The Rev. Jamal Bryant of Baltimore’s Empowerment Temple AME Church is no stranger to public scrutiny, and sparked another round of outrage over a recent sermon in which he quoted a popular Chris Brown song which refers to women as “hoes.”
According to multiple media reports, in his June 1 sermon “I’m My Enemies Worst Nightmare,” Bryant reportedly touched on homophobia, sexism and misogyny, and preached about a Godly woman and men recognizing the good wives in their life.
Emphasizing on the ungrateful mannerisms of a man who has a good wife, but “run off with a side chick who don’t have no anointing,” Bryant quoted the current Chris Brown hit “Loyal,” saying, “God help me old saints, y’all forgive me, but I got to tell you, these hoes ain’t loyal.”
While the reference drew a positive reaction from members of the congregation at the time, according to The Baltimore Sun, news of his statement soon spread to the Internet and a furor ensued.
Bryant took to Twitter on June 4 to defend his sermon. “Don’t critique a quote when you never heard message! 20 seconds of a 30 minute message is incomplete assessment,” he wrote, adding a link to the complete video of his sermon.
The high-profile pastor, who boasts a congregation of more than 10,000 members, spoke with Tom Joyner on the Tom Joyner Morning show on June 6 to address the controversy. Bryant said he was shocked that, “out of the 29 minutes I affirm women and their dreams and the influence they have on their men…I made a comment referencing a song by Chris Brown that has become the proverbial fly in the soup.”
An upbeat, catchy tune, Brown’s “Loyal” tells of a woman who would cheat on her “broke” boyfriend with a rich man. Brown also croons about how he can make a broke “b**ch” rich, using other derogatory language to describe the opposite sex.
According to an online report on the website Roland Martin Reports, Bryant stands behind his choice of words, adding that if the word is a derogatory term used to describe young girls, then it shouldn’t be accepted in any medium.
“If the h-word is bad for our young girls in church, then is has to be a consistency,” he said, according to the website. “It’s got to be bad in music we play.”