Religion and the Presidency

Do we vote on candidates’ policy or their religion?

In a recent interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press”, Republican presidential hopeful Dr. Ben Carson made waves when he told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he would not “advocate” for a Muslim as President of the United States. Stephen speaks with Rashida Tlaib–former Democratic state lawmaker and current manager of the Take on Hate initiative–about the role religion plays for voters and politicians. 

  • On Carson: He inspired me to become the first Muslim woman to be elected,” Tlaib says. She and Carson grew up in the same neighborhood and went to the same school. She says that for him to “draw a barrier between himself and other minorities” was shocking to her.
  • Blurred lines: Some callers believe Carson should have been allowed to state his opinion, but the line between stating an opinion and racist speech is not clear. According to Tlaib, when we allow people of a higher level to spew hate like this, it leads to violence. “The only knowledge they have about my faith are the extremist they see on t.v,” Tlaib says.
  • Article Six: Article six in the U.S Constitution clearly prohibits any religious test as a requirement to hold any government office. A caller points out it’s time to treat people like people, and Carson being uncomfortable about a Muslim in the White House is not in alignment with the Constitution.

Click the link above for the full conversation.