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Gender inclusive? US congressman ends opening prayer with 'amen and a-woman'

By PhilSTAR L!fe Published Jan 04, 2021 4:37 am

The opening prayer for the first day of the 117th Congress in the US ended quite unusually with the words “amen and a-women.”

“We ask it in the name of the monotheistic God. God known by many names and by many different faiths. Amen, and awoman,” said Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat and an ordained United Methodist pastor.

The prayer comes after a committee proposed changes in house rules to honor all gender identities and eliminate gendered words such as “mother,” “father,” “he,” and “she.” Instead, gender-neutral terms should be adopted according to the proposal.

Republicans have quickly scored Cleaver, saying that “amen” is not a gendered word based on its etymology.

In a tweet Pennsylvania’s Republican representative Guy Reschenthaler said “amen” comes from the Latin word meaning “so be it.”