Democratic state legislators in Pennsylvania are accusing a Republican representative of weaponizing prayer after she mentioned Israel and President Trump in her opening legislative prayer Monday and said “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow.”
The prayer by GOP Rep. Stephanie Borowicz came the same day that new Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Democrat and a Muslim, was sworn in.
Johnson-Harrell called the prayer “highly offensive to me, my guests, and other members of the House,” according to the Pennsylvania Capital Star.
“It blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders -- leaders that are supposed to represent the people,” Johnson-Harrell told the newspaper. “I came to the Capitol to help build bipartisanship and collaborations regardless of race or religion to enhance the quality of life for everyone in the Commonwealth.”
Democratic Rep. Jordan Harris said Borowicz's prayer “weaponized” religion.
Another Democrat, Rep. Margo Davidson, yelled “objection” toward the end of the prayer, the Capital Star reported.
“As an evangelical Christian, I was offended by [the prayer’s] lack of humility or care or, dare I say, love for a human being duly elected by [her] district,” Davidson told the newspaper. “It was mean spirited.”
Borowicz’s prayer began: “Jesus, I thank you for this privilege, Lord, [for] letting me pray, God.”
“I, Jesus, am your ambassador here today, standing here representing you, the King of King, 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,” she prayed.
Borowicz mentioned George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and a nation “founded on your principles and your Word and your truths.”
“Jesus, we’ve lost sight of you. We’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us, Jesus,” Borowicz prayed before quoting 2 Chronicles 7:14.
She prayed for the Pennsylvania legislative leaders, the governor and the president. She asked “for the peace of Israel” and expressed thanks that Trump stands “beside Israel, unequivocally.”
Borowicz concluded her prayer by acknowledging “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow and every tongue will confess, Jesus, that you are Lord.”
Asked if she would apologize, Borowicz said she would not.
“That's how I pray every day,” she said. “... I don't apologize ever for praying.”
Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.
Photo courtesy: Pixabay
Video courtesy: Pa. House Video
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, The Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.