At what point is it acceptable for black pastors to call women “hoes?” during their Sunday sermons?

Today, in some black churches, there is an alarming trend of black ministers believing it’s appropriate to call women “hoes.” Last week, for example, Pastor Jamal Bryant took heavy criticism for his remarks from the pulpit, blurting out “these hoes ain’t loyal” during his sermon. Bryant used a clip from Chris Brown’s hit record “Loyal” to make a point about relationships.

“Every brother would you tap another brother and say I should have listened to her. God help me, all saints here forgive me but I gotta tell you these hoes ain’t loyal!” Bryant shouted.

The “hoes” Bryant was referring to were the women who cheated with unfaithful black men. Some black folks criticized Bryant for using “secular music” as an example in his sermon while others said Bryant should use examples from musicians like gospel duo Mary Mary. It seems lately that the word “hoes” has become an acceptable term in the black church – at least for some pastors.

Last month, I criticized Pastor Andy Thompson, founder of the World Overcomers Christian Church, in Durham, North Carolina, for referring to women as “hoes.” Thompson, an African-American pastor who was trying to shake up his congregation, allegedly in the name of Jesus, 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 outshine you.”

How is using a derogatory term like “hoes” to characterize women a Christian message? And what does this say about how Thompson views black women – and women in general?  Pastor Leslie Callahan of St. Paul’s Baptist Church, told The Huffington Post that Bryant crossed the line.

“The issue for me is that when you take risks [in a sermon], two things are required,” Callahan says. “The first thing is the risk should be in service of some message…The second thing is when you take those risks you have to be open to the reality that what you’re trying to do might not actually work.”

I understand that black pastors are trying to shake up their congregations. Bryant and Thompson consider themselves New Age ministers who deliver shock-and-awe sermons to motivate their flocks on Sundays. I get that. But I won’t attend a church where the Senior Pastor disrespectfully refers to women as “hoes.”

There is no room in the church for that kind of language or that characterization of women. As I sat in church Sunday listening to my pastor deliver appropriate messages to the congregation, I reflected on a troubling trend: With all the words available in the English language, why do some young and over-the-top black pastors feel the need to use the word “hoes” to describe women – and in some cases black women?

Why use the word “hoes” at all? Why not just call them “women?”

What do you think?

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57 thoughts on “COMMENTARY: The Term “Hoes” Has No Place In Church

  1. anita on said:

    Are you kidding me Mr. Cottman! The Bible speaks about “hoes” (whores and prostitutes) all throughout the Bible. Because this pastor used it in todays terms you and others go into a tizzy!!!! Please read the bible for yourself. When is a “hoe” ever loyal? Whether it be a male or female. The Bible tells you plainly to run from them!!!!

    • The bible also tells us to obey our earthly masters with fear and trembling and sincerity of heart. And to praise God in private. You ready to defend those passages too? You bible thumping hypocrites get on my damned nerves. Quoting bible passages to justify bullshit being put out by these pulpit pimps. I would fell sorry for gullible people listening to people throw this sewage around as if they were there when the bible was written. I don’t understand how anyone would think that calling a woman a ho in the name of God is acceptable. Well I kind of do. This fool is directing his sewage appeals to society’s lowest common denominator. The female who values herself so lowly that she’s thinks this is all she’s worth. Beware of false prophets. Don’t forget about that one anita.

      • “I would feel sorry for gullible people”. And the “sewage that this fool is spewing is aimed at society’s lowest common denominator”. Please forgive the typos.

  2. Prophetic Imagination on said:

    1) For all the people defending Jamaal Bryant’s words, especially the men, let a black woman get up there and refer to some black men as niggas, thugs, lazy, no good, and there would be an uproar against her and commentary about how black women don’t respect black men. You can’t lift the black man up by putting down the black woman even if you are only speaking to a certain segment of women.

    2) How soon we forget that Pastot Jamaal Bryant impregnated a teenager in his church while he was married. So what does that make him?

    I’m sensing a double standard in these responses.

    • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

      The pastor did not specify that he was referring to only black women. Just because the pastor is black doesn’t mean he is referring to black women. Hoes come in all shapes, sizes and races. We all are grown an ppl take things to serious sometimes. The pastor is not trying to bring black women down and he was only making a point to all women and men. I think it is a good thing.

      • There is a reason why people such as yourself are called a members of a “flock” by ministers. Please stop drinking the Kool Aid.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        That’s funny lol… You don’t even know my hunn so please have a seat and calm down. I don’t even go to church. I study my bible alone, so no I’m not a “flock”.

      • You don’t have to be in church to be dumb as a sheep. All you have to do is follow. And judging from your posts, (and spelling) you are definitely a follower.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        So I’m dumb for stating a opinion? lol yeah ok. For you to be so offended by the comment the pastor made, his comment must of struck a nerve. Are you a hoe? Was he speaking directly to you? Why you mad boo? lol not sure how spelling relates to following the crowd but ok. It makes sense to you so that’s all that matters lol. Out of all the ppl who commented you want to go back and forth with me? Why? I think this isn’t your first time either! Why are you so bothered by me lol

      • Prophetic Imagination on said:

        And what do you say about the fact that he impregnated a teenage girl in his church while he was married? Doesn’t that qualify as a “hoe” and a pedophile? And before you say this is rumor, look it up it is fact. People have got to understand that just because a person is articulate, nicely dressed, and seemingly well educated does not mean he is a man of God. It’s all part of the facade and deception.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        Last I check the question I was answering was from the article, asking if it is ok to use the word hoe in church and my answer was yes. Now to answer your question. Is it right for a pastor to have sex outside his marriage and with a teen. Hell no! I don’t know this pastor and have not herd of him until reading this article. A pastor should know better than to impregnate a teen. However he has to ask God for forgiveness and I think that the girls parents should of handled that and went to the police but obviously they didn’t because he is out preaching. What he did though has nothing to do with the article I was responding to. Now if that were included in the article I would have commented on that. So you have your answer I think it’s wrong what he did but it does not change my opinion on if the word hoe should be used in church or is a insult to black women an all the stuff ppl are throwing in there. Is he considered a hoe for what he did? He is considered a child molester if in fact that did happen. So there you have it : ) I answered your question

      • Prophetic Imagination on said:

        If you want to continue in the degradation and devaluation of women in society then you go right ahead sister.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        Are you serious? Just how I’m I doing that? These hoes are doing that on their own by doing what they do. I see no issue with any pastor mentioning it and church and teaching these men to stay away. Now all we need is for him to teach the women about the no good men that’s out there. I see your vocabulary is expanded but your process of thinking is closed. He is referring to hoes only, not the good women out there! Calm down. I’m all about sister hood and sticking together but no woman wants to be friends with a hoe. Ladies lets me honest please!

      • And what about people who look at you as being a ho? Or is the pulpit pimp the only one who gets to judge who is a ho and who isn’t? Since a have no problem with people calling a spade a spade, be prepared for the day when your son, father, brother, man, husband or any man or woman on the streets deem your actions worthy of a ho. Bible thumping church going Christian women are some of the most hypocritical people on the face of the earth. And some of the most gullible and easily led. Oh yeah. And some of the most horny and whorish.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        One I’m not a Christian and I’m not judging anyone so your aurguement I pointless. Your just trying to start something over nothing lol I feel bad for you. You seem very angry for nothing and with the comments I make your auguements doesn’t even go with anything I comment on. Two I will never be considered a hoe to my family, future husband or anyone else because I don’t do hoeish things and I do not carry myself in that way. My parents didn’t raise a hoe. So please stop being angry over nothing. Your attacking ppl on here for simply having a opinion that doesn’t match whatever the hell your opinion is. No one really cares. I’m done lol

      • “These hos are doing that on their own by doing what they do”. Sounds like judgment to me. And I’ll bet my 40 acres and a mule that the “hos” that the pulpit pimp is referring to didn’t think anyone thought of them as hos either. Hell, he doesn’t think people think of him as a ho, even though he’s proven what a great big honkin’ ho he really is. So, don’t be so sure about what people think about you. And here I’m posting a response to a female that cosigns the degrading and disrespect of other women and justifies it by quoting the bible. I’ve got to do better.

