At the same time Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was donning a hijab and using the Muslim greeting — and other New Zealand officials and media personnel were dressing in Islamic attire to show solidarity with those who worship Allah — in the U.S., Jesus got a nod.
On Monday — upon which Pennsylvania’s first female Muslim representative was sworn in — Republican State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz sent some Democrats into a tizzy by referencing Christ 13 times during her invocation.
Stephanie expressed gratitude to 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.”
She asked God to forgive America for forgetting Him; she praised Him for the President’s support of Israel; she thanked Him for letting her be His ambassador; and she proclaimed that, “at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow.”
Newly-minted Muslim representative Movita Johnson-Harrell protested the offensive religiosity to the Associated Press:
“I thought that, for the most part, the entire invocation was offensive. … [To] use Jesus as a weapon is not okay. … We cannot weaponize what’s going on with Israel and Palestine.”
Movita said the prayer worked against the notion of equality in the House:
“It was directly a political statement, and I think we need to be very, very clear that everybody in this House matters, whether they’re Christian, Muslim or Jew, and that we cannot use these issues to tear each other down. And not only that, it was made during my swearing in.”
She viewed the prayer as a personal attack:
“I knew I was going to receive some discrimination because of my religion. 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.”
It’s an interesting contrast with New Zealand. As CNN reported, “lhan Omar calls for solidarity with Muslims in wake of New Zealand mosque terror attacks.”
Watch the video of the country’s prime minister in the aftermath of the March 15th mosques massacre — along with Stephanie Borowicz’s prayer — and please share your thoughts in the Comments section below.
See 3 more pieces from me: Good Samaritans vs. pit bull, voting vs. bad voting, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez vs. catching someone outside.
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