We did it! …or did we? A response to Governor Cuomo’s remarks

While secular humanists were doing the happy dance after Governor Cuomo’s press conference on April 13th, Christians were livid.  I was among the irate.  Not because the numbers were down, but because he took credit for the results, while dismissing any divine intervention.

“The number is down, because we brought the number down. God did not do that. Faith did not do that. Destiny did not do that. A lot of pain and suffering did that.”

Kudos to every New Yorker who put in place the practice of self-discipline.  But did God have no involvement? Was faith absent from the equation?  (You may wish to discuss the destiny remark after reading an opt-ed piece titled: “Israeli-professor shows virus follows a fixed pattern.”)

What I find most disturbing the about the governor’s statement is its mutual exclusivity.  It’s either or…not both.  Yes, the numbers have gone down because of the efforts of New Yorkers to stop the spread of the virus.  But to dismiss faith and God as if they had no effect at all is nearsighted at best.

As a person of faith, I have no problem acknowledging the human contribution to slowing the spread of the virus.  But I strongly believe that prayer and faith had an effect on the decrease as well.   And I certainly believe it has been a factor at the back end; those who contracted the virus and have recovered, especially those in critical condition.  Yes, many lost their lives.  We mourn their loss.  Many more came through because of treatment AND prayer.  Not one or the other…both.

Self-discipline has merit, Governor Cuomo.  However this virus is not about losing a few pounds.  You could have stopped at saying the numbers have come down, congratulating the efforts of everyone involved. But to dismiss God and faith is simply arrogant.  Man is not the measure of all things.  God is.  As the Apostle Paul wrote:  “In him we live, we move and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)

Give credit where credit it is due.  Yes, you deserved to congratulate everyone and to take a bow at the press conference.  Your leadership at the epicenter has provided a sense of calm and assurance to many downstate New Yorkers.   I also encourage you to take a knee. You may not see the reason why.  But someday you will. We all will. (Php 2:9-11)