It’s not the migrant emergency, the rise in retail thefts or the flagging post-COVID economy that has Mayor Eric Adams most concerned — it’s the lack of spirituality among New Yorkers.
Adams said Thursday that a lack of faith is the biggest crisis currently facing the Big Apple — as he pushed, yet again, for religion and God to be more intertwined in New Yorkers’ lives.
“Our challenge is not economics, our challenge is not finance, our challenge is faith — people have lost their faith,” Adams told religious leaders at a Columbia University mental health summit Thursday.
“I’m baffled. I’m baffled that we don’t understand the importance of it,” he added.
Hizzoner, who has made no secret of his personal religious beliefs and has previously decried church and state separation, went a step further — suggesting there wouldn’t be questions about how to deal with the ongoing migrant crisis if the Big Apple was a city of faith.
“When people walk into this city, when they get off the bus, when they are asylum seekers and they come in, when they enter the city for the first time from an airplane or Amtrak — do they feel God?” Adams said.
“With all of our temples, all of our mosques, all of our synagogues, with all of our churches, with all of our Buddhist temples — do they feel God when they come to New York?
“Because if this was a home of God, we would not be asking the question: what are we going to do with our asylum seekers?” he continued.
“If this was a home of God, we would not be asking the question of what are we doing with the young men and women who are growing up in homeless shelters.”
Adams begged faith-based leaders to step up and help educate the city’s youth, telling them: “We need you.”
The mayor insisted that an ongoing rejection of spirituality would spell trouble, in particular, for young New Yorkers and Americans.
“Just the other day, a 14-year-old child stabbed his sister, multiple times, 15-years-old. And people asked me over and over again. ‘Why do you keep saying it’s time? Time to pray” Adams said.
Elsewhere, the mayor declared himself a “pure miracle of God.”
“Sometimes, people wonder why I’ve leaning into my faith so much, if you only knew how broken I had been as a child. I am just a pure miracle of God,” he said.
“And every day, just to be able to just rejoice in the fullness if you can take a child and turn him into the Mayor of the City of New York. God is Good. God is Good.”
Adams’ impassioned faith speech isn’t the first time he has made a pitch for a more spiritual Big Apple.
He defended his stance earlier this month after declaring it was tough for him to separate his religious beliefs — and said it was a shame prayer had been abolished in public schools because it left children more prone to vices like gun violence.
“I’ve never made it a secret that my spirituality guides the humanitarian response that I do,” Adams told reporters when asked to explain why he decried the separation of church and state.