Dr Carson is a remarkable person but the Church as a whole does not endorse candidates or parties. We recognise the domestic and international issues society faces are extremely complex, and that no one party or candidate has all the answers to them.
Detroit, United States
Renowned Adventist neurosurgeon Dr Ben Carson officially announced on Monday that he is a candidate for the American presidency. In the months ahead he will seek the nomination of the Republican Party to run in the US presidential election, which is scheduled for November 8, 2016.
Dr Carson is the first Seventh-day Adventist in US history to run for the presidency. His story is well known and admired by Adventists around the world. Church leaders in North America said they’re aware of the increased interest in this development.
“The Adventist Church has a longstanding position of not supporting or opposing any candidate for elected office,” according to an official statement from the North American Division of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. “This position is based both on our historical position of separation of church and state and the applicable federal law relating to the church’s tax-exempt status.
“While individual church members are free to support or oppose any candidate for office as they see fit, it is crucial that the Church as an institution remain neutral on all candidates for office. Care should be taken that the pulpit and all church property remain a neutral space when it comes to elections. Church employees must also exercise extreme care not to express views in their denominational capacity about any candidate for office, including Dr Carson.”
“Dr Carson is a remarkable person,” noted James Standish, director of communications and public affairs for the Adventist Church in the South Pacific, “but the Church as a whole does not endorse candidates or parties. We recognise the domestic and international issues society faces are extremely complex, and that no one party or candidate has all the answers to them.”
Mr Standish, who spent some years representing the Church to the United Nations in New York and to the United States government, said that the Seventh-day Adventist community in the US is very diverse—ethnically, economically and politically—and that, therefore, monolithic Adventist support for Dr Carson is unlikely. “Polling indicates that Adventists are split between the Democratic and Republican parties,” he said. “American Adventists have been elected to the United States Congress on both Democratic and Republican tickets.”