(CNSNews.com) – New York City Mayor Eric Adams says he cannot separate his religious faith from his political leadership.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Adams was asked about his comments at an interfaith breakfast last week, where he said, “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.”
Adams also said guns came into the public schools when prayers went out.
On Sunday, Adams doubled down on the role of religion in politics:
“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.
“Faith is who I am. And anyone who takes those words as stated 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 it could be.
“If you’re in a synagogue, a Baptist church, a Buddhist temple, I’m in all of them.”
Host Dana Bash asked Adams, “Do you fundamentally believe in the separation of church and state from a governing standpoint?”
“No, what I believe is that you cannot separate your faith,” Adams said.
“Government should not interfere with religion, and religion should not interfere with government. But I believe my faith pushes me forward on how I govern and the things that I do.”
Dana Bash said Adams’ words might “alarm some people.”
“I want to be very clear on this, so it won’t be distorted,” Adams replied:
“Government should not interfere with religion. Religion should not interfere with government. That can’t happen. And it should never happen.
“But my faith is how I carry out the practices that I do, and the policies, such as helping people who are homeless, such as making sure that we show compassion in what we do in our city. Government should never be in religion. Religion should never be in government. And I hope I’m very clear on that.”
Mayor Adams last week announced the second part of his plan to deal with mental illness among his constituents.
“In November, when laid out my plan to help those with serious mental illness who are living on the street, I said it was just the beginning,” Adams said on March 2.
“This is the next phase of how we are going to help people in need before they fall into crisis, by ensuring everyone has access to healthcare, community and a home.”
“New York City Health and Hospitals, which already provides 55 percent of all the mental health beds for New York City, will be expanding capacity in the coming months to meet demand. We will also increase the city’s crisis services, including adding additional peers to mobile crisis teams, and expanding the behavioral health emergency assistance response division, or be heard as we call it.
“This means responding to mental health emergencies with mental health professionals and emergency medical technicians, while decreasing unnecessary use of police services…”
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