      • Diamondgrrl55 on said:

        If that’s the case then you are judging me, if there are hoes in his church and they didn’t realize he was talking about them, then they need to be woken up and change. All I’m saying is regardless what pastor uses the word hoe in church I don’t feel it’s wrong. I’m not consigning degrading women. I am a young lady and I carry myself in that way. I never been called a hoe or treated like a hoe in my life. You get the respect that you earn. If you want respect you have to respect yourself and that’s all I’m trying to say. If your not a hoe then the pastor wasn’t referring to you. We all know there are hoes out there. The ones sleeping with married men, getting knocked up for the child support check and not wanting to accomplish anything on their own. Having several baby daddies like they didn’t learn from the first time. Some don’t even know who they baby daddy is. So yeah them women digrade themselves and can’t get mad when someone call them what they are. I love being a women an I love women who stand for something and that’s what I support. That’s who I surround myself around.

    • seriously on said:

      Agreed, what is truly sad is other women throwing other women under the bus…He impregnated a teen and should be in jail. It is a sad state in Black America when we have so much to deal with including racism, unemployment etc,,,all steeped in racism. Yet what we do to each other is far more damaging..This pastor should have been removed and it is not about being self-righteous it is just right. Gotta ask black America what is your moral compass…teen pregnancies, gangs, murdered man, woman and child or the drug dealers, child molesters. Really what is acceptable to blackamerica is killing generation after generation. No respect for each other at all…

    • Prophetic Imagination on said:

      And what do you say about the fact that he impregnated a teenage girl in his church while he was married? Doesn’t that qualify as a “hoe” and a pedophile? And before you say this is rumor, look it up it is fact. People have got to understand that just because a person is articulate, nicely dressed, and seemingly well educated does not mean he is a man of God. It’s all part of the facade and deception.

  3. Diamondgrrl55 on said:

    I actually think it’s funny! Of course they ain’t loyal… There hoes!!! Should it be said in church? Thats a good question, first the pastor was just trying to get the members attention and make a point. He did not curse in church and hoe is the a word to describe someone. Why call them women? There is a difference between women and hoes. Call it like you see it I say

  4. Tony on said:

    Did their congregations take offense to what was said? No? Well I guess the issue is resolved. Your opinion is just that. Take it and go home.

  5. The real Christians really need to pray and fast for our leaders…Pastors, Bishops, Evangelist, etc… Pray that God will show them the errors of their ways and bring them to a place of repentance! The pulpit is becoming too worldly! These Men of God, suppose to be our leaders. If they are not going to lead according to the Holy Word…Sat down somewhere!!! So then what do you expect from the lay people.

  6. MundusVoldecipi on said:

    Hey, ease up. When you are a pulpit pimp and you look the part — car, house, clothes, and you knock up some members of your congregation it’s easy to get confused. Forgive the mistake for love…

    • Jenkum Kuhn on said:

      Thas righ you tells ’em muh brudduh. I only goes to chuch cuz Ize be lookin fo da hoes an Ize knows where to find ’em. Dey’s all at duh chuch gettin righteous afta droppin dey panties fo everone in da hood.

  7. tewdeeq on said:

    The pastor should not use the term “hoes” when more than likely it usually the pastors that are the ones who are effing them then try to distract attention away from themselves. Just blame a woman. How is that he know which ones are the “hoes” without the “biblical” knowledge of knowing which ones they are?

    • Tyrone Jones on said:

      The black pastors know which ones are the hoes because those are the ones that will go down on him for $5.00

  8. Ivan Cohen on said:

    The deacon board and the deaconess would have taken Pastor Jamal Bryant behind closed doors in a blessed assurance session and said, “Pastor, oh Pastor, you tried to push the envelope during your sermon.” We are telling you that you need to push the envelope right back into the box. While you are pushing the envelope back into the box, push to the forefront of your mind, seeking the pastor ship of another church if the “spirit” ever moves you again to use provocative terms of endearment for women. It would behoove you Pastor Bryant to rebuke that spirit.

