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Freedom of religion applies to all

Date: 9/24/2015

I understand we have a problem in this country and it’s Muslims. At least that’s what one person attending a rally for Donald Trump said.

The Donald, being the pinnacle of honesty and bravery, let the supporter’s comment slide until several days later when he was a safe distance from him.

Sen. John McCain, when he was running for president in 2008, had the decency and courage to politely but firmly correct a supporter who was claiming Barack Obama was Muslim.

That’s beside the point though. The point here is about the Constitution’s guarantee of freedom of religion, which apparently is lost on too many Americans who supposedly understand and love the Constitution.

‘Muricans don’t apparently get it.

Consider Dr. Ben Carson, the Republican neurosurgeon. Now this guy has got to be smart but he said on “Meet the Press” that a Muslim president is a bad idea.

“I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” he said.

When asked about whether or not a candidate’s faith should play a role in a voter’s decision, Carson said, “I guess it depends on what that faith is. If it’s inconsistent with the values and principles of America, then of course it should matter. But if it fits within the realm of America and consistent with the Constitution, no problem.”  

When asked if Islam is consistent with the Constitution, Carson said, “No, I don’t; I do not.”

Now I bet Carson knows quite a few Muslims through his work in the health field. Did he harbor a secret fear or hate of them when they were in the operating room working together to save or improve someone’s life?

Remember when people said a Catholic president was a bad idea because that person would be taking his marching orders from the Pope? That was one of the objections some people had to John F. Kennedy.

Our history has been one in which we aspire to live by the Constitution and then fall very short. Catholics were not accepted in many parts of this nation. Jews were despised and feared. Mormons were literally run out of communities.

Are there bad people in these faiths? Yes, just as we know that many of the people who wrap themselves of Christianity don’t live by the simple but profound rules set down by Jesus.

All of this was done by “good” Christians who believed protecting their own prejudices was more important that the rights secured for Americans by the Constitution.

We haven’t learned very much, have we?

Why can’t we judge people on what they do, how they behave and how they interact with one another? Why is it necessary to use the shorthand of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation or political belief to pass judgment?

Why do the people who call themselves the practitioners of religions of love so easily fall into hate?

Because it’s easy. It doesn’t require thought and we love to avoid thinking too much.

That’s pretty apparent this political season.


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Agree? Disagree? Drop me a line at or at 280 N. Main St., East Longmeadow, MA 01028. As always, this column represents the opinion of its author and not the publishers or advertisers of this newspaper.