I have some issues with you people

Some old friends are apparently avid supporters of Ben Carson’s candidacy for the presidency. They are devout, conservative Christians, perfectly nice people, but who clearly have a blind spot where this man is concerned. As far as I can tell, they want us to vote for him because he’s a virtuous man who can “bring this country back to God.”

I have some questions for them.

What does that mean, “bring this country back to God”? What kinds of policies do you expect him to enact in order to do that? How would those policies square with the pluralistic country we live in? Or would that become United States policy, to privilege Christianity over other faiths (or non-faith)?

Is the God you hope he will bring the country back to the God he worships as a Pentecostal? Or is there some other mutually agreed upon version you’re hoping for? Do you understand that there are different versions of even the Christian God in this country? Do you understand that there are versions of God that lie outside what you consider the “Judeo-Christian tradiiton”?1

Do you think that if we elect a devout Christian to the office that the nation’s problems will resolve themselves? Do you think that a Congress would naturally fall in line with this person’s policies?  Or will God simply intervene in our affairs?

What do you think Ben Carson’s policies actually are? How much do you understand about his take on the issues.2 Is it possible that his understanding of some of these could be simplistic and based on erroneous information, or worse, magical thinking? Are the issues he lists enough to run a country, or are there other problems facing this nation which he does not address? How important are those problems?

Do you think that “bringing the country back to God” is the President’s job? Do you think that if we elect a devout man to the office that God’s protection will return to the United States? What do you mean by the phrase “God’s protection”? Is this different from sports figures thanking God for their victory?3

What, exactly, is it that you hope that will change about our country through divine intervention? Have you considered that your vision of a virtuous life and a virtuous nation might not be universal, i.e., that others have different ideas about what is virtuous and godly? Have you considered that these changes might be unwelcome in other people’s lives? How will that work absent change in legislation and policy?

Have you been praying for this country to achieve the results you hope Ben Carson will effect if elected? Has your church? How long have you been doing so?4 If so, then why do you think those results haven’t already occurred? What do you think God has been telling you all this time in response to your prayers?

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1 Do you understand that when you say “Judeo-Christian,” everything you associate with that term indicates that you actually mean “Christian”?

2 Have you compared his issues page to other candidates? Trump’s? Sanders’? Clinton’s?  Does his list of issues seem more or less comprehensive to you than the others?

3 Have you read Mark Twain’s War Prayer?

4 Has it been since Jan 20, 2009? Why is that, do you think?

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