Ben Carson is the Wrong Brand of Christian

Ben Carson seems to be coming face to face with the perils of courting the Christian right. The trouble is that you’re never quite pure enough and you might even be the wrong brand of Christian. He’s been forced to pull out of a pastor’s conference because the Baptists objected to his Seventh-Day Adventism.

Likely Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention Pastors’ Conference have “mutually agreed” that Carson will not address the Pastors’ Conference in Columbus, Ohio, as previously scheduled.

“We didn’t want this to become a distraction for our convention,” Pastors’ Conference President William Rice told Baptist Press. “A number of people began to write about it and express their views on it, and it threatened to become a distraction we never wanted it to be. We felt like for the health of the convention, the health of the Pastors’ Conference … the better thing to do was to mutually agree it’s not the right time to do it.”

Carson, a cultural commentator and professor emeritus of neurosurgery at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore, was scheduled to address the Pastors’ Conference on Sunday evening, June 14, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. But some Southern Baptists raised theological and political concerns in late March and April, with Texas pastor Bart Barber and Baptist21, a network of younger Southern Baptist leaders, posting blog articles objecting to Carson’s scheduled appearance…

Among the concerns cited were that Carson’s appearance could be construed as an endorsement of his presumed presidential campaign, that his appearance could be construed as an endorsement of the Republican Party and that it would be inappropriate for a member of a Seventh-day Adventist Church — the religious group with which Carson identifies — to address the Pastors’ Conference.

Funny how those concerns never apply to any other types of Christian candidates.

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  • ArtK

    Could someone please organize an (Ideological) Purity Ball for these people? I’d love to see the exchange of iPurity rings.

  • Chiroptera

    Funny how those concerns never apply to any other types of Christian candidates.

    If by “funny” you mean “strange,” then, yeah, I actually do think it’s odd. I mean, the Baptists are allied with the Catholics and supported Mormon candidate before, now they decide that Seventh Day Adventists are beyond the pale?

    I’m hoping that we’re seeing the beginning of the Right Wing coalition — which I always viewed as unstable (ha ha, in both senses of the word!) — starting to unravel and feeding on themselves.

  • tbp1

    At least no one called for him to be burned at the stake. That was the traditional way of handling theological disputes for centuries.

  • Alverant

    Do you think he’ll learn from this and realize he’s been arguing to do to others what was done to him?

  • ArtK

    @ Alverant

    No, because that would require a tiny sliver of self-awareness. Something that Carson is quite incapable of.

  • Larry

    From Wikipedia:

    Schadenfreude (/ˈʃɑːdənfrɔɪdə/; German: [ˈʃaːdn̩ˌfʀɔɪ̯də]) is pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This word is taken from German and literally means “harm-joy”. It is the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune.

    It is wrong to feel tingly inside over this sad tale?

  • sugarfrosted

    But but Chiroptera, the seventh day Adventists observe Sabbath on Saturday. That basically makes them Jews. s

  • hoku


    I don’t get it either. Mormons are about as Christian as Muslims, but the fundamentalist right have no problem supporting Glenn Beck or Mitt Romney. And the evangelicals love screaming about how contraception laws hurt Catholics.

  • busterggi

    What a convenient way to not have to mention he’s black.

  • raven

    Yeah, this is pretty weird.

    The Southern Baptists had no trouble supporting Romney, and Mormons are as heretical as they can get.

    1. There is bad blood between the SBC and Mormons. The Mormons send their missionaries to the South to convert Baptists. The Baptists send their missionaries to Utah to convert…Mormons.

    They are both missionary churches who claim to be the One True Xian Church.

    2. I don’t think any of that matters one way or another though.

    As long as you hate the right groups of people and vote Tea Party, that is all they care about.

    IMO, US fundie xianity has been hollowed out. It’s just right wing politics and hate with a few crosses stuck on for show. The crosses part isn’t the least bit important any more.

  • raven

    I’m guessing there is more than just Ben Carson going on here.

    1. The SDA is becoming a minority majority church. It has a lot of Blacks and Latinos.

    2. It’s also an immigrant church. Their main membership is out of the USA in the Caribbean and Latin America.

    It’s an anchor sect. People use it to get into the USA.

    Nonwhites and immigrants. How much more non-SBC can they get. I suppose they could all be gay or atheists but then Ben Carson wouldn’t be a member.

  • eric

    @2 , @8-11: remember, somebody Carson supported for office a few years ago just came out as gay. Hmmm…we need to ditch this guy. Its because of his…religion! Yeah yeah, that’s the ticket!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Heh. Jeb Bush converted to Catholicism. in 1995.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Rice wrote. “John the Baptist was not jailed for preaching the Gospel…

    No shit. Maybe it’s because the Gospel hadn’t even been fabricated at the time of his death?

  • John Pieret

    We didn’t want this to become a distraction for our convention

    So, naturally, you disinvite a prominent (if unlikely) black presidential candidate! Well played sir! And nobody noticed at all!

  • abb3w

    So, has the SBC gotten worse since Kennedy’s 1960 Houston visit, or just forgotten their history?

  • John Pieret

    Well, they said the same things about Romney but, in the end supported and voted for him. Why? Because Romney wasn’t a nigg Muslim Commie Kenyan.

    This time around, it will be much simpler … anyone who isn’t a cunt woman.

  • grumpyoldfart

    Reminds me of the days when Kennedy was running around the country begging people to ignore the fact he was a Catholic.

  • anubisprime

    Atheism need not raise a lackadaisical digit. the jeebus sunbeams will deal with each other quite adequately, if not brutally, the irony meter actually remained intact this time round…made of sterner stuff these days is that meter!

  • colnago80

    Most Christian sects don’t consider Jehovah’s Witnesses to be Christians.

  • sigurd jorsalfar

    And yet they all voted for Romney.