KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — Kansas City Congressman Emanuel Cleaver II said the opening prayer for the 117th Congress Sunday and his words raised some eyebrows.
The prayer Congressman Cleaver said lasted about two and a half minutes, but it was the last few seconds that has attracted attention. He ended the prayer saying “amen and a woman.”
After some national news outlets posted articles about the prayer, social media lit up with criticism.
Donald Trump Jr. tweeted “The prayer to open the 117th congress ended with ‘amen and a-woman.’ Amen means ‘So Be It’ in Latin. It isn’t a gendered word but that didn’t stop them from being insane. Is this what you voted for?”
Newt Gingrich tweeted “‘Amen and awoman.’ perfect House Democrat prayer ending as House Dems focus on gender security by abolishing virtually every normal gender term like “father. Mother “-the radical madness has begun-Kevin McCarthy for Speaker!”
Cleaver told KCTV5 his “a woman” line was just a lighthearted pun considering the record number of women in congress.
“With that kind of gender and inclusion in the Congress, the most diverse Congress in history, I ended my prayer by saying ‘a woman,” he said.
He wishes people would focus on the rest of his prayer, which you can watch here.
“After I prayed, Republicans and Democrats alike were coming up to me saying ‘thank you for the prayer. We needed it. We need somebody to talk to God about helping us to get together.’ It was a prayer of unity,” he said.
Cleaver is an ordained minister, previously serving as pastor of St. James United Methodist Church.
He says he’ll continue to pray for our country despite the criticism.
“We’ve got 300 some thousand people who have died of COVID and some people are concerned because I used two words—‘a woman?’ It’s mind boggling,” he said.
From now on the opening prayer will be lead by the newly appointed House Chaplain, Margaret Grun Kibben, who happens to be the very first woman in that role.
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