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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/18/15

Ben Carson Takes his Clothes off in Public: It's Not a Pretty Sight

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Reprinted from Greanville Post

Ben Carson
Ben Carson
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Takes his clothes off, eh, and it's not pretty? So, you might ask, you must be talking about the various apparent confabulations about his youth? Well, no. So how about his thought that China has troops (or something) on the ground in Syria? Well, not that either. So, how about, as a pediatrician, recommending that parents ask their physicians not to follow the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations on vaccination spacing? Nope.

OK. What about the one where he said that African-Americans are being manipulated by the media to protest, indeed (now in an increasing number of venues) demonstrate against racial injustice and racism. Not that one either. OK. So it's gotta be the one where he said that the Jews could have prevented the Holocaust had they been armed (showing that he knows nothing either of the history of Nazi Germany or the Holocaust). Still not it. Or the one where he compared a woman choosing to have an abortion with a slave-owner (showing that he knows nothing either about slavery or about pregnancy, the latter being surprising because he did go to medical school). Not it either. The confabulation about "getting a scholarship to West Point" when there are no such things -- it's free for appointees? Well, nah. (If you want some really funny ones, fictional, but consistent with what Carson talks about, see a recent issue of The Onion.)

Then, not so funny, saying the following, about Cuban policy, in South Florida: "There are a lot of policies that I lack knowledge on," he told reporters during his book signing in Miami on Thursday. "I'm gaining knowledge. But I don't by any stretch of the imagination confess to knowing everything. That's the reason you have advisors. Even Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, 'A multitude of counselors is safety.'"

So here is a candidate for the Presidency of the United States quoting scripture to defend himself about his lack of knowledge about an issue of vital importance among the Cuban-American community in South Florida. Now we are getting there: using a Biblical passage to justify his lack of knowledge. Then there was the statement that the "Pyramids were for grain storage because the Bible says so." Well, now we are getting even closer to the moment. Here he is quoting the Bible as an historical authority, over-riding, in his view, archeological science.

Actually, Dr. Carson truly took his clothes off in public, revealing himself to be a full-bore Dominionist -- truly dangerous in U.S. politics and governance -- in his speech at Liberty University on Armistice Day (which is how we old folks refer to the Nov. 11 holiday). Dominionism(1) briefly, is a political theology that places "God," as of course interpreted by the Dominionists, who regard the King James Version of the Bible as "the word of God, above any law or Constitution in the United States. (That that translation of the Bible was actually written by a committee of 48 scholars and theologians at the beginning of the reign of King James I in England doesn't seem to get in the way of their thinking that it is the "word of God." But that is another story.)

At any rate, among other things, Carson said that he relies on the Bible to guide him through controversy: "Proverbs 3, 5 and 6. It says trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge him and he will direct your path," He quoted Romans, chap. 8: "If God is for you, who can be against you?" And presumably if Carson decides that God is not on your side, as he apparently does for LGBTQ folk wanting to get married, then you are just out of luck, the 14th Amendment to the Constitution and a Supreme Court decision aside.

Ben Carson
Ben Carson
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This is what is the most frightening about Carson. He took his clothes off as a Dominionist at Liberty University, one of the major homes for Christian Rightist in general and Dominionism in particular in the United States. And the sight was indeed very ugly. To repeat, for him "God" (as he interprets him, her, it or them, of course) stands above the Constitution and the law. And this is what is at the base of his popularity with the Christian-Right (the so-called "Evangelicals") in the Republican Party, especially strong in Iowa.

It is not a coincidence that that last two Republican Iowa caucuses were won by fellow Dominionists, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Let us just hope that Carson's future in the Republican primaries follows that of Huckabee and Santorum. And gosh, wouldn't it be nice if, at some time during this primary process a journalist asked Carson the simple question, "Doctor, are you a Dominionist?

(1) "Dominionism" is also interpreted as the doctrine of human supremacism, or "speciesism," signifying complete dominion over animals and nature, as interpreted by Judeo-Christian canons and those of other religions. This doctrine makes animals and nature passive objects in the service of humans, with no independent right to live outside their control and serving their own ends.


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Steven Jonas, MD, MPH, MS is a Professor Emeritus of Preventive Medicine at StonyBrookMedicine (NY) and author/co-author/editor/co-editor of over 35 books. In addition to his position on OpEdNews as a "Trusted Author," he is a Senior Editor, (more...)
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