Being that I am from Southwest Atlanta, I have never been afraid of a good fight. Many of you understand that as a blogger, we SHOULD be charged to present true and factual information in our blogs. This is not always the case. I have turned down media opportunities because I will not participate in a “Hunt for Red October” on Bishop Eddie Long. First, we all must be careful to remember that ALL of our discussions, rhetoric, and poor psychoanalysis are based on allegations. Once again, I do not support the alleged behaviors of Bishop Eddie Long but I can not crucify this man of God (without cause) because he is a representative of the church. There are many people who were watching and awaiting his response this morning; I commend New Birth Missionary Baptist Church for standing behind their leader during this controversial time. Of course, as a Psychiatrist (which many of you have reminded me of this one fact) I am concerned about the alleged victims of sexual coercion. Moreover, I grew-up in a Missionary Baptist Church (MBC) and I will NOT let anyone defame its name. Now if you need to single out some bad apples, do what you need to do, but the MBC is and will always be dear to many of our hearts. Once again I have not spoken to either of the plaintiffs, and I have only heard the statement from Bishop Long. Therefore, if you really want to know whose side I am on, it is the Black Church.
For clarity, in my opinion there are 3 issues that I guess we “Christians” are fighting with at this time.
- Legality– What does all of this mean for this church and its members? Who is being sued: Bishop Long, The Church and/or the Longfellow program? What impact would/does this have on the operations of that church organization? Why have no criminal charges been filed against Bishop Long if the plaintiffs’ stories are true? Are there “statutes of limitations” on these kinds of issues? Why did they NOT settle this out of court to keep this current media frenzy down?
- Morality– What “fiduciary obligation” does a Pastor have to his/her members? Should Pastors participate in sex with their members? Does New Birth MBC have a” Sexual Harassment Policy?” If the allegations are true, what happens next? If the allegations are false, what happens next? What if “sexual coercion” is proven? How will the church look to those who already feel that we are ALL hypocrites?
- Hypocrisy-Is Bishop Long a homosexual? If so, why did he participate in that anti-gay march 2 years ago? Were the young men straight, but then turned out by their Pastor? What are the sexual practices of the males now? Does this fact make a difference in this type of case? Where were their parents during the years of alleged sexual misconduct? Are their others in Bishop Long’s church leadership/administration that knew of the allegations and/or behaviors? Are their those who can support Bishop Long? Are their those who can vouch for the plaintiffs?
I can not be the judge or the jury, however I can attempt to provide systemic updates that don’t convict Bishop Long or crucify the young men(4 plaintiffs). This is very serious; now if you have a clean closet and have the answers to ALL of the above questions, you should probably provide that blog post for the attorneys to use in court. I am not at all interested in the motivations of either side. Yes, it looks very bad for Bishop Long but it also depends on how you personally view the situation. If he is innocent, I am sure God will avenge his enemies and clear his name. If he is guilty, God will handle that too as HE sees fit. Just be sure that your church is exempt from the next scandal. We all have a “Pandora’s Box” that we may not want opened. Thank God for safety (thus far) and pray that this type of dismal affair does not hit your home or church. Once again, I am not in favor or against Bishop Long, but the media and some of us have already convicted him. My heart goes out to the alleged victims, their parents and their future because it will be tough for each of them, no matter what the outcome. In conclusion, just remember who’s watching the watchers and your turn could be next. So let’s just pray, let justice play out and stay clean in our own daily lives. Enough Said!
Do you agree with the thoughts above? Do you feel like I am supporting Bishop Long Inadvertantly? Do you think that as a Psychiatrist , I should take a stand one way or the other prematurely? Let me hear from you on this issue…