Dr. Ben Carson pauses for a moment while speaking at Opportunity Village, in Las Vegas, on Wednesday, May 13, 2015. Carson visited Nevada for the first time since announcing his bid for the Republican presidential nomination. (Mikhail Whitmore/Las Vegas Sun via AP) LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL OUT

Are Secular Progressives Murderers?

Nov 3, 2015

Editor’s Note: This was adapted from an article that was previously posted by Huffington Post

 

By Herb Silverman

Founder and president of the Secular Coalition for America.

 

With the exception of Sen. Bernie Sanders, all presidential candidates in both parties bring their Christian beliefs into the campaign. Some Republicans even base their campaign positions on what they believe God wants for America.

This is especially true of Dr. Ben Carson, whose view of the world never ceases to amaze me. It’s hard to decide which is his most ridiculous pronouncement: no abortions ever, even for rape or incest (but, maybe, in cases where the life of the mother is at stake); equating abortion to slavery and the Holocaust; equating Obamacare to slavery; asserting that there might not have been a Holocaust had Jews defended themselves with guns.

And now there’s Carson’s recent proposal to turn the Department of Education into an investigative body to monitor biased political speech by professors on university campuses. So much for our First Amendment guarantee of free speech or the concept of academic freedom. (I was a math professor who never discussed politics in my classroom, so a Secular Progressive like me probably would not be investigated by a Department of Education under a President Carson.)

Carson and many other conservative Christians think America is or should be a Christian nation, and claim their religious freedom is under attack whenever they must obey the same nondiscrimination laws required of other religions and atheists.

We can tell how much discrimination there is against Christians in this country by how many politicians are in the closet about being Christian and how many proclaim during their campaigns how proud they are to be atheists. Perhaps instead of an Openly Secular campaign, whose goal is to favorably change the public’s perspective of atheists, someone should start an “Openly Christian” campaign.

Now here’s my candidate for the most ridiculous statement of Ben Carson:

I get that Carson does not like positions taken by Sanders and other Secular Progressives, a category that has recently earned capital letters thanks to people like Carson. But I was totally astonished by his startling pronouncement that he thinks he is in great danger and needs Secret Service protection because he believes he challenges the Secular Progressive movement to its very core.

I acknowledge that presidential candidates need protection from the many lunatics in this country who would like to become famous by killing a well-known person. And I fully support giving Carson, as a leading candidate in presidential polls, Secret Service protection. But I’m taken aback, and more than a little worried, by his stated reason for his request.

Where to begin? Whether you agree or disagree with Secular Progressives, this is the first time I’ve heard them accused, even indirectly, of being violent. Sure, they may challenge Carson on just about all the political positions he takes. We may express utter astonishment that a brain surgeon, of all people, can ignore overwhelming evidence for evolution.

But … killing people we disagree with?

Sadly, this has all the trappings of carefully crafted propaganda, starring Carson as a brave patriot willing to put his life on the line for his beliefs and caricaturing his political opponents as extremists so dangerous and without scruples they would kill for theirs.

Secular Progressives like me don’t take Carson seriously and aren’t worried that the country will elect him president. Carson has about as much a chance of becoming president as Sen. Lindsay Graham, the candidate from my home state of South Carolina. For the record, that’s somewhere in the neighborhood of slim and none.

But I do worry about a Republican Party that puts a Carson at or near the top of the polls, a party in which almost half the people would like to see this country become a Christian theocracy. Now that’s Scary with a capital S.  


herb-blackboardHerb Silverman is founder and president of the Secular Coalition for America. He is a board member of the American Humanist Association and an advisory board member of the Secular Student Alliance. His latest book is “Candidate Without a Prayer: An Autobiography of a Jewish Atheist in the Bible Belt.”

40 comments on “Are Secular Progressives Murderers?

  • 1
    Rev. El Mundo says:

    To morons like Trump and Carson, every challenge to their ridiculous notions are viewed as a death threat.

    Two complete idiots. And the people who support them? Brain dead morons.



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  • This is just a pet peeve, not a matter of moral significance–except to the extent that widespread gross ignorance of a simple matter hints at a much deeper failure of thought. I refer to (in an otherwise sensible article) the “ridiculous pronouncement”, constantly heard and used equally unthinkingly here, “no abortions ever, even for rape or incest”. Do you have any idea what the word ‘incest’ MEANS, Mssrs. Carson and Silverman, et al.? (Hint: it has nothing whatever to do with age or age difference.) If a 27-year-old woman has consensual sex with her 25-year-old brother and gets pregnant, it is especially outrageous that she should not have access to abortion? And are secular humanists just as ignorant of long-standard English as Bible-thumpers?



