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After Being Crucified on Twitter, Bronx Councilman Compares Self to Jesus

By Kate Pastor | July 20, 2017 8:04am
 Councilman Fernando Cabrera responds to backlash after saying that rich people have it harder than poor people.
Councilman Fernando Cabrera responds to backlash after saying that rich people have it harder than poor people.
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New York City Council Website

BRONX — Councilman Fernando Cabrera claims he's being persecuted.

After being crucified on social media last week for a sermon in which he said "it's harder being rich than being poor" Cabrera — who is also a pastor — went on NY1 Noticias and compared his predicament to that of Jesus Christ.

Cabrera claimed critics were taking his words out of context and that he knows plenty about the hardships of poverty.

"I feel honored because they're treating me like Jesus," he told Juan Manuel Benítez in Spanish. "They did to Jesus the same thing."

Cabrera, who represents Morris Heights, University Heights, Fordham and Kingsbridge, is facing primary challenges from Randy Abreu and Felix Perdomo. A third opponent, Justin Sanchez, recently dropped out of the race.

Cabrera told Benítez that his comments on poverty, made during a sermon and posted online, were meant to convey that "there is a very high price to have success in life."

But State Senator Gustavo Rivera, who twice faced unsuccessful primary challenges by Cabrera and is supporting Abreu in the upcoming council race, used the sermon video in a fundraising push.

It's not the first time Cabrera's has faced criticism over controversial comments.

A video surfaced in 2014 in which he praised the Ugandan government's position on homosexuality during a period in which that country was being condemned for its harsh anti-gay laws. He also made news when he reportedly demanded that defunct non-profit associated with his church be given $100,000 annually for the next 99 years as part of the Kingsbridge Armory deal.

Cabrera did not respond to a request for comment.