Tuesday, September 22, 2015
The gospel according to Dr. Carson
Seriously, when I was a kid I was almost envious of girls, because it just seemed they had it made. They never got in trouble. Boys were always doing outrageous things, but girls?--perfectly behaved. That's why teachers loved 'em. Always did their homework. Smiled all the time. Perfect.
In college, girls' names ran up and down the Dean's list even though guys got shipped off to Vietnam when their grades flat lined. Sometimes I used to think the women really ought to play along, flunk a few tests or papers just for our sake.
But then, I had a daughter who went to junior high, and I learned that original sin was an equal opportunity employer. Once upon a time, my daughter was arbitrarily thumbed from the clique she ran with when some prissy 12-year-old ruled my daughter's earrings or back pack or shoe style didn't make the cut. Slash!--out of the group.
At home, mega-tears. Mega, mega tears.
Were I jury, I would have voted to hang the witch. For a weekend, hate saturated my every waking moment. I mowed the lawn, seething at the kid who dumped her--and her parents. There was, of course, nothing I could do about it, which locked me even deeper in the prison of my own righteous indignation.
For years afterward every time I mowed around the big maple in the backyard I remembered how much I hated that girl and her parents when once upon a time I'd been right there seething. If we hadn't moved from that house, I'm sure hate would reappear at that backyard maple, my own PTSD.
Donald Trump says what everybody feels, or so people say. That's his appeal. Donald Trump gives voice to what's really inside us--he's not p.c. That's it, right? People just love it when he says what he does. It feels so good to bash people when you really can't do it.
I get that. When my daughter was bawling and I couldn't do a damned thing about it, I hit a temp that was unforgettable.
But, as every Calvinist understand, that I feel something doesn't make it right.
I get Ben Carson too. I understand how watching someone get sworn into office with a hand on the Koran seems dead wrong. I remember 9/11. I still see Mohamed Atta's fat face--may he never, ever rest in peace.
I understand why Dr. Carson doesn't think a Muslim should be President. I get that because I still seethe when I see those passenger jets killing thousands of Americans, when I watch ISIS behead enemies, destroy antiquities, torture Christians. I get that.
But he's wrong.
Just about a year ago, I spent the Muslim holiday of Tabaski with a few thousand Muslims in Mali. In equatorial Africa, where people live most of their lives outside, the entire town was a party. In celebration of the lamb Isaac found in the bushes, the lamb that became the sacrifice for his son Jacob's life, just about everyone in town barbeques lamb and creates a public party the likes of which make tailgating look like little more than a candlelit dinner.
And I was an honored guest, treated as such--me, a white guy, an American Christian.
What Dr. Carson doesn't want is some Mohamed Atta in office, and neither do I. But to say that no Muslim can be President is flat wrong. It's prejudice, impure and simple. It's hateful, and his loyal supporters--good Christians here in Iowa as elsewhere--need to tell him so. He can walk it back. He can admit that he had it wrong.
I get the Trump blessing--he says what we all feel. Okay. Maybe. I get Dr. Carson's anger and fear, too. I got it in me.
But just because we feel it doesn't make it right.
He's not. He's wrong. He's wrong. He's wrong.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 7:00 AM