He was already a renowned neurosurgeon but also became a conservative icon essentially overnight after delivering a powerful speech critical of President Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this month while the president sat only a few feet away. Now, Dr. Ben Carson is slated to speak at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and will likely become one of the events shining stars.
To learn more about how he developed his belief-system, Glenn Beck hosted Dr. Carson on his program Thursday evening to discuss the the surgeon's upbringing and influences: his mother, and Booker T. Washington.
Dr. Carson credited his mother with nurturing an environment in which he and his siblings read avidly (despite wishing to play outside with friends instead) and were opened to new worlds of achievement.
In terms of the problems facing the nation today, Dr. Carson pointed to moral relativism, telling Beck that "political correctness dictates that there is no right and wrong."
Moral relativism, as it did with the ancient Romans according to the doctor, causes people to lose their sense of self and value.
"And I think we as Americans are beginning to lose that," he added.
"One of the founding pillars of this nation was freedom of speech and freedom of expression and when we give up that freedom by succumbing to political correctness," Carson said that Americans are allowing that underpinning to be compromised "without debate."
Dr. Carson said he believes God is with him, and "if God is for you who can be against you?"
"Is it harder to follow God when you want or do not want to do something?" For Dr. Carson, he believes God opens and closes doors and to pray for guidance and see how it feels. He said while some things may feel glamorous, it may not "feel right" and that is what really matters.
He also explained where he falls on the political compass and how he supports the constitution.
Watch part one of Carson's interview via TheBlaze TV:
Beck and Dr. Carson went on to discuss a range of issues including wealth, the medical community, politicians, and whether or not he would ever run for office.
Following the prayer breakfast, Carson revealed that he actually refused repeated requests from the White House to furnish an advance copy of his speech prior to the event.
Carson told The Hill that he rebuffed the White House's request because he does not write out his speeches in advance of speaking engagements.
“I told them that I don’t have an advance copy because I don’t write out my speeches and I don’t use teleprompters," he told The Hill. "They asked more than once … I gave them the [Biblical] texts around which the remarks would be framed … I said read those texts, the remarks will be framed around those … that should have told them something.”
During his speech at the prayer breakfast, Dr. Carson criticized Obama on the economy, taxes and most notably, health care. He told TheBlaze that following the event, Obama thanked him personally for his remarks. Since then, has expressed that he does not regret that his candor may have been construed as offensive to the president.
"I always pray before I give a speech and ask God to tell me what to say," the doctor explained in an interview with the Daily Caller about the backlash from his remarks.
"I said some things that perhaps I wasn't intending to say, but it was the right message. And judging from the response -- I mean, there are millions of people out there who are so concerned, and have almost given up, and they're just re-energized by the thought that maybe, there's still some common sense left."
In terms of whether or not his speech was offensive, Dr. Carson said it could only be construed as offensive "if you're an ideologue and don’t like to have anyone challenge what you think."
But if you’re an individual who understands what our government is supposed to be — and that is something for, of and by the people — then it’s not offensive at all when one of the people comes out with some suggestions; it’s not seen as an attack."
Bonus: Here's some additional details about Dr. Carson's background.