In an interview on a TV talk show, Ben Carson said the following:
The Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson has said no Muslim should be president of the United States of America.
In an interview with NBC for broadcast on Sunday morning, the retired neurosurgeon said: “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that.”
In his NBC interview, Carson was asked: “So do you believe that Islam is consistent with the constitution?”
“No,” he said, “I don’t, I do not.”
There is so much that is wrong in such a short space. First, let’s take the ignorance. One is of course that the US constitution explicitly and unambiguously in Article VI prohibits any religious criteria for any public office, not just president: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
Second, let’s look at the bigotry. While there are undoubtedly things in Islam that are inconsistent with the constitution, that is pretty much true for all religions, including Christianity and Judaism, and I wish interviewers would point this out or at least ask more specifically which aspects of Islam are inconsistent with the constitution, since it is likely to be true of Christianity and Judaism as well.
Finally, the arrogance. Not only is he placing his own opinion above that of the constitution, it looks like he is saying that if the majority of voters in the country want to vote in a Muslim as president, he will oppose that result. When he says that he would not ‘agree’ to it, does he mean he would not like it? That would be fine and nobody would care what he likes anyway. But he seems to be implying something more, that he would try and defy the will of the people and the constitution, and that is unbridled arrogance.