'Don’t let the secular progressives drive God out,' Carson tells GOP
© Getty Images

GOP presidential contender Ben CarsonBen CarsonSunday shows preview: Delta concerns prompt CDC mask update; bipartisan infrastructure bill to face challenges in Senate Government indoctrination, whether 'critical' or 'patriotic,' is wrong Noem takes pledge to restore 'patriotic education' in schools MORE on Saturday urged conservatives to remain resolute when government challenges their religious liberties.

“Don’t let the secular progressives drive God out of our lives,” Carson told listeners at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Oklahoma City.

“We have to stop letting them bully us,” he said of secular interests. ‘We back down too easily. It’s an important part of who we are."

Carson said that government was never meant to have a role controlling people’s beliefs. He challenged Americans to reclaim their nation’s founding principles and shrink bureaucracy’s role in their lives.

ADVERTISEMENT

“The fact of the matter is that I believe our founders set up a system that wasn’t supposed to cater to a political class,” Carson said. “It was supposed to cater to the people.”

“We’ve gotten everything confused,” the retired neurosurgeon said of today’s political landscape.

“We’ve got to stop making everything into a political issue,” he added. “Our unity is through our strength.”

Carson charged that the debate over energy resources was one example of where Americans could better cooperate for the greater good. The nation’s rich supply of natural resources, he argued, could serve as a financial windfall now for creating greener, cleaner energy technology later.

“This country has so much energy,” Carson said of U.S. fossil fuels. “It is unbelievable what God has blessed us with. Developing our energy, our fossil fuels, does not have to be at odds with people who want green energy."

Carson said he saw partisan divides over the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya as another unnecessary schism.

“Every issue is a pro-American or an anti-American issue,” he said.

“We have never left our people stranded and not tried to rescue them,” Carson said of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya that killed four Americans. “We don’t do that, that’s not America.”

Carson was the last of the declared and potential Republican presidential candidates to speak at the conference, but that didn’t hurt the response to his remarks: he was later declared the winner of the group’s straw poll with more than a quarter of the vote.

Carson charged that a key source of disunion was the influence of special interests and outside money.

“Sever ties with special interest groups,” Carson urged politicians.

“I personally don’t have ties with any of those people,” the 2016 hopeful said. “And I’m not going to develop any of them, either.”

Carson called on voters to remember they all live in and love the same country. The overall U.S. was infinitely more important than party affiliation, he argued.

“It’s not about some elite class of us,” he said. “It’s about all of us. This country belongs to all of us.”