“Men can be attractive when they’re dirty” – Bishop Eddie Long
Let he who is within sin cast the first denial…in THIS case, it is none other than Atlanta megachurch leader Bishop Eddie Long.
The same man who was once titled “one of the most virulently homophobic Black leaders…” is now denying charges of sexual misconduct involving four young men. If you recall, this scandal was birthed in late September, when two plaintiffs filed lawsuits against the Pastor; from those, two MORE allegations arose, claiming Bishop Long lured them into sexual acts in exchange for money, gifts, and trips abroad. Although the four allegations weighed heavily in the media, Bishop Long assured his congregation that the image portrayed in the media was NOT who he was, and vowed he would fight aggressively against the allegations.
Fast forward almost two months and a now-viral video of a Bishop Long sermon about “fresh sperm” and we’ve got a recipe for trouble! Bishop Long can deny, deny, deny all he wants to, but what he doesn’t realize is that sexual abuse allegations are nothing to play with, especially in the Black community! No Black man comes forth on being sexually coerced JUST for fun! We understand that there are mentor roles in the church, but encouraging your church members and spiritual sons to call you “Daddy” is VERY suspect!
However serious these allegations may seem, or how bad they may make Long look, we can’t deny that he’s been a great leader of his church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, bringing more than 20,000 members to God every week, including high-profile celebrities, athletes and politicians. We can’t totally discount that work he has done for God. Having said that, God also wants us to follow His commandments, and in this case, if Bishop Long is denying charges that are true, not only is he “bearing false witness”, but that would mean he was also “committing adultery” and “coveting” what wasn’t his to begin with.
The Bishop Eddie Long scandal is not the first of its kind; there are numerous untold stories of sexual abuse in the church and the community. Many people believe the allegations are a result of a “Sugar Daddy Gone Bad”, but there are many others of us who view the plaintiffs as heroes, speaking up about an issue that is often swept under the rug.
Bishop Long: If (and only if) the allegations are true, just confess and move on with your life. Yes, you will be ashamed and hurt momentarily, and people may look at you differently. Moreover, you may even lose some of your financial perks…but you will have peace and be free within yourself. Do the right thing, for God, your accusers AND for yourself ! Let’s not drag the New Birth MBC parishoners through much more of this turmoil.