NEW YORK -- At an interfaith breakfast held this morning, Mayor Adams is reported to have remarked, “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.” The Mayor’s chief advisor, Ingrid Lewis-Martin is also reported to have said, "In government, many times, it is said that one has to separate church from state … We have an administration that doesn't believe in that."
NYCLU Executive Director Donna Lieberman issued the following statement in response:
“We are a nation and a city of many faiths and no faith. In order for our government to truly represent us, it must not favor any belief over another, including non-belief.
“It is odd that Mayor Adams would need a refresher on the First Amendment. After all, he has sworn to uphold the Constitution more than once, first as a police officer, later as a state representative, and then last year upon becoming mayor. The very opening passage of the Bill of Rights makes clear that church and state must be separate.
“On matters of faith, the Mayor is entitled to his own beliefs. On the Constitution, he must uphold his oath.”