A-woman, Abrahamic religions, Amen, atheists, Brahma, Christianity, Devi, Eldridge Cleaver, Father mother, gender, Gender neutral, God, God of Abraham Isaac and Jacob, Goddess, heaven, Hindu Brahmins, Hindu god, Hindu gods and goddesses, Holy Spirit, Islam, Judaism, Kamala Iyer Harris, Lady, Let us pray for, Lord, non-traditionalists, parent, Patriarchs, patriarchy, Pelosi, Political correctness, praying, religion, Ruler, separation of church and state, Supreme Being, Traditionalist, UMC, US Congressional prayer, US Congressman Cleaver, We pray for wisdom
Pontifications Upon Pelosi’s Etymologically Challenged House: Amen & A-Woman Prayer But Lord without Lady; God Without Goddess; Male Hindu god Brahma Called Upon
Hearing is believing: “Democrat Ends Prayer With Amen and Awoman”: https://youtu.be/HS7F0rxCrdA
It’s unclear if Pelosi told US Congressman Cleaver, a United Methodist (UMC) Preacher, to add “A Woman” to “Amen”; if it’s his attempt to draw attention to the absurdity of Pelosi’s new House rules, or if he’s fallen victim to nonsensical United Methodist attempts at gender neutrality. Etymologically Amen has nothing to do with men, and has been translated as something like “so be it”, or “let it be so”. As a preacher he should know this. So, was he mocking Pelosi? Furthermore, the original meaning of “man”, in English, was gender neutral.
Since the UMC changed language in its hymnals to sometimes nonsensical forms, as early as 1988, it’s unclear if Cleaver was following Pelosi’s orders, mocking her, or following some UMC learned nonsense (or expanding upon it in an innovative blunder). This Amen, A-woman used to be a joke, and it’s difficult to believe that he was serious.
The 1988 UMC hymnal removed “he” but replaced it with the male form “Lord” or with the male form “God”. To be gender neutral they should put Lord and Lady; God and Goddess or some neutral form. Maybe Your Highness? Most Holy? Obviously, with Lord and Lady, God and Goddess, the words wouldn’t fit the music, unless they were alternated. But, it could be used in prayer.
Worse, Congressman Cleaver called upon Brahma, who is a masculine Hindu god, perhaps as a hat-tip to Kamala Iyer (Devi) Harris and the other Hindu Brahmins in the US Congress. To call Brahma by name, when Hindus are still a small minority religion (within the US) is frankly bizarre. This makes it appear that his last words about Brahma and A-woman were added on by Pelosi, or maybe a Hindu member of Congress. While Kamala Harris’ birth certificate gives her Hindu Brahmin caste name, Iyer, as her middle name, she uses Devi, goddess, as her middle name. So, why didn’t he say Devi or name a Hindu goddess?
This is a topic that makes no one happy, and they really need to simply ask everyone to pray (maybe silently) to a Supreme Being, according to their understanding, for patience, understanding, etc. Perhaps s/he could start their prayers with Dear Supreme Being. Even that doesn’t make atheists happy, who don’t believe in a Supreme Being, nor those who believe that God is only within, etc. Maybe Holy Spirit? Isn’t that gender neutral? But, it isn’t religiously neutral.
The best and only solution (retaining concepts that Congressman Cleaver used) would be to say: “We pray for an extra dose of commitment to democratic principals, may we of the 117th Congress refuel the lamp of liberty…”, etc., without addressing it to anyone. Or “Let us pray for…”
The usages of Cleaver and the UMC are nonsensical and inconsistent. They offend traditionalists and non-traditionalists alike, and do not even achieve their stated goal of gender neutrality.
Pelosi’s new nonsensical rule forbids father and mother: “honor all gender identities by changing pronouns and familial relationships in the House rules to be gender neutral”; https://web.archive.org/web/20210101173024/https://rules.house.gov/press-releases/pelosi-and-mcgovern-unveil-details-rules-package-117th-congress
So, they can’t pray “Our Father-Mother who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name”. This retains the idea of a personal Supreme Being, while being gender neutral. Ironically, Pelosi, a Roman Catholic, has banned it. Does “Our Parent who art in heaven” have the same feeling? Maybe with time. However, it doesn’t really belong in the US Congress, and “We pray” should be retained as the neutral form.
In the Bible Jesus uses a female-maternal-mothering image in this verse: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!” Matthew 23:37, King James Version (KJV)
There are some ecumenical traditions that talk about God or a Supreme Being, according to your understanding.
