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House Democrat ends prayer with 'amen and awomen,' in apparent effort to be inclusive

The word "amen" comes from Hebrew and roughly translates to “so be it.”

January 4, 2021 5:48pm

Updated: January 4, 2021 6:01pm

Democrat Rep. Emanuel Cleaver on Sunday concluded the first daily congressional prayer of the new Congress with the words "amen and awoman,” ahead of House Democrats’ rule changes that will strip gender-specific language from chamber rules.

"And dare I ask, oh Lord, peace even in this chamber now and evermore," Cleaver, a Missouri Democrat, said while serving as guest House chaplain. "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’s conclusion was criticized because the word “Amen” is not gender specific. The word comes from Hebrew and roughly translates to “so be it.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has made inclusion a big part of this legislative session and has established an Office of Diversity and Inclusion in the chamber, according to The Hill newspaper.

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