Missouri Democrat Emanuel Cleave has been widely mocked by conservatives for ending the opening prayer of the 117th Congress with “Amen and a woman.”
The opening prayer just ended with “ amen and a woman”. It has absolutely nothing to do with gender. It is Latin for so be it. This is Political Correctness gone way off the rails. pic.twitter.com/xzlgXECHRO
— Tim Burchett (@timburchett) January 4, 2021
Ben Shaprio wrote “This is some of the dumbest s*** I have ever seen in my life.”
"Amen" is a Biblical Hebrew word: אמן. It is a word simply meaning "may it be so." It has nothing to do with the word "man" or "woman" because it is FROM HEBREW. This is some of the dumbest s*** I have ever seen in my life. https://t.co/O4JhcHwywv
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) January 4, 2021
In a statement to fact check site Snopes, Cleaver explained why he said it.
“I am 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,” Cleaver said.
“I believe prayers to be a personal conversation between El Shaddai and the invocator. With this conversation, in the presence of the 117th House of Representatives, I concluded with a light-hearted pun in recognition of the record number of women who will be representing the American people in Congress during this term as well as in recognition of the first female Chaplain of the House of Representatives whose service commenced this week. I personally find these historic occasions to be blessings from God for which I am grateful,” he continued.
“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,” Cleaver added.
“In doing so, they have proven one point of my greater message—that we are all “soiled by selfishness, perverted by prejudice and inveigled by ideology” he concluded.