A US politician and pastor has caused a stir after finishing a public prayer with the phrase "Amen and a woman". Missouri Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, a Democrat, was delivering the opening prayer on the first day of the 117th Congress on Sunday when he made the remark, which many have interpreted as a form of gender-inclusive language.
"Eternal God, we bow before your throne of grace as we leave behind the politically and socially clamorous year of 2020," Cleave prayed. "May we model community healing, control our tribal tendencies, and quicken our spirit."
As he came to the conclusion of his prayer, Cleaver, who is also an ordained Methodist pastor, said: "Amen, and a-woman".
His remark came as Democrats propose a House rule change which would replace commonly used words like father, mother, son, daughter, brother, sister, uncle, aunt, and more with gender-neutral terms.
Republican lawmakers hit back at Cleaver, claiming that the word "Amen" has absolutely nothing to do with gender and should not be invoked in order to make a political point.
"Amen is Latin for "so be it." It's not a gendered word," tweeted Republican Rep. Guy Reschenthaler "Unfortunately, facts are irrelevant to progressives. Unbelievable."
Congressman Tim Burchett added: "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."
The original word is derived from the Hebrew language, before finding its way into Greek, Latin, and, eventually, English.