WASHINGTON — Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson criticized secularists during an annual gathering of social conservative activists Friday morning, saying that the idea of pushing God out of American public life is similar to “schizophrenia.”
Carson, a retired pediatric neurosurgeon who ran for president in 2016, spoke before hundreds of Christian conservatives gathered for the annual Road to Majority Conference hosted by the national evangelical grassroots organization Faith & Freedom Coalition at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The 67-year-old doctor urged the crowd to have “courage” to stand up and defend the values that the United States was founded on.
“What we need to realize is that our country is based on Judeo-Christian principles and foundation,” Carson said. “We must be willing to stand up for those principles and the only way that we can be the land of the free is that if we are the home of the brave.”
Carson, a devout Christian who regularly shares his faith, told the audience that when he came into government, people told him that he should “stop talking about God so much.”
“I said, ‘That’s not happening because that is a very important part of who I am,’” he explained. “People who say stuff like that, do they realize the founding document talks about certain unalienable rights given to by us by our Creator — A.K.A. God? The pledge of allegiance to our flag says we are ‘one nation under God.’ In many courtrooms on the wall, it says ‘In God we trust.’ Every coin in our pocket or bill in our wallet says, ‘In God we trust.’”
“If it is in our founding document, if it is in our pledge, if it is in our courts and it is on our money and we are not supposed to talk about it, what in the world is that? Schizophrenia,” Carson contended, referring to a mental disorder that impacts how a person thinks and behaves and is often characterized by hallucinations and delusions.
Many mistakenly believe the disorder involves developing split or multiple personalities.
As a number of left-leaning secularist legal organizations are trying to push faith and prayer out of the public square and are even putting pressure on devout public officials as low-ranking as high school football coaches, Carson declared that Americans should “not allow anybody to suppress our faith in God.”
During his speech, Carson was also critical of those who support the right of a woman to choose abortion.
“What we have is a country where we don’t guarantee people anything. We advocate for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all of our people,” he said. “When we have strayed from those things, that is when we have gotten into trouble.”
Carson compared those who don’t personally agree with abortion but support a woman’s right to get one to Americans back in the 1800s who didn’t agree with the enslavement of African-Americans but did not stand up against the injustice of slavery.
He admitted that he used to be “pro-choice” even though he had personal gripes with aborting unborn children.
“People who were slave owners thought that [since] they owned slaves, that they were property, that they could do anything they wanted to them, they beat them, raped them, killed them. Whatever they wanted to do, it was OK because they belonged to them,” Carson stressed.
“But there were others that said, ‘No, that’s [horrible]. There is no way I can participate in that.’ Then there were those abolitionists who said, ‘Not only do I not want to participate in it, I have to stand up for those who are being killed, who are being enslaved.’”
“I used to be pro-choice,” he continued. “I said ‘I don’t believe in abortion but who am I to stop anyone else from doing it if they want to?’ What if the abolitionists had thought that way? Where would we be?”
As a pediatric neurosurgeon, Carson said he has done many operations on babies that were premature as young as 25 weeks of gestation.
“I asked the head of the ACLU one time, I said, ‘Will you advocate for babies that are still in the mother’s womb?’” he explained. “'Because you say you speak for those who can’t speak for themselves. Certainly, they can’t speak for themselves.' He said, ‘No, I can’t do that.’”
"I said, 'What about the ones who are premature 25, 26, 27 weeks? They are in an incubator," Carson added. "[He said,], 'Oh yeah, no problem.' I said, 'So, the one that is in the safest place it could be in the universe, you can advocate for but [the other one you can't].' He said, 'I know it doesn't make much sense."
Carson said that he was told by the activist that he believes a woman has a right to abort up until the moment the baby is born. Carson said he asked the man if he would make that statement publicly. The answer was no, according to Carson.
“Now they will actually say that,” Carson said. “This is where our society has come. This is where our values have come. Human life that is viable outside of the womb and they have made it into an issue of women’s rights.”
Carson argued that abortion has “nothing to do with women’s rights.”
“It has to do with the dignity of human life and we have a Creator who is wise enough to recognize that there is no more sacred bond than the one between the mother and the child she is caring,” Carson said. “They have perverted that bond into something that has become evil, something that is horrible, something that is harming me and something that I have a right to kill.”
“How in the world did we as a society get to that point?” he continued. “We have to be willing to talk about these things. It is our willingness to talk about them and to stand up for people’s rights that has resulted in this becoming the nation that this has become.”
As the country is in the beginning stages of the 2020 presidential election season, the Faith & Freedom Coalition, the nation's largest conservative evangelical grassroots network, plans to spend $50 million on get-out-the-vote efforts in hopes of encouraging conservative Americans to vote next year in November.
The coalition seeks to protect the pro-life, religious liberty and judicial victories of the Donald Trump administration.
President Donald Trump told the conference on Wednesday that things could "change very quickly" if the wrong person is voted into office next November.
“This could all change very quickly,” Trump warned. “We have done things that nobody would have thought possible. We have done things that are so good and so righteous but so, so fragile. But the wrong person in office … could change it very quickly.”