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Could Eddie Long be the next Eric Massa?

The sex scandal that has engulfed Bishop Eddie Long and his African American megachurch, New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, is troubling on so many levels. Gene Robinson's column today touches on the cauldron of conflicts: homosexuality and the black community, the canard that the entourage- and Bentley-loving Long is David versus the Goliath of four young men in his congregation who have filed sexual allegations against him, and the potential that Long hasn't come to terms with who might be. It's that last point has my attention.

The more I read about this case, especially after seeing the pictures Long allegedly sent to young men, the more I think about the strange and sad case of Eric Massa. He is the former New York congressman who resigned abruptly earlier this year after allegations of sexual misconduct involving male staffers came to light. The nation had a great time laughing at Massa as his bizarre attempts to explain his behavior only dug his hole deeper. A 50-something-year-old man getting into tickle fights with young men from his office? Seriously?!

bishop-eddie-long-pictures1.jpg

And that "seriously?!" popped into my head when I saw the two pictures now everywhere on the Internet apparently of Long, now 57, clad in tight-fitting clothing taking pictures of himself in a bathroom mirror. Long's accusers say he sent them such photos when they were 17 or 18. The other details in the case -- the trips, the gifts, the creepy "covenant" ceremony -- demand to be addressed. So far, Long hasn't done so. All the man whose anti-gay views are widely known has said is, "I am not the man that's being portrayed on television. That's not me. That is not me."

Long appears to be smarter and more sophisticated than Massa. After all, he took a 300-person congregation and turned it into a 25,000-member religious and political powerhouse in Atlanta. I thought it was rather smart of him when he told his congregation on Sunday that he was going to fight not in the court of public opinion but in a court of law. But that's only delaying the inevitable. Long will have to explain his alleged actions. If he's not the man we see on television then he's going to have to tell us who he is. And it will have to pass the laugh test. But that might not even stop his sad Massa-esque slide. The ground upon which Long stands, both personally and professionally, is crumbling.

By  | September 28, 2010; 8:40 AM ET
Categories:  Capehart  
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Comments

A picture speaks a thousand words. Let's hope the Reverend comes clean.

Posted by: hugmekatie | September 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

I'm not understanding the photo. Isn't that the kind of thing people do when they're in love, or think they're in love, or at least sexually attracted to someone they consider an equal? Why would he be sending these photos to teenagers who are under his influence? Weird, creepy, and any other word that means the exact same thing.

Posted by: forgetthis | September 28, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Excellent article. Absolutely excellent. Thank you.

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | September 28, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Read the Book "Crooks and Homos in the Pulpit" www.reubenarmstrongshow.com

Exposes Bishop Eddie Long and his Homosexual life.. www.reubenarmstrongshow.com

Posted by: reubenshow | September 28, 2010 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Long's alleged dalliances have no impact on his ability to perform his work. They should therefore not be published any more than the sex lives Elena Kagan or John Roberts should be publicly scrutinized.

We can't have one standard for Supreme Court Justices and another standard for everyone else.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 28, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Blasmaic: Are you nuts?

This guy is supposedly a minister who preaches against the practice of homosexuality and yet you say his sex life is his own business???

First, he's a hypocrite.

Second, he's abusing his own young parishoners.

Third, he's committing the sin of adultery, a minister who should be a model of Christian ethics to his parishoners.

Posted by: Afraid4USA | September 28, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse


EDDIE LONG NEEDS TO STEP DOWN AND STOP THE STONEWALLING

Based on what we already know as of 09/28/2010 -- Eddie Long, a married man with four children, sent from his private hotel bathroom -- pictures of himself in a tight and sexually suggestive Spandex body suit to at least one of the alleged victims. Now, one has to ask -- why would a married man with four kids send sexually suggestive poses of himself to young men? MRS. LONG -- DO YOU KNOW WHO MAY HAVE BEEN SLEEPING WITH YOUR HUSBAND? The problem with this whole sordid mess is that we have seen this movie before. A big-time evangelist crusades against Gays and we find that he has a secret -- he is Gay.

