‘Pastor’ Eddie Long: Pulpit Pimping, Abuse of Power & Muscle Shirts

Remember Ted Haggard? The anti-gay evangelical preacher who turned out to be as gay as Ricky Martin’s boyfriend. We all remember that his deck of cards came tumbling down so fast he had nowhere to land except in the arms of the second gay man he was accused of sleeping with after the first story broke. The following opinion piece is slightly different, but the concept of being accused of abusing ones power and privilege in the name of the Lord is all the same.

Three lawsuits have been filed against Atlanta’s slickest pimp, Pastor Eddie Long, of the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church out of Lithonia, Georgia. In the lawsuits, the young men claim that he showered them with gifts in the form of cars, clothes, jewelry, electronics, money, and housing. The accusers allege that the gifts were given in exchange of sexual favors. They were made to feel special due to Long’s celebrity status not only in Atlanta, but throughout the country. Maurice Robinson and Anthony Flagg say Long began having inappropriate relations with them when they were 16, the legal age of consent in Atlanta.

The allegations come on the heels of a separate incident involving one of the young men, Maurice Robinson, 20, who along with another man, Anthony Boyd, 19, broke into Eddie Long’s office and stole personal items, electronics, and jewelry totaling around $1300. The master key was taken from a desk drawer, and returned the next day. The men were caught on surveillance camera entering and leaving Long’s office.

Robinson’s attorney claims that he [Robinson] lashed out after he learned Pastor Long was carrying on relationships with other young men in his congregation whom he called his “Spiritual Sons”. According to the third lawsuit filed in DeKalb County, Long had intimate contact with Jamal Parris, who was 14 years old at the time, and considered him one of his favored “Spiritual Sons.” The suit alleges that Long lavished gifts on a small group of young male parishioners who’d entered into a “covenant” with the pastor. Because the age of consent is 16 in Atlanta, long is not being sued criminally, the suits are civil in nature. He is patently accused of using his spiritual position and biblical scripture to justify the alleged sexual encounters with the young men.

Although Pastor Long’s reputation has taken a major hit amidst the allegations, it may be difficult for his accusers to prove their case in civil court. These types of cases tend to end up, not in court, but in financial settlements whose terms are agreed upon by the affected parties. This is usually due to the publicity surrounding high profile cases of this nature, and the defendant wanting to do everything in his power to rid himself of the scrutiny that surfaces.

It’s safe to assume that at least one of the plaintiffs, Maurice Robinson, will face issues relating directly to his credibility if the case ever goes to trial.

Long’s relationship with Parris, who has no connection to the June office robbery, began in 2004, when Parris turned 17 and began working at New Birth as Long’s personal assistant. He traveled all over the country with the pastor, whom allegedly encouraged all of the young men to call him “Daddy” and to consider him their “Spiritual Father.” Parris eventually began a relationship with a woman, and ultimately left the church. He currently resides in Colorado. The suit accuses Eddie Long of coercion, negligence and fraud, and the plaintiffs seek unspecified damages.

CNN recounts the lawsuit’s most damning allegations:

“Defendant Long has a pattern and practice of singling out a select group of young male church members and using his authority as Bishop over them to ultimately bring them to a point of engaging in a sexual relationship,” the suits allege.

The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, Flagg’s suit alleges.

“Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact,” the suit says.

Long took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 18th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson’s suit alleges.

“Following the New Zealand Trip, Defendant Long regularly engaged in sexual touching, and other sexual acts with Plaintiff Robinson,” Robinson’s suit alleges.

Long spokesman Art Franklin said Tuesday that “we categorically deny the allegations.”

“It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action,” he said. “Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit.”

Before I step on my soap box, I’m gonna go ahead and give a shout out to Ghostface who said it best regarding Pulpit Pimps,

“Oooh! Rev. ain’t right, his church ain’t right
Deacon is a pimp, tell by his eyes
Mrs. Parks said, “Brother Starks, meet you at the numbers spot
Heard you got red tops out, and I want a lot”
Shirley fainted dead on the spot
Two ushers slipped eighty dollars right out the pot
Oh shit!”

