Many of the GOP presidential candidates have managed to muck up their public responses to the Oregon college shooting.
Jeb Bush told us “stuff happens.” Mike Huckabee told us the shooting was a product of sin. Most of the rest hypocritically pointed to the state of our mental healthcare system. Dr. Ben Carson was no different, but he’s been far more concerned with preaching than politicking.
Ignoring reports that the shooter did not, in fact, target Christians and the slew of information suggesting there were very different motivating factors that pushed him to commit his dastardly deed, Carson posted online a picture of himself holding up a sign declaring, “I AM A CHRISTIAN.”
The chosen hashtag gained traction on Twitter and gave Carson a boost in media coverage. He continued to make his case for being Pastor-in-Chief on Fox and Friends today with misplaced Christian bravado, historical inaccuracies, and zero respect for separation of church and state.
While much of the media response has been Carson’s callous comment about how he probably wouldn’t meet with the victims’ families this time around, but he “would go to the next one,” implying that there would undoubtedly be a “next one,” let’s focus on what he said about that image.
When asked about his “I am a Christian” photo, he launched into a monologue about the “true” character of this nation, saying:
… I believe that this nation has Judeo-Christian roots. And why are we so busy trying to give those away for the sake of political correctness? You know, when you give away your identity, you give away your soul. And in the Book of Proverbs its says: without a vision, the people perish. We can’t give away who we are and what we stand for and what our vision is.
Same old cringe-worthy, eye-roll-inducing drivel we regularly hear from Carson and his ilk, right? No, we are not a Judeo-Christian nation. There are no explicitly Christian roots to give up. And political correctness, as it’s used by the Right, is just a term they bring up whenever they’re asked to treat others with respect. But then again, Carson’s not exactly concerned about reality, as his next comments indicated:
Brian Kilmeade: But Dr. Carson, if a gunman walks up and puts a gun at you and asks “What religion are you?”, that is the ultimate test of your faith.
Carson: I’m glad you asked that question, because not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, “Hey guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can’t get us all!”
What a nice fairy tale he tells. And make no mistake — that’s all it is. Shouting about ambushing a shooter is probably not going to organize anyone. It will probably get you killed and definitely endanger the lives of those around you. Active shooter protocol is either evacuation or lockdown for a reason. And despite celebrating the courage of the students who affirmed their faith to the shooter, he doesn’t seem to have any problem implying that their lack of cooperation is to blame for their untimely deaths.
Perhaps Carson believes his super-Christian status will make him the exception to the rule, but it’s easy to be brave when it’s all hypothetical, isn’t it? In any case, hardly presidential stuff.