There are only one of three things one can reasonably think about Democrat Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a United Methodist Church pastor who delivered the prayer at the opening of the 117th Congress on Sunday.
The first is that Cleaver is the corniest man alive, one who would sneak what amounts to a dad joke into a solemn prayer. The second is that he’s unaware of what the word “amen” actually means. The third is that he’s well aware of the etymology — and believes retrofitting its origins so that it fits into the strange new gender ideology of his party is both reasonable and holy.
All three of these reasons should have precluded him from giving a prayer on behalf of the entire country.
Most of the prayer, I’ll grant you, was politically tinged but uneventful. For every line where one could easily guess he was supplicating to the Almighty to deliver us from President Trump and his supporters (“God, at a moment when many believe the bright light of democracy is beginning to dim, empower us with an extra dose of commitment to its principles” there were similar calls for unity (“Eternal God, we bow before your throne of grace as we leave behind the politically and socially clamorous year of 2020 … May we model community healing, control our tribal tendencies, and quicken our spirit that we may feel Thy priestly presence even in moments of heightened disagreement”).
One wouldn’t normally try to intuit too much out of this, given that it’s a prayer given in a political chamber by a politician who’s also a man of the cloth. And then there was this closing: “Dare I ask, O Lord, peace even in this chamber, now and evermore. We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God … known by many names and faiths. Amen and awoman.” [Emphasis mine]
Even though I know he’s a Democrat, I did so wish actor Mandy Patankin were an elected congressman.
Just imagine the scene:
“Even though it’s out of order, the chair will recognize the distinguished gentleman from California for one minute.”
“Yes, madam speaker, thank you. The gentleman keeps on using that word, ‘amen.’ I do not think it means what he thinks it means.”
A prayer opening the 117th Congress concluded, “Amen and a woman.”
“Amen” translates to “so be it.” pic.twitter.com/SIGBtgLk5v
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 4, 2021
There’s nothing gendered about “amen,” which is what made the clip go viral in a bad way.
Today, there was a customary prayer offered as we began the 117th Congress. We also offer a prayer at the beginning of each day we are in session. Today was not like any other day. Instead of closing with “amen” only, he added “awoman”. There is no gender in amen. Totally absurd! pic.twitter.com/Le4oAXdYqK
— Rep Rick Crawford (@RepRickCrawford) January 4, 2021
I’m now being corrected that “amen” originated in Hebrew and then passed through Greek and Latin into English usage. I need to brush up on my etymology but the point is that the word is not gendered and this PC change is incoherent and absurd.
— Matt Walsh (@MattWalshBlog) January 3, 2021
“Amen” is a Biblical Hebrew word: אמן. It is a word simply meaning “may it be so.” It has nothing to do with the word “man” or “woman” because it is FROM HEBREW. This is some of the dumbest s*** I have ever seen in my life. https://t.co/O4JhcHwywv
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 4, 2021
But perhaps, one commenter pointed out, we don’t know enough about the woke history of the Hebrew language.
You’re right that it’s from Hebrew. But I think it may be pronounced differently in Shebrew. https://t.co/qoGF1yIWQi
— Clifford D. May (@CliffordDMay) January 4, 2021
And while this prayer may have seemed inclusive, Florida GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz pointed out this was actually more Judeo-Christian insensitivity toward the LGBT community:
Amen and Awoman?!?!
Don’t they know that gender isn’t binary???
What about the other 42 genders??😡 https://t.co/9jVlKWKWWt
— Matt Gaetz (@mattgaetz) January 4, 2021
It’s actually more like 58 genders now, Rep. Gaetz. That’s what Facebook says and they’re way more with it than you. Check your privilege.
The prayer comes on the heels of another gender-based faceplant by the House Democrats in the form of their new rules for the 117th Congress. In a media release last week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Rules Committee Chairman James P. McGovern of Massachusetts said the rules package “promotes inclusion and diversity” by “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral.”
Does this make you question the sincerity of Rep. Cleaver’s prayer?
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This sounded great until you saw how it worked in practice. Here’s one of the changes they made to “honor all gender identities”: “In clause 8(c)(3) of rule XXIII, strike ‘father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, first cousin, nephew, niece, husband, wife, father-in-law, mother-in-law, son-in-law, daughter-in- law, brother-in-law, sister-in-law, stepfather, step-mother, stepson, stepdaughter, stepbrother, step-sister, half brother, half sister, grandson, or grand-daughter’ and insert ‘parent, child, sibling, parent’s sibling, first cousin, sibling’s child, spouse, parent-in-law, child-in-law, sibling-in-law, stepparent, step-child, stepsibling, half-sibling, or grandchild.’”
This clause, by the way, had to do with a House rule prohibiting members from hiring their family for paid positions. I’m glad, whenever someone is dragged before the Ethics Committee for doing this, their “sibling’s child” will be spared the indignity of being referred to as their “niece” in the official complaint about her no-show job.
At least those stilted and awkward terms are still comprised of actual words, however. “Awoman” is anti-sensical gibberish that makes light of religion by using holy language as a trampoline for the Democrats’ 2021 festival of wokery.
A minister, one would have hoped, would have made a wiser choice.
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