WHAT GOD TOLD BEN CARSON November 9, 2015

I said I’d try to post a couple of times a week and I guess try was the right word. But this one is long enough to make up for a couple of weeks. Enjoy!

Before you read this, I’d like to say one thing: I don’t like to be sarcastic, but the current state of politics and political discourse in America is so completely absurd that I really have trouble discussing it with a straight face. So here it is:

The Boss tells me his father read somewhere that the most dangerous people are the ideologues because they want more than just your stuff – they want your mind. But he says he thinks that the really dangerous people are the religious fanatics because they want your soul. They are so absolutely sure of what they believe that, “Doubt becomes heresy and their ultimate goals are pursued without compromise. Gizmo, I believe that faith is a wonderful thing, and I respect whatever belief people may have in whatever Deity they choose to worship, but I absolutely hate deceit, hypocrisy, the feigning of special revelation, and the abuse of the sincere beliefs of others.”

Wow! Pretty deep for me! But if the Boss says it, I remember it. That’s the way we puppies are. We pay attention.

Anyway, Ben Carson. He has said many times that he talks to God and God guides him, as He did the Founding Fathers when they wrote the Constitution. According to Ben’s analysis, some of them didn’t “want to talk to God,” but Franklin convinced them to “ask God to give us wisdom,” so they did and thus were able to come up with the Constitution because they were “divinely inspired.” And it seemed to work out pretty well.

“The Lord has a plan,” says Ben. And, “God gets the credit for all the things I do.” He said he didn’t want to run for President but the Lord opened a lot of doors for him. He told Pat Robertson that in preparing a speech for the National Prayer Breakfast, “I realized that God probably had something special he wanted me to say but I didn’t know what it was until the morning of the prayer breakfast… after a while, wrestling with it, I just said, ‘I’m leaving it alone; the Lord will tell me what to say.'”

Ben has written, “I know my faith is strong and my ego is small,” though he is “one of the most spectacular and smartest people in the world.” In fact, from the beginning much of his writing and large portions of his speeches have been almost painfully self-aggrandizing.

And what I really wonder is this: What kind of ego is required to believe you’re speaking for God?

So let’s see what else God told Ben Carson.

Apparently God told Ben that gays choose to be gay. It has nothing to do with how they were born or how God created them; it is a personal choice. But Ben still loves them and He does too, though if the gays don’t repent of this bad choice they are in for a long, hot summer.

God also told Ben that we should not have a Muslim President. Unless (according to the latest clarification) that person rejects portions of his religion. What about Ben? Is he willing to publically reject those portions of the Bible which may appear to Muslims and other observers to advocate war, slavery, genocide, the subjugation of women, and the murder, including by stoning, of adulterers and homosexuals?

What’s even more scary to me is that God told Ben that it’s O.K. to profile people based on their religion. Being a Muslim, for example, would constitute probable cause for tracking the personal phone calls and emails of an individual. This would simply mean that all Muslims in America would live under a Constitution different from the divinely inspired one that governs the rest of us.

God also told Ben that abortion under essentially any circumstances, including rape, incest, and maybe even when the mother’s life or health is at stake (this we can “discuss”), and beginning at conception, is worse than letting the baby be born into a living Hell that his comrades-in-arms consistently refuse to invest in fixing. Actually, God’s message to Ben has not been consistent on this issue, but this seems to be the bottom line as of Ben’s Meet The Press interview of October 25, 2015.  

On the issue of waging war, the Lord told Ben that the rule is, “No War.” (Check out some of God’s previous positions on this rule.) But, in case humans ever happen to break the rule about no war, there should be no other rules. Apparently war crimes, including torture, etc. are O.K. once the original sin of going to war has been committed. Now, excuse me for being very perplexed here, but I have some questions: 1.) What about rape, an integral part of war as it actually exists. No rules? And if the victim gets pregnant, no abortion? Isn’t that a rule? and 2.) Shouldn’t God have thought a bit more about some of this before He spoke to Ben?

