The Council on American-Islamic Relations, which calls itself the largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization in the U.S., later called for Carson to withdraw from the race.Now, wait a minute. I think I understand the Constitution, and I'm pretty sure the 'religious test' clause applies to the government, not to the voters. The government is not free to establish a law that says, "Only Muslims may run for office X," nor can it hold that "No Muslims may run for office X," or even -- obliquely -- that "Anyone may run for office X, provided they eat pork as a condition of employment."
"Mr. Carson clearly does not understand or care about the Constitution, which states that 'no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office,'" the group's executive director, Nihad Awad, said in a statement on Sunday. "We call on our nation's political leaders -- across the political spectrum -- to repudiate these unconstitutional and un-American statements and for Mr. Carson to withdraw from the presidential race."
However, voters are free to support whomever they want, for whatever reason they want. How would you check that anyway? It's a secret ballot. My name's not even on it. If I were to tell you that I had intentionally applied a religious test to my vote, how would you know I was telling the truth? Are you going to correct it by deducting one vote for the candidate I claim was my choice? If you do that, I could vote for the Democrat and then loudly proclaim that obviously the Republican was the only one with correct religious values. That lets me vote twice, right?
So, no, Dr. Carson -- who holds no governmental office, and never has -- is not under any obligation as a private citizen not to apply a religious test in deciding how he will cast his vote. He may donate to or otherwise support whomever he likes, or not. CAIR doesn't seem to understand the Constitution it is charging him with violating, nor what the purpose of the clause might have been. To try to enforce that clause on private citizens is to attempt to enact a control of private religious opinions exactly opposed to the intention behind the 'no religious test' clause.