WATCH: The origins of prayers in Congress

The genesis of prayer opening each session of Congress goes back to the beginning of Congress and has survived challenges under separation of Church and State. Today, we look at a book that chronicles Congressional prayers: “When Rabbis Bless Congress: The Great American Story of Jewish Prayers and Capitol Hill” by author and CSPAN Director of Communications Howard Mortman.

Sharyl: Was coronavirus one of the most persistent themes ever evoked from what you saw in congressional prayers?

Howard Mortman: So, coronavirus and COVID became a huge theme in almost every prayer, particularly in the House, and also in the Senate, starting in late February, and even till today.

CSPAN Video: we pray for all of those who have been affected by illness and disease that they may find healing and comfort in this time of uncertainty

Mortman: It was the kind of volume of prayers you don’t normally see unless there’s a war, World War 2 you can go back and see. World War One, almost every prayer, in some way, invoked our boys fighting overseas. Totally unheard of for a disease to have this kind of prominence in prayers, but it was definitely prevalent throughout the year

Sharyl: A recent controversy happened when Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, a minister, he ended an opening prayer on the first day of the new Congress by saying, “Amen and awomen,” as if to make the gendered word amen fair. But amen isn’t a gendered word.

Sharyl: And to reiterate, you said this, but amen is a Hebrew word that means “so be it.”

Mortman: Essentially so. Yeah. He has said he was just trying to create a pun.

Sharyl: Because there’s a record number of women in Congress?

Mortman: Yeah. Exactly right.

Sharyl: So, he said he was referring to that.

Mortman: Exactly right. I’m not a seminary person. I’m not one to judge the prayers, but you don’t see that kind of anger at a prayer in Congress, unless it’s something that divisive that was said.

Sharyl: Tell us about Rabbi Maurice Lyons, who you mentioned in your book.

Mortman: Part of what I did was put every prayer by every rabbi that’s on video on YouTube. The earliest one I could find was 1985. C-SPAN began in 79, when we started broadcasting Congress.

CSPAN Video: “… help us to cope with the forces of human nature.

Mortman: Out of the blue, a couple of months ago, after the book was published, I got an email from the family of Rabbi Maurice Lyons of St. Louis. And Rabbi Maurice Lyons gave the prayer in Congress in 1994 in the Senate.

CSPAN Video: “I too humbly pray grant O Lord to each of our beloved senators a discerning heart to understand between right and wrong

Mortman: I got a note from the family saying they found this YouTube just Googling his name. He had died, and they’re marking the anniversary of his death. They had never seen the prayer before. His grandkids had never even heard his voice before. They sent me a note saying how wonderful it was to see this video. So it was just a really neat moment of just where, through the wonder of a video and archiving, you can peer into the past, and really bring it alive today.

CSPAN Video: “…and in conclusion I rejoice in pronouncing over this esteemed legislative body the ancient priestly benediction very Hardy shemesh Morocco yada shampo novela of a Hunico historian overly obvious aim lahar Shalom”

Sharyl (on-camera): Mortman says during 2020, 128 Congressional prayers mentioned coronavirus. 103 in the House and 25 in the Senate.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

6 thoughts on “WATCH: The origins of prayers in Congress”

  1. Sharyl,

    “Amen” is a devotional reference to an Egyptian
    g_d-king :


    -which is why this student of world religions and
    every other occult teaching, NEVER closes any
    prayer with it.

    It is P A G A N I S M bleeding into SPIRITUALITY.

    WHY NOT ask the rabbi why the Christian prayer
    is removed from schools while Jewish prayer is
    allowed in :

    “ The PEOPLE’s House “ ?



    Amenhotep III
    [ ah-muhn-hoh-tep, am-uhn- ]

    noun : king of Egypt 1411?–1375 b.c.

    1. P.P.S.

      I end prayers with the most POWERful – MAGICAL
      POWER, because so many minds have used it for
      INTENTIONALITY for millennia – C L O S I N G with :

      “In Jesus’ Name.”

      BTW, regarding the psychology of prayer, praying
      is the most fundamental form of SELF-Hypnosis.

  2. My prima facie opinion has been to frown upon the practice of prayer in congress on the basis of separation of church and state. and also the different religions are very different in liturgy, and beliefs, not to mention those who may not relate to a supreme being. However, after watching C-Span and listening to the daily prayers, I have found them to be a source of ecumenical wisdom and I have found this moment of inspiration to be constructive.

    1. Dan,

      Re: what “separation of church and state’” actually has meant for America

      Generally Speaking, re my still-developing psychology : “Political Cross-Lateralization”
      (( it’s far more complicated than what I’ve presented here—many pages more )) :

      The ideas “church” and “state” are our projections
      upon the world, OUT of OUR dichotomous brain :

      RATIONAL left-hemisphere ( CHURCH : morality/virtue : THINKING and behavior )


      EMOTIONAL.right-hemisplere ( STATE: libertine immorality/lust : FEELING and acting ).

