Ben Carson Makes Non-Apology Apology: 'If I Offended Anyone'

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UPDATE from Susie: After making a classic non-apology apology ("If I offended anyone" -- gee, ya think?), Dr. Ben Carson offered to withdraw as a graduation speaker at Johns Hopkins University:

"I think people have completely taken the wrong meaning out of what I was saying," the 61-year-old surgeon said in a telephone interview Friday. "First of all, I certainly believe gay people should have all the rights that anybody else has. What I was basically saying is that as far as marriage is concerned that has traditionally been between a man and a woman and nobody should be able to change that."

"Now perhaps the examples were not the best choice of words, and I certainly apologize if I offended anyone," he added. "But the point that I was making was that no group of individuals, whoever they are, whatever their belief systems, gets to change traditional definitions. The reason I believe the way I do, I will readily confess, is because I am a Christian who believes in The Bible."

The Bible, he explained, "...says we have an obligation to love our fellow man as ourselves, and I love everybody the same -- all homosexuals. Everybody who knows me knows I would never say anything to intentionally hurt someone."

Well! Isn't that "nice" of him? I wonder which traditional definition of marriage he's using. The one where King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines, or something else?

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Fox's new favorite, Dr. Ben Carson, who has come under fire this week for his remarks on Sean Hannity's show where he compared gay marriage to NAMBLA and bestiality, made an appearance on Andrea Mitchell's show on MSNBC and did a really lousy job of defending them, claiming that he was "taken out of context" and wasn't actually trying to equate all of those things.

Mitchell responded by reading Carson's words right back to him and correctly noted that he was equating those things when he used in the very same sentence, gay marriage along with "things that are illegal." Carson responded by claiming that it was not his intention for his words to be taken that way. Yeah, how could all of those silly viewers have gotten the idea he was equating gay marriage with men who want to have sex with boys and bestiality just because he rattled them off one after the other?

Carson has come under fire from his colleague at Johns Hopkins which Media Matters reported on here: "Nasty, Petty, And Ill-Informed": Ben Carson's Johns Hopkins Colleague Responds To His Marriage Equality Attack :

The co-director of Johns Hopkins University's sexuality studies program is speaking out against his colleague Dr. Ben Carson's recent comments comparing supporters of marriage equality to members of NAMBLA and practitioners of bestiality.

"I don't think most people at Hopkins think what he says on this subject matters," Professor Todd Shepard, co-director of the university's Program for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, said in a statement to Media Matters. "They make him look nasty, petty, and ill-informed. It doesn't tell us anything about his amazing abilities as a surgeon. It does remind us, however, that those abilities do not mean we should listen to what he says in any other domain."

During a March 26 appearance on Fox News, Carson said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. 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."

"So, it's not something against gays," added the Johns Hopkins Hospital neurosurgery professor, who has recently become a sensation among the conservative media. "It's against anybody who wants to come along and change the fundamental definitions of pillars of society. It has significant ramifications."

Mitchell asked Carson about his decision to go into politics, to which Carson responded that he wasn't going into politics and said "everybody sort of assumes that if you have a voice and you speak out, particularly against some things that you think perhaps are moving in the wrong direction, that you're going into politics and that your goal is to become a political figure." Never mind the fact that he's been more than willing to allow Fox and right wing media outlets to court him as a presidential contender and has been more than happy to play coy with that crowd.

Carson continued and claimed that his goal was "to get people to have discussions about things, about which they disagree in a civil way" and "not call each other names" and "get into infantile discussions" and that "at some point we're going to have to tone down the rhetoric." Mitchell pushed back at Carson, pointing out that his own rhetoric was divisive, but was brushed off by Carson in response. This is an old trick by the right, claiming they want everyone to be "civil" while they're calling the other side names.

Mitchell wrapped things up by asking Carson about the petition to have him replaced as the commencement speaker at Johns Hopkins this year and Carson responded by saying that he was "waiting for appropriate channels" to give his response to the university.

Carson didn't do himself any favors during that interview with Hannity and the same could be said for this interview as well.

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