‘Faith Is Who I Am’: NYC Mayor Pushes Back Against CNN Host, Doubles Down On Christian Faith

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Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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Democratic New York City Mayor Eric Adams doubled down on his Christian faith Sunday in an interview with CNN days after saying he does not believe in separation of church and state.

During an interfaith breakfast Tuesday, Adam’s chief adviser, Ingrid Lewis-Martin, introduced the mayor saying his administration “does not believe” it must “separate church from state.”

Adams affirmed this in his speech: “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 beliefs 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.”

CNN’s Dana Bash played a portion of Adams’ speech before questioning him on it.

“You also said that you implement policies, with a ‘god-like approach’ and said ‘when we took prayer out of schools, guns came into schools.’ You know that those comments alarmed some people,” Bash said. “Even some religious leaders who were in the room, a rabbi who was there called it dangerous.”

“Well listen, let’s be clear on something,” Adams said. “The last words I said after I was sworn in is ‘so help me God.’ On our dollar bill 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.”

“Just to be clear, do you fundamentally believe in the separation of church and state from a government standpoint?” Bash asked. (RELATED: This Democratic Mayor Has More Spine Than Most GOP Leaders)

“No, what I believe is that you cannot separate your faith. 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.”

“Understandable, but one of the fundamentals of the Constitution is a separation of church and state when it comes to governing. When I just asked you, you said ‘no.’ That’s going to alarm some people,” Bash said.

“No, this is what I’m saying, I want to be very clear,” Adams pushed back.

“Please, exactly,” Bash said.

“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.”

He continued, “Government should never be in religion, religion should never be in government, and I hope I’m very clear on that.”