Finally, we have presidential candidates willing to level with us and give us the honest, hard truth about the serious threat to our country . . . posed by a Muslim president.
No, I’m not talking about Barack Obama, who is a Christian, no matter what 61 percent of Donald Trump’s supporters might believe. I’m talking about the very real threat of a radical, Sharia-law touting, terrorist-sympathizing Muslim extremist becoming president of the United States.
If you listened to the debate among some Republican presidential candidates in recent days, putting a radical Muslim into the White House is a distinct possibility. Perhaps, but it won’t happen in 2016 (unless Hillary Clinton is a Manchurian/Muslim candidate). And it won’t happen anytime before 2116.
But, hey, it’s never too early to starting warning our great-great grandchildren to keep their eyes open for radical Muslims who’ll run for school board in 2075 with the hope of making it all the way to the White House. Or, as it will then be known, “the White Mosque.”
Perhaps that’s what motivated retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson to opine on the question of a Muslim president last Sunday. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” Carson said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” Later, explaining his comments, Carson said, “Muslims feel that their religion is very much a part of your public life. [That is] inconsistent with our principles and our Constitution.”
Funny, I thought that last statement perfectly described the Christian right. At least, that’s the impression I get from hearing Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz and Mike Huckabee defend Kentucky county clerk Kim Davis, who cited her Christian faith when she defied a federal court order and denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
Carson was asked about Muslims after a Trump supporter ranted about Obama as a Muslim and his wacky suspicions about domestic Muslim terrorist training camps. Trump refused to defend Obama and told the supporter he would be looking into the training camps.
Trump’s despicable response to his supporter prompted some Republican candidates to condemn him (and, later, Carson). The outraged did not include Jindal and Huckabee. “Why is it that [Obama] goes to extremes to accommodate Muslim terrorists but shows nothing but disdain for Christians?” Huckabee tweeted.
No one, however, had a more disappointing response to the “threat” of a Muslim president than Jindal. I present it to you in its entirely, so that you may fully appreciate its absurdity and cravenness:
“This is a dumb game that the press is playing. It is an absurd hypothetical question. But let’s indulge the media for a moment and play their gotcha game.
“If you can find me a Muslim candidate who is a Republican, who will fight hard to protect religious liberty, who will respect the Judeo-Christian heritage of America, who will be committed to destroying ISIS and radical Islam, who will condemn cultures that treat women as second class citizens and who will place their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution, then yes, I will be happy to consider voting for him or her.
“If you can’t, I’ll settle for voting for a Christian Governor from Louisiana.”
Yes, instead of condemning Trump and Carson for their odious anti-Muslim bigotry, Jindal – raised Hindu – used the dust-up to remind people that he is now a Christian. That, of course, is the most important lesson to be learned from this, right.
It’s not that the Constitution says there should be no religious test for public office. It’s not that Jindal’s relatives might one day be denied public office because of their Hindu faith. It’s not that the vast majority of Muslim Americans are industrious and peaceful patriots who have contributed far more to the commonweal than Jindal.
Jindal, instead, seized the occasion to smear Muslims as unfit for office because they are not Christian. He’s been doing this kind of thing for months, ever since he went to London and embarrassed himself by declaring the existence of European Muslim no-go zones that no one has ever discovered.
Jindal’s response, however clever and subtle he intended it to be, was nothing short of disgusting and bigoted.
The responsible statement by a first-generation American born into another faith would be to defend the rights of any person, regardless of race or religion, to participate fully in public life. Instead of appealing to our nation’s most noble instincts and highest principles, Jindal seized the opportunity to dive into the rhetorical gutter.
Twenty years ago, someone like Bobby Jindal could not have been elected dogcatcher in Louisiana. A decent person with empathy, compassionate and a modicum of self-awareness would have used the opportunity to speak to his family’s inspiring journey into full citizenship in this great country.
A cheap political hack stuck at 1 percent in the polls would have said what Jindal did.