Tag Archives: Ben Carson

The full context of what Ben Carson said about Terri Schiavo

Ben Carson is in another controversy.
This time it’s over what he said about the tragic case of Terri Schiavo — the woman who died in 2005 from dehydration and starvation, after years of legal and political battles, and 15 years after slipping into a coma that doctors later called a persistent vegetative state.
Terri Schiavo
On Nov. 14, 2015, Adam C. Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reported that Carson disagreed with then-Florida governor Jeb Bush’ attempt to bypass court rulings to force the re-insertion of feeding tubes for Schiavo, and referred to the Terri Schiavo case as “much ado about nothing.”
Consistent with his reaction in previous controversies, Carson insisted in an exclusive to LifeSiteNews on Nov. 18 that his remarks had been “taken out of context and misinterpreted.” He said: “When I used the term ‘much ado about nothing,’ my point was that the media tried to create the impression that the pro-life community was nutty and going way overboard with the support of the patient.”
Ben Johnson reports for LifeSiteNews, Nov. 19, 2015, that some pro-life leaders remained uneasy after hearing Carson’s explanation, and numerous LifeSiteNews readers said they wished they could know “the context” via a full recording of the exchange between the Tampa Bay Times (TBT) reporter and Ben Carson.
The same day, Nov. 19, TBT reporter Adam C. Smith posted a full transcript of the exchange with Carson during the Florida GOP’s Sunshine Summit conference:

Times: Dr. Carson, a few years ago when Gov. Bush was in charge of the state, he and the Florida Legislature moved to overturn the court decision on Terri Schiavo to force the feeding tube to be reinserted. What was your view of that as a doctor at the time?
Carson: Well, I said at the time, “We face those kinds of issues all the time and while I don’t believe in euthanasia, you have to recognize that people that are in that condition do have a series of medical problems that occur that will take them out. And your job is to keep them comfortable throughout that process and not to treat everything that comes up.”
Times: Did you think it was appropriate for Congress and the Legislature to
Carson: I don’t think it needed to get to that level. I think it was much ado about nothing. Those things are taken care of every single day just the way I described.

From the transcript above, by “much ado about nothing,” Carson clearly was referring to the efforts by then Florida governor Jeb Bush to intervene in the Schiavo case in order to save her life.
Schiavo’s brother, Bobby Schindler, who leads the Terri Schiavo Life & Hope Network and has praised Governor Bush’s handling of his sister’s case, said in a column that Carson’s followup comments are not reassuring. Schindler wrote in TBT‘s Buzz blog:

“I have deep respect for the accomplishments and commitment Dr. Carson has shown for life. But our family remains deeply troubled that in seeking to clarify his remarks, he has not unequivocally condemned what happened to my sister. In fact, his suggestion that simple ‘consensus’ among family members and health care providers could justify what happened to my sister is problematic. If I had agreed with Michael Schiavo (Terri’s husband) to starve and dehydrate my sister to death, would that have made it right?”

Orlando lawyer, John Stemberger, one of Florida’s most prominent social conservative activists, said Carson’s Schiavo comments have seriously damaged his appeal to many voters:

“I like Ben Carson a lot, but it is very disappointing that he does not even understand the basic pro-life principle that life begins at conception and ends at natural death. Terri was never in an active dying process. She was a severely disabled person who was killed through the brutal and painful process of starvation and dehydration. While Ben Carson may think this is ‘much to do about nothing,’ for most pro-life voters, it morally disqualifies him as a candidate. He is not thinking clearly about this matter and should reconsider his careless comments.”

Ben Carson has a painting in his home of himself in the foreground, with Jesus standing behind him.

Painting of young Carson and Jesus in hallway

Painting of young Carson and Jesus in hallway


Would our Lord Jesus Christ call Bush’s and others’ efforts to rescue Terri Schiavo “much ado about nothing”?
There are also important policy reasons for conservatives to be skeptical about Ben Carson, see Kelleigh Nelson’s article in NewsWithViews.
~Eowyn

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Ben Carson compares ISIS to America's founding fathers

I just received this as a news tip from FOTM reader CSM. The news is almost a year old, and yet I had not known this. Did you?
Steve Peoples reports for the AP (via Yahoo) that on Jan. 15, 2015, in a 35-min. luncheon speech to the Republican National Committee’s winter meeting outside San Diego, presidential aspirant Dr. Ben Carson compared ISIS or the Islamic State (who chop off the heads of their enemies) to the patriots of the American Revolution.

Referring to the Islamic State, Carson said, “They got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness. We have to change that.”

A Republican National Committee spokesman had no immediate response when asked to comment on Carson’s remarks.

After the speech, Carson said it’s “ridiculous” to suggest he was likening American patriots to the Islamic State, claiming the comparison was politically motivated attacks by his opponents.

You decide if it’s ridiculous. Here’s a video of his remarks, followed by my transcription of his words:
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lqwgxcrMm3s]
Carson said:

“A bunch of ragtag militia men [American revolutionaries] defeated the most powerful and professional military force on the planet [Great Britain]. Why? Because they believed in what they were doing, they were willing to die for what they believed in. The British were not.
Fast forward to today. What do we have? You got ISIS. They’ve got the wrong philosophy, but they’re willing to die for what they believe, while we are busily giving away every belief and every value for the sake of political correctness.”

Carson easily could have made his point about the need for patriotic Americans today to stand up for our beliefs and values, without comparing the barbaric Islamic State jihadists to our Founding Fathers.

Carson has drawn criticism for other comparisons. In Spring 2014, Carson called the scandal over patient care at veterans hospitals “a gift from God to show us what happens when you take layers and layers of bureaucracy and place them between the patients and the health care provider.” In 2013 he called Obamacare “the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery,” adding that “it is slavery in a way because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

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~Eowyn

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