Here are excerpts of Cleaver’s almighty prayer disaster. It is clear that this is neither egalitarian nor gender neutral: “Eternal God…we bow before your throne… feel thy priestly presence… now may the God who created the world and everything in it…. may the Lord bless us and keep us… we ask in the name of the monotheistic God, Brahma and God known by many different names in many different faiths, Amen and A woman”. He didn’t even pause between monotheistic God and Brahma, but Hinduism isn’t monotheistic, and Brahma is a male Hindu god. We added the comma for clarity.
It starts off very traditionalist before ending with a politically correct disaster. God isn’t really gender neutral since Goddess exists. The female version of Priest is Priestess. Is the adjective still priestly? “Lord” is the epitome of patriarchy, isn’t it? Why not use the Latin “Dominus”. While this is male, it is related to dominion or ruling over the heaven and earth. Why not Ruler? Why not may YOU bless us and keep us? Or Thou? Why didn’t Cleaver even pause between monotheistic God and Brahma? Who are the many faiths and many names? This makes little sense. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob would cover Judaism, Christianity and Islam, which remain majority within the United States. These are, of course, the Patriarchs. This speaks of fathers, while excluding the mothers.
The United Methodist hymnal was redone in a stupid manner. As we recall, they replace male pronouns with God, and maybe they replace Lord with God sometimes, too. If you accept God as gender neutral, then you should be able to accept he-him as gender neutral. For the written language s/he is proper, but for hymns remains a problem, unless you alternate verses, as God-he-him and Goddess-she-her. Note that they replace “He makes me” with the masculine “The Lord makes me”. How does this make it more gender neutral? It makes it worse. Replacing it with God is only a little bit better: “God makes me lie down…” The United “Methodist hymnal drops some male pronouns”, MAY 4, 1988 Excerpt: “The new version of the 23rd Psalm reads, ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. The Lord makes me lie down in green pastures, leads me by still waters, restores my life, leads me in the right paths for the sake of the Lord’s name.” https://web.archive.org/web/20201211021446/https://www.upi.com/Archives/1988/05/04/Methodist-hymnal-drops-some-male-pronouns/8220578721600/
If you look at the Germanic roots of English, Man is gender neutral:
“The term man (from Proto-Germanic *mann- “person”) and words derived from it can designate any or even all of the human race regardless of their sex or age. In traditional usage, man (without an article) itself refers to the species or to humanity (mankind) as a whole./ The Germanic word developed into Old English mann. In Old English, the word still primarily meant “person” or “human,” and was used for men, women, and children alike. The sense “adult male” was very rare, at least in the written language. That meaning is not recorded at all until about the year 1000, over a hundred years after the writings of Alfred the Great and perhaps nearly three centuries after Beowulf. Instead, the usual Old English word for an adult male was wer, which survives today only in the compound “werewolf” (from Old English werwulf, literally “man-wolf”). Adopting the term for humans in general to refer to men is a common development of Romance and Germanic languages, but is not found in most other European languages (Slavic čelověkъ vs. mǫžь, Greek ἄνθρωπος vs. άνδρας, Finnish ihminen vs. mies etc.).” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_(word)
The origin of “Lord”:
We conclude that the only formula that could please everyone is either to say (for instance) “We Pray For Wisdom, Courage, etc.” or “Let us Pray for Wisdom Courage, etc”, without specifying who, if anyone, you are praying to. It’s also the only formula which respects the separation of Church and State. Or, they could use the more poetic “Grant us Wisdom, Grant us Courage for the Facing of this Hour,” chorus from Harry Emerson Fosdick’s hymn “God of Grace and God of Glory”.
Furthermore, Pelosi’s rules haven’t been thought through, it appears, and a bunch of malarkey and a diversion from serious problems at hand.
We hope and pray that US Congressman Cleaver was simply calling out Pelosi’s stupidity in a funny way, and that he wasn’t serious. It would be very tragic, if he were serious, since he is a preacher. Or did the devil (Pelosi) make him do it? What’s a gender-neutral devil? Kamala Devi Harris?
According to Wikipedia: “Cleaver is a cousin to exiled Kansas City Black Panther leader Pete O’Neal. In 1997, Cleaver attempted unsuccessfully to obtain a pardon for O’Neal from President Bill Clinton. Cleaver is also a cousin to the late Eldridge Cleaver, another famous figure in the Black Panther Party.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emanuel_Cleaver Cleaver is apparently a distant cousin to O’Neal.
“Eldridge Cleaver, Black Panther Who Became G.O.P. Conservative, Is Dead at 62” By John Kifner May 2, 1998, NYT: https://archive.vn/aithR