting a Catholic to denounce the practices of communion and confession. It's basically an expectation of forced apostasy. What Carson is doing is exploiting an equivocation in the idea of "law," to create the impression that if a Muslim believes in "Sharia law," he wants to make it the law of the land. Why doesn't the same issue arise for Catholics who believe in "natural law"? Clarence Thomas is on record as not only believing in natural law, but in using it in his jurisprudence on the Supreme Court. If Shariah is such a problem, why isn't Catholic natural law teaching? Virtually every problematic claim in Shariah can be found somewhere in Catholic natural law teaching, including the persecution of heretics and apostates, the subjugation of women, and the demonization of homosexuals.
What Carson said was that he expected a Muslim to repudiate "the parts" of Sharia that are found in the Qur'an. He didn't bother to mention which parts he had in mind. I wonder if anyone would expect a hypothetical Jewish president to repudiate "the parts" of halakha found in the Hebrew Bible. My Senator, Robert Menendez, comes out each year to wish his Jewish constituents a happy Purim. It doesn't bother anyone in Jersey (or elsewhere) that as a holiday, Purim celebrates indiscriminate mass killing on a scale that dwarfs any military injunction to be found in the Qur'an. Has anyone asked, say, the Jewish members of Congress to repudiate the Book of Esther?
It's worth noting that Carson's original statement insisted that he would "absolutely" not want a Muslim as president, but I guess your view is that if we interpret "absolutely" to mean "absolutely," we're guilty of "bias." A little bit of psychology for you: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar--and sometimes an absolute is just an absolute.
I guess you believe the first words out of anyone's mouth must be adhered to as their beliefs. Obama said I could keep my doctor—so he believed that? Hillary says a lot of things—I'll go back to the very first answer she gave on any question and use that interpretation from here on out (Oh, wait, she was against gay marriage so now she's lying about being for it, right? Thank you for clearing that up.). No sense in watching debates or seeing how the candidate developes. Their first words on a subject are all that matters. My life just got so much easier. All covered in a 2 minute sound bite. I actually thought there was reason to follow what a candidate said beyond the sound bite but you have made it clear I am wasting my time. Thank you. That makes things so much easier and requires so much less thought.
Actually, what I believe is that when a person makes a statement, then claims to qualify it in a way that just repeats the original statement, then says it again, then says it again, then says it again (repeat several times), then says it in a more radical way, then seems to repudiate it without doing so, and then insists he's been saying the same thing all along, we can hold him to the common denominator of all of his comments. In this case, the common denominator of all of Carson's comments is exactly as I've described them. What Carson said is that he'd accept a Muslim president if that person repudiated Islam.
You haven't addressed a single aspect of my comment.
Was there something to address?
Do you know how to read?
Yes, I do. Why do ask?
Because you've given ample reason to doubt it.
I was actually in advanced reading classes all the way through school. I read very well.
Easy, Irfan. There's no call for that kind of insult. You're a professional academic philosopher -- not everyone on the web is going to engage you point by point in the manner we would in those old seminars.
I will clarify what I wrote and my answers for Irfan:
My original comment was that Jose's article used the first media-reported answer to a question by a candidate for president. Jose referred to that person by name, which in this political climate, sends the message that the Republican candidate is being singled out, whether Jose intended that or not. As a social psychologist, he would be aware of this, as my comment noted. I was also bothered that a social psychologist would use the first words media-reported words by a candidate as being representative of the candidate. A two-second sound bit hardly qualifies as a complete opinion. If one wishes to discuss whether or not a Muslim should be president, that can easily be done without involving any candidates by name. It would not seem as partisan and politically motivated if written in that fashion.
Irfan replied that my comment was "bogus" and there were no "clarifications" possible for Ben Carson. The next three paragraphs are addressing muslim religious beliefs, the swearing in of a president and other similar topics. A two-second sound bite cannot allow a candidate to fully expound upon his position, yet Irfan seems to believe that one sentence is a fully developed position.
