Republican party presidential candidate Ben Carson was recently caught in a firestorm of controversy over whether or not a Muslim could be President.  I am paraphrasing, but when cornered to explain his point he states that depending on how a Muslim would interpret the Quran; there could be ideological conflicts with the US Constitution.

There are probably many misconceptions about the origin of the US Constitution – many right-wing conservatives may argue that the United States of America was founded on Christian principles and the US Constitution reflects that. To a degree this is correct but based on my understanding, the US Constitution itself is a secular document, and nowhere does it appeal to God, Christianity, Jesus, or any supreme being – only that religious freedom needs to be protected.

Mike HuckabeeI guess the irony here is how some people are more concerned with the notion of a hypothetical Muslim President challenging our constitutional rights – some idiots out there still think President Obama is a Muslim – and yet Christianity is ALWAYS challenging our constitutional rights. Maybe you are ok with that… I personally have a problem with it…. From challenging woman’s health issues, to teaching creationism in schools to same-sex marriage. I understand that Christianity is a dominant religion in America and many of our sociopolitical foundations are based on such dogma;  but I think it is interesting when the line between church and state blurs and people’s’ fundamental human rights are violated. When businesses like Hobby Lobby and Chick fil A can dictate how you should receive insurance  coverage based on religious views. When presidential candidates like Mike Huckabee think Jesus is a higher law than our US Supreme Court – that is not only bat shit crazy; it is down right scary! And yet in today’s American society it is sort of the norm isn’t it?…. and that is even more scary….

Now it is clear my religious perspectives are from the outside of the Christian bubble looking in. In fact, I am a minority in this thinking which in itself is ironic. When Pope Francis is more liberal than our right-wing conservative political party who tries to govern our policy and laws, it makes you wonder if this departure from reality is due to religion itself perpetuating close minded thinking, or America is just showing its ignorance, or Fox News is way too far-reaching and persuasive in its views and underlying agendas.

So what about a Buddhist for President? What about a Buddhist instilling and spewing dogma into our schools? Children would learn meditation. In fact, children would have to learn about Karma and how every action and reaction (whether positive or negative) can affect others and yourself. People would have to uphold the Four Noble Truths and learn to suffer less and take power away from our Ego – connecting more to our True Nature. Maybe Buddhist extremists would lobby to force people to spend more time in nature and be more compassionate to others? Probably not right? …The Dalai Lama recently was asked (and again I paraphrase) that if science proved a Buddhist notion wrong what would be the next step? The Dalai Lama responded that we would need to make a change in our thinking that would mirror what science now proves correct…. that’s refreshing….

The lesson here is simple… Be mindful of what is right and wrong based on fundamental human rights. Which paths whether social, spiritual or political are going to lead to the least amount of suffering for ALL people of all faiths, gender, sexuality, income levels and their basic rights as human beings.  Due to societal immersion and the dogma that is so interwoven into our news and politics we don’t even realize the true threats that sit in the shadows waiting to erode your fundamental rights as a human being. I cant reiterate this enough – as history has shown in brutal detail, without opposition, there is only tyranny… and that is why I touch on these subjects…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own Hero’s Journey.

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