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Fox News Story

By Cal Thomas


Our politics have become so polarized and corrupted that a president of the United States cannot even attend an event devoted to drawing people closer to God and bridge partisan and cultural divides without being lectured about his policies.
Last Thursday at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, D.C., Dr. Ben Carson, director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, and a 2008 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, broke with a 61-year-old tradition and publicly disagreed with some of the president’s policies, such as “ObamaCare,” taxation and the national debt. Disclosure: I have attended this event since 1971 and host a dinner the night before for members of the media.
Several in the audience of 3,000 applauded Carson’s remarks, which must have made the president feel even more uncomfortable.
I am no fan of the president’s policies, but the National Prayer Breakfast is billed as one of the few nonpolitical events in a very political city. Each year, the co-chairs, one Democrat and one Republican from either the House or Senate, put aside their political differences, as they do in weekly gatherings, to pray for the nation’s leaders.
Carson, who spoke at the same event several years ago, has a compelling and inspirational personal story. He and his brother grew up in Detroit. His parents divorced when he was three. His mother kept an eye on her children and made them turn off the TV and read books. Carson said he did poorly in school and was mocked by classmates until he later caught the learning bug. He retold part of that story, but it was overwhelmed by his criticism of the president’s policies.
Carson is a great example of what perseverance can accomplish and his success is a rebuke to the entitlement-envy-greed mentality. By lowering himself to mention policies with which he disagrees, he diluted the power of a superior message.
His remarks were inappropriate for the occasion. It would have been just as inappropriate had he praised the president’s policies. The president had a right to expect a different message about another Kingdom. I’m wondering if the president felt drawn closer to God, or bludgeoned by the Republican Party and the applauding conservatives in the audience (there were many liberals there, too, as well as people from what organizers said were more than 100 nations and all 50 states).
In 1996, radio personality Don Imus was the main speaker at the Radio and Television Correspondents Association annual banquet in Washington where he made sexually suggestive comments in front of President Clinton and the first lady. I asked White House Press Secretary Dee Dee Myers at the time if I was being too puritanical or did she also think Imus’ remarks were inappropriate. She agreed they were. Whatever happened to propriety?
If Carson wanted to voice his opinion about the president’s policies, he could have done so backstage. Even better, he might have asked for a private meeting with the man. As a fellow African American who faced personal challenges and overcame them, the president might have welcomed Dr. Carson to the White House. Instead, Carson ambushed him.
Carson should publicly apologize and stop going on TV doing “victory laps” and proclaiming that reaction to his speech was overwhelmingly positive. That’s not the point. While many might agree with his positions (and many others don’t as shown by the November election results), voicing them at the National Prayer Breakfast in front of the president was the wrong venue.
Organizers for this event tell speakers ahead of time to steer clear of politics, but Carson apparently “went rogue” on them. I’m told organizers were astonished and disapproving of the critical parts of Carson’s keynote address. The breakfast is supposed to bring together people from different political viewpoints and cultures. It is supposed to bridge divides, not widen them.
If this and future presidents think their policies will be prey for political opponents at the prayer breakfast, they might decide not to come. That would be too bad for them and too bad for the country.


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Enjoy this excerpt from the book:

"Meanwhile, you are firmly in control. If (actually, when) you experience problems with poverty, crime, gangs, lack of urban development in cities where you have a black mayor, a black congressman, a black city manager, a black superintendent of schools, a black county treasurer, a black chief of police, a black fire chief, blacks on the county Board of Supervisors, blacks on the school board, etc., find ONE white man, preferably a Republican to blame for all those problems. If one doesn’t exist, don’t be afraid to refurbish one, even if you have to blame Republican Presidents George W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Herbert Hoover, or T.R. Roosevelt."

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  • Don Burck

    How many AMERICANS will the President offend with his speech Tonite???

  • FuziSlippers

    Hmmm. I’m torn on this one to be honest. There is nothing, NOTHING, that this president won’t politicize, so I was actually happy to hear Dr. Carson giving a bit of that back. I do see what you mean about keeping politics out of the prayer breakfast, but then I wonder, how can we possibly continue to accept this premise when there is no topic, no tragedy, no line that this administration won’t cross in pursuit of its political goals?

  • Chuck Guilliams

    BS….. He should NOT apologize. If BHO had been doing his job correctly, maybe Dr. Carson would not have had to open his mouth.
    It is a known fact that BHO worships Mohammed and is MUSLIM. This is his right. BUT he must be REALLY ASHAMED of this.
    After all, he tries to conceal it along with:His college records from Occidental, Columbia, Harvard, his thesis’ sealed, His Illinois record, schedule, Birthcert, Live birth record, selective service record… THE LISTING GOES ON AND ON AND ON….

