Pennsylvania Representative Stephanie Borowicz outraged Democrats by mentioning Jesus 13 times in her invocation on the day of Pennsylvania’s first female Muslim representative’s swearing-in.
Borowicz thanked Jesus, “the King of Kings; the Lord of lords; the great I Am; the one who’s coming back again; the one who came, died, and rose again on the third day,” for the honor of being his ambassador, asked forgiveness on behalf of America for forgetting him and for him to heal the country, praised him for President Donald Trump’s support of Israel, and declared that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow.”
Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, the first female Muslim representative in the state’s legislature, decried the Monday prayer as offensive, as did state Democratic leadership.
“I thought that for the most part, the entire invocation was offensive,” Johnson-Harrell said, according to The Associated Press.
Johnson-Harrell also asserted that Borowicz used Jesus “as a weapon” to target her because she is Muslim.
“I knew I was going to receive some discrimination because of my religion,” Johnson-Harrell said according to WHYY. “Because I’m a hijabi woman. And I am the first…but I did not think it would come on the actual day of my swearing-in.”
An Islamic prayer called Takbir was recited before the legislature during Johnson-Harrell’s swearing-in, but ended just before the prayer’s traditional last line which repudiates the belief that God begat a son, and therefore rejects the Christian understanding of Jesus.
House Minority Leader Frank Dermody also denounced Borowicz’s prayer as “beneath the dignity of this House.”
Dermody proposed developing guidelines to ensure that the prayer delivered before voting sessions will be one that “is meant to inspire us, that is meant to bring us together so we can have, at least, an opportunity at the beginning of the day to think sure that we can get something done here together.”
Democratic Governor Tom Wolf also decried the prayer.
The state’s legislature, by contrast, applauded Muslim Rep. Jason Dawkins’ Tuesday invocation in which he recited from the Koran.
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