UPDATED 6:00 PM PT – Monday, January 4, 2021
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.) was chastised for ending his opening congressional prayer with “amen and awoman.”
Conservative critics were quick to slam the Missouri representative for assigning a gender to the word “amen,” with many saying the action is another example of “progressive ideology” being pushed on Capitol Hill.
“We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and God known by many names, by many different faiths. Amen and awoman,” Cleaver stated.
Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) claimed the Hebrew definition of the word “amen” is “so be it,” adding that it is not a gendered word.
The prayer to open the 117th Congress ended with “amen and a-women.”
Amen is Latin for “so be it.”
It’s not a gendered word.
Unfortunately, facts are irrelevant to progressives. Unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/FvZ0lLMDDr
— Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (@GReschenthaler) January 3, 2021
Cleaver, an ordained Methodist preacher, supposedly disregarded conservative judgment. He tweeted that he was ”honored” to deliver the prayer, and asked God to bless the representatives with the courage to “defend our democracy and liberties.”
I was honored to deliver the opening prayer for the 117th Congress. May God bless each and every Representative with the courage and wisdom to defend our democracy and the liberties we all hold so dearly. https://t.co/z3vkWOk7lc
— Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (@repcleaver) January 3, 2021
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich also chastised Cleaver and the progressives, saying “the radical madness has begun.”
The prayer followed legislation pushed by newly re-elected House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. She introduced a bill banning the use of gender specific pronouns in the House such as mother, brother and woman.
The measure is reportedly an attempt to be more inclusive, with Pelosi calling the package “future-focused.” It has faced heavy criticism from conservatives.