Congressman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), an ordained Methodist pastor, offered some unusual words in the opening prayer for the 117th Congress on Sunday.
He ended the prayer with, “May the Lord lift up the light of his countenance upon us and give us peace. Peace in our families. Peace across this land and, dare I ask...oh, Lord...peace even in this chamber now and ever more. We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and gods known by many names by many different faiths. Amen and a-woman.”
Reacting, Congressman Guy Reschenthaler (R-Pa.), tweeted “Amen is Latin for ‘so be it.’ It's not a gendered word … unbelievable.”
It's not clear if Representative Cleaver was responding, to some degree, to new House rules. The unexpected prayer language came on the heels of a directive by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Ca.) that gender-specific words should not be used on the floor - words like “father, mother, son.” They are to be replaced by “parent, child, sibling” and so on.