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  • What is a “Secular Progressive”? AFAIK, ‘progressives’ are leftist loons who think Islam will sing ‘Kumbaya’ with all other faiths. And it really IS a religion of peace, despite all blindingly obvious evidence to the contrary.

    Even as an atheist I would accept a Christian theocracy over an Islamic one in a heartbeat.
    Sharia? No thanks.



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  • 4
    Trondesson says:

    If you think progressives are leftist loons, then you yourself might not be so far removed from real loons like Carson or Trump or many other Republicans. By the way, an atheist could not “accept” any form of theocracy, he just tolerates it because he simply might, in his own opinion only, not have a choice.



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  • As a former fundamentalist, this is my first election cycle where I am actually listening and paying attention to what all the candidates have to say. In the past I was concerned about the election of “liberal” politicians but never to the extent that I am now of either Trump or Carson becoming our next POTUS. Both of these men truly frighten me because of their attitudes and beliefs. Pardon the pun, but god help us if either of these men win in 2016!



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  • Once the fact that Carson is a Seventh Day Adventist, the rest of the Christian evangelical community will begin to back away because most fundy Christians consider his church as cult.

    Beyond that, it amazes me that you guys respond to the right’s political rhetoric with fear. There is nothing to be afraid of. If Trump or Carson is elected, then the people have spoken. You can do what the Hollywood left said they’d do when Bush was elected – become expats – which, of course, they never did. Can’t give up their 20 million dollar mansions in Beverly Hills. The progressive left is a joke…



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  • nomind
    Nov 4, 2015 at 3:02 pm

    You can do what the Hollywood left said they’d do when Bush was elected – become expats

    Unfortunately the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and some other parts of the world, don’t have that option in response to nutty US presidents who ask their gods if they should send invading troops to other countries!!

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2005/oct/07/iraq.usa
    George Bush: ‘God told me to end the tyranny in Iraq’
    President told Palestinians God also talked to him about Middle East peace

    George Bush has claimed he was on a mission from God when he launched the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq

    Meanwhile, – in addition to the misery caused to people who have become refugees in their own countries, in the US, taxpayers might like to think about the borrowed $6 trillion the wars cost them, and which they have yet to repay!



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  • Have to agree with Alan4Discussion,

    In western democracies other than the US, we have little to fear in terms of being bombed like the middle east adventures, however as much smaller economies we often end up lumped with having to mirror US copyright laws and many of the USA’s self interest so we can play in the US market (trade agreements and the like).

    Similarly, if you guys vote in an incompetent President who stuffs up the economy, ours suffers also. It’s true we don’t have to trade with you, and we vote for politicians who do make these choices on our behalf but you might understand how some of us get a little nervous when we see politicians that make Bush look like a genius polling so well. Spells out doom for us all.



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  • Similarly, if you guys vote in an incompetent President who stuffs up the economy, ours suffers also.

    The US public doesn’t realize how much what they do affects the rest of the world. Given the US public currently have Trump as their favourite, this says a lot about the rationality of a large chunk of US voters. To remedy this, I propose that the whole world gets to vote for the US President. That way, the rest of the world can sleep at night, knowing that they’ve got a guy is the white house who isn’t going to invade them on the whim of his personal god.



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  • I am part of ‘the rest of the world’ as I live in South Africa. I travelled throughout the US as a young man for 2 years and have retained an interest in, and affection for, your country. I can only watch in bemusement as the presidential race unfolds. Are these buffoons the best you can offer as leaders and the chosen elect of your people?

    The thought of a misguided Christian at the helm is indeed a frightening prospect. Invading at the whim of his/her god, although the prospect is remote, does tend to fill one with disquiet!

    I am constantly struck by how Christianity has been subverted to serve capitalism and how ‘Christian’ leaders act in direct opposition to their holy book, cherry picking from, and interpreting, the Bible to serve their needs. In this case, the presidential candidates need to appeal to the Christian majority for their support hence their quite appalling and , to be truthful, moronic behaviour.

    You are quite correct in that the choices and beliefs of this majority does raise questions about the level of intelligence and reasonableness of the average American. I know that there is a section of the population that is rational, well educated and cosmopolitan in its outlook, but sadly, its voice seems to be muted and ineffective.

