The Pennsylvania State House of Representatives was in session on Monday for, among other things, the swearing in of the state's first Muslim woman to serve in the House.
GOP representative Stephanie Borowicz decided to open the session with a prayer. And it was a doozy.
In her long, rambling prayer she mentions Jesus over a dozen times. "God forgive us — Jesus — we’ve lost sight of you, we’ve forgotten you, God, in our country, and we’re asking you to forgive us," she said as Speaker Mike Turzai, also Republican, looked up at Borowicz and was clearly uncomfortable.
As Borowicz continued, other members of the House began to protest.
Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Democrat and the newly sworn-in Muslim woman, said to the press, “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.”
Borowicz has received a lot of criticism for what Rep. Kevin Boyle called a "fire and brimstone" Evangelical prayer.
Rep. Jordan Harris, a Democrat and a Christian, said that Borowicz was "weaponizing" her religion with her prayer.
Harris criticized Borowicz, writing on Twitter, "This prayer was deeply disrespectful and meant to intimidate Movita & her family. We won’t stay silent on what matters!"
Despite criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike, Borowicz remains unapologetic. “That’s how I pray every day. … I don’t apologize ever for praying,” she said to a reporter.
Once again, religion is entangled in politics and makes a mess of things. Borowicz may be a preaching lunatic, but she is also a reminder of why we need to keep fighting for church and state to remain separate.