By Tom Campisi, Publisher
In the midst of a Coronavirus pandemic, when millions of New Yorkers are turning to prayer and quoting verses like Psalm 91 and 2nd Chronicles 7:14, Governor Andrew Cuomo said God has nothing to do with lessening the impact of the virus in his state.
At a press conference on Monday, April 13, Cuomo said the number of cases appeared to be plateauing in New York due to social distancing and people staying in their homes.
“The number is down, because we brought the number down,” he said. “God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that…” (story continues after ad)
Cuomo likened the achievement of positive results to being on a diet and diligently exercising and watching what you eat.
“That’s how it works. It’s math. And if you don’t continue to do that, you’re going to see that number go back up,” the governor said.
On Facebook, many New Yorkers were angry at such a remark and slight to their faith. One of them was Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr., a New York City councilman.
“Ladies and gentlemen, we must not tolerate Governor Cuomo’s blasphemy,” Diaz wrote. “We must thank our God for the relief of any suffering. We must not desecrate the name of God and deny the truth of God’s mercy. We must live in thanks to the Lord for all good things. Taking glory for ourselves would be blasphemous.”
Diaz said that, despite churches and houses of worship being closed due to the pandemic, people of faith are faithfully crying out to God for intervention.
“We must continue to pray for the end of this suffering, and for strength and peace for those who have lost their loved ones,” he said. “Despite the fact that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s words make it clear that he does not believe in the power of prayer, we will continue to pray for God’s tender mercy.”
Daniel Sanabria, the founder of the God Belongs in My City Movement (GBIMC), was disappointed in the governor’s declaration about God having no impact on his state and city. Sanabria started GBIMC in New York in 2009, and it has spread to cities around the world. He is also the executive director of Youth for Christ in NYC.
“[Governor Cuomo] needs to remember that God’s people will always respect authority, but are careful to give God all the glory when there is good news,” he said. “God belongs in our government.”