We used to believe honesty was a virtue. We taught our children the story of George Washington telling his father, “I cannot tell a lie.” We extolled Honest Abe. We said to each other: “Honesty is the best policy.” We still give honesty a nod, but only when it is expedient.
Many Americans have rejected our Judeo-Christian heritage with its emphasis on moral certitude and embraced secular progressivism with its emphasis on moral relativism. Secular progressives abound within the Washington D.C. Beltway, Hollywood, Wall Street and the press that covers them. The rest of us recognize the truth that there is right and wrong and wish our leaders would choose right more often.
Mortimer Zuckerman recently wrote: Ben Carson’s “appeal is easy enough to understand: He dares to talk about morals … in an age when that has gone out of fashion.” (Wall Street Journal, 11/7-8/15).
Dr. Carson’s life story is a large part of his strength in the polls. It is fair game for the press to investigate his veracity. You would think honesty mattered by the way the press delves into the details of Dr. Carson’s biography, but think again. As the press raises questions and Dr. Carson responds, their duplicity and his integrity are on full display.
Major news outlets published stories that Dr. Carson had lied. Dr. Carson forcefully rejected their accusations and provided proof of his truthfulness in the incidents they questioned on his Facebook page: his mother confirmed the stabbing incident in Parade Magazine on May 11, 1997; the West Point issue was debunked with advertisements mentioning “full scholarships”; and the Yale exam hoax was verified by the Yale newspaper and a Yale classmate. On and on it went with Dr. Carson being vindicated in every instance. While some of the details might be blurred by memory, his story is true.
Dr. Carson has called them out on their lies, questioned their motives, and has asked for apologies. One news source did a minor retraction about part of the West Point story but the others remain mute on their errors. In the meantime, Internet writers keep spreading the lies.
If the press were honestly interested in the truth, they would have investigated their stories more thoroughly before publication, corrected them afterward and stopped repeating the lies. Their agenda is not the truth, but the destruction of Dr. Carson. Perhaps they feel the need to frame Dr. Carson as a liar because liars are all they understand. Gratefully, the American people understand him as a man of integrity and respect his honesty. We are tired of liars.
Think about another presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, who told us and the victims’ families that the attack on the consulate in Benghazi on 9/11/12 was about a video. That is an outright lie. Intentionally made. During her appearance before Congress on October 22, 2015, the committee confronted her with her own emails. In them she told her daughter on the night of the attack and then the Egyptian Prime Minister a few days later that it was definitely terrorist-related and had nothing to do with the film. Why did she lie when she knew it was a terrorist attack? Did she have some agenda other than the truth? This is moral relativism on display. The press doesn’t acknowledge her lies, but the American people see them clearly.
You may call Ben Carson many things, but a liar he is not. His honesty is grounded, not on an ever-changing version of what is right and wrong, but on his Christian faith. He is a real-life believing and practicing follower of Jesus Christ. He studies the Bible and takes to heart its many passages about honesty, like: “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth.” (Proverbs 12:22)
Dr. Carson recently told Bill O’Reilly: “Lying, I believe, is a grave sin, and there’s just no way I would be sitting here lying about something like this.” And in a later interview, again with Bill O’Reilly: “I would much rather lose an election than to lie.” (11/6/15 and 11/9/15)
How many other candidates would say that? Ben Carson will tell the truth because he knows he is ultimately accountable to God for all of his actions, including his words.
A lot of folks won’t be able to wrap their heads around that, but Dr. Carson is holding himself to a higher standard than the next election. Dr. Carson is not perfect. None of us are. But the goodness he strives to live out resonates with anyone who embraces a life of faith.
Dr. Carson is in good company. The signers of the Declaration of Independence also understood that God would be their judge. They laid their decision to declare independence before the “Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of their intentions.” Dr. Carson has laid his life before the American people and will leave it to them and to God to judge the rightness of his words, his actions and his intentions. Perhaps future generations will call him Honest Ben.