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I won’t attend a church where the Senior Pastor disrespectfully refers to black women as “hoes.” That’s why I don’t embrace the message by Pastor Andy Thompson, founder of the World Overcomers Christian Church, in Durham, North Carolina.

Watch Pastor Thompson talk about how to approach relationships and marriage above.

Thompson, an African-American pastor who is trying to shake up his congregation, allegedly in the name of Jesus, recently instructed married women in his flock to “shine it up” so their husbands will remain faithful instead of letting the “hoes” they encounter lure them away.

Here’s what Thompson tweeted to his 10,000 member congregation: “Ladies if you want to be the only woman your man looks at Shine It Up! Don’t let the hoes he comes across out shine you.” So how is using the derogatory term “hoes” to characterize black women a Christian message? And what does this say about how Thomson views black women – and women in general? 

Thompson’s remarks are demeaning to black women and he should apologize from the pulpit on Sunday morning. “

We live in an extremely sexist society, in which women are constantly shamed. Words likes hoe, slut, thot, etc., are used to shame women’s sexuality or mere existence on a daily basis,” Taurean Brown wrote on the blog Black Sankofa. “Due to the sexist nature of this society, women are shamed for sexual promiscuity, while men are often praised and rewarded for it,” Brown wrote. “Many times women don’t even have to be ‘sexually promiscuous’ to be called a derogatory name.”

I don’t know Thompson but I question his compassion for women, his spiritual guidance and his methods of marriage counseling. I understand that Thompson is trying to preserve the institution of marriage and I agree with the concept of building a solid foundation for marriage. But calling black women “hoes” crosses the line. Brown suggested that Thompson should “humble himself” and apologize for the remark. But Thompson kept his rant alive by saying “some women are secretly evil whores” who don’t respect marriage and are only out to steal other women’s husbands.

A female friend pointed out to me that there are women in Thompson’s congregation who may actually agree with him because their husbands have strayed before, in part, because they were seduced by home-wrecking women in the church. These things do happen.

But during his video response, Thompson tried to clear up the controversy.

“I was in a marriage seminar. I was trying to help wives,” he said in his rebuttal to critics. “I was trying to help wives to save their marriage, to be successful in their marriage.” “Some may feel like there’s never any context where it’s okay for a pastor to call women hoes…you’ll have to forgive me,” he said. “Our goal and our aim is to help women.”

Thompson’s ill-advised choice of words reminds me of remarks made by Don Imus in 2007, when, during his then-program on MSNBC’s Imus in the Morning, he referred to the Rutgers University women’s basketball team, which is comprised of eight African-American and two white players, as “nappy-headed hoes.”

The black community was outraged by Imus’ racist remarks and there were national protests. Imus was taken off the air as a result of the controversy.

I’m not suggesting that there should be demonstrations against Thompson at his church, but as the Senior Pastor, Thompson needs to know that using the word “hoes” to refer to black women, regardless of his spiritual intentions, are demeaning and unacceptable. There is no place in the church for that kind of language – especially when it comes from a man of the cloth.

What do you think?  

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