By: Amanda Dee – Online Editor-in-Chief, Rachel Cain – News Editor
Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson rallied applause at “Viva La Vita,” the Dayton Right to Life Foundation annual fundraising event, in UD Arena Tuesday night.
Dayton Right to Life is a pro-life organization that “provides an array of services for mothers and families in crisis pregnancy situations,” according to its official website.
Sen. Peggy Lehner and Dayton Right to Life Executive Director Paul Coudron, among other local leaders in the movement, spoke to their organization’s mission to “give a voice to the voiceless” – the words marking the backdrop behind their stage.
The event was not officially affiliated with the Carson presidential campaign, nor was it officially affiliated with the University of Dayton.
Before Carson stood up and walked to the podium, the audience welcomed him with a standing ovation. Carson began by explaining how when he began his career in medicine, he thought, “What particular gifts was God giving me? Because he gives each of us gifts…It’s such a tragedy when we snuff out one of those lives.” He then digressed, “I have a confession to make: I am not politically correct.”
He stated that the fear of “being intimidated” by “the progressives” should not stop the United States government from considering Christian principles when making policy decisions.
“We should not have to give [our religious values and principles] up for the sake of political correctness,” Carson said. “…Every coin in your pocket says, ‘In God We Trust.’…[It’s] on our founding documents, it’s in our classes, it’s in our courts, it’s on our money, but we’re told not to talk about it.”
Although he said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press” he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation” and that Islam as a religion is incompatible with the Constitution, he substantiated his argument for Christian values and principles in policy decisions by saying he opposed “people [who] want to infringe on our First Amendment rights on freedom of religion.”
He attacked Planned Parenthood, stating “You know, I don’t like Planned Parenthood to start with.” He continued, saying he was “so glad that those videos [the videos released in July showing Planned Parenthood selling fetal organs and tissue for a profit] came out to show the barbarism.”
Carson also broached topics not directly tied to his pro-life stance, including the United States space program, national debt and the Affordable Care Act.
“With the Affordable Care Act, the government comes along and says, ‘We don’t care what you think,’” Carson elaborated.
He then addressed the need for investment in the “innovation” “that put us so ahead through the space program.” The presidential candidate explained how improvements in the space program may be necessary to maintaining America’s status as a military superpower.
“The one who controls space,” Carson said, “controls the earth.”
Returning to the topic of the theme of the night, he spoke on his experiences as a neurosurgeon, dealing with what he called “quality of life issues.” He said when a baby is born out of wedlock, “that baby is four times more likely to grow up in poverty.” When the baby is born, the mother’s education ends.
“What we need to do is make sure we have privately funded childcare,” he offered.
He added that there needs to be programs for those mothers to continue their education, to gain a stronger sense of worth, saying “that is the way that we break those cycles.”
“We have a responsibility to protect the future of the unborn and those who have been born in our society,” Carson said before his closing remarks. “It’s going to take courage to do that.”
The video footage from this event will be posted here on flyernews.com.