Tuesday, October 08, 2013

20131004_182018By Nancy Thorner –

The 2013 Fall Banquet of the Illinois Family Institute was held at the Midwest Conference Center in Northlake, IL, on October 4th, 2013. The theme of the evening, “Courage to Stand,” featured Dr. Benjamin Carson as the Keynote Speaker. This annual event was sold out over a month before its Oct. 4th scheduled date with 1100 attending, prompting the addition of an overflow room.David E. Smith is the Executive Director of the Illinois Family Institute, whose mission it is to strengthen the family and restore traditional Judeo-Christian values to our culture by educating, equipping, and networking men, women and churches for the battle to protect the family.

Julie Roys, as a trusted voice of biblical wisdom on Moody Radio, was first up at the podium as Masters of Ceremony to welcome the guests.

Making an appearance on stage prior to supper being served was Executive Director David Smith. Mr. Smith spoke about the success of IFI lobbying efforts in having the General Assembly in Springfield fail to pass a homosexual marriage bill that initially seemed like a slam dunk. Praised was the IFI Lobby Day on Feb. 20 of this year when thousands of “Don’t Redefine Marriage” supporters converged on Springfield from all over Illinois. Support also came from the Chicago Coalition of African American Pastors, chaired by Bishop Lance Davis.Black state legislators were told in no uncertain terms that voting for gay marriage was unacceptable.

Another Pro-Marriage Lobby Day is scheduled for Wednesday, October 23, at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.  As the battle to make gay marriage legal in Illinois is alive and growing stronger, along with the good possibility that the gay marriage proposal could be brought up for a vote a number of times in the upcoming veto sessions of the 98th General Assembly (the first being from the 21 to the 24 of October), Smith urged all to come to Springfield on October 23rd to rally against the Illinois General Assembly redefining marriage.

As stressed by Smith, homosexual marriage is a Biblical issue.  The Lord wants us to roll up our sleeves and get to work.  Sitting back and relaxing is not possible if the evil leftist effort is to be stopped.  Legislators must be sent this message:  Don’t even think about redefining marriage!  Who are we to decide that one life is more important than another by killing babies in the womb.  This indicates the barbaric nature and direction of our society, whereas every life should be precious.

Smith encouraged all present, as did State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) later on in the program, to become regular financial supporters of the IFI by making a monthly commitment, so enabling the IFI to continue with its vital work and hopefully to make it possible to hire a few more individuals to expand its work.

Dr. Benjamin Carson did not disappoint those who had eagerly looked forward to seeing him in person and hearing him speak when signing up to attend the IFI banquet a few months ago. There was evident excitement in the room with an enthusiastic applause of welcome when Dr. Carson walked on stage to take his place at the podium.  All had a vivid memory of Dr. Carson’s poignant remarks at a prayer breakfast with President Obama sitting near by with an evident scowl on his face.

It was shortly afterwards encounter with the President that Dr. Carson was audited for the first time by the IRS.

In a lighthearted way, Dr. Carson wasted no time in noting that he’s neither a Republican or a Democrat, but if he were a member of a party it would be the “logic” party.   Dr. Carson then went on to relate how when the Baltimore Sun found out he was going to Illinois to speak, it exclaimed how Carson was going to Illinois to speak to a “hate group,” so defined by the Southern Poverty Law Group.

Dr. Carson then continued to relate some amazing details about his life.  When only eight years old Carson dreamed of becoming a mission doctor.  Knowing that mission doctors served at a great personal sacrifice with little pay, by age thirteen Carson’s thinking had changed.  Having grown up in poverty, Carson decided that being rich was better than being poor so why not become a psychiatrist, as he was already providing a sounding board for his fellow classmates?  With a bit of bravado, Carson declared that he was going to become the greatest psychiatrist the world had ever known.

Following his desire to become a psychiatrist, Dr. Carson reasoned, knowing that God endows everyone with special gifts and talents, and how God had endowed him with good hand and eye coordination and he also liked to dissect things, why not become a terrific brain surgeon?  Contemplating further, Carson reasoned that by operating 10 – 18 hours on kids the rewards would be great — a long life for the children and a big return on his investment.