Another interesting thing that God told Ben is that the Affordable Care Act is like Leninism. (Was God around last Century?) He also said that the ACA is worse than the 9/11 attacks. God told Ben to inform the citizens of the U.S. that Obama’s plan for America comes from Mein Kampf and the works of Lenin.

Actually, God has told Ben to make a number of similar analogies, often comparing the policies or beliefs of his political opponents to those of the leaders of Nazi Germany.

And God told Ben that Obama appears to be a psychopath. Or, to be exact, he is “like a psychopath.” (Though God told Ben this in private – it wasn’t supposed to get out. I wonder what else they talk about.)

If you’re now on your four paws, “Sit!” for this one. The Lord told Ben that President Obama might declare martial law at some point before his term is over. Of course, this could have the effect of extending his tenure. Also, Congress might be in such disarray by 2016 that elections can’t be held. Man! – when These Two get together we learn some serious pooch poop.

In the past couple of days The Lord has really riled Ben up, which He might want to rethink. After all, Ben’s proudly-recounted and fiercely-defended life story is how he was a “pathologically” violent youth who “would go after people (including his mother) with rocks, and bricks, and baseball bats, and hammers.” But now He has healed him. Ben is no longer pathological or violent. He basks in the peace of the Lord. So now we can trust him with the nuclear trigger.

So, if They want to keep this Gentle Ben narrative going, why would God tell Ben to sarcastically and angrily attack members of the press trying to interview and vet him? (The Hill [11/7/15] said that he responded to the press Friday “with fury.”) Why would God have him call people who disagree with him “stupid,” and say to Alisyn Camerota, “Are you honestly telling me that you don’t know what I was talkin’ about when I said that…because if you are you might fit in that category.” (He had just referred to the “many” “stupid” Americans who disagree with his opinions.) Impatiently, he clarified: “I just told you who I think the stupid people are…”

And God told Ben to say all of this of this after previously having him quote Proverbs 9:11, “With his mouth the Godless destroys his neighbor..” and Proverbs 11:12, “A man who lacks judgment derides his neighbor but a man of understanding holds his tongue.” And after having previously said, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority…” (Hebrews 13:17, NIV) and after telling Ben to say, “We need to concentrate on being respectful of those people with whom we disagree.” Puzzled yet?

Getting back to what God told Ben to say to Alisyn Camerota, Ben very specifically characterized “stupid” people as those who support social welfare and those who pity the poor. The Lord forgot to remind Ben of what He had previously said, “He that hath pity upon the poor lendeth unto the Lord…” (Proverbs 19:17, KJV) and what His Son said, “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” (Mark 10:21, NIV) and “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40, NIV)

On a related topic, the Lord also told Ben to advocate for the limiting of the free speech of liberal academics, but please leave the conservatives alone. Ben abhors the “P.C. culture,” but if you disagree with him verbally (i.e., say something “stupid”), you should be censured.

I have to say that none of this is a surprise to me, because 1.) I’m beginning to get a line on Ben’s logic and 2.) I’m sure Ben’s God is a member of the Freedom Caucus.

On the issue of global warming God told Ben that, although He’s not a scientist, He’s pretty sure that climate change is cyclical (He’s been around a while) and “There’s always either cooling or warming going on.” This makes the issue of whether or not much of human life on the planet may be in grave danger in less than a century (which is apparently too far ahead for a Non-Scientist to speculate about) “irrelevant.”

I’m thinking there’s a reason why Ben uses the word “irrelevant” to refer to events in any time period beyond the near future. But I think that most of us puppies would hope that the President of the United States, regardless of his beliefs, would have a working assumption that the End Times are not imminent.

Ben shouldn’t have asked God a “gotcha” question, but he wanted to know what kind of a tax plan to propose. Of course, since the earth may be flat anyway (I’m not a scientist), God proposed a flat tax, a tithe. God’s argument was clearly sound, with much Biblical precedent. He had no trouble convincing Ben. But where He got into trouble was with the ten percent thing. Little did He know, but a flat tax of about twenty percent would be needed to balance any conceivable budget. (I don’t think He’s an accountant either.) Within days Ben, possibly without God’s knowledge, jumped to fifteen percent. Still not enough, but getting closer.

