New York mayor claims mandate from heaven
New Yorkers have slammed Mayor Eric Adams for declaring himself anointed by God, dismissing the separation of church and state, and blaming student shootings on a lack of prayer in schools. He was speaking at an Interfaith Prayer Breakfast at the New York Public Library on Tuesday.
“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state,” Adams chided attendees, declaring “State is the body. Church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies.”
“When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools,” the mayor continued. Explaining that he implemented policies with a “godlike approach,” he promised that homelessness and domestic violence would be gone from the city “if we were bringing our best fight in the ring.”
“When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools.”— NYC Mayor Eric Adams (D) speaking at the New York Public Library interfaith breakfast pic.twitter.com/2GkxKCB5bX— The Recount (@therecount) February 28, 2023
Adams insisted he “strongly believe[d] in all [his] heart” that “God said, ‘I”m going to take the most broken person and I’m going to elevate him to the place of being the mayor of the most powerful city on the globe’,” joking that “He could have made me mayor of Topeka, Kansas.”
Adams’ comments did not appear to be improvised, with his aide Ingrid Lewis-Martin introducing him to the assembled religious leaders in a similar vein. “Definitely one of the chosen,” Adams was a mayor whose government “doesn’t believe” in separating church and state, she said.
Many of the guests were reportedly appalled. Rabbi Abby Stein told the New York Times on Tuesday that she and “several people sharing her table” had reacted with immediate horror, repeating “no, no, no, no” as the mayor’s “unhinged and dangerous” remarks washed over them.
New York Civil Liberties Union director Donna Lieberman said she was “speechless” to hear Adams inveighing against one of the nation’s foundational concepts. “As mayor, he’s bound to uphold the Constitution, which provides for separation of church and state,” she pointed out.
But Adams’ spokesman Fabien Levy insisted the mayor’s remarks had been misinterpreted, arguing the former NYPD officer merely meant “the policies we make as an administration are rooted in the mayor’s belief in the creator.”