Dr. Ben Carson spoke briefly Thursday afternoon at The FAMiLY Leader’s event in Des Moines. Carson spent much of his time talking about faith’s role in America.
“This is a very troubling time,” Carson said. “I remember when I first took office, a senior government official came to me and said, ‘you know, you have to stop all this God stuff. You cannot keep talking about God.’ And I just told him to take a hike, because I’m going to talk about God. That’s like saying cut your heart out and continue to work. That really doesn’t work very well.”
He pondered where the anti-God sentiments in our country have come from.
“I don’t think people really know the history of our country and how vital God was to those who started our country,” Carson said.
Recounting a story about George Washington, Carson told two stories.
The first was from when Washington was a courier for a general. Years after Washington performed the task, an Indian chief who was very elderly and close to death had his people take him to where Washington was. He told Washington he just wanted to meet him because he had shot him four times and was still here.
“And there were in fact four bullet holes in Washington’s coat, but no flesh wounds,” Carson said. “He was being protected.”
At the Battle of Long Island, Carson said Washington was down to his last battalion and the picture was grim. They were surrounded on land and on sea.
“And it looked like it was going to be the end of the Revolutionary War,” Carson said. “But the meteorological records, which are still available today, state that evening a very strange dense fog fell over the area. It lasted through the night and into the next day, providing cover for Washington so they could escape. Some people want to say that’s a coincidence, I don’t think that’s a coincidence. I think God has been involved from the beginning because our founders honored God.”
Carson said many people want to “rewrite our history” and try to say our founders didn’t believe in God.
“All you have to do is go back and look at their writing and I think you’ll be very convinced that they very much did believe in God,” he said.
The phrase “separation of church and state,” Carson said, is not in the United States Constitution.
“There was a Supreme Court ruling a few decades ago where it was mentioned, but only in the context that the state should not rule the church and the church should not rule the state,” he said. “That’s all it meant. It didn’t mean that people who work in government cannot speak and act upon their faith.”
He mentioned Alexis de Tocqueville’s final chapter of his two-volume set. After researching what made America so special, de Tocqueville wrote about the influence of the church.
“The fiery pulpits, which gave the people a courage and the moral rectitude, enough to be able to defeat the most powerful military force in the world,” Carson said. “So faith is a big part of us, it’s a big part of us as individuals too.”