New York Governor Kathy Hochul (D-Planned Parenthood) is ostensibly a Catholic. When she was sworn in as governor in August, the Leftist Catholic America Magazine noted that she thanked her “big Irish Catholic” family, but her real religion was suggested in the next sentence of the America Mag report: “Her immediate family sat in the front row, wearing masks and spaced slightly apart.” Of course they did. For the secular, pro-abortion Left, the political agenda of the day is much more than just an array of policy imperatives and goals: it’s a holy faith, to be believed fervently and spread among the unenlightened masses. Hochul provided the latest example of this Sunday in a speech at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, where she preached her new gospel of faith and redemption coming at the point of a needle: the unvaccinated, she said, “aren’t listening to God and what God wants.”
Hochul spoke to the congregation as if she were a true believer, but given the likelihood that Hochul doesn’t actually share the faith of those who attend the Christian Cultural Center, her speech is less of an evangelical display than it is a nauseatingly condescending masterpiece of pandering. “God,” Hochul proclaimed, “let you survive this pandemic because he wants you to do great things someday. He let you live through this when so many other people did not and that is also your responsibility. But how do we keep more people alive?”
How indeed? Every religion is in one way or another a story of loss and gain, of sin and redemption, and the prophet Hochul’s new religion is no exception: she offered the Christian Cultural Center a parody of Christianity in which the coronavirus is the original sin, the vaccine is the means of redemption, and the vaccinated are the grateful saved community. “I prayed a lot to God during this time,” she claimed, “and you know what – God did answer our prayers. He made the smartest men and women, the scientists, the doctors, the researchers – he made them come up with a vaccine. That is from God to us and we must say, thank you, God. Thank you. And I wear my ‘vaccinated’ necklace all the time to say I’m vaccinated. All of you, yes, I know you’re vaccinated, you’re the smart ones, but you know there’s people out there who aren’t listening to God and what God wants. You know who they are.”
Hochul’s story is resonant of conversion stories down through the ages: I once was lost but now I’m found, I was wandering in sin and desolation but now – hallelujah! – I have seen the light and gotten the vaccine! Hochul continued her Christian parody by making her claim to be none other than the Lord himself, sending out His followers with the good news of salvation: “I need you to be my apostles. I need you to go out and talk about it and say, we owe this to each other. We love each other.”
In case anyone in the congregation began to take umbrage at her hubris and condescension, Hochul then dialed it back a bit, and let them know that she was still aware that there was a power higher than herself: “Jesus taught us to love one another and how do you show that love but to care about each other enough to say, please get the vaccine because I love you and I want you to live, I want our kids to be safe when they’re in schools, I want to be safe when you go to a doctor’s office or to a hospital and are treated by somebody, you don’t want to get the virus from them. You’re already sick or you wouldn’t be there. We have to solve this, my friends. I need every one of you.”
The only problem with Hochul’s story of sin (Covid) and redemption (vaccine) is that it’s a false religion. It doesn’t work. People have reasonable questions about the safety of the vaccine, but instead of getting answers, they’re told to shut up. True science is driven by questions not dogma, but Hochul (along with many others) is behaving like the most fanatical Grand Inquisitor. NBA player Bradley Beal stated the facts of the case succinctly and clearly on Monday: “I would like an explanation to people with vaccines, why are they still getting COVID? If that is something that [vaccinated individuals] are supposed be highly protected from, like it’s funny that it only reduces your chances of going to the hospital. Doesn’t eliminate anybody from getting COVID. Right?… So you can still get COVID. And you can still pass it along with the [vaccination] right? I am just asking the question.”
It’s a good question, and one that reveals the emptiness of Hochul’s faith. Hochul, of course, isn’t the first Leftist politician to treat the Left’s causes as a holy crusade. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Smirnoff) did it last April when she addressed the deceased George Floyd and thanked him for “sacrificing your life for justice.” For Pelosi, racism, or whiteness, is the original sin. This sin manifests itself in all sorts of “systemic” ways, most notably in the alleged police double standard for blacks and whites. George Floyd, in Pelosi’s vision, sacrificed himself just as Jesus did. In Christian thought, Jesus submitted to death in order to destroy it and enable human beings to enjoy eternal life; now George Floyd submitted to racism and police brutality in order to destroy them and enable Americans to enjoy racial justice.
Hochul is no narrow sectarian: she believes in that religion, too. She told the Christian Cultural Center: “I need you to let them know that this is how we can fight this pandemic, come back to normal and then start talking about the real issues that we have to – fighting systemic racial injustice which exists today and if there is a denier I will take you on every day because I’ve seen it, I know it exists and we’re not going to have a blind eye to this ever again any longer under my watch. That is my commitment to you.” She has seen the Lord, she knows her redeemer lives!
The Left’s secular religiosity is ridiculous, yes, and offensive, yes, but it is also ominous. Ominous because Hochul’s vaccinated-redeemed-versus-unvaccinated-damned scenario has an edge. The damned, after all, are cast into hell. Are Hochul and her disciples preparing that hell for the unrepentant sinners now?
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.