      Keep in mind, the left-hemisphere controls the right side
      of the body ( politic: leftism ), and the right-hemisphere
      controls the left side of the body ( politic: rightism)—to
      describe my psychology of politics, derived from our
      ORGANICALLY dichotomous Left-vs.-Right brain :


      Church ( through the State ) =
      Executive Part of the Brain (( in service to the Supreme Logician, G_d )).

      State ( absent the Church ) =
      Reptilian Part of the Brain (( in service to the Supreme Feeler, Satan )).

      The terms “G_d” and “Satan”
      represent those Two Internalized Combatants, battling for our service/allegiance :
      Left-logical side can pass the marshmallow test : conservatives/Republicans
      (( gateway to pre-frontal lobes—living a MORAL life )).

      Right-emotional side can’t pass the marshmallow test : libertine liberals/Democrats
      (( gateway to reptilian brain—living an IMMORAL life )).

      Of course, the Two Combatants daily vie for our service,
      both winning or losing—depending on many, many variable.


      Whenever church is removed from state, we have Bedford
      Falls after George Bailey kills himself—we have the nasty/
      filthy LIBERTINE POPULAR-CULTURE the West now suffers,
      (( compare today’s West with that of the 1950s, before the
      Reptilian Brain’s any-thing-goes, do-what-I-wish, feed-
      my-lustful-appetites Sexual Revolution; a revolt against moral
      thinking and living, imposed by Shadow Cabal’s Bolshevism,
      within and thru Hollywood and other Satan-driven venues )).

      Think of MOSES coming down from the Mountain with the Ten
      Commandments, only to find his people constructing and
      worshiping IDOLS, fornicating in all manner of sexual excess/
      expression—driving him to anger at seeing their REPTILIAN
      behaviors, then ordering his LEVITIC ( priestly ) tribe to slay
      the offenders (( “fratricide” for a certain purpose ? )).

      Today, growing PAGANISM and WITCHCRAFT is history NOT
      rhyming but REPEATING—because CHURCH ( G_d ) has been
      separated from STATE ( Satan ), as the former had kept a strong
      check on the excesses/expressions of the latter.

      We are still evolving (( through pre-frontal-lobes’ good-breeding,
      NOT any dysgenic devil-may-care, reptilian-breeding; aka : our
      “HOOKING-UP” culture of adults and youth )) a more G_DLY
      brain; a larger pre-frontal-lobe controlled brain, and a smaller,
      less-influential, any-thing-goes!, SATANIC brain.


      Because racial inequalities are GENETIC inequalities!, then — to
      effect true EQUITY between the races, and between men and
      women — WE ALL must INTERBREED toward the abilities/qualities
      of the LOWEST Common Denominator among us; that is, for
      example, the village doctor must marry the village idiot—and have
      children from that coupling (( study my report on Pol Pot’s brutal
      EQUITY of OUTCOMES, in Cambodia’s re-education camps for those
      deemed “Intellectuals” )).

      From my 3,000-word essay, “Why Kennewick Man Can’t Be White” :

      “If human races do exist – and if they display unequal hereditable
      potentials in temperament, character, physicality and intelligence –
      then Marxists’ dream of Utopia can’t ever be realized . . . If there are
      hereditable differences in intelligence potential between the races,
      and most certainly there are, then race-mixing will necessarily
      produce conflicts between contesting racial groups, because those
      differences in intelligence necessarily manifest unequal mental
      abilities—and, subsequently, unequal outcomes!”

      In brief : White America is being forced, by Libertine
      Leftism ( Bolshevism ), to act REPTILIAN—not G_dly !

      Covid-19 is an elaborate hoax!, by an ATHEISTIC Left, to force-
      vaccinate EVERYONE!—for what devilish, NEFARIOUS purpose ?

      Globalism thru Globalized Fear and Control ?

      Genetic Therapy for a Sinister Purpose ?

      Massive Profits for Pfizer et al. ?

      Mass-Murder of, say, Church Folks ?

      Erasing the G_d Part of the Brain ?

      In any case, labs’ problem with trying to weaponize ANY dangerous virus
      is ENTROPY; that is, all VARIANTS of a dangerous virus are LESS potent
      as they mutate—so, all this talk of “More Deadly Variants” is an in-our-face
      LIE by the medical/political community.

      Again, all viruses MUTATE toward less, not more, danger.

      Never trust liars, as they are inclined to keep lying to you.

      Leftism is the political camp of G_dless L I A R S !

      Why would you trust those PsychoPathic evil-doers, preparing to F O R C E
      you to have an injection of a Gene-altering substance ?


      1. P.S.

        C O R R E C T I O N
        of the above description,
        behind the words,
        “Keep in mind, . . .”—
        after writing that explanation
        since 1987, even I get it
        messed up, as it ought to read, regarding “Political Cross-Lateralization” :

        Left-hemisphere controls the right side of the body ( politic: rightism ).


        Right-hemisphere controls the left-side of the body ( politic: leftism ).

        Oops !


  3. While creating Amendments that would be collectively called the Bill of Rights, the Founders completed the wording on the 1st Amendment. The Committee immediately went to see President Washing and requested that he appoint a National Day for Prayer & Fasting.
    No one saw any conflict with the establishment clause of the First Amendment.

Scroll to Top