The problem with Eddie Long's defense of himself is that he has yet to come out personally and state emphatically on the record that he DID NOT COMMIT THESE SEXUAL ACTS. He had a chance to do that on several occasions -- but has chosen to hide behind his powerful position and attorneys. Eddie Long knew of this story's negative potential well over two weeks ago, but waited until it hit the Internet and airwaves -- and still he has said nothing other than hide behind a lawyer's statement and Church paid spokespersons.

Mr. Long, please be careful when you tell your attorneys to let the people know that your accusers are trying to extort you out of money or this is nothing more than a shakedown. For someone who is on the record as to performing weekly entertainment stunts to entice people to throw money at your feet is a little bit over the top. According to a CNN Report in 2005 -- your foundation which your Church created, paid you over $3 million in compensation; while at the same time you and your family are receiving additional millions in stipends, financial investment compensations, and property investments in the US and overseas. But the majority of the 25,000 members have to struggle to pay their mortgage or go into foreclosure because they were led to believe the LIE EDDIE LONG CONTINUES TO POSTULATE THAT GOD WANTS THEM TO GIVE MONEY TO HIM IN ORDER FOR THEM TO PROSPER. Sounds like something P.T. Barnum invented.

The New Birth Church Board of Directors/Advisory Board, whose members include Dekalb County Sheriff, Thomas Brown, who by the way refuses to recue himself from the case because of an obvious CONFLICT OF INTEREST, gave Eddie Long additional travel and miscellaneous expense accounts which the members of New Birth Baptist Church are not even aware of. Eddie Long and the The Board are operating a RELIGIOUS PONZI SCHEME - pure and simple.

Eddie Long needs to TRULY EXPRESS GODLY REPENTENCE openly before his congregation and CONFESS HIS SINS in specific detail as the Bible clearly tells us to do. Eddie Long, You Are Not Above or Equal to Jesus Christ. You have no problem telling other people to REPENT -- but your PRIDE and ARROGANCE refuses to allow you to HUMBLE yourself and truly practice what the Bible REALLY teaches about REPENTENCE.

Posted by: djoh1226 | September 28, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

I have visited New Birth/have family and friends who attend. New Birth keeps its finances in order, as does Eddie Long who has gleaned prosperity from his own creativity/business. I have seen this church body and Eddie Long give and give to those in need. The church is doing a good work and has helped thousands with jobs, counseling, funds, cars, housing, support and teaching. If Eddie Long has abused/molested anyone he should step down and prayerfully there will be a minister appointed by God to continue to help so many as the church body is doing and has done in the past.
May any of us help just one tenth of what New Birth has helped. Keep your facts straight and stop making accusations for sensationalism!

Posted by: ThankfulfortheUnitedStates | September 28, 2010 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I greatly enjoyed this article...I agree with everything that was presented.

Posted by: fairness3 | September 28, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

great article

Posted by: fairness3 | September 28, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Are you looking to file for bankruptcy? Compare your bankruptcy options and information http://bit.ly/avB0jI

Posted by: brayden29 | September 29, 2010 5:04 AM | Report abuse

Good thing they have a reparative therapy group at this church for those struggling with gender confusion and unwanted same-sex attraction issues. Maybe the Bishop can finally get the help he so desparately needs at his own church...

Posted by: Phil6 | September 29, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Eddie Long does not HAVE to give any public statement. Furthermore, public statements really don't carry much weight at all. Those who believe one way will believe that way regardless. Michael Jackson is proof of that. What is true about this whole ordeal is Eddie Long's personal life, family, and ministry is suffering and will suffer for a very long time. I do have an issue with the portrayal of the alleged victims as being some innocent, young, naive teenagers; who were COAXED into bending over or lying down for another man to exercise control over their manhood.

