Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson is inviting pastors and faith leaders to endorse him for president, describing it as vital to call on God in prayer for many of the challenges facing America.
"I am convinced that we are better equipped to face these challenges when we call on God in prayer. In the past days, secular progressives and their messengers in the mainstream media have tried to shame faithful Americans for turning to prayer during times of crisis," the retired neurosurgeon states on the Faith Based Coalition for Ben Carson website, which includes a form for pastors to fill out when endorsing him.
Carson claims that the secular progressives are attacking people of faith, and writes:
"They mock people of faith and prayer because they do not understand the power of prayer. They have not experienced the powerful change that occurs by humbling yourself and calling on God to intercede."
Carson has been heavily promoting his Christian faith throughout his presidential campaign, and has sparked a couple of social media efforts standing in solidarity with people of faith.
Last week, he encouraged Christians to post photos of themselves holding a sign that reads "In God We Trust," arguing that God needs to remain a "core principal" in the United States.
In the past he has also started similar "I Am A Christian" social media efforts, in response to the Umpqua Community College shootings in October.
He has said, however, that the United States has a "schizophrenic" relationship with God.
"The pledge of allegiance to our flag says we are one nation under God. Many courtrooms in the land, on the wall it says 'In God We Trust.' Every coin in our pocket, every bill in our wallet says 'In God We Trust,'" the Republican candidate said in October.
"So if it's in our founding documents, it's in our pledges, in our courts and it's on our money, but we're not supposed to talk about it, what in the world is that? In medicine it's called schizophrenia. And I, for one, am simply not willing to kick God to the curb," he added.
Carson, who is a Seventh-day Adventist, had to clarify earlier in January that he holds "mainstream" Christian views on topics such as Hell and the Rapture, when a Washington Post article claimed that he did not believe in either.
"There isn't anything that's non-mainstream Christian about Seventh-day Adventists — the one exception may be that they believe that Saturday is the Sabbath, simply because that's what the Bible says," Carson explained, calling the WP story "total garbage."
"That doesn't mean that people who worship on Sunday are evil people or doomed. I don't believe that."
As for the Rapture, the retired neurosurgeon explained in his later interview with CNN:
"I don't believe in a secret rapture where people just — he's sitting here one minute and he disappears. I believe in what the Bible says and the book of Thessalonians where he will come, everybody will see him, people will be raised from the dead, called up."