My response was that Irfan had now enlightened me that there was no need to listen to any comment other than the first one the politician made, which would make politics so much easier. I pointed out that other politicians had made comments that they later turned out to be lying about or misrepresenting their beliefs about. Irfan apparently does not see these examples as relevent to the veracity and usefulness of some candidate's positions on issues, only select ones, since he/she returned to saying Ben Carson meant what he said so I should stop trying to argue otherwise. From there, I saw no point to continuing. I then answered his/her questions on my reading skills.
My original comment had nothing to do with whether or not I thought a Muslim president was appropriate. Irfan's explanations and questions on the Muslim religion and Carson's two-second sound bite interpretation were not relevant to my comment and there was no reason to address them. I addressed the one part of his comment that actually addressed mine--that the first words out of a candidate's mouth are gospel, even though in reality, candidates shift positions a great deal.
Your comment on the book of Esther is bizarre. Someone should have a problem with the Hebrews winning a war against enemies who had planned to murder them "including the children and the women"? The comparison makes no sense.
Basically you're quite right. But I think many of us have a concern that Carson was echoing: someone who is religiously Muslim (as opposed to one completely assimilated) seems to have a barrier to being a loyal citizen which is far greater than a Catholic's. Would you agree that if the candidate said, I'm not actively striving to impose Sharia law in the United States, but absolutely I feel that that is what should ultimately be done instead of the Constitution and freedom of religion - would you agree that he is not qualified to be President?
To answer your question, if a candidate said what you say at the end of your comment, he definitely wouldn't be qualified to be president--but in what imaginable universe would any candidate for the US Presidency say such a thing? Saying that would violate the oath of office and explicitly contradict the Constitution. The chances of such a person winning even a primary election are zero. In fact, the chances of anyone's campaigning that way are close to zero. The whole scenario is about as imaginary as the most outlandish philosophical thought-experiment.
Given that, the real question that arises is: why exactly are Muslims so much more problematic than Catholics when it comes to the presidency? How is Catholic loyalty to the Vatican not a barrier to loyalty to the US Constitution? Consider the Vatican's reaction to the pedophile scandal--a scandal involving thousands of victims across decades, where the Catholic Church has systematically obstructed justice in every country where the issue has arisen, but in the US most of all? Is pedophilia not a problem? What about the Catholic view on abortion? No problem? The Catholic view on contraception. No problem? The Catholic view on homosexuality. No problem?
I fail to see how someone's being a religious Muslim makes them less a candidate for the presidency than being a religious Catholic. You can be a religious Muslim and not be affiliated with any organization, be it a mosque, or a foreign government, or a specific person. But Catholicism REQUIRES loyalty to the Pope and to the teachings of the Church--and the Vatican IS a foreign government. If there is an issue of double political loyalties, it applies more obviously to Catholicism than to Islam--and to Judaism on par with Islam.
"Is pedophilia not a problem? What about the Catholic view on abortion? No problem? The Catholic view on contraception. No problem? The Catholic view on homosexuality. No problem?"
Sorry, but these examples just make no sense. The Catholic Church never officially supported pedophilia, regardless of its failings in enforcement. Neither does any Catholic.
The other issues are indeed no problem, no problem at all.
In any case, you are basically playing games. Catholics are loyal to the United States. They don't have dual loyalties, regardless of your trying to prove that they "should".
Now, what about Muslims: are they loyal? If so, neither I nor Ben Carson has any problem with them holding political office. But I think that there is a perception, backed up by surveys of actual Muslims - mostly in Europe, though - that a hefty fraction of them not only are not loyal, but think it would be a violation of their religion to be loyal.
If you don't believe me, listen to them: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2010/08/american_muslims_debate_loyalt.html
Please don't waste time with arguments on who "should" be loyal. Show me surveys: what do Muslims (and Catholics) actually say about their loyalty to their adopted country and how that relates to their religion?
Social Psychology, Scientific Validity, and Research Methods.