Good Samaritans - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Good Samaritans
Franklin Graham at Easter in Central Park (YouTube screenshot)

The secularist prejudices of the Left remain on open display during the coronavirus crisis. They continue to produce bizarre policies: closed churches, banned funerals and weddings, even as abortion mills keep grinding and jails spring prisoners.

Protecting the First Amendment, we’re told, is above the “pay grade” of governors — the same line, by the way, Barack Obama once used after he was asked about the humanity of unborn children.

One might have thought New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio would be too busy to indulge these secularist prejudices. But he is not. With special relish, he has sternly warned Jews and Christians against assembling. He has threatened to close permanently their churches and synagogues if they don’t comply. (His message to the Islamic community hasn’t been as pointed.)

Not even Christian charities have escaped the withering gaze of the secularists. Witness the mistreatment of Samaritan’s Purse, a medical charity led by Franklin Graham that has set up a field hospital in Central Park. De Blasio has been “monitoring” the group. Why? Because it is Christian. To de Blasio, that means it is “discriminatory.”

“Opposition to Samaritan’s Purse Central Park Field Hospital Grows,” reads the headline to an April story by the Associated Press and the Religion News Service. The story reports on protesters who in effect oppose charity if it is performed by believing Christians:

On Tuesday, a group of LGBTQ activists stood several yards away from the Samaritan’s Purse field hospital on the East Meadow lawn and blasted city and state officials and Mount Sinai Hospital for partnering with the evangelical humanitarian relief organization treating overflow patients suffering from the coronavirus.

Activists with the Reclaim Pride Coalition holding signs saying “help not hate” called out New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the leadership of Mount Sinai just across the park, for allowing the organization headed by evangelist Franklin Graham to treat New Yorkers while adhering to an anti-gay statement of faith.

“How was this group ever considered to bring their hatred and their vitriol into our city at a time of crisis when our people are fighting a pandemic?” asked Jay W. Walker, an activist with the Reclaim Pride Coalition.

The activists would prefer coronavirus patients go unattended than receive care from doctors who believe in the Bible. Such is the depth of the activists’ secularist intolerance. How long before they apply the same ideological litmus tests to police officers and firemen?

Naturally, the greatest discrimination Samaritan’s Purse has faced comes from liberal Christians, who have joined the secularist mob. As the story reports,

Mount Sinai was prepared to expand the number of field hospital extensions earlier this month when it asked Samaritan’s Purse to extend help at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, on the West Side.

But The New York Times reported that plans to turn the cathedral into a field hospital were abruptly shelved, in part because the cathedral, affiliated with the Episcopal Church, did not realize that Samaritan’s Purse would be involved in the project.

The Episcopal Church, unlike Samaritan Purse, is the leading mainline denomination supporting LGBTQ people, the first in the United States to ordain an openly gay bishop and one of the leaders in special liturgies to marry LGBTQ people.

So much for the crisis bringing New Yorkers together. Nothing, we have been told by Cuomo and de Blasio, is more important than stopping this pandemic. Apparently not. The Left, for all of its sermonizing about “unity,” can’t even suspend its ideological policing at a moment like this one.

Then again, the protesters hurling epithets at Samaritan’s Purse — telling its doctors and nurses that they don’t belong in New York City — are simply putting their governor’s words into action. Recall Andrew Cuomo’s infamous remark about who does and who doesn’t belong in the state: “Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and they’re the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.”

To the secularist political class, the deepest virus is religion.

George Neumayr
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George Neumayr, a senior editor at The American Spectator, is author most recently of The Biden Deception: Moderate, Opportunist, or the Democrats' Crypto-Socialist?
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