Pennsylvania state congresswoman, Stephanie Borowicz, faces intense backlash after she prayed for Donald Trump and sermonized about “overcoming evil” right before the swearing-in of the state’s first Muslim congresswoman, according to The Independent.
Borowicz started the day’s session on Monday with an emotional invocation thanking Jesus for helping Trump stand “beside Israel unequivocally.” With a quivering voice, Borowicz sermonized about “overcoming evil” and asked the members of the state’s General Assembly to bow down before Jesus — whom she mentioned a staggering 13 times during her one-minute speech — right before Movita Johnson-Harrell was to be sworn in.
In the video of the speech which has since gone viral, Borowicz warns that “every knee will bow and every tongue will confess” in the name of her Christian god. Near the end of her speech, one lawmaker can be heard shouting “objection” before she is politely ushered away by a colleague.
The Pennsylvania Republican faces social media backlash for what many called explicitly discriminatory behavior. Coming on the day when the state’s first Muslim lawmaker was to be sworn-in to the state House of Representatives, many positioned her emotional speech as an attempt to “weaponize her religion.”
The stunt that Stephanie Borowicz pulled today was a death rattle of evangelical white supremacy. @movitajh was sworn in today as the first Muslim woman in the PA General Assembly. She is more worthy of our acknowledgment & admiration than the entirety of @PAHouseGOP ✌️ https://t.co/0WTt57xnE0— Laura Shadle (@sally_sylvania) March 26, 2019
State Rep. Stephanie Borowicz prayed for Trump and insisted everyone bow to Jesus just before Pennsylvania’s first Black Muslim woman Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell was sworn in pic.twitter.com/50xpsu0dJU— NowThis (@nowthisnews) March 26, 2019
Movita Johnson-Harrell, a Democrat who was elected in a special election, said that she expected discriminatory behavior because of her religion but she never expected her fellow colleagues in the House to act in such a way.
“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.”
Other Democratic leaders also chastised Borowicz for making the religious invocation on Monday, with leader Frank Dermody calling her actions “below the dignity of this House.” He asked for a group to be set up to review the procedure.
But even in the face of growing backlash, Stephanie Borowicz remained steadfast and maintained that she did nothing wrong by praying for Trump and invoking her Chrisitan belief before Johnson-Harrell’s swearing-in.
“I was scheduled to pray, so I prayed how I pray almost every day,” read a written statement released by Borowicz after the social media backlash.
“If a lawmaker who is a Christian can no longer stand in a General Assembly in America — when there are Bible verses inscribed all throughout our beautiful state Capitol — and pray to Jesus without ridicule, then we are no longer free,” read the rest of the statement.