Republican presidential hopeful Ben Carson speaks to the crowd at the Heritage Action Presidential Candidate Forum September 18, 2015 in Greenville, South Carolina.
Photograph by Sean Rayford—Getty Images
By Claire Groden
November 5, 2015

Ben Carson, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination, has made his deeply-held Seventh Day Adventist Church beliefs a central part of his campaign.

In the CNBC debate last week, Carson sparred with moderator Becky Quick and the other candidates over his flat tax proposal, based off of church tithing. And recently, he’s received heat for a video in which he says that the Egyptian pyramids were used to store grain—referring as evidence to the Biblical story of Joseph storing grain in Egypt before a famine.

But religion has permeated the successful neurosurgeon’s entire life, not just his campaign, if you ask his autobiographies, including “Gifted Hands,” “Big Picture” and “Think Big.” The Washington Post has compiled eleven times—and that’s not even exhaustive—that Carson credited God with intervening in his life. From the profundity of medical miracles to the convenient disappearance of a bad secretary, Carson sees God everywhere. Here are the highlights, but for the whole eleven yards, head over to The Post:

  1. When Carson was in his first year at Yale, he writes that he was hopelessly lost in a chemistry class. The night before a test, he writes in Gifted Hands, “my mind reached toward God — a desperate yearning, begging, clinging to Him.” After putting in a few hours of seemingly futile studying, Carson went to bed. Then, he writes that he dreamt “[he was] sitting in the chemistry lecture hall, the only person there. The door opened, and a nebulous figure walked into the room, stopped at the board, and started working out chemistry problems.” Those chemistry problems were the same ones he found on the test the following day. He passed thanks to a divine intervention, he writes.
  2. Fast-forward past a lot of passed chemistry classes, and Carson found himself struggling to manage an ineffective, alcoholic secretary as a resident at Johns Hopkins Hospital. He writes that he prayed: “Lord, how am I going to resolve this dilemma without having to hurt anyone? I want to be kind to her, but I can’t let this go on.” A few weeks later, the secretary disappeared. Carson never found out if she truly just vanished, or ended up in a ditch somewhere, but he credits God: “I am thankful that this problem was resolved without any unpleasantness on my part.”
  3. Carson attributes a number of medical turnarounds to God, including during near-deaths in his surgeries. In one case, a four-year-old girl’s heart stopped in the middle of a surgery to remove her brain tumor. “As my hands moved quickly, I was silently praying, Lord, I don’t know what’s going on or what caused this. Fix it, God, please.” As Carson moved to begin pumping her heart, it restarted.

 

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