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This Week in Ben Carson

Ben Carson, the politically conservative Seventh-day Adventist neurosurgeon, continued his recent run of media appearances during the last week. But of late he seems to be spending a lot of his time apologizing. During one of his recent Fox News softball interviews he said the following: “Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.” Slate notes: “Those comments—specifically the decision to lump homosexuality in with bestiality and pedophilia—didn’t go over so well, particularly with students at the Johns Hopkins medical school.” Then Ben Carson appeared on MSNBC to apologize.

This week a writer at Salon dug into some of Ben Carson’s books where he addresses social issues. “After a gay couple brought their child in to be examined at Carson’s clinic, a colleague told him, ‘I know you don’t approve of homosexual relationships … but I was impressed with that couple … Think what you want, but it’s just your opinion.’

Carson writes that he replied thusly:

My response wasn’t nearly that politically correct. “Excuse me, but I beg to differ,” I said. “How I feel and what I think isn’t just my opinion. God in his Word says very clearly that he considers homosexual acts to be an ‘abomination.’” Whenever I point out that God calls homosexual behavior a sin, I am usually quick to add that the Bible just as clearly calls a lot of other things wrong — lying, cheating, adultery, murder, gluttony — and I am not going to try to justify any those things in order to be politically correct either.

As the interview with Andrea Mitchell shows, Ben Carson seems to not always think through his analogies. Note his bizarre attempted explanation of apples, oranges, and peaches. Andrea Mitchell tries to help him understand that if he’s for legal equality for gay couples than marriage accomplishes his goal. But instead for working through the logic, Carson succumbs to bumper sticker politics and responds by appealing to God. That’s fine for a personal morality, but then he probably should tell people that he might run for president of the United States. In the MSNBC interview he seems deflated, especially after making the mistake of wondering when America ever didn’t allow the freedom of association. 

It is sad that the most famous Adventist in America is spending his time on cable news like this. Even The Daily Show uses his public statements for some laughs. What happened to the good doctor?


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