On Tuesday, Mayor Eric Adams criticized the separation of church and state while applauding prayer in schools, drawing criticism from civil libertarians.
During a yearly breakfast of religious leaders in Manhattan, the mayor, who has previously made little secret of his own personal religious beliefs, presented his case for a more spiritual Big City.
“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,’’ Adams said.
“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. That’s who I am.”
The mayor explained to the crowd gathered at the main branch of the New York Public Library that a lack of faith may contribute to anything from homelessness to marital abuse to the presence of firearms in schools.
“When we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools,’’ Hizzoner said.
The Bill of Rights guarantees the separation of Church and State, and requiring prayer in public schools was outlawed in 1962.
Adams’ comments immediately came under fire from some civil-liberty activists.
“In order for our government to truly represent us, it must not favor any belief over another, including non-belief,’’ the New York Civil Liberties Union tweeted along with a press statement criticizing the mayor.
“On matters of faith, the Mayor is entitled to his own beliefs. On the Constitution, he must uphold his oath.”
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