In Father’s Day sermon, Mayor Adams says God told him to talk publicly about his faith, and divine destiny

Mayor Eric Adams at the interfaith breakfast at the New York Public Library on Feb. 28, 2023.
Michael Appleton/Mayoral Photography Office

Mayor Eric Adams said Sunday that his decision to publicly discuss his religion, including controversially dismissing America’s separation of church and state, was actually suggested to him by God himself.

The pious pol was delivering an eight-minute Father’s Day sermon at the historic Lenox Road Baptist Church in Flatbush when he shed light on why he has chosen to speak more publicly on his Christian faith in recent months. A couple of months ago, the mayor said he awoke from his sleep in a cold sweat and was told by God to “talk about God.”

“And I started to say, don’t tell me about separation of church and state,” Adams told the Sunday parishioners. “Don’t tell me that when you took prayer out of school, guns came in. Don’t tell me that I have to remove my feeling of God. And you saw what happened! You saw all the front pages and the national stories, you know, how dare the most powerful mayor on the globe start talking about God! Because I don’t care what anyone say, it’s time to pray.”

The divine suggestion led to considerable controversy for the Adams administration after Hizzoner first discussed church and state at a prayer breakfast in February, with civil liberties groups expressing concern over the mayor’s stated unwillingness to separate his Christian faith from his job governing a city with millions of non-Christian residents.

Adams later partially walked back the remarks, noting that he doesn’t believe his faith should “interfere” with the business of governing, but still pointedly declining to say church and state should be separate. The separation of religion and government is enshrined in the Constitution through the Establishment Clause, stating that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.”

Hizzoner’s conversation with God echoed one he says he had over 30 years ago, where the Lord not only told Adams he would one day be mayor, but even said exactly when it would happen: January 1, 2022, the day he assumed office.

“Thirty-something years ago, I woke up out of my sleep in a cold sweat. God spoke to my heart and said, ‘you are going to be the mayor January 1, 2022.’ And the message was clear. God stated, ‘you cannot be silent, you must tell everyone you know,'” preached Adams, who was a police officer at the time and would go on to become a State Senator and Brooklyn Borough President before being elected mayor. “I would go around the city, pastor, and I would tell everybody ‘I’m gonna be mayor January 1, 2022.’ People used to think I was on medication.”

Not forgetting the fatherly theme of the day, Adams began asking “how are the children,” which he said was a greeting used by the Maasai people of eastern Africa, before presenting a vision of crisis and bleakness among the city’s youth. Among other things, he used the opportunity to repeat a dubious claim that children start their days by going to bodegas and buying weed and fentanyl before going to school.

“How are the children? Young children are carving highways of death with 9 mm bullets, taking the lives of other children,” said Hizzoner. “How are the children? They start their day going to the local bodega, getting cannabis and fentanyl, and they sit in the classroom trying to learn, when we know what cannabis does to the brain of a child at an early age. How are the children? Social media is teaching them how to steal cars, how to disfigure their bodies, how to use drugs. How are the children? Depression is how, suicide is how! How are the children? Our children are in a state of disrepair, and we’re so busy trying to be popular to our babies instead of being parents to our children that we have to ask, how are the children.”

Of his relationship with his own son, rapper Jordan Coleman, the mayor said his job was never to be his son’s “buddy;” in fact, he said his son was “supposed to hate me” until he was an adult and realized his reasons for parenting the way he did. Later on Sunday, Adams said in a video that being Coleman’s father is the “best job” he’s ever had.

The mayor concluded his remarks by criticizing press coverage of him and his administration, particularly of his faith, and compared himself to Denzel Washington’s character in the 1989 Civil War film “Glory,” when he is set to be whipped for leaving his squadron to spend time with his love interest. Scars from previous whippings are seen, which Adams said represents how critical press coverage cannot hurt or deter him from his Godly mission.

“What do they think they can do to me? You try to beat me with your news articles? I’ve got the scars already,” said Hizzoner. “You try to beat me with your commentary? I got the scars already. You can’t do anything to me! I know whose voice I hear.”

God could not immediately be reached for comment.