I will not pretend to be an expert on religion and the black church. What I know about the 2 from my OWN research is enough for me to make my own decisions as to why I do not participate in either. I think religion is way to divisive and I think the black church has not stepped up to the plate when it comes to protecting and providing for the community they serve. Yeah, I said it.
Anybody who hasn’t been living under a rock for the past week knows what’s happening to mega church super Pastor Bishop Eddie Long. Most people, especially Atlantans, were hit by a bombshell (not me..heehee) when 2 young men came forward about sexual misconduct and coercion from Long. Before the dust could settle, a third man came forward. Before THAT dust could settle, a fourth man forward. Bishop Eddie is putting some work in, huh? Maurice Robinson, Jamal Parris, Anthony Flagg and Spencer LeGrande, all adults now, have all filed separate lawsuits saying that while they were members of his youth ministry he lavished them with trips around the world in his private jet, cars, money, tuition and much more. He coerced certain young male members and employees into sexual activities by lavishing them with all these things. These 4 men are saying that Eddie’s closest comrades knew about this for years and covered it up. They also believe that more men will come forward.
For the past several days I’ve been in many discussions and even debates on Facebook and Twitter regarding the validity of these claims. For some strange reason people have forgotten that this man is MAN. But I was use to the God-like pedestal people have put him on. When I first moved to Atlanta I was shocked with how obsessed a lot of the people of Atlanta were with this man. Especially his congregation. He’s worshiped like he IS God. His supporters believe that it’s IMPOSSIBLE for these allegations to be true. Why? He is only a man, correct? Which means what? He’s not perfect and he, like the rest of us, have inherited sin. ALL of us are merely just flesh so we all have the propensity to sin. So these allegations ARE possible.
When Catholic Priests are constantly in the news about pedophilia we’re quick to write them off as guilty. We immediately believe the story of the victims. So why are Long’s allegations so hard to believe? People are using the argument about the alleged victims waiting so long to come out. Or the fact that they didn’t say “no”. That’s what abuse of power is all about. Duuhh. Most victims of abuse rarely tell on their abuser. This is not new. It’s not strange that the alleged victims did not turn down Long’s advances. He was their leader. A man they looked up too. Plus he was powerful. Plus the gifts. That concoction can easily influence the mind of a young 18 or 19-year-old man.
What bothers me and what makes me question the church members, the other church leaders and staff and the parents of the alleged victims is how come no one questioned the title Long gave himself? “Spiritual DADDY”?! The word “daddy” in itself has always had sexual connotation when not used by a young child calling out for his or her father. Don’t sit here with your mouth on the floor because you know I’m right. “Daddy” has always been used in a sexual kind of way. Young women have/are calling their boyfriends or lovers “daddy” in the bedroom. Men have called themselves “daddy” to their women in the bedroom since forever. Then there are the men who use that term in a way to control. Pimps have made their hoes call them “daddy” before I could even walk. Now I know we’re talking about “saved” church members but before they were “saved” they were using the word “daddy” in this context. Hell, some of them still are using the word “daddy”. Why not? Their leader is. Why didn’t he name himself “Spiritual Father” or “Spiritual Dad”? He knows why.
If you believe he is innocent then explain the pictures he text to the alleged victims? Most, if not all, people send mobile pictures of themselves to other people that they have some kind of relationship with. I’m not talking about a friendship. I do not send bathroom poses to any of my homegirls. Do you? None of my homegirls send their bathroom poses to me. Never have I once gotten a picture from any of my friends of themselves posing in a bathroom mirror..or any mirror in that case with tight revealing clothes. When we see a bad ass shoe we may take a picture and send it to each other. When a couple of my homegirls got engaged, they sent out a “we’re engaged!” picture of the ring. When I shaved off my hair, I snapped a picture of the side of my head and sent a “I DID IT! I’M BALD!” text to a few of my friends. All other pictures have been sexy in nature and they were all sent to whoever the man in my life is at the time. Sidenote: pleading the 5th now lol. These pictures of Long are inappropriate. Period. Does it implicate his guilt? I think so. He’s in spandex shirts and bikers shorts people! His clothing is to emphasize his body. A nice one, might I add. There’s no excuse for a leader of his magnitude to send those kind of pictures to members of his flock, especially young members.
Then there was his first address to the public on Sunday. As I listened to it, I really was hoping to hear something that would change my mind about his guilt. But he failed epicly. Yeah I just made that word up. His iPad read message was an epic FAIL. If I was a member of that church I would have been totally insulted. He two-stepped, danced and skipped over everything and then had the audacity to hide behind bible scripted rhetoric. I honestly felt he was thinking “I’m talking to a bunch of brainwashed fools. They’ll believe anything I said and they’re to stupid to see all my punchlines I’m disguising as a heartfelt, scriptured filled address.” And when I looked in the audience and saw all his followers jumping up in prasie, that’s exactly what I thought too. Bishop was right on it! He compared himself to the story of David and Goliath. Dude, you are no David. “I have never portrayed myself as a perfect man.. but I am not the man they’re portraying.” WTH?!? If I’m being accused of something on this level I’m not going to start off with “I have never once said I was a perfect woman..” It sounds like he was smoothing something over. Long should have kept his mouth shut but since he did not, he should have said “I am innocent.”
Take the blinders off people. Stop with all this “I need to see all the evidence before I make a judgement.” Man please. Do you need a picture or video of Long getting polished off in order to come to a conclusion about the validity of these allegations? Don’t be so stupid to believe just because he’s a homophobic preacher means he’s not gay. Extreme homophobia has always been a key indicator in someone hiding their sexuality. Especially in men. This, is also not new.