At a Friday town hall in Iowa, a self-described atheist (who felt the need to add “I am not planted here”) asked retired neurosurgeon and presidential candidate Ben Carson whether “God’s law trumps our country’s law.” Carson’s response seemed to indicate that God’s law is more important, but that isn’t a problem, because the Constitution “was designed by men of faith.” He nevertheless insisted that Christians should still follow the law, even if it is unjust.
“Everybody, including atheists, live according to their faith,” Carson declared. “In my case, I have strong faith in God and I live by godly principles—of loving your fellow men, caring about your neighbor, developing your God-given talents to the utmost so you become valuable to the people around you.”
Carson admitted that these values drive him more than a dedication to American government. “That’s going to dictate how I treat everybody,” he said. Nevertheless, he quickly added that these values are not in conflict with America’s founding principles in the slightest.
“Fortunately, our Constitution, which is the supreme law of our land, was designed by men of faith, and it has a Judeo-Christian foundation,” Carson declared. “Therefore, there is no conflict there, so it is not a problem.” At that, the crowd burst into applause.
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When pressed, the retired neurosurgeon acknowledged that “we should fight against” laws “that are contrary to the Judeo-Christian values that we have.” Carson did not mention any specific examples of such laws, but given his opposition to abortion, it seems the Roe v. Wade decision would fall into this category for him.
“I personally believe that we still have an obligation to obey the laws, whether we agree with them or not, because otherwise we would be a lawless nation,” the neurosurgeon added. “But that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight against anything that we see as unjust, and we have the mechanism built into our system to allow these protests to take place.”
When questioned specifically about Texas Senator Ted Cruz’s statement that he is “a Christian first and an American second,” Carson refused to take a stand. “I will always say Mr. Cruz can speak for himself,” the neurosurgeon replied, to more applause.