Metro Weekly

Carson blames gay marriage for fall of Rome

Republican presidential candidate uses same-sex marriage as latest boogeyman in recurring schtick

Ben Carson - Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr
Ben Carson – Credit: Gage Skidmore/flickr

It wouldn’t be another day on the campaign trail without some strange pronouncement about social issues from Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson.

As first reported by BuzzFeed, Carson, a pediatric neurosurgeon who is a favorite among social conservatives within the GOP, wrote in his 2012 history book, America the Beautiful, that same-sex marriage contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire.

“As a Bible-believing Christian, you might imagine that I would not be a proponent of gay marriage,” Carson wrote. “I believe God loves homosexuals as much as he loves everyone, but if we can redefine marriage as between two men or two women or any other way based on social pressures as opposed to between a man and a woman, we will continue to redefine it in any way that we wish, which is a slippery slope with a disastrous ending, as witnessed in the dramatic fall of the Roman Empire.

“I don’t believe this to be a political view, but rather a logical and reasoned view with long-term benefits to family structure and the propagation of humankind,” Carson wrote in his book. “When children grow up in an environment with loving parents who provide security, they are free to be happy and playful and eager to learn. God obviously knew what he was doing when he ordained the traditional family, and we should not denigrate it in order to uplift some alternative.”

But wait: there’s more — at least when it comes to hypothesizing about the downfall of ancient empires, which appears to be Carson’s favorite pastime of late. In an interview, also from 2012, the famed neurosurgeon blamed the demise of the Roman Empire on political correctness. Carson told journalist Soul Watson: “You know, there is no society that can long survive without values and principles. And if we get so caught up in political correctness, that nothing is right and nothing is wrong, then we go the same route as Ancient Rome. They did exactly the same thing. And they forgot who they were. They stood for nothing and they fell for everything, and they went right down the tubes.”

BuzzFeed also notes that Carson made similar comments about the fall of Rome at the 1997 National Prayer Breakfast, although that time, sports and entertainment were the culprits instead of same-sex marriage.

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