Public vs. Private

Recently, Ben Carson, one of the Republican clown candidates for President of the United States, got in a bit of trouble for indicating that he did not believe a Muslim could be acceptable as president, or that Islam accords with the U.S. Constitution.

Islam certainly has lots of problems, and, while there are without question far too many Muslim extremists, I think I could handle a Keith Ellison or someone similar as president.  But why not just say this: in their capacity as private citizen, anyone should be able to engage in any religious practice whatsoever as long as it does not violate anyone else’s rights.  But in their capacity as government actor, elected or appointed officials are bound by the parameters of the Constitution.  They cannot use their power in the public sphere to impose there religious views on others or to inhibit lawful practice of religion or non-religion.  It really is not that complicated.  Yet, this principle is not understood by the likes of Kim Davis and her supporters, nor does Ben Carson understand the distinction.

It is too bad that right wing supposed defenders of the Constitution do not take the time to actually study it, and to understand the distinction between public and private.

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