Today, (Sunday) I got up very early and watched the service online from Los Angeles for Atlanta’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. I had to see the face of Eddie Long as he addressed the congregation and the media as more charges are coming forward alleging inappropriate sexual contact with several young men in his Longfellow Program.
The first thing I noticed was a young man announcing the great things New Birth has done to help HIV in their mission to eradicate it… IN AFRICA. In case New Birth Missionary has not noticed… there is a problem here in the United States. Anyone who has knowledge of the impact that HIV has had on the African American community knows that the black church was the LAST organization to come on board to help educate and save lives. This goes without saying many organizations made monetary contributions to the black church to address the issue but the job was not done. Many black churches came on board as late as 25 years AFTER the disease was given a name in this country. New Birth is no different and as with most black churches in this country the devastation was simply ignored because it was relegated to be a gay disease, a lifestyle that the black church has taken a hardcore stance against including Eddie Long which is why this entire situation is almost, with the exception of pain caused to those young men, comical. Unfortunately, in the black community the disease, while affecting the gay community has also affected hundreds of thousand s of women, teenagers and babies as well.. who because of the black church’s refusal to address the issue were relegated as minuscule casualties of someone else’s war. While the black church was not responsible for HIV, the influence the church has had on the black community certainly made it a likely cand idate to at least address the issue.
Eddie Long doing an HIV mission in Africa is not impressive and the effort is an obvious last minute marketing tool at the beginning of this extremely important sermon this morning to thwart his well-documented discrimination against, NOT the gay community, but a disease that has affected the gay community. We have more than enough problems in the states to be concerned with Africa. Great try nonetheless.
In doing a bit of research, the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta relegates Eddie Long as some type of hero in the fight against HIV, is that some type of joke?
Midway through the singing on this mornings’ service, Eddie Long steps into the church with his wig on (what in the hell was he thinking?) and the crowd, as expected, is roaring with support for their great one and their leader. He has his wife in tow holding her hand yet seeming distanced from her. He leads her back to a seat like a rag doll and she looks weary and extremely stressed. This is HIS stage and it’s time for her to go. Eddie milks the attention, taking long pauses as if he’s going to speak but using the time to allow the crowd to roar at his self-perceived greatness emulating some kind of rock star. He is trying to soak it up like a sponge but he realizes he is being watched by the WORLD and in this instance less pomp is less necessary and it’s time to face the circumstance.
Long’s arrogance goes on for at least 2 and a half minutes when out of nowhere this Wizard of Oz music plays in the background as he walks back and forth across the stage. Church members are mesmerized by him. Some stand ing and some waiting for all the BS to end so they can go to Mrs. Winners and get their extra buttery bacon, egg and cheese bisquits. He says “Good Morning” to the church and “Good Morning to all our other guest.” Then he goes on to say “Good Morning to the World.” He states “many are waiting on me to say something” then he laughs. Is this situation in the least bit funny? He is making light of the situation but catches himself. He thanks the pastors and ministers who have come to the service.
He tells the church that he wants to help them to deal with painful and difficult situations as if he is able to do that at this point of the scand al. He talks about pain caused by situations. Including Tsunamis, Earthquakes and Hurricanes. I’m trying to understand what a Hurricane has to do with alleged sexually inappropriate behaviors. He goes on and on and on but he makes ONE great point when talking about pain… The pain of loving someone who doesn’t love you back. That can be interpreted in many ways but it depends on who it is and what kind of “love” it is.
Then he talks about the president and how this scand al can’t interfere with us voting.. WHAT? Obama’s presidency has NOTHING to do with this situation and I’m willing to bet Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh are already working on angles to do their shows next week with more attacks on the president (laugh). His arrogance remains in the front seat again as he makes a grave mistake by saying the visitors can come down to the alter to seek God when he is done with his speech. It’s as if he actually thinks he’s above mankind. I don’t get it.
He finally states that he is going to fight the allegations and quickly grabs his wife like a piece of raggedy luggage and scurries off stage like a mouse in the kitchen when someone turns on the light. The crowd is dumbfounded with a look of “Where did he go?” as the choir takes a bit too long for their cue to start signing. I turn off the broadcast. While he did not flat out deny the charges he stated “The person that you have seen in the press is not me.” As more boys join in on the lawsuit, as many as 30, some with very similar stories who don’t even know each other, Eddie has one HUGE battle ahead of him. As this is not the first time this has happened in the church it’s the first time it has happened like this in the black church. Best believe we will keep our eyes and keyboard strokes on this one.