In Ben Carson Republicans have found a candidate who truly makes George W. Bush look like an intellectual giant, and yet another representative of a right-wing culture where belief is more important than knowledge.
In May, I wrote a post titled “Ben Carson’s 13 Craziest Beliefs,” , which proved far more popular than I ever expected. It wasn’t hard to compile a baker’s dozen of Carson’s more astounding statements. In fact, I had a hard time keeping the number down to 13.
Every time I thought I’d done enough research, Carson spouted more insanity. He seemed an endless fount of the stuff, to the point that it was frightening to remember that this guy used to operate on people’s brains. It was even more frightening to consider that Carson has surged to front of the GOP presidential pack. Scarier still is that with every new revelation of some off-the-wall Carson belief or statement, his popularity among the GOP base only grows — along with donations to his campaign.
Here are 13 more of Ben Carson’s craziest beliefs.
1. The pyramids of Egypt were built for grain storage, not storage for dead Pharaohs.
During a speech at Andrews College in 1998, Carson dropped this bit of knowledge about the pyramids:
“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain,” he told students, according to the video posted.
Man, the Discovery Channel has some explaining to do – at least according to Carson, who bases his “theory” on his particular reading of the Bible and the story of Joseph (famous for his amazing Technicolor dream coat, you’ll recall). Sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, Joseph went on to become Pharaoh’s top aide. (Carson also admired Joseph for being “the best slave he could be.”) He told Pharaoh of a dream he had that famine would come to Egypt, and advised him on grain storage to see Egypt through the crisis.
So, Joseph builds huge pyramids to store grain? There are a couple of problems with Carson’s “theory.” First, according to John C. Darnell, professor of Egyptology at Yale, Joseph's story is set during Egypt’s Middle Kingdom — five centuries after the pyramids of Giza were built. Second, the ancient Egyptians already knew how to build granaries that required far fewer resources and time to build than the pyramids. By Joseph’s time, they’d long had a practice of storing surpluses of grain for hard times to come. Joseph probably just did it on a larger scale.
The idea that the pyramids were built as granaries went out sometime around the Middle Ages, but that didn’t stop Carson from doubling down on it, when asked about it recently.
2. Making a rap video will convince more African-Americans to support him.
Ben Carson took the GOP’s African-American outreach into his own hands, and the result was one of the most cringeworthy rap ads since … well … ever.
You hear Carson say at the end, “I’m Ben Carson, and I approved this message,” but when it hit the airwaves to overwhelmingly negative reception Carson was quick to blame it on his young staffers.
What’s worse than a rap that tries to rhyme “Carson” with “awesome”? Thinking that the key to reaching African-American youth is to set the same old rhetoric to a lame rap beat, without addressing any of the issues that are important to African Americans, like police violence, criminal justice reform, discrimination, racial inequality and the school-to–prison pipeline.
Carson compares himself with Barack Obama more and more often lately. In this case, he’d do well to remember that Obama managed to reach out to African-American youth without releasing a rapping campaign ad. He didn’t need one.
3. Rape and incest victims who seek abortions are like slave owners.
Carson told NBC’s Chuck Todd that he would “love” to see Roe v. Wade overturned, and that women should not be allowed to have abortions even in the case of rape or incest. Carson then went on to compare women who ware victims of rape and incest seeking abortions to slave owners.
4. Being opposed to same-sex marriage is not homophobic.
Carson has previously said that prison makes people gay, and compared same-sex marriage to bestiality and pedophilia, but in late October he claimed that none of those things made him homophobic.
5. Gun control may have caused the Holocaust.
During an interview about his new book, Carson told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that the Jews could have stopped the Holocaust if they’d had enough guns.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked him: “Just clarify, if there had been no gun control laws in Europe at that time, would six million Jews have been slaughtered?”
Carson replied: “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed … I’m telling you that there is a reason that these dictatorial people take the guns first.”
Carson was being interviewed about his new book, "A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do to Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties," in which he points to Nazi Germany to argue against gun control.
6. Government would be more efficient if government workers spied on each other.
During an appearance in Iowa, Carson said that he was “seriously thinking” about establishing “a covert division of people who look like the people in this room, who monitor what government people do” if he were president.
In other words, instead of shrinking the government, Carson would expand it by establishing an agency that would direct government workers to spy on each other. He also proposed a “citizens council” of 300 people that would represent the interest of “ordinary citizens.” How membership in that council would be decided — election, appointment, etc. — or how it would differ from Congress is anybody’s guess.
7. President Obama is fostering a “race war” in an effort to “destroy society.”
In an interview for the conservative Iowa blog Caffeinated Thoughts, Carson claimed that President Obama uses his “bully pulpit” to foster “race wars,” in an effort to “destroy society.”
“No, I think I would use the bully pulpit to help people realize what we have in common rather than what separates us,” Carson responded. “What it’s been used for for the last several years is to create wars: a war on women, race wars, any kind of anything involving people of two different races, income wars, always class warfare, religious wars now, age wars. You know, these are exactly the kinds of things you want to do when you want to destroy a society, not when you want to bring people together.”
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8. Separation of church and state is “schizophrenia, a form of craziness.”
Someone should tell Carson that “In God We Trust” was added to our money during the Eisenhower administration, and “Under God” was added to the pledge of allegiance in 1954.
9. No Muslim should ever become president. At least, not without renouncing Islam.
During an interview on NBC, Carson said no Muslim should become president of the United States. “I would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation. I absolutely would not agree with that,” Carson said.
Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says: “No religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.”
The First Amendment to the Constitution begins: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof …”
The constitution may not be brain surgery, as Carson says, but it seems to be beyond his grasp. Carson later tried to walk back his statement, or clarifying it by saying Muslims would have “subtjuate” their beliefs, and failed at both.
10. There’s a war on “what’s inside of women, but not a war on women.”
At a campaign event at the Arkansas Capitol, Carson said Democrats were wrong to say that Republicans were waging a “war on women.” “There is no war on women,” Carson said. “There may be a war on what’s inside of women, but there is no war on women in this country.”
11. Liberal speech on college campuses should be policed.
During an interview with radio host Dana Loesch, Carson said that as president he would task the Department of Education with monitoring and punishing examples of “extreme political bias” on college and university campuses. Carson also explained that conservatives would not be targeted by his Orwellian speech monitoring.
12. America would be Cuba if it wasn’t for Fox News.
At the time, Carson was a paid contributor to Fox News.
13. Many Americans are stupid.
At the same event, Carson also said that many Americans are stupid.
The people are not as stupid as they think they are. Many of them are stupid. Okay. But I’m talking about overall.
When it comes to what Carson believes about his own life story, that’s going to take a separate post to get into.