Is It Proper To Pray Amen And Awoman?

praying hands

praying hands

On January 3, 2021, the new session of Congress opened. As usual it opened with a prayer. Representative Emanuel Cleaver, of Missouri, ended the prayer with “Amen and Awoman.”

The Prayer

Representative Cleaver asked the prayer in the name of Brahma and ‘god’ known by many names [1]. Then he said

Amen and awoman.

Who Is He?

Representative Emanuel Cleaver is actually a Methodist pastor. His Missouri district that elected him into office is encircling Kansas City and heads east. As a sideline, he did vote to impeach President Trump. He did say that he was surprised at the backlash his prayer received. This prayer was on the same day that Speaker Nancy Pelosi proposed a gender-neutral speech bill.

Meaning Of The Word

Amen has nothing to do with men. The dictionary [2] defines amen as ‘so be it.’ According to Katrina Trinko [3] of USA Today,

Amen has as little to do with men as menstruation does…It shares nothing with the word men except three letters.

What Peers Thought

Various lawmakers immediately criticized Cleaver’s choice of words. American people were outraged. Claire Redinger of The Gateway [4] said,

America is the home to 331 million free thinkers. When political leaders and lawmakers demonstrate that they have no knowledge of – or perhaps no care for – the people who they are in office to serve, Americans have a right to be outraged.


Some report that he meant it to be a pun, a joke. During a very trying time for our country, this type of humor seems to cause additional division.


  1. ^!news_broadcasts/democratic-congressmans-blasphemous-prayer-to-many-gods-46-abortion-mills-closed-or-halted-abortions-in-2020-democratic-nm-gov-fines-2-churches-10000-for-christmas-services (go back↩)
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