After the Christian nonprofit organization Samaritan’s Purse set up a field hospital in New York City (NYC) to help New Yorkers during the coronavirus pandemic, it has begun winding down its efforts after one NYC politician called the organization “hateful” and “bigoted.”
Samaritan’s Purse originally teamed up with Mount Sinai Health System to help provide NYC with extra care during the pandemic.
On May 1, New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson wrote on Twitter, “It is time for Samaritan’s Purse to leave NYC. This group, led by the notoriously bigoted, hate-spewing Franklin Graham, came at a time when our city couldn’t in good conscience turn away any offer of help. That time has passed. Their continued presence here is an affront to our values of inclusion and is painful for all New Yorkers who care deeply about the LGBTQ community.”
Speaker Johnson continued, “Mount Sinai must sever its relationship with Samaritan’s Purse. Its leader calls the LGBTQ community ‘detestable’ and ‘immoral.’ He says being gay is ‘an affront to God,’ and refers to gay Christians as ‘the enemy.’ Samaritan’s Purse requires its volunteers to agree to a written affirmation ‘that marriage is exclusively the union of one genetic male and one genetic female.’ Hate has no place in our beautiful city.”
Alexandria DeSanctis, a staff writer at National Review, responded to Speaker Johnson’s comments via Twitter. “Samaritan’s Purse didn’t let the overwhelmingly socially liberal policies in NYC stop them from showing up to help. They didn’t vet each person’s political beliefs before agreeing to help them. Imagine thinking you get to take that help and then turn and call them bigots,” she wrote.
Since his Twitter posts, Councilman Johnson has gotten his wish.
As reported by The Blaze, Samaritan’s Purse is winding down its field hospital in NYC. The exact reason it is doing so is disputed. One local New York reporter claimed that Mount Sinai cut ties with Samaritan’s Purse because of the controversy over its Christian mission.
“Source tells me a decision was made to sever ties after controversy over the group’s religious views on the LGBTQ community caused concerns in NY,” Melissa Russo tweeted.
However, in a joint statement released by Samaritan’s Purse and Mount Sinai Health System, both organizations stated that they would be winding down the field hospital because the number of New Yorkers seeking medical help has fallen to more “manageable levels.”
“Since April 1st, this partnership has resulted in high-quality medical care for 315 patients infected with the virus,” the statement noted. “We are grateful for this opportunity to work together to save lives and reduce suffering. Now that the surge in COVID hospital admissions is reaching manageable levels, we will stop admitting new patients to the Central Park field hospital as of May 4.”
Kristen Waggoner, senior vice president of U.S. legal division at Alliance Defending Freedom, pointed out on Twitter that Speaker Johnson’s remarks could have violated Samaritan’s Purse’s rights. “Government officials shouldn’t harass religious organizations like Samaritan’s Purse just because they disagree with their views. That violates their civil rights. Samaritan’s Purse helps those in need. That’s the Christian thing to do. It’s also what Americans should do in crisis – putting aside differences and political agendas for the greater good,” Waggoner wrote.
Previously, The Daily Citizen reported on NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s comments that Samaritan’s Purse would discriminate against LGBT individuals and provide “substandard care” in its NYC field hospital.
It’s important to note that Samaritan’s Purse does not discriminate based on sexual orientation when providing medical care.
The Daily Citizen has also previously reported on the criticism that Samaritan’s Purse has received for helping New Yorkers during the coronavirus pandemic.
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