Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson posted a photo Friday to Facebook that shows him holding a sign with a simple four-word message: “I am a Christian.”
The post, which prompted a wave of proud assertions of faith, was widely circulated online and amassed over 140,000 shares and nearly a million likes in less than 24 hours since it had been published.
Carson also changed his profile photo to the following picture and suggested others do so as a way to “honor the victims and their families.”
The former neurosurgeon posted the faith-based messages after a 26-year-old gunman who opened fire at an Oregon community college Thursday and killed at least nine people seemed to have specifically targeted Christians.
According to witnesses, the shooter lined his victims up and asked each of them to state their faith. If they answered that they were Christian, the gunman fatally shot them. According to one survivor, whose account was relayed by her granddaughter on Twitter, Christians were shot in the head while those who said they weren’t Christian or didn’t declare a faith were shot in the legs.
President Barack Obama has made two speeches since the Umpqua massacre, and failed to mention that Christians were targeted in either address, which prompted Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg to ask if he would have failed to mention faith had Muslim students been targeted.