Skip to comments.Let Us Prey
Posted on 02/12/2013 10:12:17 AM PST by Kaslin
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.
Cal Thomas fails to recognize what a threat to the Republic we have in Obama. There is no prerequesite to respect a traitor and an enemy to our nation.
The Prophet Nathan Reproaching King David by Angelica Kauffman (c. 1797)
I have nothing but HUGE respect for Cal Thomas. I understand his point completely, and normally I’d probably agree with him....
....but these are not “normal” times in which we live. I believe Dr. Carson, realizing the dire circumstances in which we find ourselves as a nation, felt compelled to tell the TRUTH; unvarnished, and in IMHO, warranted in these extraordinary times. Our freedoms, our treasure, our values as a Christian nation....ALL are under vicious attack.
Sorry, Mr. Thomas.....you’re a good friend of America, but this time I feel it is you who is off-base.
Like hell! His remarks are appropriate for EVERY occasion! We do not have a king! Nor do we have an emperor and this pretend one has no clothes!
I've noticed something. It has to do with hair dye. It apparently has an effect on the brains of those that use it. I believe that this is the case with both men and woman. Cal Thomas obviously uses commercial hair dye and maybe that is why he can no longer think?
I think Cal Thomas is feeling some “prophet envy”.
We expected people like Cal Thomas to be another Nathan the Prophet, but Cal turned out to be another “Barak” the judge - the one in the book of Judges who couldn’t lead the nation, and he instead failed to man up, and Deborah had to do it instead.
I also have respect for Cal Thomas and refuse to bash him. He is wrong in this case however
I’m sure Dr. Carson is fully aware of the history and tradition of the National Prayer Breakfast. No doubt he well knew that speaking critically of the president’s policies would give some purists in attendance the vapors.
Nevertheless he took the leap. Good for him. Somebody has to confront the destructive Obama. There’s precious little of such coming from the the pander platoon of Cal Thomas’ profession.
Perhaps in a few days ole Cal will get over his case of the flutters.
It seems to me that the President has been given some “warnings” recently in very public and very powerful ways. Joshua Cahn at the Inaugural Pray Breakfast laid out God’s judgement of our nation if we foolishly pursue our current path away from god’s moral laws. And now this one by Dr. Ben Carson at the National Prayer Breakfast. All Christian believers should be praying that our President will heed these warnings and have a change of heart - especially his stance towards Israel - as his choices will not only effect him but all of us as well. We have lots of example of people who disregarded God’s warnings. Belshazzar comes to mind.
“In the same hour came forth figures of a man’s hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king’s palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king’s countenance was changed, and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins (i.e., his bowels) were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.” Dan. 5
Cal Thomas is on the wrong side of this issue. Exactly where, and covered by the major media, would a Christian be able to tell the truth like these two men have recently done? The President has heard the truth - delivered by two godly men. It’s up to him now to do something with it.
Cal is a very good man, but he is wrong on this one. These are desperate times. obama et al are expecting people to be nice, follow the rules, while they break every single rule as they destroy America.
I appreciate Dr. Carson standing up for our country.
Surely, Mr. Thomas does not seriously believe that such an effort would have accomplished any worthwhile purpose!
Besides, "We, the People" are the ones who needed to hear the ideas of liberty so clearly presented by Dr. Carson, for it is "We, the People" who, in the words of Justice Story, are the "only KEEPERS" of the Constitution.
The men and women of 1776 did not ask for a private meeting with King George. They declared before the world a simple and "self-evident" truth and, by doing so, they gained the support of their fellows for the idea and, thereby, changed the world.
The light of liberty which they amplified for their time is flickering and may be extinguished by the decades-long determination of so-called "progressives" to censor the idea of Creator-endowed life, liberty and rights from the nation's textbooks and public discourse.
Surely Cal Thomas does not advocate designated "zones" for the exercise of freedom of speech on matters bordering on politics in a land which rejected "toleration" in favor of liberty for all, by leaving such speech outside the purview of government!
Cal Thomas has always failed in the clinches.
Did not the king of Israel (Ahab) and Jehoshaphat (future king of Judah) come from different political viewpoints and cultural commitments? And did not the prophet Micaiah tell them the truth?
"I saw all Israel scattered upon the hills, as sheep that have not a shepherd, and The LORD aid,'These have no master: let them return every man to his house in peace.' "
And was there not a lying spirit in Zedekiah (like Cal) and all the other prophets, except the truther prophet Micaiah (like Dr. Ben)? And did not Zedekiah smite Micaiah on the cheek and prophesy (falsely):
"Which way went The Spirit of The LORD from me to speak unto thee?"
This is the prophet that entered my thought while reading the article through, actually before knowing the author. Then I saw that the above was the opinion of Cal Thomas, and I was shocked!
Yes, while reading, I was also thinking of Nathan--as I saw later that you did--but the Micaiah/Zedekiah allegory seems to fit a little better.
I do not picture Obama as a righteous David. Rather, perhaps our Barack ought, in his musings, to dwell very carefully on the end of the unrighteous King Ahab (who murdered the little vineyard business owner to satisfy his own lust) ...
I am quite sure that Dr. Ben was speaking truly for God at that meeting of leaders, and Cal's reverie is quite wrong, this time.
I don;t care what he does with his hair or his head. Neither one matter to me but I have noticed that some of the heavy hair dye types seem a little off.
Leave it to a ‘conservative” to tell the only conservative with the nerve and grace, who effectively stands up to the Dear Reader’s bullying, to shut up.
I found Carson’s wisdom about health care, central to the protection of human life in America. Human life...a subject that makes Bam Bam uncomfortable but a topic dear to Christians’ hearts.
I am glad the plantation’s petty dictator felt uncomfortable with that uppity boy from Detroit! How dare he talk back!