I think that Dr. Ben Carson was just hoping to put out a Holy Week message that would serve to remind people he was still hanging around — instead he may have lost a few more votes. This past week the Presidential hopeful took to his Facebook account to connect with voters on this most important of Christian celebrations. He also hoped to remind folks of the importance of religious freedom, and that as Americans, we should never fail to defend that freedom.
I bet when he finished typing out his message (or maybe some unpaid staffer did it), Dr. Carson was sure that he’d written a message that would make everyone happy. Sadly, it wasn’t to be.
As Easter approaches, let us remember the role that Jesus Christ and God play in our lives. Let us also remember that Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe in God, and while there are ideological differences in who Jesus was, we should find peace in the fact that we are all God’s children. Jesus is my role model, and he preached love, he preached acceptance. He also was a man of values and principles, and he ended up being crucified for it. But, he rose again to advocate godly principles of loving our fellow man, caring about our neighbors, developing our God-given talents to the utmost so that we become valuable to the people around us, and maintaining high ideals that govern our lives. We must make certain that people of all types of faith are respected by one another. Let us remember that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution is one of the basic pillars of our system of governance and a founding principle of our nation, as it protects religious freedom. It is critical that we allow Americans to practice their religious ways, while also ensuring that no one’s beliefs infringe upon those of others.
Throughout the globe we must serve as champions of freedom of religion. As people across the world are persecuted by religious fanatics who perform hateful acts of ignorance, we Americans have a duty to denounce these acts of persecution. By standing up to such intolerance, we are defending the root of our freedom. I enjoy the following quote from the second Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins and will heal their land.”
Defending religious liberty is great, and reminding us to respect and value each other is wonderful… it’s the part about worshipping the same God that people don’t seem to appreciate.
Rather than the feel-good statement he likely envisioned he was sending out, Dr. Carson has instead stepped on a political landmine. The comment received thousands of likes and shares, but also received thousands of comments. In Iowa, grassroots Christian conservatives — a key caucus demographic he has attempted to attract — rebuked the statement in droves.
As if Dr. Carson wasn’t already facing an uphill battle, he’s just made things even tougher on himself. It seems that his greatest talent may actually be saying the wrong thing at just the wrong time, ensuring he damages his political chances.