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.
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