Clown show! Opening prayer of 117th Congress ends with ‘Amen and A-Women’

Rep. Emanuel Cleaver raised eyebrows on Sunday when he gave the opening prayer to kick off the 117th Congress, ending with “Amen and A-women.”

“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,” Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, wrote on Twitter with a link to a YouTube video presentation of his prayer.

The unusual ending to his prayer subjected Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat and former pastor who has a master’s degree from the St. Paul School of Divinity, to criticism online from others who pointed out that the phrase “Amen” is a gender-neutral Latin term

“The prayer to open the 117th Congress ended with ‘amen and a-women.’ Amen is Latin for ‘so be it,’” Rep. Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.) wrote on Twitter in response.

“It’s not a gendered word. Unfortunately, facts are irrelevant to progressives. Unbelievable,” he added.

Others also criticized Cleaver’s seemingly politicized prayer ending.

Meanwhile, some users pointed out that originally, the term “Amen” is Hebrew in origin, but the fact that it is a gender-neutral term does not appear to be in dispute.

The incident comes on the heels of a proposal added to new rules for the incoming Congress proposed on Friday by Rep. James McGovern (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Rules Committee, that ostensibly “honor all gender identities” by modifying pronouns and familial relations references.

If adopted, the proposal will change “pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender-neutral or removes references to gender, as appropriate, to ensure we are inclusive of all Members, Delegates, Resident Commissioners and their families – including those who are non-binary,” McGovern said in a statement.

Examples include changing “seamen” to “seafarers”, “chairman” to “chair”, and “submit his or her resignation” to “resigns,” the proposal says.

In addition, all references to mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, sons and daughters, husbands and wives, and all in-laws are to be changed to “parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law” rather than an uncle, aunt, stepparents, siblings-in-law, and so forth.

“Thanks to the leadership of Chairman McGovern and our Members, Democrats have crafted a package of unprecedented, bold reforms, which will make the House more accountable, transparent and effective in our work to meet the needs of the American people,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement.

No sooner than the rule change was proposed, Pelosi was called-out online for using the terms “mother” and “grandmother” in her Twitter bio — not the same thing as excluding such language for use in the House, but to some, hypocritical nonetheless.

In a new book by Wall Street Journal, opinion writer Abigail Shrier titled, “Irreversible Damage: Teenage Girls and the Transgender Craze,” she notes that societal influences — not legitimate medical or psychological causes — are driving the current “gender dysphoria” phenomenon, which is occurring mostly in adolescent girls.

“Indeed, some small portion of the population will always be transgender,” noted Shrier in a chapter of her book published by the Daily Mail. However, “they have very little to do with the current trans-epidemic plaguing teenage girls.”

Rather, she said, her research indicates that the current craze more resembles “the Salem witch trials of the 17th Century, the nervous disorders of the 18th Century, and anorexia nervosa, repressed memory, bulimia and the self-harm contagion in the 20th Century.”

While “their distress is real…their self-diagnosis is flawed — more the result of encouragement and suggestion than psychological necessity.”

“Three decades ago, these girls might have hankered for liposuction. Two decades ago, they might have ‘discovered’ a repressed memory of childhood trauma or multiple personality disorder,” writes Shrier. “Today’s diagnostic craze isn’t demonic possession – it’s gender dysphoria.”

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Jon Dougherty

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