In commenting about ObamaCare, Dr. Carson opined what an amazing thing it was to be a member of the medical profession and to be able to contribute to the well-being of mankind.  Regarding ObamaCare and the haste in which it was put together, it is not about health but instead about control.  It involves people at the pinnacle of power who wish to place government in charge of our lives.  It requires courage to remind elected officials that they work for us and not the other way around.  Carson also bemoaned political correctness and called it “a scourge on our society.”  Freedom of expression is so important and is to be cherished.

Dr. Carson subtly compared what is happening in the White House to the teachings of Chicago native, Saul Alinsky’s, whose Rules for Radicals published in 1971 served as impassioned counsel to young radicals on how to effect constructive social change.  Never mentioned by name, but implied, was how the President had been schooled in Alinsky’s rules as a community activist in Chicago.   Prevalent among the Alinsky’s rules being applied by the White House through its actions and policies: 1) if you push a negative hard enough it will gain traction and become a positive and 2) driving a wedge between people or groups of people will create class warfare and with it division and unrest.

Dr. Carson’s dream of becoming a doctor suffered a major setback when his parents divorced, prompting these thoughts about marriage. To Dr. Carson, marriage is a relationship between God and His people.  “Just as the secular progressive movement is currently indicating that it’s fine for a child to say that 2 + 2 = 5 if the child is able to explain why this is so — as sanctioned through Common Core initiatives — so secular progressives are likewise pushing the idea that homosexual marriage is fine and dandy by summarily dismissing the covenant between God and His people,” he said.

Although there exists a legal way to establish a homosexual union, secular progressives seem intent on changing what is a pillar of our society — traditional marriage between one man and one woman.   Anyone who doesn’t believe as they do are called haters, Carson said. “They are intolerant.”

Dr. Carson was an object of such derision when a “Chik-fil-a” -like attempt was made to paint Carson as a homophobic, only to be backed away from when the accusation about Carson proved to be unfounded. Carson reminded the audience not to be afraid of those who try to discredit what they firmly believe, for God is with them and will provide the strength and the courage needed to prevail.

Regarding Dr. Carson’s mother who had only a 3rd grade education, she decided early on that welfare was not for her, not wanting to become a victim knowing that handouts zap motivation. Although it would have been easier for Carson’s mother to sit down and wait for a handout, she took her two sons out into the country, knocking on doors of farmers, to inquire whether she and her two sons could pick apples, beans, or whatever else might have been available and in season.  A three to one deal was offered. “We will pick four bushels, giving you three and taking home with us one bushel,” his mother told the farmers. Through canning, there was plenty to eat in the Carson household.

Dr. Carson applauded Bishop Lance Davis of the Black Chicago Alliance for standing up against homosexual marriage. “Young black men and women must receive a message that the act of fathering a child is more likely to dissolve their lives than to involve them in achieving success,” he said.

Young black youth must also be schooled in economics, specifically, how to bring the dollar back into their communities to create jobs and develop entrepreneurship, Carson said.  Instead, young people speak about victimhood, content to receive Democratic handouts to insure loyalty to party, not realizing that such dependence on government rather than self will only result in continued feelings of victim hood.

As to the plight of this nation’s education system, Dr. Carson painted a rather dismal picture, one in which this nation’s students rank 22nd out of 23rd among the richest countries surveyed in solving math and scientific problems.  He mentioned additional worrisome figures: 30% of young people don’t graduate from high school, and  40% end up taking more than four years to finish college.

“In this technological era we live in, this nation has a great need for physics and math majors,” he said. “Students must be encouraged to sign up for the difficult courses required for preparation to become engineers and scientists, which call for more work and study. Education standards started slipping when this nation’s moral compass went down the tubes.”

It didn’t help that the space program was killed, Carson said.  Forgotten is that the program was also about developing technology and innovation.  What about a nation that has eight times more energy than Saudi Arabia, yet oil and coal were treated with disdain even before the EPA declared CO2 a pollutant and the cause of global warming.

“The EPA has become so powerful that unless energy is harvested in a safe way — like wind or solar power — the offending entity is under threat of  being shut down,” he said.  “As a pinnacle nation, on the verge of losing this status, will we be able to learn from the mistakes of others and change course in time to remain competitive and a world power?”

