House Prayer Stirs Controversy

A prayer said on the House floor today by state Rep. Stephanie Borowicz (R-Clinton) is resulting in significant pushback from Democratic House members.

Borowicz, a first term GOP representative and wife of a pastor, thanked Jesus and President Donald Trump in her prayer for his “unequivocal support” for Israel, on the same day the state House sworn Movita Johnson-Harrell (D-Philadelphia), into office, who became the first Muslim woman elected to the general assembly.


“Lord, thank you that he stands beside Israel, unequivocally,” Borowicz said of Trump.

Johnson-Harrell said in a statement to the Pennsylvania Capital-Star’s Stephen Caruso that the prayer from Borowicz was “highly offensive” and it “blatantly represented the islamophobia” that she believes still exists in some leaders.



Some Democratic members vocally objected during the prayer, with Speaker Mike Turzai (R-Allegheny) appearing to hurry up Borowicz to finish speaking.

After the prayer, Turzai asked that House members “craft a prayer that is respectful of all religious belief.”

House Minority Leader Frank Dermody denounced the prayer on the floor.

According to the AP, Borowicz “insists she did nothing wrong.”

March 25th, 2019 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 55 Comments

55 thoughts on “House Prayer Stirs Controversy”

  1. Hilljack says:

    She’s from Clinton Co. Do you expect anything different.

  2. Karen Hart says:

    Separation of church and state. Separation of church and state. Separate your god from my politics.

    1. Jan P says:

      Jesus, was that prayer the most passive-aggressive use of religion as a cudgel that I’ve heard in a long time! Jesus, was that offensive! Jesus, if he hadn’t stopped her, she’d have been speaking in tongues and whipping out serpents to handle. Jesus would have stopped her if he’d been present to hear her.

  3. Caleb says:

    Man I applaud the woman that was a beautiful prayer she know the word!!!!!!

    1. Voice Of Reason says:

      Get an education, Caleb. Backwater religious schooling does not count.

  4. Father Coughlin says:

    She needs to write her prayers down before saying them. She repeated herself several times and appeared rambling. I thought at one point she was going to announce Jesus would be the keynote speaker at her next fundraiser and that he would join the Republican Party at her event. This really is an insult to religion and to public service. It is inappropriate and unkind to the Muslim legislator. I am a devout Catholic and I found this prayer both completely unnecessary and ultimately intolerant.

  5. Robert B. Suckmeoff, M.D. says:

    Those who love gay ponies are attempting to undermine speech-freedom due to personal motivations; it wasn’t gay pony hating [neither by implication nor by inference] and, thus, the political motives of the pony haters should be targeted.

    1. Robert B, Sklaroff, M.D. says:

      [pitiful effort @ satire]

      1. Frank Burns says:

        No, it’s actually kind of good…

      2. David Diano says:

        Without the “slightly” altered authorship, this satire would be indistinguishable from an actual Sklaroff post.

        1. Robert B, Sklaroff, M.D. says:


  6. Isaac L. says:

    Jesus wept.

  7. Court Watcher says:

    If you followed her campaign, this is no surprise. Since her election, she’s made clear she doesn’t want to hear from Democrats in her district. Rigid and inflexible.

  8. lula2us says:

    The prayer was meant to demean the religious beliefs of Rep. Johnson-Harrell. It was purposeful and offensive. A woman from a rural, conservative region of the state was chosen to deliver the words to send a clear message that Johnson-Harrell is not welcome in the PA House of Representatives. In a nation founded on religious freedom this intentional demonstration of religious bigotry is particularly offensive.

    1. Voice Of Reason says:

      The culture war is over, folks. The tolerant, modern, reasoning Americans will dance on the political graves of backward, bigoted, superstitious clingers. Even in the most shambling, can’t-keep-up sections of Pennsylvania.

  9. Robert B, Sklaroff, M.D. says:

    Those who attack this prayer are attempting to undermine speech-freedom due to personal motivations; it wasn’t Islamophobic [neither by implication nor by inference] and, thus, the political motives of the DEMS should be targeted.

    1. David Diano says:

      It was specifically and intentionally an anti-Muslim and Islamophobic attack on Movita Johnson-Harrel.

      But, it’s no surprise that you support it, with your long history of comments that essentially support Israeli genocide against their non-Jewish neighbors.

      1. Bad Falafel says:

        Genocide. Really? One should use that word with caution. You are right about the hateful nature of that “prayer” but responding with irresponsible and false charges is also wrong.