God told Ben that the suffering and deaths of all of the veterans who were abused and ignored under the criminally inefficient VA system were actually a gift from Him. “A gift from God,” Ben said. I hope God keeps me off His Christmas list. Maybe a few sins would come in handy right now!

Another “gift from God,” this time to Ben, was that God allowed Ben to grow up in a rather rough environment. Ben is used to seeing “people having the crap beat out of them by police.” But God told Ben to say that it’s O.K. because these people were doing “wrong stuff” anyway. I’ve been rereading the teachings of Jesus to find out where this one fits in.

God opened the doors of a few federal prisons for Ben to visit. I would have expected that this was a chance for Ben to channel God’s mercy, but instead his takeaway was this: “I was flabbergasted by the accommodations – the exercise equipment, the libraries and the computers.”

He wants prisons to be places that are not “particularly comfortable.” I’m just a dog, but I imagine that violence, brutality, rapes, confinement for most of the day in a walk-in closet you share with God-knows(maybe)-who, separation from your family, friends, and community, losing all of your rights, subjection to absolute authority and control, and general disgrace and shame would be enough discomfort to please Ben’s sensitivities.

Gentle Ben. And his constant advisor, The God of Love. By the way, how do you rehabilitate someone without books and computers? And is not allowing them to exercise some form of “tough love”? Maybe They should talk this over before They put out another statement.

God doesn’t appear to have told Ben much of any substance at all about the existence of or how to deal with racism, inequality, and the plight of the middle class and the poor in America, which I really can’t understand, His being the father of Jesus and all.

On immigration, one of the things the Lord told Ben to say was this: “Anyone caught involved in voter fraud should be immediately deported and have his citizenship revoked.” I’ll give you a lot of time to think about this one. If you figure it out get back to me.

On other immigration issues, the Lord seems to have again kept Ben in the dark, though this hasn’t stopped Ben from sermonizing on the topic. For example, God forgot to inform Ben about the Cuban Adjustment Act and the wet-foot, dry-foot policy. “I’ve not been fully briefed,” Ben said after admitting he didn’t know about this law, which is rather relevant to much of what he has currently been pontificating about. God’s amateur protégé needs to get up to speed.

As a kind of a credulous little guy, what is almost the most amazing to me is that God told Ben Carson to lie. According to the sixteen Carson statements on PolitiFact’s website, three are half true, four are mostly false, seven are false, and two are “pants on fire!” None of his analyzed statements are rated as true. This puzzles me in light of the rather large number of times God has previously condemned falsehood. To give just a couple of examples, He said, “The Lord detests lying lips…” (Proverbs 12:22, NIV) and  “…he who pours out lies will perish.” (Proverbs 19:9, NIV) Relatively clear, I would say.

But let’s not rely on PolitiFact. Let’s look at just one example for ourselves. You guessed it, Mannatech. Ben has had connections with this company for about ten years. He uses and consistently endorses their products in public. He has made at least four very well-paid speeches for the company. (During the debate he said, “a couple.”) He was in videos on their website until recently when, following a Wall Street Journal article about his involvement, they were removed.

Mannatech has made outrageous claims for it’s products, so much so that, according to CNN, “In 2009, Mannatech settled for $7 million following a lawsuit brought by the Texas attorney general over the company’s claims that its products could cure cancer and autism.”

In 2004 God told Ben to say, in a speech to Mannatech sales associates, that, after having been diagnosed with prostate cancer, he started taking the company’s “glyconutritional supplements” and  “within about three weeks” his “symptoms went away,” which really amazed him. (I guess he was a puzzled puppy, too.)

I would imagine that all of this worked very well for Mannatech, but then God told Ben to have what at the time appeared to be unnecessary prostate surgery anyway, in order that he could act as a “role model” for others who weren’t as disciplined as he was about taking Mannatech products.

To Their surprise, in the end the surgery turned out to have been necessary in any case, since the Mannatech products hadn’t actually worked, fooling both God and Ben. Fortunately for Them, though His reasoning was off, God got lucky in suggesting the surgery.

