Doctor Ben Carson has, finally, offered an actual apology, it appears, for comparing same-sex marriage to pedophilia. The apology comes after the Dean of Johns Hopkins University’s medical faculty publically rebuked him over it.
Carson is the director of pediatric neurosurgery at the university, and has offered up a standard non-apology before. The specific incident comes from an appearance by Carson on Sean Hannity’s show in which he said “a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality — it doesn’t matter what they are. They don’t get to change the definition.” He later tried to claim that liberals were attacking him because they are racist.
Finally, he offered this apology saying “I am sorry for any embarrassment this has caused. But what really saddens me is that my poorly chosen words caused pain for some members of our community and for that I offer a most sincere and heartfelt apology. Hurting others is diametrically opposed to who I am and what I believe.”
He apparently does still believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman in much the same way that Strom Thurmond once believed that marriage was between two people of the same race. Carson really should consider what he says more carefully given that pedophilia is not the same as homosexuality because, under rationality, children cannot give consent to sex while adults can.
Doctor Paul Rothman, the dean of medical faculty, issued a statement rebuking Carson saying “Controversial social issues are debated in the media on a regular basis, and yet it is rare that leaders of an academic medical center will join that type of public debate. However, we recognize that tension now exists in our community because hurtful, offensive language was used by our colleague, Dr. Ben Carson, when conveying a personal opinion. Dr. Carson’s comments are inconsistent with the culture of our institution.”
Carson is retiring from the university this upcoming year, and is suppose to be the commencement speaker. Still, medical students have been circulating a petition to have Carson removed. Rothman will be meeting with graduating students on Monday to figure out what will be done in the end.
Rothman’s full letter reads:
Controversial social issues are debated in the media on a regular basis, and yet it is rare that leaders of an academic medical center will join that type of public debate. However, we recognize that tension now exists in our community because hurtful, offensive language was used by our colleague, Dr. Ben Carson, when conveying a personal opinion. Dr. Carson’s comments are inconsistent with the culture of our institution.
Johns Hopkins Medicine embraces diversity and believes that the same civil rights should be available to all regardless of race, religion, gender or sexual orientation. For example, the Johns Hopkins University has provided benefits for same-sex domestic partners since 1999 and has long maintained a policy against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Dr. Carson is well known for his accomplishments as a neurosurgeon and for his contributions to the Baltimore community. While his recent comments are inconsistent with our core values, Dr. Carson has the right to participate in public debates and media interviews and express his personal opinions on political, social and religious issues. We strongly value freedom of expression and affirm Dr. Carson’s right, as a private citizen, to state his personal views.
We have been carefully listening to the varied opinions expressed by members of our community in response to Dr. Carson’s comments. It is clear that the fundamental principle of freedom of expression has been placed in conflict with our core values of diversity, inclusion and respect. We are trying to thoughtfully work through these issues, and as part of that process, we will be meeting with graduating students on Monday.
Those who work and study here, and the patients we serve, create a rich tapestry of people from all races, religions and backgrounds. Commitment to diversity, inclusion, and freedom of expression is at the heart of our standing as a world leader in medical care, research and education.