Emanuel Cleaver, Democrat of Missouri and United Methodist pastor, has been criticized after concluding his prayer in the United States House by saying “amen” and “woman” in an apparent nod to gender equality.
Cleaver (D-MO), who has represented Missouri’s 5th Congressional District since 2005, led a short prayer to mark the opening of the 117th Congress on Sunday. He closed his speech, which called for unity, by saying: “We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and of the god known by many different names, amen and woman.”
It didn’t take long for conservative social media commentators to notice the creative wording. Some began to question Cleaver’s theological credentials – the lawmaker received his master’s degree from St. Paul’s School of Theology of Kansas City – while others accused him of making fun of religion.
While “Amen” originated from Hebrew, passed through Greek, then borrowed from Latin and can be translated into English by “really,”“Certainly” or “so be it” Internet users had to guess what the pastor could have meant by “a woman.”
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Florida Rep Matt Gaetz mocked Cleaver’s unorthodox attempt to curry favor with progressive elements, suggesting Cleaver should have “other” the sexes too.
“Don’t they know that gender is not binary ??? What about the other 42 sexes? “ he tweeted.
Another Republican lawmaker, Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert, criticized the Democratic pastor for “Letting facts get in the way of a good signal of virtue.” “Besides, weren’t those words just banned?” she added, referring to the newly introduced rule set which eliminates “Sexual terms” as “mother” and “dad” of the House.
Former White House press secretary Sean Spicer used this bizarre prayer as an edifying tale to garner Republican Party support ahead of the Georgia Senate run-off.
“This is what is at stake in the elections in Georgia[.] If the Democrats control the Senate, it will only be the tip of the iceberg. Amen ”, he tweeted.
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