Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at The Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, delivered a powerful 25-minute message at the annual National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on Thursday.
A world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, Carson openly spoke about the many problems that our nation faces – healthcare, education, taxes, the national debt and moral decline. He started off by sharing the biblical wisdom that is found in the inspired word of God, as he read the following scriptures aloud: Proverbs 11:9, Proverbs 11:12, Proverbs 11:25 and 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Carson said that he encourages Americans to take hold of their rights to freedom of thought and freedom of expression without the fear of offending someone because of political correctness, which is "dangerous."
"The PC police are out in force at all times," he said. "We've reached a point where people are afraid to actually talk about what they want to say, because somebody might be offended. We've got to get over this sensitivity; it keeps people from saying what they really believe. It muffles people, it puts a muzzle on them; and, at the same time, keeps people from discussing important issues while the fabric of their society is being changed."
On education, Carson said that although we're living in an era of advanced technology, 30 percent of students who enter high school in this country do not graduate, and 44 percent of college students don't complete their degree in four years. "What is that about?" he asked.
Although Carson and his brother were impoverished and raised in a single-parent home, they had a mother who cared about their education. He said that his mother sought God's wisdom to direct her efforts to develop her sons' young minds so they "could control their own lives." Carson said that it didn't take him long to realize that he had control over his destiny. "When you educate a man, you liberate a man," he added.
To this point, Carson mentioned his latest book, America the Beautiful, which includes a chapter on education that shows questions from a sixth-grade exit exam from the 1800s. "I doubt most college graduates today could pass that test," he said. "We have dumbed things down to that level. … And the reason why that is so dangerous, is because the people who founded this nation said that our system government was designed for a well-informed and educated populous. And when they become less informed, they become vulnerable."
Carson later said that what we need to do is solve our nation's problems.
"We don't want to go down the same pathway as many other pinnacle nations that have preceded us. I think particularly about ancient Rome. Very powerful; nobody could even challenge them, militarily. But what happened to them? They destroyed themselves from within. Moral decay, fiscal irresponsibility; they destroyed themselves. And if you don't think that could happen to America, you get out your books and you start reading."
These problems can be fixed, according to Carson, who has faith in America's leaders.
"All we need to do is remember what our real responsibilities are so that we can solve the problems. I think about these problems all the time," Carson said. "Our deficit is a big problem. Think about it; and our national debt, $16 and a half trillion dollars.
"What about our taxation system – so complex there is no one who can possibly comply with every jot and tittle. What we need to do is come up with something that is simple. When I pick up my Bible, you know what I see? I see the fairest individual in the universe – God – and he's given us a system. It's called tithe." Carson added that, regarding taxation, there must be something inherently fair about proportionality.
Carson, along with his wife, Candy, founded the Carson Scholars Fund in 1994, which is a nonprofit organization aimed at solving the nation's education crisis. Carson Scholarships are awarded to students in fourth to 11 grade, who exemplify academic excellence and humanitarian qualities. Winners receive a $1,000 scholarship to be invested toward their college education. Also, the Reading Project provides funding to schools to build and maintain Ben Carson Reading Rooms.