Now there’s no denying the fact that Atlanta is a diverse city with a large black gay population. Pastor Ironic that a city with such a large black gay population would also host a mega church with a large black anti-gay population, headed by none other than Eddie Long. He is, incidentally, a self-appointed “Bishop” and described by the Southern Poverty Law Center as “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.”

Famous Eddie Long Quotes:

“Men can look attractive when they are dirty,” writes Bishop Eddie Long in his 1997 book I Don’t Want

Delilah, I Need You!

“We see sweating, dirty, hardworking men on television all the time and we say to one another, ‘There’s a macho guy.'”

The Down Low shyster had this to say about lesbians:

“It is the most unattractive thing I have ever seen, when I see women wearing uniforms that men would wear, and women fighting to get in the military!” Long shouted to his congregation then. “The woman gets perverted to turn towards woman … and everybody knows it’s dangerous to enter an exit!

And everybody knows, lady, if you go to the store and buy these devices [marital aids], it’s Memorex! It ain’t real!”

The audience, seated in a congested sanctuary, erupts in laughter. But what Long says next is no joke.

“God says you deserve death!” And if they don’t change, he warns, they’re going straight to hell.

“Homosexuality and lesbianism are spiritual abortions,” Long says. “Homosexuality is a manifestation of the fallen man.”

– Pastor Eddie Long

Says the man who doesn’t think twice about comparing scripture with sexual intercourse. Queue video: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qg2cg25jQyI&feature=player_embedded[/youtube]

Furthermore, if you found these kind of pictures on your 16-18 year old SON’S phone what would you do, what would you think? Be honest.

For years, this anti-gay homophobe has judged the lifestyle of gay men and women, and in the process subjugated countless young men and women to the point of emotional and physical harm via the scrutiny coming from a host of hypocritical minor and major league Black Churches. They tend to have pastors that preach contradictory creeds such as “love the sinner, but hate the sin.” Perhaps it is that poetic justice doesn’t get any more literal than this.

Quoting bible passages will not stop one from being sued when dark deeds come to light. So why then are there still individuals within the black church who place more emphasis on the financial well being of their pastors and churches than their own family and personal growth. They depend on their pastor more than they depend on themselves. They’re more concerned with paying that 10% tithe than with paying their light bill. What these sheep fail to ascertain is that a pastor cannot sell them a spot into heaven. This isn’t politics. Access to God does not require a third-party, a pastor or preacher or minister or self-appointed Bishop or priest or anyone who is not YOU. Mega churches like this are not apart of any solution to the troubles found within the black community or any community for that matter. Mega churches are in the business of making money, and sustaining PERSONAL wealth. Wake up people.

Anytime your pastor is driving to church in a $300,000 BENTLEY y’all, there is something seriously wrong. How do you look bling-blinging from the pulpit?

I remember the day that Coretta Scott King was laid to rest. It was a sad day for Americans, and even more so, for gays and lesbians. We lost one of our strongest and greatest allies. Her views on LGBT rights were well known, at least within the gay and lesbian community. She was a proponent, a supporter of equal rights, and even went so far as to declare, “Gay and lesbian people have families, and their families should have legal protection, whether by marriage or civil union. A constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriages is a form of gay bashing, and it would do nothing at all to protect traditional marriages.”

She also said, “Homophobia is like racism and anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry in that it seeks to dehumanize a large group of people, to deny their humanity, their dignity and personhood. This sets the stage for further repression and violence that spread all too easily to victimize the next minority group.”

So you can understand why I found it completely disrespectful that Eddie Long’s Church was chosen as Mrs. King’s final resting place. Coretta Scott King believed in gay rights, Pastor Eddie Long believes gays deserve death.

Mrs. King died with a message of peace and acceptance, yet bigotry is alive and well and that, for me, is the saddest scandal of all.

Mark 10:25 ‘It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.’

I leave you with this scathing, but fitting tribute to Pastor Eddie Long, et al.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MBwlR0wrhkw&feature=player_embedded [/youtube]

Nope, you still can’t pray away the gay.




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