With Dr. Ben Carson sneaking up behind Donald Trump in the Republican primary polls, he’s appearing more and more frequently in the media to opine about current events. This week, that, of course, includes the arrest and subsequent release of Kansas county clerk Kim Davis.
Last night in an interview with Megyn Kelly, the Fox news anchor questioned Ben about the legal implications of Kim refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Carson told Megyn that while the Supreme Court had spoken on the issue, other branches of government were responsible to stand up for other Americans in the process.
“Jail seems a little extreme. I think what we need to look at is how do we stop this kind of thing from being a continuation. When the Supreme Court made its decision, anyone should have known that this kind of thing was going to occur, and that it would escalate. Congress now has a responsibility to step up to the plate and protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans. That’s the reason that we have divided government. When one branch does something that tilts the balance, the other branches to pitch in and correct the situation.”
Kelly pressed Ben on the larger repercussions that the religious freedom argument has in the Davis jailing. If Kim can decline to do her job, Megyn asked Carson, will other faiths also be allowed to the to do the same?
“But the detractors say that’s a slippery slope. Catholics might want to refuse to marry people who have been divorced, or Muslims who refuse to issue marriage licenses to Muslims who want to marry Christians — where does it end?”
Ben’s answer to that question leaned toward the argument that because a wide majority of people in the United States are of a Judeo-Christian background, those are the tenets that should be upheld. Carson told Kelly that people such as Davis are having gay marriage forced on them in a way Ben himself says he would not do to others.
“But this is a very basic right. This is a Judeo-Christian nation, in the sense that a lot of our values are based on a Judeo-Christian faith, and when there are a substantial number of people who believe in and support traditional marriage, and I’m one of them, doesn’t mean that I don’t think other people can do whatever they want to do, but I don’t actually believe that they have the right to force their way of life on anyone else, nor would I try to force my way of life on everybody else. This is where some intellect needs to take place. Our legislators need to sit down and ask themselves whether the rights of all Americans are protected.”
Dropping opinions on controversies like the Kim Davis arrest with pundits like Megyn Kelly will be pivotal in the upcoming months. In a recent poll conducted by Monmouth University, Dr. Ben Carson closed in on the strong lead Donald Trump is holding, and even tied with him in Iowa, the state where the first primary is traditionally held.
[Image via Ty Wright and Justin Sullivan / Getty Images]