A Christian representative in the Pennsylvania legislature has been denounced over the prayer she offered on March 25 during a swearing-in ceremony for a Muslim lawmaker.
During her prayer before the swearing-in of newly elected Democrat Representative Movita Johnson-Harrell, who is a Muslim, Republican State Representative Stephanie Borowicz (shown) invoked the name of Jesus over a dozen times, and also offered thanks for President Donald Trump’s support of the nation of Israel.
Calling herself Jesus’s “ambassador,” Borowicz declared that Jesus is the “King of kings and Lord of lords, the Great I Am,” and the “One who is coming back again.” In her prayer Borowicz asked God to forgive America for losing its spiritual bearings. “Jesus, we’ve lost sight of you,” Borowicz prayed, as Johnson-Harrell and the rest of her Democrat colleagues squirmed uneasily in their seats. “We’re asking you to forgive us.... Jesus, You are our only hope.”
Borowicz went on to pray for the state’s and nation’s leaders, and concluded her prayer “in the powerful, mighty Name of Jesus.”
Response from Democrat lawmakers and the governor was predictable in its condemnation of Borowicz and her Christian sentiment. Democrat House Whip Jordan Harris called Borowicz’s prayer “inappropriate,” offering himself as a model of correct comportment. “I am a Christian,” Harris solemnly intoned. “I spend my Sunday mornings in church worshipping and being thankful for all that I have. But in no way does that mean I would flaunt my religion at those who worship differently than I do. There is no room in our Capitol building for actions such as this, and it’s incredibly disappointing that today’s opening prayer was so divisive.”
Similarly, Democrat Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf claimed to be “horrified” by Borowicz’s prayer. “I grew up in Pennsylvania,” Wolf pointed out, and “Pennsylvania was founded by William Penn on the basis of freedom of conscience. I have a strong spiritual sense. This is not a reflection of the religion I grew up in.”
For her part, Johnson-Harrell called Borowicz’s invocation “offensive,” saying that “to use Jesus as a weapon is not OK,” and “we cannot weaponize what’s going on with Israel and Palestine.”
She added that the prayer “blatantly represented the Islamophobia that exists among some leaders — leaders that are supposed to represent the people. 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.”
The Muslim lawmaker complained that Borowicz’s prayer amounted to “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 also called for Borowicz to be censured, “because we need to be promoting inclusion, not division.”
Somewhat ironically, reported CBN News, “another Muslim lawmaker, Rep. Jason Dawkins ... opened the session on Tuesday by reading from the Quran. His invocation was followed by applause.”
Among those stepping up to defend Borowicz was Republican State Representative Daryl Metcalf, who pointed out that his colleague was merely “walking in the footsteps of our forefathers who would have prayed a prayer very similar.” Added Metcalf: “That the newest member, who is a Muslim, would attack her and say that [Borowicz’s prayer] was an example of Islamophobia, should be offensive to every Pennsylvanian.”
Evangelist Franklin Graham also weighed in to defend Borowicz, insisting that “she doesn’t need to apologize,” for her Christian prayer. “We don’t change who we are or what we believe because someone who is present may believe differently than we believe.... I always appreciate anyone who has the guts to stand up for Jesus.”