Look man, at 17 and 18 yrs old, no one can just do this to you unless you leaned to the direction of being gay. That being said, why retaliate against your gay partner? Is it because each of them thought they were the special one? Is it because one was given a better gift than the other? was it because they collectively thought to cash in at a greater level? What is it? What was it?

If these young men had said they were forced against their will or was raped; there are plenty of people who would have laid hands on Eddie Long (not for prayer either). If they were emotioanally challenged and he took advantage of that; same thing! A serious laying on of hands!

Being Gay is not the issue. Being Black and Gay is not the issue. Being a black gay pastor is not the issue. Certainly it is a moral conflict that gravely affects the religious community. As some would put it: It is a shame before God! However, I think we should really pay very close attention to the so-called alleged victims as well.

Now for my personal feelings. I remember in a Rhema conference in Dallas, Tx where Eddie Long was speaking. He said: "God has an indictment against the church because a devil called you and nearly two million people responded. Most of you were from the church." Referring to Minister Farrakhan and the Million Man March. Certainly Minister Farrakhan is not above reproach or criticism; but I doubt very seriously if he would be charged with what you're facing.

Posted by: imadmuhammad | September 29, 2010 10:12 AM | Report abuse

The reverend is a fag

here is a pic of me, i hope i can have your butt, you little boy. plz come visit me

HAHA!

Posted by: 01zero101 | September 29, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I must assume when the Bishop spoke about David and Goliath, he was referring to himself as Goliath. That is, of course, unless the four young men drive Beastly's and are heads of mega-churches themselves.

Posted by: friar1944 | September 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I must assume when the Bishop spoke about David and Goliath, he was referring to himself as Goliath. That is, of course, unless the four young men drive Bentley's and are heads of mega-churches themselves.

Posted by: friar1944 | September 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Wisdom says to keep one's tongue and refrain from speaking evil (blaming and condemning) another until the facts have been proven. It seems that online blogs continue to prove that many do not have any wisdom at all, and just want to run their mouth without consideration of the harm it can do to another. God has a system in place to deal with that, and it is called reaping what one has sown. Be smart, and learn some wisdom.

Posted by: ktown333 | September 29, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

Question...who took the pictures? How could Bishop Eddie Long take the photos of himself when you can see a large portion of his body and the hand holding the phone or camera?

Posted by: keemla | September 29, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

Long's conduct did not violate any laws and did not impact upon his ability to perform his work as Bishop. The details of his sex life are therefore not newsworthy.

The private sex lives of Associate Justice Elena Kagan and Chief Justice John Roberts are off limits for publication. So Long's should be too.

We cannot have one standard for Supreme Court jurists and another standard for everyone else.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 29, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

My kids belong to this chump's congregation, when my wife and i moved to Atlanta four years ago we went to his church at the urging of our daughters after that first sunday we never went back or should i say i never went back my wife continued to go until i told her that our checkbook was off limits to that clown,and that stopped that. Eddie Long is a hustler and a gay hustler at that, look i have nothing against ministers in fact Bishop Alfred E Owens of Greater Mt.Calvary in NE DC is one of the finest pastor's i know a man of integrity who has mentored many a young black man(in the right way). Eddie Long does himself a disservice along with his congregation and the right thing for him to do is to step down.

Posted by: dargregmag | September 29, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Blasmaic, please tell me you're kidding. First of all, he's a public figure. Secondly, according to I Timothy he's violated the qualifications of a bishop. Lastly, it is a breach of his fiduciary duty as a pastor to have sex with his members, let alone teenagers.

Posted by: larryhorse713 | September 29, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Bishop Long is a public figure? He's less of a public figure than Kagan and Roberts, and their sex lives are off-limits.

Long's "fiduciary" duty isn't a secular legal thing. No complainers are under age. No complainers are employees. No laws were violated. Long acted as the perfect sugar-daddy showing them with attention and gifts.

Long's actions have no impact on the performance of his duties. Just like Kagan and Roberts, his sex life is not newsworthy.

We cannot have one standard for Supreme Court jurists and another standard for everyone else.

Posted by: blasmaic | September 29, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

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