New York City Mayor Eric Adams—the Black Giuliani—hosted an interfaith breakfast last week where he told the audience of various religious leaders and others: “Don’t tell me about no separation of church and state.” He went on to say: “State is the body. Church is the heart. You take out the heart, and the body dies.” And he added that when the Supreme Court took prayer out of the public schools, guns came in.
And these statements were not out of character for Adams. The previous week he had given a talk at a Catholic center where he said god made him for this particular moment in time and for the particular role that he now occupies.
Let me start with his last point. No, Mayor Adams, god didn’t make you to be New York City’s mayor at this time. First off there is no god. No, “what made you for this particular moment in time” was a powerful section of the forces who run this country, the capitalist-imperialists. Their system had been rocked back on its heels by the powerful outpouring of protests across the country and around world after we had all seen the cops murder George Floyd. They needed someone who could sell people on the need to re-unleash their pigs to clamp back down on the people they have penned up in the ghettos and barrios of the U.S. in order to deal with “rising crime.” Since the people the cops brutalize and murder are disproportionately Black and Brown, Adams’ Black face made him a good fit for them: a Black Giuliani to bring back many of the elements of the program the original Giuliani presided over when he spearheaded a fascistic clampdown in NYC.
Adams was just as wrong when he said that guns came into the schools when the Supreme Court took prayer out. And this is really his main point: that along with his cops roaming the streets like they did under Giuliani, he wants religion in the schools to hammer a slave mentality into the youth.
Think about it. It was something larger than the supposed “elimination of god” from the public schools that brought the guns flooding into the neighborhood. It was the workings of this capitalist/imperialist system. That’s what moved the factories out of the inner cities and to other parts of the world in search of higher profit and a work force that they thought would be easier to control. This left large sections of Black and other "minority" youth no other viable means to live besides dealing drugs and gang activity generally. Because this activity is "outside the law," you have to have guns to be involved in it. Those who run this system consciously decided to both allow that, to confine it to certain areas of the oppressed, and to criminalize it, and to then use the "war on drugs" to lock up large numbers of Black and Latino people.
They played both sides of the street on this—enslaving large numbers of youth to drugs and getting them caught up in being in and out of prison. Now, after the huge rebellions against “the new Jim Crow” of mass incarceration and police terror, here comes Eric Adams to try to put a Black face on reinstituting all of that and more.
But let's go further: let’s look at the role Christianity played in the horrific crimes this system has perpetrated on people, both historically and present day. Look at the role religion played in the theft of land of the Native inhabitants of this continent and the genocide that was perpetrated against them. Theft and genocide justified by calling them non-believing heathens who shouldn’t be considered full human beings. And look at how Christianity justified the enslavement of Black people, with its bible verses about god having ordained them, as descendants of Ham, to be slaves because of some curse this non-existent supernatural being had put on them.
And look at the kind of society the Christian fascists are using the considerable power they wield today to bring into being. One where women’s rights to abortion and even birth control are being taken away; where telling the truth about the country’s history in school or even writing books and articles about it is being banned. The Christian fascist-run state of Florida is leading the way on this, passing laws and enacting policies that outlaw or gut African-American and gender studies in schools and open the door to suing people who criticize the fascist actions the state is putting in place.
Because Adams often walks back statements like these after he makes them, some people say this is just him pandering to audiences he thought were religious. It’s really way worse than that. Adams is playing on the hold that religion has on too many people, especially too many Black people, to keep them locked into believing that some non-existent supernatural being is playing a decisive role in their lives. This sets them up to accept the brutality, misery and degradation the system enforces on them as part of “god’s plan.” And to go along with plans to jam even more religion down the throats of people, by reinserting it into schools.
Back in the days of slavery, the masters had preachers come to the slave quarters to talk to the enslaved people about the pie in the sky that was waiting for them when they died after having spent their lives slaving for "massa" from can't see in the morning till can't see at night. The crap Adams is selling is just as slavish, and downright poisonous. This theocratic shit—this stuff that says that religion should really run the state—needs to be called out for what it is and rejected.