Dr. Ben Carson at The FAMiLY Leader Celebrate the Family Event - 11/22/14. Photo credit: Dave Davidson (Prezography.com)
Dr. Ben Carson at The FAMiLY Leader Celebrate the Family Event – 11/22/14.
Photo credit: Dave Davidson – Prezography.com

I like Dr. Ben Carson, I believe he is a good man. I personally wasn’t happy about the communications by U.S. Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign that went out right before the Caucus. I sincerely wish it didn’t happen because it has unfortunately led to incivility and tainted what is an impressive win by Cruz. Looking at the timeline of the events on Monday night I’m confident that this was not a deliberate attempt to mislead, rather it was an ill-advised attempt to inform voters of what was thought to be big news that should have been properly vetted first.

Based on what Carson told Greta Van Susteren last night he believes otherwise.

I know Carson is extremely intelligent, but even intelligent people are not able to read minds and judge the intentions of the heart. Regrettably Carson does just that when he says the Cruz communications to precinct captains was a deliberate attempt to mislead.

I’m not sure how many interviews Dr. Carson has given since Monday to discuss this, but I have seen his fundraising emails have gone from blaming CNN to blaming Cruz.

Unfortunately he doesn’t see the part his own campaign played in this controversy.

Watch the video excerpt below of a press conference he held after he sadly infers that Cruz is a false prophet.

Carson states in the excerpt above:

  • Cruz called him to personally apologize (he then apologized publicly).
  • “Obviously,” Carson says Cruz didn’t know about the email/tweet. He also said Cruz told him that he didn’t agree with what was done.
  • He acknowledges that the CNN story started with a campaign member speaking out of turn.
  • He says, “Well, I didn’t say it, so don’t blame me.”

A reporter, I’m not sure who, said to him after this, “you are here telling us that people should know what is going on with their campaign and hold people accountable…”

He interrupts and asks does “going home to get a fresh change of clothes… make me into an evil horrible person?”

This misses the point. He expects Cruz to know what is going on at all times with his campaign staff, but yet he doesn’t hold himself to the same standard. I’m confident that Carson doesn’t believe in double-standards since he is a fair-minded man. He also doesn’t want to take responsiblity for the statement made by a staff member that CNN reported. I see that as reasonable because I know candidates can’t micro-manage campaigns, especially if they have a lot of staff.

He acknowledges that Cruz didn’t know. There is no proof that the campaign’s intention was to mislead caucus goers, if that is found to be the case I hope Cruz will fire those responsible.  This was ill-advised yes, and apparently Cruz was not happy this was done, but he doesn’t want to throw his staff under the bus. They may even have been disciplined short of being firing. We don’t know.

Yet Carson demands this. Accountability is a good thing I agree, but last I checked grace, charity and mercy are values those of us who follow Christ are supposed to share. Do they not apply in the political realm? Are we supposed to apply them in every area of our lives except politics?

Does the penalty for a mistake made, for miscommunication, warrant firing – especially if there has not been another offense because political pressure is being brought to bear?

There is an opportunity here for Dr. Carson and I sincerely hope that he will take it. He can model what forgiveness looks like to an unbelieving world. He can show what it means to love the brethren as Cruz is his brother in Christ.

I’ve seen some horrible things said about Cruz since Monday from people who identify themselves as Christ-followers. I need to ask when did it become ok to slander a brother-in-Christ?  Being upset by what happened is one thing, I get that. If I were a Carson supporter I’m sure I would be upset as well. But how does one justify calling Cruz a snake, liar, scumbag, etc. (these are just a sampling of statements I’ve seen from Christians). How is this behavior approved in scripture?  Others are not as harsh instead they just assume it was intentional and that he’s lying or they question his integrity. Are we not to give brothers and sisters in Christ the benefit of the doubt, especially when we don’t have proof to the contrary?

Heck even Carson did that when he said “obviously” Cruz didn’t know.

On the flip side I’ve seen comments said by Cruz supporters and others about other candidates which go beyond issues into personal attacks.

It needs to stop.

This isn’t about supporting Cruz (or anyone else) as a candidate instead it’s about elevating our rhetoric as we are ambassadors of Christ.

I’m preaching to myself here as I have a sinful nature and I’ve certainly have strayed from this standard on more than one occassion. I’d encourage us all to read the wise words that Brian shared the other day addressing this very topic.

We can put them into practice starting today.

As far as the controversy… there is no evidence that a single vote was changed as a result of the few Cruz representatives spreading this rumor. If that is the case that would have been plastered all over the news.

So I believe it’s time to move on. Personally I’m not engaging in anymore debate over this. Going forward I exhort the Cruz campaign to avoid the very appearance of impropriety in order to win back lost trust. Let’s get back to discussing the issues which I sincerely hope is the thrust of Saturday’s debate.

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