By Victor Ochieng
The mayor of San Antonio has suggested that people without God cause poverty, suggesting that poverty is caused by lack of good relationship with the creator. During a candidates’ forum early in the month, she was asked what she thought was the systematic cause of generational poverty. Mayor Ivy Taylor responded, “Since you’re with Christian Coalition, I’ll go ahead and put it out there that to me, it’s broken people. People not being in a relationship with their creator and therefore not being in a good relationship with their families and communities thus not being productive members of society.” She said this during a candidates’ forum where she was paired with her competitor Councilman Ron Nirenberg who avoided involving religion in his answers.
Taylor continued to say, “It’s not something I work on.” This was in reference to her religious elements in her answer. She added that from a policy angle, she attempted to solve the issue through education. Taylor did not forget about teen pregnancies as she mentioned about this issue during the forum, pointing it among the things that are responsible for poverty.
Her statement has attracted the wrath of atheists and the progressive secular Humanist blog on Patheos has described her comments as cold and callous. It also states that the mayor doesn’t show anything but contempt for the poor people and atheists.
Later, Taylor expounded on her religious views stating, “I am a born again Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ and I draw heavily on that as far as the strength to do this job.” She then cited a Bible verse which she said helps her on a daily basis.
The moderator, local columnist Gilbert Garcia wrote in the San Antonio Express that, “Tailor is a devout Baptist Christian whose faith is integral to everything she does.”
Taylor has come under repeated criticism due to her stand on different matters. Although she is a registered Democrat, her issues on LGBT rights have brought her into the limelight. Taylor voted against protections for the LGBT community, which led to her being heckled at a vigil for the Orlando nightclub massacre.
Despite denigrating atheists, Taylor stated that “there were many people of many faiths living in San Antonio and that the diversity in the city is its strength.”