I’ve admired Dr.Ben Carson ever since I saw the TV movie about his life. He’s a gifted physician and also seems to be a man with a true heart for people. However, if the TV movie I saw was correct, he also has a giant temper that he sometimes has difficulty controlling. Being similarly wired myself, I can completely understand that.
I can also completely understand how he, a medical person with a front-row seat to the flaws in the new Health Care plan, would have that infamous temper triggered by some of the changes on the horizon.
That doesn’t make his behaviour at the National Prayer Breakfast okay. I’m dismayed to be concern-trolling my side yet again, but honestly. When the people with whom I ostensibly agree keep acting like spoiled children throwing tantrums (“Let’s Secede!”; “Let’s Fly The Flag Upside Down!”; “Let’s Dishonor The President with name-calling!”) I don’t know what else to do. It’s not right or Godly to slap the ever-loving crap out of folks, after all.
The National Prayer Breakfast is a bi-partisan non-political event. It’s a chance for the people who are in politics to set aside the wrangling for a few hours and sup together while contemplating God. Attendance is not required. But it is emphatically about setting politics aside and focusing on that which transcends human politics.
When Dr. Carson took the opportunity last Thursday to use his speech to speak truth to power, he may indeed have said many right things.* Right things, however, can be said at the wrong time. Any person with a history of ill temper knows how one can be completely right yet also completely nonpersuasive because of the disrespect they show their listeners when they say those right things at the wrong time or in the wrong way. It’s clear from multiple accounts of the event that Dr. Carson offended President Obama and much of the audience.
That doesn’t matter that much to me. President Obama is a grown man; he can presumably handle being offended. Indeed, if he can’t he’s in the wrong line of work. What does matter to me is that this event is one of the rare things in the District set aside to honour God in a public fashion. By pulling the focus away from God, Dr. Carson created a bigger gaffe. He brought a pig into the temple, as it were.
That’s the kind of thing that I think is regrettable. I know that Cal Thomas wants Dr. Carson to apologise to the President. I think perhaps Dr. Carson ought to apologise to God.
* (I have not yet heard or read the entire speech. I’ve only seen it referenced.)