Democratic Rep. Movita Johnson-Harrell of Philadelphia reportedly said Tuesday she felt her religion was “used against her” by Rep. Stephanie Borowicz’ prayer.
The Philadelphia representative said she was offended by a colleague’s prayer that “at the name of Jesus every knee will bow.” Johnson-Harrell is the first female Muslim member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, sworn in after winning a special election this month.
The prayer was offered just hours before Johnson-Harrell was to be sworn in. “Jesus, you are our only hope,” she prayed, asking forgiveness on behalf of a nation that she said had forgotten Jesus. “At the name of Jesus, every knee will bow and every tongue will confess Jesus, that you are Lord,” she said.
House Minority Whip Jordan Harris accused Borowicz of using her faith to “intimidate, demean and degrade” Johnson-Harrell in front of her family, friends, and supporters.
“Let me be clear. I am a Christian. I spend my Sunday mornings in church worshiping and being thankful for all that I have,” Harris said in a statement. “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.”