When Alexis de Tocqueville, an aristocratic Frenchman, visiting this nation in 1831 to see what made democracy tick, what he found was a superior educational system where students were completely literate by the 2nd grade.  This explained how pioneers could go from one part of the country to another.  They knew how to invest and to solve problems.  By middle school students could answer question that most college students would be unable to answer now days, and we live in an age of technology!  His book, Democracy in America is still popular today and is used as a text in political science and history courses.

There is a way for this nation to catch up very quickly in education through virtual classrooms where millions of students can be exposed to expert instruction simultaneously, Carson encourage. “Students must return to a place where they are able to fit into a larger puzzle and not be islands unto themselves.  Spirituality must also be returned to become a guiding factor in their lives.  With God removed the void has been filled with worldly things, which has led to theft, selfishness, lack of respect and murder, etc.”

Political correctness was shown for what it is and condemned by Dr. Carson.  Individuals can easily be led astray by those intent on spreading false information presented as truth, which explains why this nation must concentrate on getting its people educated again. This doesn’t mean to eliminate sports and entertainment from our lives, but these pass times shouldn’t crowd out efforts at keeping informed so misinformation can be spotted and rejected.

Dr. Carson said he hated poverty.  There was a time as a child when Carson thought he might have been born in an alien civilization.  In 5th grade Ben Carson moved back to Detroit to live in tenement conditions.  Upon observing people being shot dead in his own neighborhood, Carson deduced that he might not survive long enough to become a doctor.

In attending school in Detroit, Carson was considered stupid, but he did admire the bright students who always knew the answers, wondering how they became so smart.  Carson’s mother prayed that her young sons would receive wisdom through learning.  With only a third grade education Carson’s mother couldn’t read, but the boys didn’t know this at the time.  By requiring her boys to check out two books weekly from the local library and write book reports — which she only pretended to read — Ben found knowledge that likewise enabled him to answer questions like the smart kids in his class and to likewise become smart.

It dawned on Ben that he had the brain, but that it was necessary to change his attitude.  After this revelation, Ben was no longer bothered by being poor, for he had the power to chart what course he wanted to follow in life, as we all do.

Emphasized by Dr. Carson is that we do have a chance to to change this nation.  It does takes courage to stand up for what we believe, as was displayed by patriot Nathan Hale.

During the American Revolution, before being hung by the British, Hale declared, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country”  Then there was Patrick Henry who intoned these famous words:  “Give me Liberty or give me Death.”  Nor can we forget about George Washington who had the courage to fight beside his own men, always remaining untouched with enemy fire all around him.  As a courier for General Braddock in the French and Indian War, two horses were shot from underneath Washington, yet he keep on fighting.  After some time the Indians came to the conclusion that Washington couldn’t be taken down.  The Great Spirit was by his side and protecting him.

It is Dr. Carson’s conviction that God has looked out for this nation from her very beginning, that He loves this nation and allowed her to rise rapidly to reach her pinnacle of power and success.  But just as quickly we can lose our nation if we allow the progressive liberals to take over.

In observing how mild-mannered Dr. Carson is today, it was difficult to ever imagine that he had a temper problem when in high school. In a surprise revelation, Carson related how he had almost killed a fellow student by knifing him.  Fortunately for Dr. Carson the student was wearing a large brass buckle which broke Carson’s knife upon impact.  Badly shaken by what he had almost done, and realizing that he would be on his way to reform school or prison if he had been successful, Dr. Carson went into a bathroom where he prayed for three hours with Proverbs Chapter19, Verse 19-21 foremost in his mind.

A man of great anger will bear the penalty, For if you rescue him, you will only have to do it again.

 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, That you may be wise the rest of your days.

Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand.

Understanding came to Carson that what he had attempted to do out of anger was a sign of weakness and not strength, for no reason other than having a classmate step into his space. Upon leaving the bathroom Carson’s temper problem was no longer with him. God, in all of his wisdom and love, had banished Carson’s explosive temper forever.

Dr. Carson closed with these three thoughts:

  •  We became a great nation because values and principles were taught with the Bible serving as a guiding force.
  •  When this nation ceases to be good, it will fail.
  • We can’t be free unless we are brave, for as the final words signify in our National Anthem, The Star Spangled Banner:

“O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

Dr. Benjamin Carson has five books to his credit.  American the Beautiful:  Rediscovering What Made This Nation Great is worth purchasing as it provides inspiration and insight for leading a successful life.

Tuesday, October 08, 2013 at 12:22 PM | Permalink

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