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Democrat opens Congress with prayer ending in “amen and awoman”

As the U.S. House of Representatives is set to implement gender-neutral terms in its official operating rules for the new Congress, a Democratic congressman who is a pastor concluded an opening prayer on Sunday by saying the words "amen and awoman."


During a short invocation to mark the swearing-in of the 117th Congress, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., finished his prayer that was filled with scriptural and Christian-themed phrases by invoking other gods and concluding with the phrase “amen and awoman” instead of the traditional term “Amen.”

“We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma, and ‘god’ known by many names by many different faiths. Amen and awoman,” Cleaver, the former mayor of Kansas City, said. 

Cleaver, who has served in the House since 2005, is an ordained United Methodist minister who holds a master’s degree from St. Paul’s School of Theology of Kansas City, Missouri. 


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