  9. seriously on said:

    Monique Graham, you sound like a fool…judgemental fool at best. Everyone in the church are at different levels on their spiritual journey, you should mentor and not condemn. So if they dressed up to your liking but sin the other 6 days they are holy…Sounds like the thinking of a fool. The dress and look of holiness does not make you holy.

  10. Yvette on said:

    The truth is hoes are not loyal. If you are sleeping with another person’s spouse or having sex with anyone who gives you a wink, you are a hoe. I have no problem with the terminology.

    He apologized for the reference last Sunday at church. What else do you want him to do? It is time to give it a rest.

    • seriously on said:

      And it is your business to label them…what about yourself? Since you Jesus freaks like labels…All sin is equal sin and you will be judged just as harshly as you judge others, Not to mention, women who sleep with other husbands and others so easily as you put it…Well the man, your man is the problem…But of course where’s the name for him? And no one has killed, gangbanged, child molest then black men…they are destroying our communities and have committed a genocide number of death including men, women and children…Whose sleeping with who is the least of our problems.

  11. The black church is in a steady moral decline. It’s driven by the desire for fame and fortune, therefore, they are directing their efforts toward society’s lowest common denominator. Soon, going to a black church will be no different than going to a night club.

  12. seriously on said:

    What is really sad is the church folks who just sat there and accepted vile and vulgarity in their place of worship. His message is that of hatred, the church should have told him in reference to his hoe remark is, well the only men who like hoes is pimps and tricks…which one are you? or are you referring to the relationship with your momma, that you think you can use such language in front of any woman?

    He as a Black man cannot afford to speak, for nothing has destroyed black communities as black men…gangs, drugs, murders, babies everywhere, child molesters, pimping in the pulpit etc….Now those are some men we should not trust. Those are men who have no loyality to the plight of Blacks in America…The real life satan himself…If a drop squad was legal,,,,I say killed them all and their whining mommas…Unless you really think that black communities can survive with them.

  13. on said:

    full of worldliness. I think that not only does the word “hoes” not have a place in the church. Neither does worldliness have a place in the church.

    • Charlie on said:

      Offensive to use the WORD ‘hoes’..but its ok to DRESS LIKE ONE in church??!!! Women wear low cut, split seams, skin tight clingy dresses (if you wanna call it that…thats an overstatement). What about what does GOD think!! I dont condone the use if the word but come on all you so called Saved and sanctified folk!!!!

      • seriously on said:

        Give it a rest Charlie, how they dress doesn’t mean they are hoes, like many black folks they simply do not know any better…They are underdeveloped as they should be for their age….But they are showing up and with a good pastor they will grow in character and dignity and come into their own.

      • Someone replied, the dress code doesn’t mean they are H. It does matter how you come to church! At least have some holiness when you come to church! The way some women and men come to church is beyond me! No holiness in the dress what so ever! And some women do look like the term when they come to church!! And we think Heavenly Father isn’t watching and is ok with how we as saved are acting! Really?!

      • Tyrone Jones on said:

        Those are them high class knee grow hoes, the preacher has to pay them $10.00

  14. 1.) hoes is a worldly slang for whores – whores is in THE HOLY BIBLE.
    2.) whores are not loyal to GOD, JESUS, THE HOLY SPIRIT or MEN OF GOD or WOMEN OF GOD or CHILDREN OF GOD.
    3.) It’s obvious that jamal bryant – chose to conform to the ways of this world – when speaking about whores – by using the word hoes – and using quotes from a secular song – and also using the phrase sanctified sissies …..
    4.) Still – the hypocrisy of it all is ……. so many are outraged about this misuse of worldly words – but there was no outrage when westboro church has done all of it’s evil – and the same ones who want to make a name for themselves by condemning bryant, won’t part their lips to condemn a cult of satan – inflicting hatred on others – nor will they part their lips about the many pastors who don’t teach their congregations about this scripture.

    James 1:27
    Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

    while the communities all over america that are occupied with people who have the same skin color as bryant …… yet it is the fatherless and the widows who are left to do things on their own -which causes the high majority of all the problems they have now.

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