Amen or awoman: The idiocy of Congress's gender-neutral focus

Amen or awoman: The idiocy of Congress's gender-neutral focus
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Is it “amen” or “awoman”? According to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), it’s both. In a recent prayer before the U.S. House, Cleaver — a United Methodist minister with a master’s degree in divinity from St. Paul School of Theology — ended the prayer by saying “amen” and then adding, “awoman.” Is amen no longer sufficient?

From my perspective, Cleaver’s postscript was idiotic — and it’s idiotic that House Democrats focus on gender-words instead of their actual jobs. Cleaver’s attempt at virtual-signaling, an effort to keep up with the new norms for which many of his Democratic colleagues have advocated, is wholly misplaced. Idiotic is the only way to describe the way he ended Congress’s Jan. 4, 2021, morning prayer.  

He said it as if he was honoring the female gender, as if women have been denied something for generations through use of the word “amen.” I don’t need to get into the origin of the word, or what it means; anyone who has uttered a prayer knows it’s not gender-specific. Amen is a term that means “so be it” or “let it be done,” and if anyone should know that, it should be a congressman with a degree in divinity. It is as if Cleaver lost all sense of his theological training — and for what? To knowingly misuse a word to make a few folks feel good about themselves? 


No, we’re not making them happy; we’re only adding confusion by offering the falsehood of happiness and respect. If Congress wants to respect those who are truly different, it should focus on the U.S. economy, jobs and infrastructure — the things in which we all partake as Americans, regardless of whatever differences we may adopt to separate ourselves from others. 

I’m not even sure that what I heard was a prayer. When a speaker acknowledges all things as a potential “God,” he or she is essentially saying, “Come, let us worship creation, and not the creator.” That’s religion made of man, and it feels counterfeit on every level. We are falling further away from God and more reliant upon ourselves than ever before in the history of this country, and it’s not hard to see why we are observing the decay of our social institutions. Man is not all-knowing, and although man can manipulate life’s creation, it would behoove us to never forget that it is God who creates life.  

We must ask where this is coming from and why Cleaver, a man of faith, would misuse a word he should understand well. The simple answer may be that he’s trying to keep up with others in his party who are pushing such nonsense. 

To be frank, this should come as no surprise. Under the leadership of Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiMcCarthy: Pelosi appointing members of Jan. 6 panel who share 'pre-conceived narrative' Kinzinger denounces 'lies and conspiracy theories' while accepting spot on Jan. 6 panel Pelosi taps Kinzinger to serve on Jan. 6 panel MORE (D-Calif.), the House proposed sweeping rules changes for gender-neutral terms in its official language. Some of the changes include the term “seamen,” which will be replaced with “seafarers”; “chairman” will become “chair”; terms for familial relationships such as “mother, father, daughter, son, sister and brother” will be replaced with terms such as “parent, child and sibling.” 

Yes, the men and women that we’ve elected to manage the nation’s most critical issues appear to be more concerned with gender terms than with the nation’s infrastructure or healthy economic stimulus for struggling Americans and small-business owners. Now we can all see what goes on behind the scenes in the Capitol, which is what we knew all along — that Congress only cares enough to appease us. With a focus on foolery, they allow Americans to fall into the abyss of economic hardship and poverty. 


If this is where we’re headed, the road ahead of us is long, dark — and likely irreversible, if we don’t turn around. Congress has one job only, and that is to operate a functional government that serves the best interests of the nation and its people. Members of Congress are charged with keeping the budget low, prioritizing national security, and adhering to the values and principles that define America. But that is not what our current government is doing.

It’s a government elected by the people but in service of itself, and that is something we must outright reject.

Armstrong Williams (@ARightSide) is the owner and manager of Howard Stirk Holdings I & II Broadcast Television Stations and the 2016 Multicultural Media Broadcast Owner of the Year. He is the author of “Reawakening Virtues.”