Knowing all this, and knowing about Mannatech’s false claims and misleading business practices, Ben continued to promote the company’s products. In a 2013 video for them Ben said, “The wonderful thing about a company like Mannatech is that they recognize that when God made us, He gave us the right fuel.”

Knowing all this (one would presume) God still told Ben to say the following in a recent Republican debate when asked about his involvement with Mannatech: “I didn’t have an involvement with them. That is total propaganda… It is absolutely absurd to say that I had any kind of a relationship with them.”

To show the much-ignored conservatism of the “liberal” media when it comes to calling someone a liar, Charles Blow, a wonderful columnist for The New York Times, said that Ben “suggested” that he had no ties with Mannatech. He “suggested” nothing. He flat-out stated that he had no ties with them. Possibly the word “any,” being three letters and two syllables, is too big for a New York Times columnist or a famous neurosurgeon to understand.

I might be just a little fur ball with a two-ounce brain, but as a friend of the Boss used to say, I ain’t no Dodo. I know what the word “any” means. It means Ben Carson is a liar.

(By the way, I know what “is” is, too.)

And what I’m pretty sure of, little and foolish as I am, is that what this country does not need right now is a political outsider who lies like a political insider.

Strangely, polls show that a large number of voters admire Ben for his “honesty.” You can understand why I’m a puzzled puppy.

Finally, being a polite liar does not qualify a fanatical amateur to be President. Just as (in the case of one of Ben’s rivals) being an impolite liar does not qualify a fanatical amateur to be President.

But Ben’s quiet people say. He seems calm. He’s become gentle since the Lord’s intervention. (Until recently. Not the best timing. Shouldn’t the Lord have kept him calm until at least after the Convention?)

Now I can say this. The Boss isn’t quiet and he’s not always calm. We chase each other around the house like crazy. Sometimes he says some pretty stupid things. Usually we laugh about it. And sometimes the Boss does some pretty stupid things (nothing to compare with Ben’s exploits, though!), and most of the time we can laugh about that, too.

But the Boss isn’t running for President. And he doesn’t believe that everything he thinks and says is the word of God. So, I guess if the Boss had a couple billion dollars lying around, maybe I’d help him run for President. Maybe not, too. He doesn’t think he’s qualified and neither do I. After all, he’s never held any public office.

I think making Ben Carson President would be sort of like hiring a carpenter who’d never built anything, just read some stuff and thought about it a lot. So maybe I’d be a little careful about hiring him, even if God had opened some of the doors a real carpenter had hung.

Nor would I let this carpenter into my house to work unsupervised around my family if he had the history of violence Ben Carson has admitted to.

It is particularly confusing to me that in the 2008 election, the go-to argument, perhaps the biggest and most important campaign theme of his opponents, repeated and embellished and shouted over and over and over by many of the same people who now support Ben Carson, was that Barack Obama wasn’t experienced enough to be President. Once again, I’m somewhere to the North of befuddled.

Ben recently wrote, “If all you want is political experience then I cannot be your candidate.” Again, God is allowing Ben to miss the point completely. It’s not “all” we should want. But it is a necessary prerequisite.

By the way, I made the Boss promise me that if I ever need brain surgery, he’ll try to get Ben Carson rather than the President or the local carpenter. But if I want a President, I’ll look around and try to figure it out for myself, because God doesn’t fill me in on everything. And because I agree with what Eric Hoffer said: “Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power.” This is what truly scares me about Ben Carson.

So is Ben Carson, the often polite doctor who gives God the credit for everything he does, an egotistical, frighteningly unstable, undisciplined, intolerant attack dog with a delicately-monitored evil temper, a believer in war without rules, and a certified liar with borderline Messianic pretentions? Or is he a really nice guy that any good, non-stupid Christian would feel good about electing for President? What do you think? What do you think the Guy who said the following would think?

“…do not give false testimony…” Matthew 19:18 (NIV)

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices – mint, dill and cummin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law –  justice, mercy and faithfulness.” Matthew 23:23 (NIV)

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.” Matthew 23:25 (NIV)

Maybe God’s talking to you, Ben.

I don’t know. I’m just a puzzled puppy.