Monday, March 4, 2024

House Democrat Says ‘Amen and Awoman’ Prayer was ‘Misinterpreted’

'Deeply disappointed that my prayer has been...misconstrued...'

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., defended saying “amen and awoman” after his opening prayer in Congress this week after being mocked online.

Cleaver told the Kansas City Star said he did not expect to be made fun of for the “lighthearted pun,” which was really just an an attempt to recognize “the record number of women who will be representing the American people in Congress during this term,” he said.

The word “Amen,” however, is not a gendered term.

Rather, it means “so be it” in the original Hebrew.

But that didn’t stop Cleaver from trying to be as inclusive and diverse as possible.

“And dare I ask, oh Lord, peace even in this chamber now and evermore,” Cleaver said Sunday as he wrapped up Sunday’s blessing while serving as guest House chaplain. “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 said he is “deeply disappointed that my prayer has been misinterpreted and misconstrued by some to fit a narrative that stokes resentment and greater division among portions of our population.”

“Rather than reflecting on my faithful requests for community healing and reversion from our increasingly tribal tendencies, it appears that some have latched on to the final word of this conversation in an attempt to twist my message to God and demean me personally,” he continued.

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