Ben Carson on Kentucky Clerk Kim Davis: 'This is a Judeo-Christian Nation'

By Mairead McArdle | September 10, 2015 | 7:35 PM EDT

Dr. Ben Carson.  (AP) 

(CNSNews.com) -- In an interview about how to address the problem of those who support gay marriage versus the religious liberty rights of people such as Kentucky’s Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, Dr. Ben Carson said "this is a Judeo-Christian nation" and lawmakers need to take steps to ensure the First Amendment rights of every American are protected.

On the Sept. 8 edition of The Kelly File, host Megyn Kelly questioned whether religious exceptions could be made for government employees who oppose gay marriage, remarking, “Detractors say that that’s a slippery slope because, next thing, you’re going to have Catholics who refuse to issue a marriage license to people who have been divorced, or Muslims who refuse to issue a marriage license to people who want to -- Muslims who want to marry Christians, and so on. Where does it end?”

Ben Carson responded,  "But this is a very basic right. This is a Judeo-Christian nation in the sense that a lot of our values and principles are based on our Judeo-Christian faith. “

“There are substantial numbers of people who actually believe in the traditional definition of marriage,” he said.  “I’m one of them. It doesn’t mean that I don’t think that other people can do whatever they want to do.”

“But I don’t actually believe that they have the right to force their way of life upon everybody else,” said Carson.  “Nor would I try to force my way of life upon everybody else. And this is where some intellect has to come into place, and our legislators need to sit down and ask themselves, ‘How do we make sure that the rights of all Americans are protected?’ Which requires a little bit of effort.”

Earlier in the interview, Kelly said, “What’s your take on Kim Davis and whether it was appropriate to jail her in the first place?”

Carson responded, “Well jail seems a little extreme. I think what we need to look at is how do we stop this kind of thing from being a continuation. When the Supreme Court made its decision anyone should have known that this kind of thing was going to occur, and it’s going to continue to escalate.”

He continued, “And Congress now has a responsibility to step up to the plate and enact legislation that will protect the First Amendment rights of all Americans. That’s the reason that we have divided government. When one branch does something that tilts the balance, the other branches need to pitch in and correct the situation. This is a serious problem.”

Kim Davis is the Rowan County, Kentucky clerk who was released on Tuesday after five days in jail for refusing marriage licenses to gay couples. Davis said that issuing the licenses would go against her conscience and religion.

Upon her release she told a cheering crowd of supporters, “I love you all so very much. I just want to give God the glory. His people have rallied, and you are a strong people.”

Dr. Ben Carson, 63, is married, has three children, and is the former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Over the years he has been awarded numerous honors, including 38 honorary doctorate degrees, many national merit citations, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and in 2010 he was elected into the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine. His most recent New York Times best seller is One Nation: What We Can All Do To Save America's Future.

Mairead McArdle
Mairead McArdle
Mairead McArdle