Ben CarsonAn American history lesson

By Dave Ficere

Obamacare is really, I think, the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery [and] in a way, it is slavery…because it is making all of us subservient to the government.”

– Dr. Ben Carson, former pediatric neurosurgery director at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center

The renown neurosurgeon has never been one to shy away from politically incorrect speech, and his address last week at the Values Voter Summit was no exception. Carson – who rose to fame earlier this year after delivering a speech at the National Prayer Breakfast – not only compared The Affordable Care Act (ACA) – also known as Obamacare – to slavery but also challenged Americans to not be ashamed of their Judeo-Christian heritage.

The ACA, Carson told the assembled group, “was never about health care – it was all about control. People don’t understand the critical importance of health,” Carson added, “until someone close to them or they themselves become deathly sick and have to struggle to survive.” “Your health,” Carson said, “is the most valuable thing that you have – everything else pales in significance compared to your health…and that’s the reason that your health should be controlled by you and not by the government,” he proclaimed to loud applause and cheers.

“It’s time – it’s really time for the people – we, the people of America, to stop being afraid of the government and put it in its place,” Carson declared, drawing a lesson from history.

“Vladimir Lenin, one of the fathers of socialism and communism, said that socialized medicine is the keystone to the establishment of a socialist state,” the neurosurgeon said, adding that those who don’t know history are the ones that think fears about Obamacare are irrational.

Using another historical reference, the neurosurgeon cited French commentator Alexis de Tocqueville, who was impressed by the public use of religious principles in America. “What impressed him the most was the fact that we taught, in our public schools, values and principles, and we were not ashamed to use the Bible as the source of those values and principles,” Carson said. Today, however, there is debate over whether or not America is a Judeo-Christian nation.

Those who doubt America’s Judeo-Christian heritage “don’t know anything about the founding of this nation,” the neurosurgeon asserted. “If we try to throw God out of our nation, he will neglect us, and we will go down the tubes. We must not be ashamed of our relationship with God,” Carson added, warning if we are, we’re going to lose it.

Along with the importance of faith, Carson also cited the family as one sign of a stable nation. “We need to recognize that God created the family structure for a reason, and marriage is a sacred institution by God himself,” he declared. “There is no reason that man needs to change the definition of marriage,” he added.

Part of the family structure, Carson said, is plain old hard work. Using his mother as an example, the neurosurgeon argued that the best way to help the poor isn’t welfare but opportunity and “that can-do attitude that allows people to move up” the economic ladder. “When the government provides for the poor, they become dependent and lose the drive that is necessary to achieve in our society,” Carson pointed out.

Returning to Tocqueville, Carson said the French political thinker and historian was amazed that “anybody finishing the second grade was completely literate, could read the newspaper, could have a political discussion, could tell him how the government worked.” By contrast, Carson said, today 30 percent of Americans don’t even finish high school.

Your forefathers – and mine – most likely came to America from a foreign country. Many of them immigrated to the “Land of Opportunity” seeking just that: a better way of life for their family and the chance to build their own “American Dream.” Today, as government expands into every area of life those opportunities become harder to achieve. The current debate over the Affordable Care Act represents not only a question about healthcare but a discussion over what kind of nation America will be in the 21st century and beyond. Will it be the “land of the free” or morph into a European-style state where the government controls virtually every aspect of life?

Pray today, for America and her leaders as the nation faces the challenge of remaining the beacon of freedom to the world.


Published October 24, 2013, by the Presidential Prayer Team. Reprinted here by permission.