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Christian Union
October 4, 2013

Dr. Ben Carson Says Political Correctness Is Damaging the United States

From low-income underachiever to prominent neurosurgeon, Dr. Ben Carson personifies the American dream. However, in his latest book, America the Beautiful: Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great, Carson, Yale '73, warns readers that the dream could become mere fantasy if freedom of speech is silenced by political correctness and the nation loses sight of the values, freedoms, and faith upon which it was founded.

From eradicating God from the public sector, to appeasing politicians with kindness instead of truth, Carson cites acquiescing to the national status quo as an affront to the civil liberties many organizations and individuals purport to defend.

"The ability to think and speak freely was one of the major tenets upon which this nation was established, and I suspect that the founding fathers would turn over in their graves if they could see how such tenets are being violated on a regular basis today by people adhering to political correctness," writes Carson.

Throughout the book, Carson, the former director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, shares his experiences of growing up in poverty and being labeled a "dummy" due to poor grades. He also interweaves those personal moments with historical facts and Christian wisdom to demonstrate the greatness of America and the dangers of not speaking up for one's beliefs and values.

The physician, author, and public speaker unashamedly declares that the United States comes from a Christian heritage, and that the secular argument of eradicating God in the name of separation of church and state doesn't hold water.

"There is nothing at all in our founding documents forbidding or denigrating religious expression in public life," Carson writes.

Therefore, Carson doesn't shy away from expressing his own religious, political, and social views—even in highly visible public situations.

In February, before President Barack Obama, Columbia '83 and Harvard Law '91, and hundreds of dignitaries and political leaders, Carson boldly spoke his convictions as the keynote speaker of the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast when he called political correctness "a horrible thing."

"I'm not ever out to offend anyone. But PC is dangerous. Because, you see, in this country, one of the founding principles was freedom of thought and freedom of expression. [Political correctness] puts a muzzle on people. And at the same time, it keeps them from discussing important issues while the fabric of this society is being changed. And we cannot fall for that trick. And what we need to do is start talking about things, talking about things that are important," he told breakfast attendees.

Carson was criticized because he questioned public policy at the breakfast. He called the national debt a big problem and offered a flat, tithe-like alternative that doesn't set out to punish those who earn more income. Carson also questioned the efficiency of the health care system. As a result, pundits called for him to apologize to the president for his remarks, which were deemed too political for the event.

In an interview with Fox News, Carson responded to the criticism, saying, "It really didn't matter who I was sitting in front of. I always pray before I give a speech and I ask God for the right things to say. It's very rare these days for people to speak the truth. Everyone wants to go along to get along and, in the meantime, the fabric of our nation is being destroyed."

This spring, Carson stepped down as commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University because of the controversy surrounding his past comments opposing same-sex marriage. In a letter to Medical School Dean Paul Rothman, Carson said he didn't want to "distract from the celebratory nature of the day."

And that's exactly the kind of "muzzle" he spoke about at the National Prayer Breakfast.

Yet, while Carson raises his concern about the future of the United States, he also offers hope to Americans.

"Many recent polls have shown that most Americans believe that we are on the wrong path as a nation," Carson writes in his book. "They are discouraged about our future and the future of our children. I say be not discouraged, for God is on our side if we really trust in Him, as is indicated on every coin in your pocket and every bill in your wallet."