i am

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harlem, usa
same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. mjt975@msn.com.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long Sued For Sexual Abuse And Other Claims By Four Men

bishop eddie long was recently sued by four male plaintiffs for various coercive charges, most notably sexual abuse. long presides over the new birth missionary baptist church, the largest church in georgia, with 25,000 members & host to former u.s. presidents carter, bush & clinton.

the first two plaintiffs, maurice flagg & anthony robinson, claim long used his position as spiritual counselor & leader to take the young men, aged 17 & 18 respectively at the time of the alleged abuse, on trips out of state & perform sexual acts with them. robinson & flagg are now 20 & 21 years old. prominent atlanta attorney b.j. bernstein, who represents three of the plaintiffs, described long's relationship with the boys as odd.

bernstein says, "it was essentially a marriage ceremony where there were candles, an exchange of jewelry & biblical quotes given." another plaintiff, jamal parris, detailed how long allegedly gave him his personal cell number just two weeks after the two had met & claims long encouraged him (parris) to call him (long) 'daddy.'

parris said he joined new birth in 2001 & later became long's personal assistant. he claims long would ask him to remain in his private office after church where long engaged him in sexual misconduct. parris eventually left the church & found out from other young male church members they too had sexual contact with long.

eddie legrande, father of spencer legrande, a plaintiff from north carolina, told the journal constitution he witnessed long take on the role of father to his (then) teen aged son. legrande also saw the gifts lavished upon his son. said legrande, "he would call him dad in front of me...i'm very hurt about it...if the accusations are true, i think he should be banned from his church...i think he should do jail time & pay the victims for the hurt...he should be used as an example."

after several days of silence in the midst of these shocking allegations, long addressed his loyal congregation by neither confirming nor denying the charges. reading from an ipad, long said, "there have been allegations & attacks on me. i have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. but i am not the man that's being portrayed on the television. that is not me." long was interrupted by thunderous applause from supporters, many of whom arrived two hours early for the sunday service.

long went on to compare himself to the biblical tale of david fighting the giant. the bishop said, "please hear this. i've been accused. i'm under attack. i want you to know as i said earlier i am not a perfect man. but this thing i'm going to fight. i feel like david against goliath, but i've got the rocks & i haven't thrown one yet."

in a brief statement to the press, long stated, "on the advice of counsel, i am not going to address the allegations & attacks against me, again, as i stated earlier, i want this to be dealt with in a court of justice & not in the court of public opinion."

some young male supporters wore 'i support eddie long' t-shirts...

the suits allege long, one of the most powerful pastors in america, used church funds to give the young males cars, cash & gifts. new birth missionary baptist church is also named as a defendant. civil rights leader & former naacp chairman julian bond called long a "raving homophobe," saying if the allegations are true, "it will be a sad victory for gay rights."

long is the spiritual mentor of rev. bernice king, youngest daughter of coretta scott king & rev. dr. martin luther king, jr & new chair of the southern christian leadership conference. bond refused to attend the june 2006 funeral of coretta scott king - held at the mega-church, where bernice is a pastor. said bond, "i knew her attitude towards gay & lesbian rights...i just couldn't imagine that she'd want to be in that church with a raving homophobe & i couldn't see myself in that church either."

bond, an avid & longtime supporter of lgbt rights continued, "it's just sort of typical of people who are raving homophobes who are secretly homosexual & who are homophobes because they are filled with so much self-loathing & self-hate that they've got to let it come out in some way & it comes out in homophobia." long's virulent anti-gay attitudes are well-known, as are those of rev. bernice king.

1 comment:

Joy777 said...

I have to say. I've never heard of preacher Long. But then again, I don't know about pontiffs, unless they have gone to the church I used to attend. But I have worked closely (or as close as I'll ever get) with pastors & the church to see the super self-righteousness as well as humanness to comment on this issue.

This kind of behaviour is what happens when we put pontiffs on a pedastal. Not talking about homosexuality, but doing whatever they want & thinking that it's ok or that they can get away with it. A pastor once asked us (the congregation), 'What can an 800 lb. gorilla do? Anything it wants, & GOD is that 800 lb. gorilla!!!'
Some pastors think they're that 1000 lb. gorilla, which is why we get EGO GIANTS!!!
We have to treat them like they're human, not GOD. They don't like that, you know! LOL!!! We have to realize that we ALL are instruments of GOD...from the bum to the bishop...and I say we, in the spirit of equality.

When they get power from people's attention & admiration, they turn into super ego-monsters; devouring peoples's idea of GOD. They tend to feel GOD like; thinking they can get away with anything including practicing homosexual acts with minors & then preaching against homosexuality! And no one finding out!! So pitiful!!!

We would think that the congregataion would be the ones so fooled by these antics, but he is the one that is truly fooled, thinking that whatever is done in the dark won't come to light.

Now, JESUS CHRIST is about forgiveness - I wonder if the congregation would forgive him when they find out that he IS gay. AND has taken advantage of young men, spiriturally & emotionally, something that could & would affect them for life? I say spiritually, because we have a tendency, as humans, to connect institutions to GOD. Thinking that church is the only way to GOD - when JESUS barely was in holy dwellings himself. HE did HIS teaching in the streets, HIS praying on mountaintops, & with others. Went to the people who were shamed by the people & ashamed of themselves & fed them love,understanding & truth.

But I digress, I wonder if they've learnt anything in church & are going to treat Long the way JESUS would have treated the condemned. Forgiving, loving, & understading. But of course, this church, which 'houses' thousands, has taught hate, misunderstanding, & confusion.

I pray that Long doesn't get what he gave out -- that homosexual-HATE...

I guess this is what they call spitting in the wind...