Kids (and parents) do need faith
Mayor Eric Adams’ recent remarks at an interfaith breakfast paid off bad– faith criticism.
“We need to find a way to introduce some form of spirituality to our children, because they’re not fighting the visible, they’re fighting the invisible,” the mayor pleaded in follow-up remarks. “These poor kids are growing up in an environment that — it’s just so painful for them.”
Critics had focused on his breakfast complaint that “when we took prayers out of schools, guns came into schools,” with tweets complaining of an “insane tirade” and saying, “People of New York, you need to do better.”
New York Civil Liberties Union honcho Donna Lieberman snorted, “It’s odd that Mayor Adams needs a refresher course on the First Amendment.”
Actually, Lieberman needs that refresher course. As Adams noted, “There are clear rules about school prayer,” and, “I don’t have the power to change that. I just gave you my faith.’
Adams’ full comments show that she completely missed the point. “If we put our best fight in the ring,” he said, “we wouldn’t have homeless people in this town. We wouldn’t have a domestic violence crisis.” Teaching kids to get better (so we have better adults!) “means instilling in them a certain level of faith and belief.”
This is not a call to turn public schools into religious schools, but a reminder that spirituality gives the strength and serenity to fight the most precious battles, even and especially for the young.
You may not agree, but there is plenty of evidence to support the idea.
Religious people, data shows, are much more generous with time and money for charity than the non-religious. They are less likely to have children out of wedlock – and children raised by both their parents are much more likely to succeed in life.
Other evidence suggests that the active religious are also less involved in crime.
Too many young people today are hurt and lonely. Those who insist it is one way or another bad to claim that they could benefit from the comfort and guidance of faith only demonstrate their own bigotry.