issouri Democratic Congressman Emanuel Cleaver may have just set the precedent for 2021’s Congressional caucus and boy does it look bleak. In the opening prayer conducted on Sunday to begin the 117th Congress, Representative Cleaver ended in a bizarre manner. Instead of simply saying the traditional “Amen” to conclude the prayer, Cleaver said “Amen and a-woman.”
Gender neutrality makes Democrats on the hill salivate these days, but this is just plain puzzling. A gender is not assigned to “Amen.” Not only did lawmakers say their colleague was wrong to make the attempt, but he was also corrected. Representative Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) wrote on Twitter the correct meaning of the word is “Latin for ‘so be it.” “It’s not a gendered word,” wrote Reschenthaler, “Unfortunately, facts are irrelevant to progressives” he added.
Former GOP Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich tweeted, “Amen and a-woman. 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!”
Gingrich is in part referencing a push by Democrats to eliminate “gendered language.” In the 45-page 117thCongressional Rules Package, Democrats issued a proposal to replace gendered language referring to a representative’s family members with gender-neutral terms. For example, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, husbands, wives and sons-in-law are to be changed to “parent, child, sibling, spouse, or parent-in-law.”
Representative Cleaver is an ordained United Methodist pastor who was asked to lead the new session’s opening prayer as Congress swore in new lawmakers, and Nancy Pelosi was re-elected as House Speaker.