By Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz
District 32 Bronx County, New York
Tel 718-991-3161

You should know what back in Biblical times, there were two cities, Sodom and Gomorrah, whose leaders were intolerant of anyone who would oppose their teachings and beliefs, to the point that the leaders would expel and commit physical violence against anyone who disagreed with them.   The leaders of Sodom and Gomorrah demanded that its’ citizens should be tolerant of their beliefs.

You should also know that New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has spent the past few years pushing for tolerance from people who disagree with him and his ilk.  However, we just got a very disturbing lesson of intolerance from our beloved Governor, Andrew Cuomo.

On Friday, January 17, 2014 Governor Andrew Cuomo made an outrageous statement during a radio interview, where he categorically condemned all New Yorkers who fall under his label of “extreme conservatives.”

Governor Cuomo stated: “these extreme conservatives, have no place in the State of New York.”   So we should ask, who are these “extreme conservatives”?

You should know that these condemned New Yorkers include people of faith communities, and people of no faith at all, who uphold traditional marriage and oppose the legalization of marriage between a man and a man, and a woman and a woman.  The Governor’s condemned New Yorkers also include women and men who respect the inherent dignity of human life at all stages of development and who oppose the legalization of the brutal killing of unborn children in their mothers’ wombs.

I wonder if the Governor had the chance to redo his interview, if he would like to include New Yorkers who oppose late-term abortions – and New Yorkers who oppose fornication or sex outside of marriage – among those who should no longer reside in New York State.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s widespread call for the banishment of all New Yorkers who don’t toe his liberal line sounds like something we might hear from the mouth of a tyrant condemning those who sit on the wrong side of his throne.

Governor Andrew Cuomo’s presumptuous license to banish those who he has called “extreme conservatives” is an outright attack on millions of New Yorkers.  It’s also an attack on the core principles of the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment freedoms:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

Someone needs to send our Governor back to a remedial course of “Civics 101 – Introduction to the US Constitution.”  And if it helps, I would be delighted to lend Governor Andrew Cuomo my copy of Nat Hentoff’s book: “Free Speech for Thee, But Not For Me.”

You should know that Governor Andrew Cuomo’s radio attack against millions of New Yorkers who are “extreme conservatives” amounts to a thinly disguised act of religious discrimination against those who are practicing Catholics, Jewish, Muslims, and Evangelical Christians.  Millions of New Yorkers revere the teachings of the Torah, the Holy Bible and the Koran.

My dear reader, we need to remain vigilant, because as they say: “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

I have to say, while Governor Andrew Cuomo’s radio attack sounded like an excommunication decree, I find comfort in knowing that I am in good company with many of New York’s religious leaders, including my Catholic friends, such as Cardinal Timothy Dolan, who shepherds New York’s Catholics with loving pro-family guidance.  This includes the belief that life is given by God, and God is the only one who should take it away.

I am also in good company with the Catholic Church’s Pope Francis who recently reminded the world of the travesty of abortion when he stated: “Unfortunately, what is thrown away is not only food and dispensable objects, but often human beings themselves, who are discarded as ‘unnecessary.’ For example, it is frightful even to think there are children, victims of abortion, who will never see the light of day.”

I must ask our beloved Governor, where are all those talks about tolerance?  Is it that our intolerant Governor wants New York State to become a tyrannical state?

I am State Senator Rev. Rubén Díaz, and this is what you should know.

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