New York City Mayor Eric Adams discussed the importance of faith during his annual interfaith breakfast at the New York Public Library on Tuesday. According to the Christian Post, Adams urged religious leaders to be proud of their faith and share it with others. Citing the breakdown of societal values, Adams argued that the absence of faith in the public square and in schools has had a negative impact on the safety and well-being of children and adults.
Adams warned that restricting “the exercise of faith” only to places of worship undermines the power it has to be a “force for good” in society. Sharing his own personal experience with faith, Adams explained that he learned the impact faith has on someone when they keep it with them at all times. Instead of forgetting or abandoning one’s faith at the doorstep of a venue other than a house of worship, he said people must continually call on their faith.
Since voluntary prayer has been removed from schools due to an alleged First Amendment issue, Adams said the result has been disastrous. With the absence of faith in schools comes critical problems with violence and bullying, he said, adding that the social media frenzy has also contributed to people losing sight of the real world and what matters most.
Adams said he is concerned for the future, asserting that children need to be guided by faith. He also shared the role that faith has always played in his life and how he relies on it for the strength to lead.
“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state. State is the body. Church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies. I can’t separate my belief because I’m an elected official. When I walk, I walk with God. When I talk, I talk with God. When I put policies in place, I put them in with a God-like approach to them,” Adams said. “That’s who I am. And I was that when I was that third grader, and I’m going to be that when I leave government. I am still a child of God and will always be a child of God, and I won’t apologize about being a child of God. It is not going to happen.”
Sadly, the anti-religion hawks have called Adams out on his expression of faith, and are determined to stop any advancement of faith-based values from “ruining” their religion-free city. NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman said, “we are a nation and a city of many faiths and no faith. In order for our government to truly represent us, it must not favor any belief over another, including non-belief.” Misunderstanding Adams’ intentions out of her apparent fear of any reference to faith, Lieberman cried “the very opening passage of the Bill of Rights makes clear that church and state must be separate.”
Although Adams has faced much scrutiny over the high crime and serious issues plaguing New York City, his statement supporting faith may have brought New Yorkers to see his leadership role from a different perspective. Whether they agree with his policies or not, many New Yorkers may find that they agree with him about the importance and necessity of faith.