Johns Hopkins students have been less than enthusiastic about rising conservative star Dr. Ben Carson speaking at graduation ever since the celebrated neurosurgeon declared on Fox News that “no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality,” should be allowed to change the definition of marriage. On Wednesday, Carson sent an e-mail to Paul Rothman, dean of the Johns Hopkins medical school, voluntarily withdrawing from all graduation events, and criticizing those who were offended. Apparently when Carson apologized and said, “There are many lessons to be learned when venturing into the political world and this is one I will not forget,” he spoke too soon.
In his e-mail to Rothman, who publicly chastised him last week, Carson said he’s canceling so the theme of this year’s graduation won’t be bickering about homophobia and First Amendment rights:
“Given all the national media surrounding my statements as to my belief in traditional marriage, I believe it would be in the best interests of the students for me to voluntarily withdraw as your commencement speaker this year … My presence is likely to distract from the true celebratory nature of the day. Commencement is about the students and their successes, and it is not about me.”
Then, while he’s described his words as “poorly chosen” and noted that there are “much less offensive ways” to say you oppose same-sex marriage, Carson suggested he actually isn’t all that sorry:
“Someday in the future, it is my hope and prayer that the emphasis on political correctness will decrease and we will start emphasizing rational discussion of differences so we can actually resolve problems and chart a course that is inclusive of everyone.”
If there’s one thing that could elevate our political discourse, it’s people being more tolerant of those who compare adults in consenting relationships to pedophiles and animal abusers.