Dr. Ben Carson, the celebrated Johns Hopkins University neurosurgeon who became a GOP darling after challenging President Barack Obama‘s healthcare policy while he sat mere feet away at the National Prayer Breakfast, has withdrawn from delivering the university’s commencement address, citing negative media attention following anti-gay remarks he made during an interview with FOX’s Sean Hannity, reports Politico.com.
“Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year,” he said in an email sent Wednesday to Paul Rothman, the dean of the medical faculty and CEO of Johns Hopkins medicine. “My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day.”
“Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me,” he continued in the Wednesday email. “I want to make certain that remains so. Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, the famed John Hopkins’ neurosurgeon compared consenting homosexual relationships with pedophilia and bestiality:
“My thoughts are that marriage is between a man and a woman. It’s a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality–it doesn’t matter what they are–they don’t get to change the definition…”
NAMBLA is the acronym for the North American Man/Boy Love Association which advocates for societal acceptance of “intergenerational” sexual relationships between men and boys.
In a follow-up interview with MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell, Carson claims that he was not equating the three things by using a perplexing fruit analogy:
“What I was basically saying and if anyone was offended, I apologize to you. What I was basically saying is there is no group. I wasn’t equating those things, I don’t think they’re equal. If you ask me for an apple and I give you an orange you would say, that’s not an orange. And I say, that’s a banana. And that’s not an apple either. Or a peach, that’s not an apple, either. It doesn’t mean that I’m equating the banana and the orange and the peach. In the same way I’m not equating those things.”
When Dr. Carson became aware of a widely circulated student petition requesting that he be uninvited as speaker for the commencement because of his remarks, despite the unwavering support of John Hopkins’ administration, he said that he didn’t want to rain on their day and if the students’ didn’t want him there, then he wouldn’t speak.