        1. David Diano says:

          Bad Falafel-

          It’s difficult to read Sklaroff’s posts over the years and not come to the conclusion that he supports the complete genocide of the Palestinians. He tries to pretend that Palestinians are an existential threat to Israel (despite having no Navy, Air Force or atomic weapons, and Israel’s 25-to-1 kill ratio).

          Sklaroff had no problem with the hundreds of women, children and non-combatants killed in the Gaza War. He treated them all as combatants or supporters deserving death. He didn’t care about the indiscriminate bombings of civilians and civil targets (and housing) in a campaign of collective punishment (which is a war crime).

          Feel free to read his past ranting and judge for yourself.

          1. Bad Falafel says:

            Then you did not articulate yourself clearly. If his position in your mind is the genocide of those who call themselves Palestinian, then that is deplorable. But that is not the policy of the government of Israel and I would think the vast majority of Israelis would find that perspective deplorable. But in the other hand, if many Palestinians could lob a nuclear bomb into Tel Aviv, they would. But why is Israel even a topic of political discussion anyway in the right and left?

          2. David Diano says:

            Bad Falafel-

            While it is not the “articulated” position of Israel, Netanyahu is clearly engaged in policy to drive them out of Palestine by making the place unlivable. I certainly believe that the right-wing elements in Israel would launch a nuclear bomb at Iran, if they could get away with.
            The majority of Israelis don’t support Netanyahu’s extremism, but because of how fractured their political system is and relies on coalitions, he’s able to stay in power.

            Netanyahu manufactured the flames that set off the Gaza War of 2014. There were three teenagers kidnapped and murdered. Netanyahu and the Israeli govt knew for weeks that the teens were dead, yet let a public “campaign” to find/rescue them. This was used as a pretext to round up and imprison hundreds of Palestinians for “questioning” and “leads”. That resulted in riots protesting the illegal arrests (and protesters were killed in the riots, further fanning the flames). Netanyahu continued to build false hope of finding the teens alive (when he knew full well they were already dead). So, after several weeks, when the teens bodies were eventually found, Netanyahu used the dashed hopes to gain support for his warmongering.

            The reason Israel is a topic of discussion is that in the US the right-wing GOP is very anti-Muslim and the Dems aren’t. So, the right-wing is trying to pretend that the Dems are anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.

          3. Robert B, Sklaroff, M.D. says:

            The mark of a racist demagogue is the capacity to spew-forth historical-revisionism, amplified by negative mind-reads; d2 is best ignored for, in prior posts, he has adamantly supported the “NAKBA” [namely, the fact that the re-establishment of the Jewish Homeland on 5/15/1948 was a “catastrophe”], a view that–except for the Muslimas newly-elected to Congress [and their pals, such as AOC]–remains a fringe-view in America.

          4. David Diano says:


            You are more full-of-sh*t than a truck of manure.

            I haven’t supported “NAKBA”, let alone “adamantly”.

            You, however, have cheered Netanyahu’s war crimes.

          5. Robert B, Sklaroff, M.D. says:

            Years ago, on this PoliticsPA site, I maneuvered you into admitting this; it’s instructive that you again engage in historical revisionism.

            I think BB is the greatest, and he reached his public pinnacles when he spoke to the UN and to the Joint Session of Congress regarding the evils of Iran.

            BTW, have you ever denounced these neo-Nazis?

    2. Former PA resident says:

      Naahhh. It was offensive. It was meant to be in your face. I’m a Jew and I was gobsmacked by its awfulness. I’ve heard plenty of public eting prayers — they’re never Jewsih prayers or Muslim or HIndu. They’re invariably either pretty Christian or mercifully non-denominational Deist, but this was a singularly disgusting display. My reaction was “Jeezus, there’s a lot of Jesus in there.” There wasn’t really any theme to the prayer except “How many times can I remeber to say “Jesus.” Even the Speaker finally nudged her to end it..

      1. Jan P says:

        You are absolutely correct. She even stopped mid-sentence a couple times to work in another Jesus.

        1. Hilljack says:

          Sounded like Ricky Bobby’s pre-meal blessing.

  10. Dennis Wagner says:

    If MJH is truly seeking to be “bipartisan” then she shouldn’t be so quickly when others express things from their point of view!!!

  11. Matthew Wagner says:

    I will be more than happy to listen to the Democrat’s advice regarding prayer as soon as they get around to:

    1. Apologizing for booing God at their convention.
    2. Reprimand their leadership for their antisemitism.
    3. Stop supporting infanticide.

