For Immediate Release
Contact: Jasmine Banks, 202-238-9088, firstname.lastname@example.org
(Washington, DC, March 1, 2023) – The American Humanist Association denounces comments made by New York City Mayor Eric Adams yesterday that alarmingly blurred the line between church and state during an interfaith breakfast event in Manhattan.
Speaking before the assembled crowd, Mayor Adams stated:
“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. 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.”
Earlier in the same speech, Adams claimed that, “[W]hen we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools.” He later concluded his remarks by stating, “And so today we proclaim that this city, New York City, is a place where the mayor of New York is a servant of God.”
American Humanist Association Executive Director Nadya Dutchin joined similarly-minded organizations like Americans United in denouncing the Mayor’s statements as flagrantly anti-democratic.
“Interfaith leaders have condemned religious nationalism as incompatible with democracy,” said Dutchin. “It is appalling, though hardly shocking in this political moment, that Mayor Adams would betray the trust of his constituents by asserting that belief in god has any place in governance and public policy.”
Dutchin continued, “These comments are a slap in the face to non-religious New Yorkers who have not just a constitutional but a moral right to live free from sectarian, oppressive religious influence. Mayor Adams should immediately clarify his remarks and affirm his commitment to the separation of church and state, or he risks leaving his constituents to wonder whether Christian Nationalism has run amok at City Hall.”
The American Humanist Association is committed to a pluralistic society where both freedom of religion and freedom from religion are the bedrock of progress. Whether one derives their ethics and morality from belief in a god or belief in the greater good of their fellow humans, governance free from religious influence must be maintained to bring about a progressive society that is respectful to, and dignified for all.
The American Humanist Association (AHA) works to protect the rights of humanists, atheists, and other nontheistic Americans. The AHA advances the ethical and life-affirming worldview of humanism, which—without beliefs in gods or other supernatural forces—encourages individuals to live informed and meaningful lives that aspire to the greater good of humanity. Learn more at www.americanhumanist.org