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?