NEW YORK — Liberal Gov. Andrew Cuomo cited two Scriptures on Sunday while delivering virtual remarks about state vaccination efforts from a Baptist church in New York City.
“Happy New Year to all. 2020 is over and I say amen,” Cuomo, a Roman Catholic who supports abortion “rights” and same-sex “marriage,” said from Abyssinian Baptist Church. “It was obviously a terrible experience for all of us. It was a dark time indeed.”
He stated that 2021, while seemingly promising, will “be what we make it” and urged residents to maintain their diligence in stopping the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“I understand COVID fatigue as well as anyone, but we can’t get fatigued from COVID until COVID is fatigued. If we tire before the enemy, the enemy wins. It’s that simple,” Cuomo stated.
He advised that the State is preparing a “massive vaccination program” and suggested that it is an obligation to one’s community to be vaccinated.
“We are told that we need to vaccinate 70 to 90 percent of New Yorkers for it to be effective. That is an enormous number. Think of it: 90 percent of New Yorkers don’t agree to do anything, let alone take a vaccine. This is not only an individual responsibility; it is a community obligation. There is a simplicity to the virus: no one is safe unless everyone is safe,” Cuomo said.
He sought to affirm that the vaccine is safe and outlined that his 90-year-old mother and adult daughters will be vaccinated once they are able to do so.
Cuomo also shared his goal of ensuring that the vaccine is distributed fairly, without prejudice to race or economic status, noting that Dr. Calvin Butts of Abyssinian Baptist Church will be among those on the special task force that has been assembled.
“We are designing special portable units that can be pop-up vaccination sites and brought to public housing authorities, churches and community centers around the state,” he outlined.
In a gesture to prove his desire to fair, Cuomo said that he will not take the vaccine until it is available for African Americans, Hispanics and the poor throughout New York state.
“The governor’s license plate is #1. Big deal. The good book says ‘the first shall be last and the last shall be first’ in Matthew 20:16,” he stated. “Until the vaccine is available in the South Bronx, and the East Side of Buffalo, and Wyandanch, and South Jamaica, and Edgerton and East Utica, our health care deserts, our job is not done. I’ll do my part, but you have to do your part.”
Cuomo asked the people “to have faith and trust in the vaccine” and to “act for the good of one another.”
“The Good Book says in Paul’s epistle to the Galatians, ‘Carry each other’s burdens.’ That is our mission today,” he said. “2021 will be what we make it. We are New York tough. Let’s make it smart, loving, caring, safer, fairer, and sweeter than any year thus far.”
Cuomo, who signed the so-called Reproductive Health Act in 2019, which codified Roe v. Wade into state law and decriminalized acts that result in the death of unborn children, similarly cited Scripture last year during his daily COVID briefing in remarking on President Trump’s Bible photo op at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Washington.
“Here in New York, we actually read the Bible,” he asserted. “And there are some passages that I believe are especially appropriate for today, at this time where we are.”
Cuomo then read Matthew 5:9, Mark 3:25, Psalm 34:14 and James 3:18. Psalm 34:14 states, “Depart from evil and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.”
In 2018, Cuomo criticized what he called “extreme conservatives” in the government for imposing “their view of what God says should be done,” stating, “They have their views about what religion is right and wrong, what lifestyle is right and wrong, what sexuality is right and wrong, who should be an immigrant and who’s right and who’s wrong. They have their views, and in a great act of hypocrisy, they are going to use the federal government to impose those views on you.”
As previously reported, most politicians claim to be people of faith, including Hillary Clinton, who told New York Times’ Sunday Book Review in 2014 that the Bible is “the biggest influence on my thinking.” In 2016, she told “The View,” “I’m a Christian, and I take my faith very seriously. It has gotten me through some difficult times in the course of my life.”
In 2013, then-President Barack Obama stated during the National Prayer Breakfast, “God has told us how He wishes for us to spend our days. His Commandments are there to be followed. Jesus is there to guide us; the Holy Spirit to help us. Love the Lord God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself. See in everyone, even in those with whom you disagree most vehemently, the face of God, for we are all His children.”
In an article published in October, President Donald Trump told Religion News Service that he identifies as a non-denominational Christian.
“Melania and I have gotten to visit some amazing churches and meet with great faith leaders from around the world. During the unprecedented COVID-19 outbreak, I tuned into several virtual church services and know that millions of Americans did the same,” he said.
Joe Biden cited Scripture and his Catholic faith that same month in seeking to win votes from people of faith.
“I remain committed to partnering with congregations, faith-based organizations, and faith leaders to strengthen and expand the important work they do to meet essential community needs made worse by this pandemic,” he wrote in a piece entitled “The Greatest Commandment Has Guided My Politics.” “We are called, as Christians, to serve rather than be served, and a Biden-Harris administration will embody that foundational value.”
The late Princeton theology professor B.B. Warfield once stated, “If everything that is called Christianity in these days is Christianity, then there is no such thing as Christianity. A name applied indiscriminately to everything designates nothing.”