San Antonio, Texas, is the seventh largest city in the United States with a population of 1,409,019 — nearly 15 percent of which lives below the poverty line.
Interestingly, according to the city mayor, this issue has nothing to do with the minimum wage, unemployment rate or social services programs. In fact, the official believes the deepest cause of generational poverty is “broken people” who just have a bad relationship with God.
The bizarre comments came during a mayoral forum between Mayor Ivy Taylor, who is fighting for another term in the office, and fellow candidate Councilman Ron Nirenberg.
“What do you see as the deepest, systemic causes of generational poverty in San Antonio?” asked Megan Legacy, the director of SA Christian Resource Center.
Taylor’s answer, which has just begun to go viral, was quite uncanny.
“Since you're with the Christian coalition, I'll go ahead and put it out there that, to me, it's broken people,” the 46-year-old Democrat commented. “People not being in relationship with their creator and therefore not being in good relationship with their families and their communities and not being productive members of society.”
Taylor, who as a council member voted against ordinance that would protect LGBT+ residents from discrimination at the hands of public and private business owners and said people should not be forced to treat everyone equally if it goes against their values, also suggested teen pregnancies are another cause.
Later in the forum, she once again expanded upon her faith to address the problems faced by the citizens.
“I am a born again Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ,” she added. “I draw very heavily on that as far as the strength to do this job.”
Apart from the fact that studies have proven many living in poverty are actually more religious, the idea that atheism is at the root of poverty is just mind baffling.
According to our current mayor, ivy Taylor, atheism and teen pregnancy leads to poverty ??? HOME GIRL, POOR GOVT LEADERS LEAD TO POVERTY.— la Reina?? (@_empressnvdine) April 24, 2017
Happily married to my 1st wife, have children, grand children. on four 501(c)3 boards, vote, a vet. I am an atheist. Ivy Taylor = ignorant.— capecodcritter (@capecodcritter) April 24, 2017
lol at how ivy taylor is always trying to say she is uplifting the east side when she literally called poor ppl broken & godless, try again— crisa (@ludacrisa) April 24, 2017
@SAcurrent Has Mayor Ivy Taylor apologized for her prejudicial rhetoric yet? Does she sincerely believe atheists are a cause of poverty?— Hälsa Spöke (@smrzle) April 24, 2017
Meanwhile, Mayor Taylor’s office released a statement, claiming her answer was taken out of context.
“The video clip that surfaced on social media this weekend is a dishonest, politically motivated misrepresentation of my record on combating poverty,” the office stated, according to News4 San Antonio. “It was intentionally edited to mislead viewers.
“The video was edited to cut out the rest of my answer, what I've done as mayor to help alleviate poverty in San Antonio. That includes taking on teen pregnancy and our high school dropout rates, advocating job training for young people who aren't college bound and fighting crime.”
Seeing as the video was a live stream and the original footage does not show any apparent signs of editing, it is hard to comprehend how someone could have been manipulated her remarks.