It took the celebrated neurosurgeon less than 30 seconds to redirect the prayer’s focus from God to Trump.
“Our kind father in heaven, we’re so thankful for the many blessings that you have bestowed upon us in this country,” Carson said, starting the prayer.
He went on to thank God “for the people of courage” who have “fought hard for the rights of our country.”
“And we thank you for President Donald Trump,” Carson said, “who also exhibits great courage in face of constant criticism.”
Carson asked that God give Trump “strength to endure and the wisdom to lead” before he took time out of the 2-minute-6-second prayer to work in the president’s 2020 campaign slogan.
Carson asked in the prayer that God give the people around the president an understanding and compassionate heart.
“Those are the things that will keep America great,” Carson added.
He also used the prayer to spell out his interpretation of separation of church and state.
“And help us all to recognize as a nation that separation of church and state means that the church does not dominate the state, ” Carson said, “and it means the state does not dominate the church.
“It doesn’t mean that they can not work together to promote Godly principles.”
When Carson ended the prayer, Trump thanked him for a “great job,” but Twitter users weren’t as appreciative.
“Violating the separation of church and state, and frighteningly close to Trump worship,” @JoshuaPotash tweeted Monday about Carson’s words.
“This Man has lost his freakin mind,” @SmoothSax tweeted the next day.
“Any time church and state join together there is always persecution,” @bansan7 tweeted Tuesday.