Ben Carson vs. Martin O'Malley — Please

This story about the faith of presidential candidates leads me to propose an alternative. First, a glimpse of the article:

This season’s crop of presidential candidates reflects this country’s many contradictions in faith. A minority of them have stuck with their first church. Hillary Clinton has always been a devout Methodist—her only conversion was from Goldwater Girl to ’60s liberal under the tutelage of her suburban Chicago pastor, Don Jones, who took his youth group to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak. Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and minister, has never strayed from his Baptist roots—his latest book is called God, Guns, Grits and Gravy. Santorum has always been Catholic; he tells Newsweek his faith was invigorated while he was in the Senate, owing to factors like his parish priest in Northern Virginia, his experiences of fellowship in the Bible Study Group in the Senate and his wife’s deep faith.

Ben Carson, the renowned neurosurgeon, hews closely to Seventh-day Adventist teachings, which include observing the Sabbath on Saturday and a literal belief in creationism. (He allows that Earth may have been formed over six “periods,” but insists that however long it took, it was God and not a Darwinian struggle that made us who we are.) Carson says his faith strengthened when he had an epiphany as a teenager that took him off a path he believed was headed to prison and onto one that made him the pride of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. (He’s famous for pioneering an operation to separate twins joined at the back of the head.)

The alternative is an all The-Wire 2016 presidential contest. Many know that Martin O’Malley, the basis for Tommy Carcetti, the white mayor elected in the fourth season, announced his entrance into the Democratic primaries. If only because I hope O’Malley’s presidency might inspire David Simon to do a The-Wire version of West Wing, I am going to vote for O’Malley should he gain the nomination. But I also will be pulling for Ben Carson. The reason is that the African-American public school students featured in season four — which my wife and I just finished for the ?? time — mention Carson at least twice as the person they want to be when they grow up. And that was a decade ago.

Plus, could the timing be any better for the release of a religious biography of Baltimore’s greatest writer?


39 thoughts on “Ben Carson vs. Martin O'Malley — Please

  1. No need to watch season 5. The Deacon doesn’t appear.

    That said, the missus doesn’t let me off the hook. Season 5 starts tonight.

    When you walk through the garden..


  2. Ben Carson is advertising on a billboard in Des Moines. Of course he’s a non-starter, but any chance he might have had to consolidate Iowa evangelicals like Pat Robertson and Huckabee have in the past is quashed by being in a quirky denomination.


  3. Have heard good things about “Deadwood”, have started it, but have only seen a few episodes. I do like Timothy Olyphant. A lot of guys here would like “Justified” (George, Chortles, etc.). At least the non-metrosexuals, anyway.


  4. Of HBO, I’ve only seen the Wire and Deadwood. Likely sticking to FX, AMC, or other channels going forward. I hate it when I have to hit the FF button all the time. The wire gives me enough warning before the naughty scenes, but other HBO shows like GoT, I would be FF the whole thing, so yeah, I’ve given up on Home Box Office. Not for me, but I digress.

    We’ll probably get back to The Americans after Justified.


  5. Erik, Oz was far better than Band of Brothers.

    And all the actors from Oz appear everywhere on TV and in the movies, not a single Emmy nomination.

    The Best Supporting Actor last year was a somewhat milder replay of his character on Oz.


  6. Kent,

    Haven’t seen it, but I know you think highly of it. I’m becoming a streaming snob so I’m struggling with DVD’s. You can’t watch a DVD on your phone. Never thought I would be “that guy”, but I’m becoming him.

    Funniest scene in all of “Boardwalk”: Nelson and Eli are getting grilled by Capone. Nelson says he is having problems at home. Eli says, “I can vouch for that.” Dark comedy at its finest.


  7. Sorry, it’s all Nordic/Scandi Noir, UK stuff for me. And most recently two French crime dramas so gritty you could almost smell the occasionally-showering detectives.


  8. Highly recommend Luther. Iris Elba at his best. Relationship between Luther and Alice would give therapist a year of work. Good insights on fallen human nature. He goes after the freakiest psycho killers of London, not for delicate viewing. Streams on Netflix


  9. Spiral, if you don’t mind subs, is worth a dip. Witnesses, lauded as France’s answer to Broadchurch, was compelling but, alas, underwhelimg. Those who appreciate subtle celebrations of life, people, and place will not be dissaponted by The Grocer’s Son. All streaming on Netflix.


  10. DG, recently completed the French shows “Spiral” (Engrenages) and “Braquo” — quite raw and violent, but the sex is more repulsive than titillating. The reality of the crime scenes is a bit much. As someone who (in a previous life) photographed many crime scenes and corpses I can tell you that it’s worse on the screen than in reality — most of the time. The Euro-crime shows are interesting because you can see them struggling with concepts of law and morality, often without much of an underpinning.

    The Scandi/Nordic genre includes the assorted Wallanders, Bron-Broen-Bridge, and “Arne Dahl,” A new 19th c. Danish historical drama — “1864” — is coming, too.

    There are even a couple of Irish crime shows — “Singlehanded” and “Jack Taylor.” And the comedy “Moone Boy” eviscerates lower middle class Irish Catholicism.


  11. Mike, I like subtitles. You can still tell if the acting is good, but you can’t tell if the dialogue is corny and stilted — as it usually is in American shows. You can blame any awkwardness on the translation.


  12. CW, agreed on subs. I have them on even with English-speaking works. Maybe I’m daft, but I’ve always found the dialogue in Curb Your Enthusiasm, Arrested Development, and The Office (uk) funnier with subs.

    Loved The Bridge too– even in its American incarnation.


  13. DGH, these are all on Netflix or Hulu (free). Only trick is using the Hola extension for Chrome sometimes. This makes the internet think you’re in a different country (say, the UK) so you can get a different selection of shows on Netflix.


  14. I do think “Broadchurch” contained about the most respectful and fair treatment of Xian (CoE) religion that I’ve seen in some time. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


  15. See how ecumenical Old Life is?

    “O’Malley is a progressive Catholic in the Maryland tradition, embracing the elements of Church Tradition that fit his party’s platform,” noted Terry Mattingly in a post for that considered whether the “Pope Francis Democrat” label would stick.

    “The key … is how the mainstream press does or does not compare the actual content of his views … with what Pope Francis has actually said and the teachings he has affirmed.”

    In an era where his party has become closely identified with the advancement of same-sex “marriage” and “LGBT rights,” O’Malley’s firm embrace of these issues, both during his last term as governor, and at the launch of his presidential campaign, will give him credibility with the grassroots.


  16. a religious biography of Baltimore’s greatest writer

    Hart’s doing a Mencken biography

    but perhaps he should do one on Timothy Smith and the history of “historians of evangelicalism” and how they need for there to have been an “evangelicalism” even when they have moved on to Notre Dame (and Wake Forest and Duke and etc)

    our local librarian explains that, for being such an emotional issue, Ben Carson’s ideas on the age of the earth don’t really matter in a practical way, and this is why it is so practical for the rest of us to know the “meaning of the facts” without being confused by alternative sectarian versions of the meaning of the facts. There is only one culture, like it or not, and her library is be trusted to educate us with the Smithsonian truth about it…


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