R.R. Reno, editor at the religious journal First Things, suggested that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s declaration that he would do anything to save lives was “demonic” in nature.
“There is a demonic side to the sentimentalism of saving lives at any cost,” Reno wrote in a column published by “First Things” this week.
Reno’s comments came in response to Cuomo’s remarks at a press conference announcing the New York shutdown last Friday. Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “I want to be able to say to the people of New York—I did everything we could do. And if everything we do saves just one life, I’ll be happy.”
“This statement reflects a disastrous sentimentalism,” he argued. “Everything for the sake of physical life? […] There are many things more precious than life,” he added.
“Satan prefers sentimental humanists,” he wrote, and called the mass shutdown of New York City a sign that political and religious leaders had “signaled by their actions that they, too, accept death’s dominion.”
“The mass shutdown of society to fight the spread of COVID-19 creates a perverse, even demonic atmosphere. Governor Cuomo and other officials insist that death’s power must rule our actions. Religious leaders have accepted this decree, suspending the proclamation of the gospel and the distribution of the Bread of Life. They signal by their actions that they, too, accept death’s dominion.”
Russell Ronald Reno III, known as R. R. Reno, is the editor of First Things magazine. He was formerly a professor of theology and ethics at Creighton University.
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