Mayor Eric Adams raised some eyebrows on Tuesday giving remarks at his administration’s annual interfaith breakfast in Manhattan.
The event brings together religious leaders with government officials to talk about the top issues facing the city.
At this year’s event, attendees got a sermon from Adams on how the faith-based community can help with some of the city’s crises like migrants, homelessness and mental health.
What You Need To Know
- Mayor Eric Adams raised eyebrows at his annual interfaith breakfast, giving a sermon on how the faith-based community can help with some of the city’s crises like migrants, homelessness and mental health
- At one point the mayor suggested that an uptick in youth violence was due to a lack of faith
- “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, it dies,” said Adams.
- One rabbi told the Daily News that the speech was “unhinged and very dangerous"
Adams remarks proved controversial, choosing to focus his address on the role faith plays in government.
“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,” said the mayor.
At one point, he noted the close relationship his faith has with how he chooses to run city government.
“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, it dies,” said Adams before adding, “I can’t separate my belief because I’m an elected official.”
The mayor’s remarks were met with some applause from those in the audience moved by his sermon.
At one point, the mayor even suggested that an uptick in youth violence was due to a lack of faith.
“When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into the schools,” said Adams.
The mayor also took an opportunity to jab at the media, a thorn in his side that he has most recently attempted to put at arm’s length.
Adams launched a weekly newsletter and podcasts in hopes of bypassing what he liked to call “noise” or criticism about his administration.
“There are too many people who are professionals at bringing bad news because there is something exciting about bringing bad news to people,” said the mayor, who in recent months has been growing increasingly tired of the media coverage he has received.
Like any self-respecting pastor, Adams finished with an analogy. He took out a sponge and encouraged New Yorkers to embrace God by letting go of overwhelming despair in their lives.
“You are not going to be able to receive the purifications of God’s blessing if you keep your sponge saturated. Some of our souls are so saturated with despair and harm and pain. Today I’m saying to you, ‘wring it out, wring it out,’” Adams said while waving a green and yellow sponge in the air.
Adams, who is not normally known as a firebrand pastor, clearly was feeling the spirit on Tuesday morning.
But not everyone felt it along with him. One rabbi told the Daily News that the speech was “unhinged and very dangerous.”