    Dr Carson is a renowned Pediatric Neurosurgeon that felt it was his right to ask a few questions about what BHO is doing to the United States. This is something more people should do. We should ALL:
    1) ASK
    2) LISTEN
    3) THINK
    If we did this how many world problems could have been averted?

    If ANYTHING I feel that the media clowns need to apologize to the PUBLIC for the way they DO NOT TELL the TRUTH to the public, for the way they constantly lead poeple around like SHEEP. Taking them to the slaughterhouse. LED ASTRAY!!!!
    The SHAM that ALL of the ‘ALPHABET radio and television stations has fed to the public is a travesty.

  • Harlin S. Neal

    Why? I’ve seen many liberal-leaning speakers use events like national prayer breakfasts to Sunday-morning pulpits to voice their grievances with what’s gong on with our country, and I haven’t heard this much criticism over it. I read the commentary, and I think if the author has a problem with Dr. Carson being “political” at a prayer breakfast, then I think she’s being a little naive. Politics and religion, despite cries to the contrary, are all but mixed together. The only question with the author, me, and you is…which “politics” and “religion” are you mixing?

    Personally…I look at Dr. Carson’s comments like this. I’ve seen his whole speech, and I thought it was pretty good. If you agree with what he said, as I did, then there was nothing wrong with what he said nor where he said it. If you disagree with him, then it was all wrong…what he said, where he said it, the color of the skin of the person talking, etc. The term “appropriate” doesn’t necessarily apply because everything in our culture has become politicized to the point that even events like entertainment award shows, sporting events, and even neighborhood parties…events in the past that would not invoke political commentary, are now saturated with it. Now…the question is NOT whether or not an event will feature political commentary, but where are the people involved in the event leaning politically?

  • William Dedee

    Too damn bad. Barry obviously has no consideration for anything but what he wants. It’s time he got a dose of his own medicine, he has been doing this to the voters of this country for the past for years – so DO NOT expect any leniency.Christians are tired of turning the other cheek for this clown, name instances where he has been amicable? Bet there aren’t that many – if any- that come to memory. There is a time to be silent, and a time to speak your mind. I DO NOT consider his psuedo position as a deterent to the spirit of my argument either.

  • TREX

    Nope I disagree. no apology needed.This was a way to get his message out and besides that everything that the left does is political.I see no problem with him speaking his mind.

  • morris adams

    these are all great comments, i’m glad to see that if i ‘commented’ i would only be repeating you guys! this POSOTUS is partial to an ambush, he shoulda seent it comin! i’m glad this happened, now he knows how uncomfortable he makes everyone feel, not the he cares!

    • Travis McCauley

      EXACTLY, Morris,… just reading the comments juiced me up in knowing there are many others out there who are TIRED of the politicizing of anything and everything sacred…. You GO, Doc!!!

  • Pamela Troeppl Kinnaird

    I’m sorry, Tami, but I also disagree. While I do feel it would be horrible if the President stopped coming to these events, I think that what is fair for the goose is fair for the gander. President Obama politicizes everything—he should expect the same. Dr. Carson’s comments, coming as they do from an educated and successful black man, should carry more weight with Obama. I say ‘should’, but I doubt it had much of an impact.

    • Cornelius Pigg

      why should they carry more weight? just because they come from another black man? you’re…’re right that it probably had no impact, and rightly so. Betcha didn’t criticize old Bushy boy when he was in the white house, bending this country over- did you?

  • Janice Wood Jordan

    There was nothing unBiblical about Dr. Carson’s speech. He used several examples and scriptures from the Bible to show how erroneous Obama’s policies are. Why should he prostitute his religious beliefs to accommodate the lack of Obama’s?

  • Guest

    Why should Dr. Carson apologize? Is president Obama greater that common sense and logic? Better yet is he greater than “Thus saith the Lord God of all creation? ~JT~

  • Guest

    Caryl Bullis Townsend•in a few seconds



    Flag as inappropriate

    Why should Dr. Carson apologize? Is president Obama greater than common sense and logic? Better yet is he greater than “Thus saith the Lord God of all creation? ~JT~

    see more00

  • Reality Bites

    He should not apologize. This president is so far removed from God it is unbelievable. Carson gave Obama a reality check. The prayer breakfast was the perfect place to remind Obama about God, since he is so caught up in his own ego. Christians don’t vote yes on third term abortion. Let’s just be real here. Obama is the ultimate disrespect and Carson called him out on it.

  • Timothy Moore

    “The breakfast is supposed to bring together people from different political viewpoints and cultures. It is supposed to bridge divides, not widen them.”

    I think his speech is in agreement with this statement from the author, not in disagreement as implied in the article.


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