A sticker that says "Amen"
Is the phrase "Amen" biased against women?

The 117th Congress opened their first session with a prayer from Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, who finished his message with the phrase “Amen… and a-woman.” You can watch the video here:

Many interpretted the addition as an inclusive gesture, a clever way to modify a congressional custom to highlight the gender equality movement – a hot topic of conversation in Congress as of late. 

However, critics were not amused.

"A-Woman" Backlash

The internet exploded in anger after the video was posted, with many people calling it a nonsensical addition that serves to mock and undermine a sacred part of prayer – the conclusion signaled with "amen".

So, what does "Amen" mean, exactly? As it turns out, the phrase has nothing to do with gender. According to historians, the word's origins trace back thousands of years and it translates roughly to "so be it" in Hebrew. Conservative critics were quick to point out this fact on social media:

Rep. Cleaver, a United Methodist minister, has defended the prayer. He said that the pun was simply meant as an acknowledgement of the record number of women recently sworn into Congress, and he's disappointed that the prayer is being “misconstrued by some to fit a narrative that stokes resentment and greater division among portions of our population.”

Pun Gone Wrong?

Then there are some who disagreed with the prayer, but for a different reason: that it wasn't inclusive enough. By only referring to men and women, these folks point out, the prayer only served to reinforce a gender binary that is harmful to those who don't identify as male or female. 

What do you make of this whole controversy? Was it a bad idea to add "A-Woman" on to the end of the prayer?

14 comments

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Maybe these left wing pastors should stop making up stuff to put into prayers and just do the prayers as they are and have been for over 1000 years.

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      Why? When everything every so called christian you 9included do today violates the actual ancient tenants of the faith from the 0-300 AD era. For starters ever speaking a single word to stir conflict or in challenge of another.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        who says? You? You have already had your rear whipped in another thread and proved ignorant and telling myths, so why should anyone believe the myths you are telling now?

  1. Thom's Avatar Thom

    A-Idiot. Enough said.

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    I'm a transplanted Ohio Buckeye that grew into a real life Missouri Mule my own self, and I like this guy. With so many morons angry at him for what he said to god, he HAS to be right.

    If we elect enough like Representative Cleaver, we just might get a real government of the people, for the people, and by the people.

    Amen and awomen!

  1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

    I get the social comment, but thank you, Ben Shapiro. This is exactly what I was thinking. -- Historical context is still important, if for no other reason than to avoid repeating the same societal mistakes ad nauseum.

  1. John P Maher's Avatar John P Maher

    WELL IS MIKE A CLERGYMAN, WAS HE PRAYING, NO,LEAVE THE CHURCH OUT of POLITICS and WASHINGTON TOTALLY, SEPERATION !

  1. Master Wolf KSC's Avatar Master Wolf KSC

    Maybe people should stop using words about which they don’t understand the etymology. I think they should use the English phrase “and it is so.” I don’t agree with Mr Shapiro that using a bastardized Hebrew word is worth more than three sentences in commentary.

  1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

    It’s the world going crazy. We’ll soon have womenopause, and womenstruation. It’s laughable but watch!

    🦁❤️

  1. Robert J Giammarco's Avatar Robert J Giammarco

    These people are going so far RADICAL, GOD himself is shaking his head, as to think he created them and they are NOT using their brains. They are ALL acting as idiots. Ben Sharpiro is right, AMEN does NOT refer to A man. MIKE is WRONG when he states we are misinterpreting Cleaver prayer. WE ARE NOT ! HE is! This crap is getting worse by the day. We NEED GOD more than ever. Those of us who are NOT willing to comply with these radical leftist, and there will be many, They are going to harm us. they are TELLING us now. Be warned. GOD be with us all..................

    1. Lionheart's Avatar Lionheart

      May I ask which God you are referring to Robert, man has created so many throughout time? Presumably you are referencing the Christian one, as most often do on here?

      🦁❤️

  1. Jeff McClain's Avatar Jeff McClain

    Amen!!

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. Let it be. There will be an answer. Let it be.

  1. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

    "A-amen, a-men, a-amen, amen, amen. All together. A-amen, a-amen, a-amen, amen, amen."

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