NEW YORK -- The man running high in the polls to be the Republican presidential nominee believes the end of the world is nigh. Whereas apocalyptic rambling is usually reserved for unhinged males waving placards and wearing shoes on the wrong feet, this prophecy came from retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who wants the keys to the White House (despite its imminent destruction).
The 64-year-old from Detroit is rapidly streaking ahead as the most outspoken candidate in the Republican race… and that’s a field that includes Donald Trump.
In a Sunday interview, Carson said he believed humanity was nearing its conclusion, but added there was a chance Armageddon could be avoided. When asked directly if “we're at the end of days?” Carson replied: “You could guess that we are getting closer to that.”
“You do have people who have a belief system that sees this apocalyptic phenomenon occurring, and that they're a part of it, and who would not hesitate to use nuclear weapons if they gain possession,” he added.
On a change of course, Carson said: “I think we have a chance to certainly do everything that we can to ameliorate the situation. I would always be shooting for peace… I wouldn't just take a fatalistic view of things.”
The social conservative is part of a Christian sect called the Seventh Day Adventists, a group that gleefully awaits the Second Coming of Christ. In an interview with Fox News on Monday, Carson was asked whether he was a creationist. He replied that God is the creator of the Universe, but said he doesn't know the age of the Earth, conceding it could be billions of years old.
Yet it’s not just on matters of faith that Carson has raised concern. Speaking out on gun control, he recently told CNN that the Holocaust probably wouldn’t have happened had the Jews been armed… like Americans. “I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” he noted. “I'm telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”
On a similar theme, Carson suggested the victims at the Umpqua Community College in Oregon were to blame for their own deaths because they failed to rush the gunman en masse. “Not only would I probably not cooperate with him [the gunman], I would not just stand there and let him shoot me. I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can't get us all.’”