    I won’t be holding my breath!

    1. Voice Of Reason says:

      And decent, educated, skilled, modern, tolerant Americans will be in the mood for pointers from disaffected, half-educated, economically irrelevant, superstitious, bigoted goobers . . . well, probably never.

      You will be replaced, Matthew.

      Carry on, clingers.

  12. Watching Jesus says:

    Watching Turzai is better than listening to her.

  13. BucksDem says:

    The bigoted GOP on display.

    1. Ben says:

      Nope. I don’t think that democrats should judge bigotedness. It is like a husky criticizing a chihuahua for being a dog.

  14. Carol says:

    As Americans, we all get to pray as we see fit.

  15. Voice Of Reason says:

    Reminding us that most of Pennsylvania — and not just the Appalachian part — could easily fit in Alabama or West Virginia comes naturally to slack-jawed, superstitious right-wingers from our Commonwealth’s can’t-keep-up backwaters.

    1. Voice of Reason says:

      I neglected to mention that she is a half-educated bigot. Please pardon the oversight.

      1. David Diano says:

        Voice of Reason-

        I have to disagree. She seems have a PhD in bigotry.

      2. CyberianFox says:

        Check out her facebook page. If I were present I would have told her to shut up and get on with governing or go back to your gun toting life and preach in your church because you apparently don’t understand “separation of church and state.” You have no right to preach your retoric in a government building. This country was founded to include religious freedom NOT your interpretation of god.

        Check out her facebook page. Nice seeing a representative toting a Glock down the front of her pants.

  16. Roseann Yannarella says:

    How embarrassing! What kind of a prayer was that? She sounded like she was yelling at God. Not appropriate at all. Shame on her, she needs to do some learning before she tries to speak again.

    1. Paul says:

      Obviously you are not a Christian filled with the Holy Spirit. that was a great prayer

      1. Phil Hughes says:

        No. That wasn’t a prayer. It was a political statement cloaked as a prayer by an absolute phony. No self-respecting Christian would have done what she did. Shame on her and those who thumped their cowardly chests in approbation.

        1. Ed says:

          Mark 8:38; Romans 1:16; 1Corinthians 1:21

          1. PhillyPolitico says:

            Matthew 6:5

          2. Jan P says:

            “I consider the government of the US. as interdicted by the constitution from intermedling with religious institutions, their doctrines, discipline, or exercises.”
            Thomas Jefferson

        2. Julianne Maguire says:

          My view exactly! Shame on her!

      2. Kathleen says:

        I agree wholeheartedly Paul. Great prayer!

  17. Wendy Saddler says:

    WTG Bortowitz!! Speak the TRUTH and stand up for what’s right! Don’t be bullied by the DEMS in the state capital, ir ANYONE else, who would try to silence your faith. They’re the real bigots!

    1. Zakrey Bissell says:

      Amen brother. Praise Jebus!!

    2. Carol says:

      Amen Wendy!

    3. PhillyPolitico says:

      Matthew 6:5

  18. Sam says:

    So smug and comfortable in her religious bigotry and supremacy. Turzai and others need to take some action, maybe a reprimand, and she needs a lesson in civics. This is why James Madison did not want a legislative chaplain and Jefferson wanted a wall of separation between church and state.

    1. Ed says:

      1st amendment shuts you down !

      Mark 8:38; Romans 1:16;1Corinthians 1:21;Acts 20:21

      1. Isaac L. says:

        The First Amendment creates a separation between church and state, protecting both from corruption by the other, and ensuring the free practice that has been essential to Pennsylvania since its founding in 1681. Many of us or our families came to Pennsylvania to escape persecution for our religious practice, and state favor of one sect over another is a danger to this freedom for all.

        Further, as a brother in Christ, do you truly think Rep. Borowicz is (or you are, for that matter) being a good ambassador for Christ’s love or do you think she is alienating people with a message politicizing the Gospel and perverting Christ’s Church with the vulgar politics of man?

        I encourage you to look inwardly and spend some time in thoughtful reflection and prayer, perhaps spend some more time with 1 Corinthians, particularly the 13th chapter, and with 2 Corinthians, particularly Paul’s words about persuasion and our call to the Ministry of Reconciliation.

        Peace be with you!

  19. gulag Pittsburgh says:

    She believes she “did nothing wrong”; that’s what you call blind faith. Could not be mere coincidence that she gave that prayer on that day that the first Muslim is being sworn in.

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