Letter to the Editor

Letter: Prayer was offensive

Friday, January 8, 2021

Dear Editors:

I believe congratulations may be in order for United States Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO District 5). He has singularly demonstrated the ability to offend everyone possible while reciting what he deemed to be a politically correct prayer calling for unity.

On Jan. 3, 2021 Representative Cleaver, as guest chaplain, delivered the opening prayer for the 117th United States Congress. The last lines of his deliberately thought out speech were “...WE ASK IT IN THE NAME OF THE MONOTHEISTIC GOD AND THE GOD KNOWN BY MANY NAMES AND FAITHS. AMEN AND AWOMAN.”

Notice first of all, he managed to claim there is a God (offending atheists and agnostics), but there is only one (monotheistic) God (offending pluralists and many eastern and African religions) and then in the exact same sentence acknowledge at least one other God who apparently goes by many different names (offending monotheists). But…the real reason for applause is his unwitting ability to literally offend every possible gender identity currently listed while inventing a word to “counterbalance” another word which in fact was already gender neutral. Because the word “Amen” contains the letters “M” “E” “N” in that order, Cleaver apparently decided the traditional end to a Christian prayer is toxic, sexist and dare I say perhaps misogynistic.

That aside, obviously, it obviously mattered little to him to offend those who hold a historical or traditional definition of binary gender based upon one’s birth sex – men and women.

Here’s the thing! In closing his recitation with an offensive and ill thought out, attempt to be politically correct and inclusive of both traditional binary sexual identities, he managed to create a much larger offense. He ignores or dismisses every other non-binary identity currently accepted as possible genders (as many as 72 by some academics).

I guess all and all, we should just be thankful he has the freedom to make this kind of speech because of the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment and Awomendwoment.

Richard Whitman

Sikeston, Missouri