    One can only hope that the (slowly) dwindling Christian belief of your young will eventually allow for the establishment of an Openly Secular society that can guide your great country into being of true benefit to the rest of the world.



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  • Carson’s insanity apparently know no bounds. He believes the pyramids were built by Joseph to store grain, despite them not actually being hollow other than for small passages and the burial chambers. It strikes me as a lot of work to go to, some billions of man hours, and rather a lot of stone to NOT actually be able to store any grain.

    http://news.sky.com/story/1582477/leading-republican-says-joseph-built-pyramids

    No doubt Joseph also invented the triangular wheel, cold fire and the meshless fishing net (the hoop) to go with his solid stone grain silos. Surely even the famously stupid and gullible American electorate have to wake up to this madness at some time but for now this dingbat is actually beating Trump in the polls???? You’re becoming the laughing stock of the planet America.



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  • Olgun
    Nov 6, 2015 at 7:56 am

    Oh dear???

    Carson has long held a view, that Egyptian Pyramids were Joseph’s granaries, and archaeologists don’t know what they are talking about!

    What odds would you give (if he is elected), against this bible-brained buffoon becoming a statesman who has learned from the lesson’s of history in order to avoid repeating the mistakes of the past? !?!?



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  • The USA, like the UK, has no credible politicians. Big donors and vested interests have undermined the democratic process and religion is just a ‘card’ to be played to keep attention away from the backroom deals and paybacks that come with the vote.
    America is no longer the leader of the free world — no one is leading anyone any more. Look around the world and the only constant is corruption. Kleptocrats vying for opportunity using issues of race, religion, class or any other extraneous, emotive card to secure votes.
    Canada is interesting — I wonder what his politics are. At least with a diverse government and cabinet there is a chance of some set of unifying principles emerging. I really hope he doesn’t blow it.



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  • Olgun
    Nov 6, 2015 at 8:50 am

    Despite what he says now, I would put a bet on him bringing back slavery LOL!!!

    . . . But probably cunningly disguised under the terms of a below subsistence wage – along with exclusion from rights and services!

    OOops! – Aren’t illegal immigrants paid peanuts in temporary jobs and then kicked out of the country?



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  • Kay

    I really hope he doesn’t blow it.

    I hope he doesn’t either. This is fascinating to watch. I hope Canada becomes a model for progress that thumbs its nose at the narrow minded selfish morons to their south.



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  • Hmmm, President Bush senior has recently said his son was not advised well by advisers. Does that include the one that mystically communicates?



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  • Willow
    Nov 6, 2015 at 10:00 am

    Hmmm, President Bush senior has recently said his son was not advised well by advisers. Does that include the one that mystically communicates?

    Perhaps being ill-advised is a family tradition!
    Bush senior left the Kurds in a mess being routed by Saddam, after they had been encouraged to revolt, in the first gulf war. –
    It turned out Schwartzkopf was making it up as he went along, because Bush Senior had NO PLAN for the post-war situation in Iraq, when the USA stopped shooting and bombing!



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  • As an American, I was not aware what I (and my country) do actually effect people OUTSIDE of my gwate and powahfull country. I’ll take that into consideration and tell my leader to adjust his actions accordingly.



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  • We do occaisionally have credible politicians. We just don’t have a populace with the ability to elect them.
    I blame citizens. Politicians are just anwering a very hapless society. Our leaders are just an extension of our society. There is no “Intelligencia” IMO. I realize that borders on misanthropy.



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  • From CNN News
    October 1, 2015

    by Michael W. Chapman

    Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, National Academy of Sciences
    Institute of Medicine member, and the author of six best-selling
    books, said he believes in the six-day creation as described in the
    Bible and that there is abundant geological evidence there was a
    worldwide flood.

    Can you see the problem with voting in the United States? I see the next election as a battle between the educated and intelligent VS the stupid. Can anyone with any intellegence voting for Ben Carson??? He is a living case of religious indoctrination that appeals to the stupid.



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  • cbrown
    Nov 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Dr. Ben Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon, National Academy of Sciences
    Institute of Medicine member,
    . . . . .. . said he believes in the six-day creation as described in the Bible and that there is abundant geological evidence there was a
    worldwide flood.

