Preaching & Pimping (Sometimes There’s a Thin Line)

When it comes to the financial dynamic between pimps and their “employees,” people on the outside looking in struggle to understand how a woman can “work” so hard and give all their money to a man.

When some preachers turn up, and the sermon gets lit, they’ll have you giving all your hard-earned money to God and Jesus. And just like it only makes sense to women with pimps–what they do with their money bag–only Christians get the part of church that’s reserved for the “cheerful giver”; the part where a woman testifies about “sowing seed during a time of famine”: after losing her job, she wrote a check (I mean seed) that was for the entire available balance of her bank account and gave it to the church. Now, it takes some mighty fine preaching to get a woman to do that; man, preaching that good almost seems like pimping.

“Mary was trickin…”

Oh no, he didn’t! Yes, he did; during televised Christian programming–on the Inspirational Network channel–he actually said, “Mary was trickin…”

Historically, any TV preacher I’ve seen that came on during the wee hours was for people who couldn’t sleep…because their sermon would put you to bed. But this Frank Santora dude is doing the best 4 am preaching I’ve ever heard. Talking about Jesus having dinner at your house, “eatin greens”; somebody “droppin 64k-large” worth of perfume on a guest; Mary, the prostitute, out there in the world all messed up…

Full Disclosure: I’m not a Christian. At times, like when the gospel choir is sanging, or a scripture full of hope or wisdom comes my way, I may feel Christian-adjacent. But when that collection plate begins to circulate–seemingly non-stop–I’m strictly secular. Nothing will have me more in the world than a church that tallies up the offering while the service is in progress, and then someone comes to the pulpit and makes an announcement: “Folks, we’re gonna try this again; we can do better.”

That wasn’t a hypothetical situation I just gave you. It really happened–at the same church where the head pastor once said, as the collection envelopes were being passed out: “Put something in there that don’t make no noise.” Pastor wasn’t joking either. And even if it had been a joke, it wouldn’t have been funny. Why? Because when Jesus spoke about the lady who gave all she had–it was coins, something that made noise.

Quiet as kept, I haven’t returned to that Brooklyn church since. My uncle, a member of and a “cheerful giver” to this church, ran into some budgetary problems and could no longer afford the post-service meal at Singh’s Roti Shop, so the incentive for me to go wasn’t there anymore.

And I can’t say I’ve really lost any sleep over not going back to that church, or over not going to another one. But I do wake up sometimes, in the wee hours, and watch whatever TV preacher is good enough to put me back to bed. And that’s why Pastor Santora is a bad hombre: all his charisma, energy, and humor, got me pumped up right now! I almost threw the remote control at the television…

…when he said, “I want you to plant a three-hundred-and-sixteen-dollar seed.”


“When you let go of something in your hand, God lets go of something in His.”

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