Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson tried to do some damage control after his Islamophobic and inaccurate remarks that a Muslim isn’t fit to be a president spurred backlash against the retired neurosurgeon.
Carson went on Fox News’ “Hannity” on Monday night, to quell the controversy but his clarification just further confirmed his anti-Muslim bigotry.
Carson told Fox News host Sean Hannity that his comments applied to all religious people — not exclusively to Muslims.
“So if, for instance, you believe in a theocracy, I don’t care if you’re a Christian, if you’re a Christian and you’re running for president and you want to make this into a theocracy, I’m not going to support you. I’m not going to advocate you being the president,” Carson said.
Carson then continued his explanation with another inflammatory remark,
“Now, if someone has a Muslim background and they’re willing to reject those tenets and to accept the way of life that we have, and clearly will swear to place our Constitution above their religion, then, of course, they will be considered infidels and heretics, but at least I would then be quite willing to support them,” Carson said.
Carson wants a Muslim president to denounce his faith before taking office — a request no Christian president has ever had to face.
"I stand by the comments," Carson said. "What we have to recognize is that this is America, and we have a constitution and we don't put people at the leadership of our country whose faith will interfere with the carrying out the duties of the constitution.”
And yet Carson, like many of the Christian Republican presidential candidates, oppose same-sex marriage and abortion and have consistently and vehemently inserted their own religious beliefs into American politics to try and change laws that give women the right to an abortion and gays the right to marry.
Hannity declared "the controversy is over” after hearing Carson’s responses, but the case is far from dismissed.
Banner photo credit: Gage Skidmore