Ben Carson Responds to Atheist Group’s Suit: ‘I Will Not Stop Being a Christian’
“I will not stop being a Christian while in the service to my country.” That is just part of Ben Carson’s response to a lawsuit filed by an atheist group. The group is unhappy with Trump cabinet members enjoying a Bible study.
In response, the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) sent out Freedom of Information Act requests to their respective departments. They wanted to know if government resources are used. They also wanted to know if Cabinet secretaries felt pressure to attend the meetings.
FFRF then got angry when Carson’s Housing and Urban Development (HUD) did not waive fees for the FOIA requests. According to HUD, the request fee may only be waived when the information will “significantly” aid the public’s knowledge of how the government operates.
FFRF sued HUD and Secretary Ben Carson. FFRF was joined in their legal action by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Their suit claims HUD is making FFRF pay because the documents “are likely to cast the agency or HUD Secretary Ben Carson in a negative light.”
Dr. Carson’s Response
Carson responded on Facebook with a ringing defense of religious liberty.
“I refuse to be intimidated by anti-religious groups into relinquishing my spirituality or religious beliefs. One of the principles of our nation’s founding is freedom of religion. I will not stop being a Christian while in service to this country.” Added Carson, “In fact, it is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better.”
Here is the full text of Carson’s remarks:
The Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) are apparently filing a lawsuit against HUD and me, alleging that they are being treated unfairly because they are required to pay a standard fee when requesting information through the Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) regarding my participation in the weekly Bible study for cabinet members. They are fearful that a hot beverage or a bagel may be consumed at the expense of taxpayers or that staff may be coerced to participate in religious activities against their will.
First of all, taxpayer funds are not used to support the ministry, and secondly, no staff are involved in the Bible study. More importantly, I refuse to be intimidated by anti-religious groups into relinquishing my spirituality or religious beliefs. One of the principles of our nation‘s founding is freedom of religion. I will not stop being a Christian while in service to this country, in fact, it is my faith that helps me serve the nation even better. The relentless attacks on the spirituality of our nation must be resisted. We are not like everyone else, which is precisely the reason that we rose so rapidly from obscurity to become the most powerful and free nation in history.
We sometimes smugly say that we won the cold war with the Soviet Union, but it was Joseph Stalin, the Russian tyrant who said the United States could be destroyed from within by eroding three things: our patriotism, our morality, and our spirituality. These things are currently under severe attack. We the people must decide who we are and what we stand for. If we don’t, the ending of the Cold War might change dramatically.