Ben Carson is a man of high ideals. Like many born-again believers, the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital is concerned about the direction America has taken, and he has had enough. Carson's latest book, One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America's Future, outlines his ideas to help turn the country around morally, socially and financially.
Dr. Carson spoke with Charisma News' Shawn Akers in a recent phone interview about his ideals and a potential run for the presidency. Here is part one of the interview:
Charisma News: Your new book, One Nation, went to No. 1 on the New York Times best-seller list in the first week. But how has the book been received by the general population, and what kind of feedback have you gotten?
Carson: Despite all of the attempts of the left to ignore it, tremendous. A lot of people who have bought the book have come back and bought a whole bunch more to give to their family and friends. On the book tour, the week before last, every place we went, just enormous crowds of people. It's gratifying to know that people are waking up.
CN: As you well know, religious freedoms are being attacked on a daily basis now in this country. What can the church do to stem the tide, or is this simply biblical prophecy being fulfilled?
Carson: I think that the church has to stop its "go along to get along" attitude. Nobody wants to ruffle any feathers. But I think at some point you have to stand up for what you believe in. The secular progressive agenda, quite frankly, is at odds with the Judeo-Christian value system. If you just keep quiet about it, they win by default. I'm a person that believes in live and let live, but I don't believe you should suppress what you believe so that you don't create waves or cause a problem.
CN: In your opinion, has the church become so worldly and put itself in self-preservation mode that it has forgotten what the gospel is really about?
Carson: Absolutely. To a very large extent, that has happened. It requires courage, just as freedom does. Our nation is supposed to be for, of and by the people, and there is a great deal of emphasis on freedom of speech, freedom of expression and freedom of religion. But freedom is not free. It doesn't come by simply sitting back and watching things happen. You have to be involved in it. If you're not involved, that freedom will just disappear.
CN: How can Christians show God's love to the gay community without compromising God's Word?
Carson: As I've talked about in the book, I personally believe that any consenting adults can do anything they want. I'm not going to try to stop them. If they want to have legal relationship so that they can have visitation rights and property transfer, I don't have a problem with that. What I do have a problem with is changing the definition of marriage. This is established by human history of thousands of years.
In the Bible, God compares the marriage relationship with His relationship with the church. I don't think you go around lightly changing that. And it doesn't need to be changed. They can call whatever they're doing whatever they want to call it, but they don't know if you change it for all of society. If you change it for one group, you have to change it for all groups. I've explained that to people. We have to be willing to stand up and say that, not just capitulate.
What the gay marriage advocates are advocating is something like a new set of mathematicians who come along and say that two plus two is five. Then you've got the traditional mathematicians that say two plus two is four, it's always been four. The new ones say that no, we insist that it's five. The old ones say then, OK, we'll say that it's four and you can say that it's five. But the new ones are insistent that it's five for you, too; and if you don't say that it's five, then you're a mathist or a mathophobe. Basically, that's what happened in our society. People have to stand up to them. They are being totally intolerant. I asked a prominent member of the gay community what other position could a person take other than fully agreeing to gay marriage that would be acceptable to them. He thought about it for a while and he said that there is no other position; it's my way or the highway. That is total intolerance. It needs to be called out for what it is. You can do anything you want, but nobody gets to completely change things for everybody else.
CN: Has the Constitution become almost an afterthought for the current administration? Doesn't it seem as if the original vision of the Constitution has been blatantly disregarded?
Carson: It has been. Unfortunately, Congress, which has the power to stop a runaway administration because they control the purse strings, is afraid, they're just spineless and they'll say we'll just get blamed. Well, I've got a news flash for them. They're going to get blamed anyway. You need to stop this madness, and that takes courage to do that. I think that's one of the reasons Eric Cantor lost its position.
People are finally saying, "You guys aren't going to stop it, so we the people are going to stop it. We're not going to stand for politicians that say they're conservative yet raise the debt ceiling and threatening the prosperity of our nation and the future."
CN: In your book, you spoke about social media and media boycotts as weapons against the liberal media. How effective can those tools be in this society?
Carson: I think those can be incredibly effective. The people that are at the pinnacle of the power structure—in order to exercise their power—they must be wise, they must be clever, they must be informed. What we unfortunately have to a large extent now are voters that go into a voting booth looking for a D or an R or a name that looks familiar. That's the extent of what they know. Many of them know a lot more about who's on Dancing With the Stars than they do about who is representing them. They listen to what the politicians say. We've got to find a better way. They'll try to make you think they didn't vote for Obamacare when in fact they did.
People need to get together and talk to each other. It's like they did in the pre-Revolutionary days with King George III. They started having town meetings and what kind of nation they wanted to have and were they willing to fight for what they were going to pass on to the next generation. They encouraged each other. They got enough courage together to put a rag-tag bunch of militia out there and defeated the most powerful empire on earth. And that's what's required again today. People have to be willing to talk and they need to recognize that we the people are not each other's enemies.
There are factions that are trying to drive wedges into every potential crack to make people think they are enemies of each other. You have age wars, race wars, income wars, agenda wars, religious wars—you name, there's a war out there. It's all made up, it's artificial, it's straight out of Saul Alinsky's rules for radicals to fundamentally change the society that we have, which is the freest and most prosperous and most powerful nation the world has ever known. What kind of society do they want? They want a Utopian society from the cradle to the grave where nobody has to worry about anything. The government will take care of you. The only requirement is that they are totally subservient to the government.
And of course those societies never work; they always end up looking exactly the same, with a small group of elitists at the top leading very luxurious lives and control everything with a rapidly disintegrating middle class and a very rapidly expanding dependent class.