You’ve all heard this one already, so I’m not going to tread over ground that’s already been flown around the world, massaged, and molested. But the facts are the facts (at least the facts that are being reported): Eddie Long, Pastor of the Atlanta-based mega-church, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, has been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple teenage boys. The charges imply that Long coerced the young boys into sexual relationships, and…this is where I just add, yadda yadda yadda, because what more is there to say? Then I say, “Of course, these are simply allegations, and Justice is Blind, and ants can’t carry celery, and stuff,” which is meant to pacify you into believing that I haven’t already prejudged the pervert.
If it didn’t work, then maybe you should eat more celery.
There are many issues at play here, not the least of which is the idea that a professed man of God, who has marched against homosexuality, is accused of homosexual acts with underage boys. I can’t gloss that one over. There’s also the fact that we have, in Pastor Eddie Long, a man who has accumulated vast amounts of wealth, and assets, from people who are offering their very wallet’s end, simply to give unto the God they believe in. This man, who has been quoted as saying, “You’ve got to put me on a different scale than the little black preacher sitting over there that’s supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering,” has bilked these people of their meager earnings, and has done so with a sense of purpose and divine right that even the one he supposedly speaks on behalf of–that Jesus fella–did not.
Jesus wore sandals. Just sayin’.
Eddie Long also offered up a quote that completely justified Anointed, for which I am eternally grateful. Behold:
“We’re not just a church, we’re an international corporation.”
Ah…it just smells like redemption. I may have missed the boat. The Christ Corporation should have replaced Timmy Christ with a handsy black preacher-man. Oh, well. There’s more writing yet to be had.
But, for me, the real issue is that Bishop Pastor Molester Man Eddie Long has now–whether guilty or not–joined the long line of evangelists, who preach, and thrive financially from, the supposed Word of God that they cannot possibly, or are not capable of, believing in themselves. And in doing so, he has further alienated Christianity from those who are either agnostic, atheist, or simply wavering in between. Yes, I’ve heard countless times already that he is but one voice amongst millions. But he is one very prominent, and visible, one. Much like Falwell, or Graham, or Hagee, or Mr. Toothy Shine, Joel O’steen. He is the Tom Brady, the Barry Bonds, the Kobe Bryant, or any member of Congress, of Christianity. He is to be held at a higher standard, whether he–or you–likes it or not. Such is our culture. And when you have something as virulent as religion, especially one that loves to jam itself into your personal space in order to share a message you might not have even asked for, you get emotional reactions that ultimately define lives.
We look to those who have succeeded, as possible glimpses of what we can be. Likewise, we also look at those who have succeeded, where we believe they should not have, and scrutinize their acts, analyze their words, and fill the webber-nuts up with blogs, updates, and posts about how much we disagree with them. This is natural. This is human. And this is what Eddie Long, and his misbehaving band of Christians, has done: He is the nail in coffin for many, many, people who were on the fence about Prince Jeebus. He has removed any desire that they might have had to possibly give Christianity a chance. If they were in the back seat of the car, listening to the debate up front, they opened the door and jumped. Is this right? Is this fair to the entirety of a religion? Well, hell no, but it’s reality. Unfair stuff happens all the time. I think that might have been omitted from the Bible, but I’m sure God would like you to know. Shit happens, and we have to deal with it.
Christianity has to deal with this. I don’t. It just gives me more to write about. And what Christians around the world should take from this simple statement, is this: Back off. Let people find their way. Let go of the notion that you are some holy crusade to bring people to God (and it’s important to note that the word, ‘crusade,’ has some links to The Crusades that you might want to be familiar with). And for God’s sake–no really, He’s getting a little miffed–quit giving life to mega-church evangelical poopyheads (that was for you B). You want people to respect you as a faith, and look to you for guidance, and perhaps even walk alongside you? Then don’t feed the pandas. They will eat you.
I remember watching this movie and thinking, “This is why religion sucks.” The video’s a little wonky at first, but evens out. For some reason, I can’t seem to find a better one. Hmmmmm.