Dr. Ben Carson, the famous neurosurgeon and subject of the movie Gifted Hands, spoke at a Breakfast Benefit for Birth Choice Pregnancy Resource Center in Clarkston, Michigan on Friday, April 12. Over 160 people paid $250 to attend the 7 a.m. talk, emceed by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette, and packed the room to overflowing. Latecomers were squeezed into tables, while others, happy just to make it inside, stood against the walls.
The audience of medical professionals and pro-life leaders listened appreciatively, erupting frequently into applause for the man who calls himself fortunate to have had many wonderful things happen to him. Included in that list: a childhood of dire poverty that he credits for giving him a “fire in his belly.”
With his easy-going manner and dry wit, Dr. Carson used the lessons of his powerful life story and its principles to extract his message. The respected, wealthy, pioneering neurosurgeon began life with little more than his undeveloped gifts and a mother full of faith. Living in the inner city of Detroit, with an absent father, at the bottom of his class and with a dangerous temper, Ben Carson could have become a sad statistic, but he became a life-saving doctor instead. He credits God and his mother for giving him a dream, a love of learning, courage, and a sense of responsibility to achieve.
Carson praised the crowd for taking a stance on abortion. He recounted meeting a member of the ACLU who claimed that their business was to speak for those who could not speak for themselves and to defend those who could not defend themselves. Carson challenged him: “Would you speak up for a 26-week-old fetus who is already ‘out’ but in an incubator? The man answered that he would. “So,” Carson continued, “if it’s in the mother’s womb, you have trouble speaking for that baby rather than the one who is on a respirator?” The man said, “I know it doesn’t make any sense!” Later, sitting at dinner, the man said, “I believe a woman has the right to kill her baby up until the second it is born!” Carson asked him, “Would you say that in public?” His answer: “No!”
“This kind of mentality is rampant in our nation,” said Carson. “Think about it. If you are willing to kill an innocent baby, down the line, who else are you willing to kill?”
Describing his position on abortion, Carson recalled: “I was thinking about an institution that existed in the past in this country called slavery.” Describing the mentality of a slave-owner, he said: “Now, people who owned slaves thought that they could do anything they wanted to them. They thought: I can kill them, I can beat them, I can break their families apart, I own them, they’re mine!” Then he mused, “What if the abolitionist had said, ‘I don’t believe in slavery but eh, you believe in it, you do what you want to do’? Think about that, and you can apply the same kind of argument to abortion.”
Though he did not mention the media silence surrounding Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s trial, Carson warned of “forces in America that want to fundamentally change who we are without discussion. Said Carson, “They co-opt the media and get everybody to shut up so we don’t know what is going on [so they can] change the underpinnings of the nation. We must be smart enough not to fall for it or one day we will wake up and find that we have a different nation.”
Carson encouraged support for pregnancy centers as one way that we are obligated to help make America strong. He explained: “I love what is being done by this organization [Birth Choice]. “When people actually get involved at the community level, helping other people around them, recognizing where the needs are and providing programs to help people, it promotes strong ties, bonding, and a sense of responsibility for the faith that is being placed in them – something that more and bigger government cannot do.”
Earlier this year, Dr. Carson withdrew as commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins University after LGBT supporters took offense at his remarks made in defense of traditional marriage. He told the crowd, “People know who I am, and they know I’m not a hater. What I was talking about had nothing to do with gays; what I was talking about is marriage, and no one, regardless of who they are, has the right to redefine marriage.”
“We have to stand up and tell others why we believe what we believe and not be bullied into silence,” Carson declared. “We should have courage and not be afraid to be called names. People have got to start speaking up and not allow others to make them cower and worry … get out there and take the fight to them and do not allow the media to define who we are or allow the secular progressives to push God out to redefine by their own standards what is right and what is wrong.”
Finally, Dr. Carson shared that God had used his life and his challenges to develop courage in him. “We must cling to Godly principles of loving our fellow man and caring about our neighbor – developing our God-given abilities so we can become valuable to the people around us. When you begin to place your full trust in God, that is what makes the difference, and that is why I am not going to shut up!”
Dr. Carson received a standing ovation.