    It must reflect on the US National Academy election procedure, that someone with zero capability in researching available information on geological evidence of floods before making public statements, is a member of a scientific body! (- Unless membership is simply by way of annual subscription – which apparently it is not in this case!)
    It is an utter disgrace that such an anti-science muppet is honoured with membership of such a prestigious body, and is then is using its scientific status to promote delusional pseudo-science drivel!

    http://www.nasonline.org/
    The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is a private, nonprofit organization of the country’s leading researchers. The NAS recognizes and promotes outstanding science through election to membership; publication in its journal, PNAS; and its awards, programs, and special activities. Through the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the NAS provides objective, science-based advice on critical issues affecting the nation.

    Election to membership in the NAS is considered one of the highest honors that a scientist can receive.



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  • 29
    Pinball1970 says:

    <It must reflect on the US National Academy election procedure, that someone with zero capability in researching available information on geological evidence of floods before making public statements

    The NAS and pretty every other credible academic scientific institution made statements about creationism and ID

    The general gist of these statements are that creation and ID are religiously motivated and are not science, TOE is the best explantion.

    The NAS have also produced a booklet and have a statement on the website that goes with it.

    “In Science and Creationism, The National Academy of Sciences states unequivocally that creationism has no place in any science curriculum at any level.”

    With this in mind you would think the NAS would state that the views of Ben Carson do not reflect the view of the academy.



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  • Pinball1970
    Nov 10, 2015 at 8:15 am

    With this in mind you would think the NAS would state that the views of Ben Carson do not reflect the view of the academy.

    They may well have done so, but that does not mean that such scientific statements will be reported by the Republicans, creationists, Faux News, or other media muppets!



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  • cbrown
    Nov 9, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Can you see the problem with voting in the United States? I see the next election as a battle between the educated and intelligent VS the stupid.

    I think every election in the USA I can remember has been a battle between the educated and intelligent VS the stupid. I was utterly gobsmacked when after 8 years of prosperity and falling unemployment under Clinton the American electorate put a semi-literate retard into the White House and then repeated the calamity four years later.

    Only in a country with such a high proportion of poorly educated and religiously indoctrinated numbskulls could someone as mad as Carson get even the tiniest bit of traction. He’d be a laughing stock here in the UK. Basically the American electorate get the politicians and presidents they deserve and then the rest of the world has to suffer too. It was fortunate that Obama was able to campaign against McCain and the nutjob Palin first time round and then Romney who destroyed his own chances without a great deal of additional help the second time round. Even slightly more credible opponents might have resulted in the Republicans getting back in again even after the carnage that Bush wreaked on everything he touched.

    The only cure for all this is better education and the downfall of religiosity. If (when) this happens then the current breed of ultra right wing religious Republicans will be dead in the water. Until then we just continue to suffer and hope.



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  • Purported: { Carson & Jesus } painting. That would go over well with world leaders.

    Mannatech product controversy – Carson is one slippery eel, “I just know I’ve felt better since taking it”.



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  • Those are the same brain dead morons who elected George w bush TWICE!!!
    I completely understand the fear of normal Americans..
    All I can say is: get your finger out of your butthole (pardon the expression) and vote for somebody else..
    And that´s where the catch is.. Who in hell are they going to vote for who doesn´t proclaim to be some sort of a religious idiot..
    Why do seculars in the US have a problem finding, or pushing forward, a candidate who is openly secular? Are there none who would take the job (which is completely comprehensible), or do they fear not being elected anyway and therefor not taking the effort??



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  • that being said..
    after Paris 13-11-2015, we certainly have a lot to fear from bomb attacks by religiodiots in Europe as of now..
    This shit over here may give Christian potential presidents in the USA that 1% more voters they need to get the job..
    And that will be the end of the world as we know ist (which may happen any way..)



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  • If a 27 year old woman has consensual sex with her 25 year old brother and gets pregnant.. why should she have an abortion..?. She should have taken precaution by either taking the pill, have him wearing a condom or, and that would be best, not have sex with him at all…
    I understand what you mean: there is the problem of recessive genes for instance making the child be born with undesirable traits.. And that would be a reason to have an abortion..
    The problem is entirely different, and which is meant by most people when talking about incest, if a father impregnates his 13 year old daughter… There I personally advocate for an abortion, even if it is not wanted.. But I wouldn´t go so far as to say she MUST undergo an abortion..



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  • “If a 27 year old woman has consensual sex with her 25 year old
    brother and gets pregnant.. why should she have an abortion..?.”

    If she wants an abortion, then she should have every right to have one.

    Of course she should be using birth control but that is not a good excuse for denying her right to have an abortion. It is HER body that does not belong to the state or some religion. Sometimes the power of passion overcomes the power of reason.



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