Eric Adams, New York City’s Mayor, doubled the number of comments he had made during the week about the notion of separation of state and church.
Dana Bash hosts CNN’s “State of the Union,” said Adams earlier remarks about faith and governance “alarmed some people, even religious leaders who were in the room,” Before promoting Adams to a response.
“Let’s be clear on something: the last words I said after I was sworn in is, ‘So help me God.’ On our dollar bill, we have, ‘In God We Trust.’ Every president touched a religious book when they were sworn in except for three,” Adams responded.
“Faith is who I am, and anyone who takes those words [is] stating that I’m going to try to compel people to follow my religion. No, I’m a child of God. I believe that wholly. I’m going to follow the law. I’m not going to compel people who believe in whatever faith,” The mayor also added. “It could be if you are in a synagogue, a baptist church, a Buddhist temple—I’m in all of them, and that’s what was in my service.”
“Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state,” Adams said Tuesday. “State is the body; church is the heart. You take the heart out of the body, the body dies. I can’t separate my beliefs because I’m an elected official.”
Adams explained in Sunday’s interview that although he did not believe in an institutional union of the church and the states, faith must be an integral part governance.
“Government should not interfere with religion, religion should not interfere with government,” Adams said. “That can’t happen, and it should never happen.”
“But my faith is how I carry out the practices that I do and the policy, such as helping people who are homeless, such as making sure that we show compassion in what we do in our city,” He added.
Comments about Crime
Adams also spoke out about the failed attempt by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot to reelect herself on Sunday. He described it as “a failure”. “warning sign’ for the entire country.
Bash asked Adams if he was worried about his Democrat counterpart’s “Very large loss” in her reelection bid, and his thoughts on its connection to Chicago’s high violent crime rate.
“Contrary to popular belief, it is a warning sign that the country faces. This is actually a statement that it’s what I am referring to,” Adam said. “America, you must feel safe.”
“On the campaign trail, I made it clear that in Chicago, public safety is an essential prerequisite for success. Similar to New York City and Chicago, as well many other large American cities.” Adams said.
On March 1, Lightfoot became the first incumbent Chicago mayor to lose a reelection bid since 1983, a result widely seen as a fallout of Chicago’s soaring violent crime rates under Lightfoot’s governance.
The front-running candidate in that race, former Chicago Public Schools CEO Paul Vallas who ran with a tough-on-crime message, nearly doubled Lightfoot in the number of votes received, according to results reported by The New York Times.
From January 2019 to the end of 2022, Chicago’s murder rate increased by 39 percent, theft by 37 percent, robbery by 13 percent, motor vehicle theft by 139 percent, and shooting by 32 percent, according to a report by the Chicago Police Department. Lori Lightfoot assumed office on May 2019.
But Chicago’s numbers are only a snapshot of a much bigger blue-cities problem, according to a November 2022 report by the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank. It cited data from the first half of 2022 showing that 27 out of 30 cities with the highest murder rate in the country had Democrat mayors, including New York. Two cities had a Republican mayor and one city had an independent.
In Sunday’s interview, Adams touted the success of his subway safety plan, which was a focus of his crime reduction efforts, along with reducing theft.
There were 438 homicides in New York City in 2022, about a 10 percent drop from 2021, according to New York Police Department (NYPD) data.
The data however shows an increase in “major felonies” of which the city has defined 23 percent.” which include rape, robbery felony assault, burglary, theft, and motor vehicle theft.
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