Presidential candidate Ben Carson has been outspoken about his faith, communicating it in a way that has drawn mass appeal, especially among social conservatives.
Carson was recently in the spotlight, coming under attack for saying that he would not advocate for a Muslim running for President of the United States.
Now Carson has produced a meme with the #IAmAChristian hashtag that has gone massively viral: there were more than 1 million likes and 173,000 shares on Facebook as of Sunday night. He created it in response to the school shooting in Oregon.
Carson posted on both Twitter and Facebook a picture of him holding a sign saying “I am a Christian” with the icthus (Christian fish symbol) below it.
According to reports by several survivors, the gunman in the Oregon shooting asked people if they were Christians before shooting them. If they answered ‘yes’, they were shot in the head. If they instead answered ‘no’, they were shot in the legs.
Carson frequently holds a Facebook Q&A session, answering various questions sent in by the American people. That night Carson decided to call it off, saying he thought it was “inappropriate” in light of the shooting.
Carson said: “I would like to spend this night together remembering how important each life is – please join me in praying for the victims and their families. Please pray for the healing of our Great Nation.”
Despite his controversial statement about not supporting a Muslim as President of the United States, Carson has made clear that if he became President the rights of people to hold their own respective faiths (or lack of faith) would be protected. He stated at the National Press club luncheon in 2014:
Everybody’s free to do whatever they want. To try to impose one’s religious beliefs on someone else is absolutely what we should not be doing. That goes in both directions. Someone who is an atheist doesn’t have a right to tell someone who isn’t an atheist what they can or cannot do or what they can or cannot say. We have to be fair but it has to be fair in both directions.
Carson’s appeal stems in large part from his Christian faith, a faith which he says he does not seek to impose on others.
What do you think of Carson’s “I am a Christian” sign? Share and comment below.
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.