Mark Davis

It is hard to imagine a more inspiring occasion. The graduation ceremony for Johns Hopkins University Medical School was set to welcome the man who has brought it so much attention lately-- Dr. Ben Carson, the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery whose observations on culture and politics have earned him millions of new fans in recent months.

But those views ruffled the sensibilities of ideological hooligans at Hopkins, who sought to chase him from that occasion.

Sadly, they have succeeded.

Displaying characteristic gallantry and class, Dr. Carson has withdrawn, rather than see the event reduced to a circus.

Yet I am conflicted. I understand his logic, but I don’t like to see bullies win.

The so-called Health and Human Rights Student Group at Hopkins is surely high-fiving this weekend, having attracted sufficient attention as a result of their online tantrum regarding Dr. Carson’s comments on gay marriage.

Appearing with Sean Hannity on Fox News, Dr. Carson asserted that no divergent sexual taste should compel a change in the definition of marriage.

His exact words: “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.”

Displaying stunning foolishness, Dr. Carson’s tormentors began bleating that he had in fact equated gays with the pedophiles in NAMBLA and people who seek sex with animals.

He did nothing of the kind. He merely offered a succession of constituencies who may wish for marriage to be bent to their model.

But objectivity vanishes when opportunists seek to score cheap political points. And these are not just garden variety activists-- these are medical students.

If these young adults can’t muster the clarity to see Dr. Carson’s point, I shudder at giving them access to scalpels.

No one is saying these leftist students had to agree with Dr. Carson’s quote. But basic decency requires that they tolerate them, just as conservative students should tolerate a liberal commencement speaker. Have universities finally cast off their last vestige of reputation as environments promoting an exchange of ideas?

It is not as if Dr. Carson would have spent even a single moment on the subject that gave the students conniption fits. He was not going to stride to the microphone to say, “Congratulations on reaching this milestone. Now here’s why I oppose gay marriage.”

His remarks would have been filled with the inspiring themes that have captivated millions who have heard him speak this year-- themes of excellence, self-reliance, high standards and hard work.