Bishop Eddie Long likes to wear his muscle shirts to church, talk about the proper place for sperm and see dirty men. Is it any wonder some anti-gay pastors took to the State Capitol on Sunday to call for his head?
Long continues to lead New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia amidst a sex scandal that’s engulfed him and the 25,000-member church. Four men sued Long, accusing the anti-gay megachurch pastor of coercing them into sexual relationships. And not particularly sex light, according to the legal documents.
For his part, Long defiantly defends himself but stops short of calling the accusations false. And he continues preaching, seemingly taunting his detractors by wearing muscle shirts while he does so. The same sort of shirts seen in bathroom-posing photos he’s apparently sent to some of the men suing him.
John Blake from CNN, which broke the story about the first lawsuit against Long in late September, took some time to dig into his words – the anti-gay, anti-woman ones that make him such a hit. It’s a fascinating look in light of the gay sex allegations lodged against Long.
He’s preaching about the Bible, the role of a preacher, and “fresh sperm.”
“The word of God is potent. The word of God is His sperm,” Long thunders. “The job of the preacher is to bring fresh sperm and when he speaks it, the womb—the church—is to take it in and say, ‘Sho’ you’re right.’ “
The video of that sermon, delivered during the early days of Long’s ministry in the 1990s, has gone viral. And now it is being discussed in the context of four lawsuits that claim the 57-year-old Long used his spiritual authority to coerce four young men into sexual relationships with him.
OK, eww – even before the lawsuits alleging homosex.
There’s also this anti-gay nugget from Long:
Take Long’s opposition to homosexuality. It’s been a part of his message for years. In his 1998 book, “I Don’t Want Delilah, I Need You!” he wrote that “The Bible has no provision for two people of the same sex to be married.”
“Two people of the same sex cannot reproduce in the physical natural realm, which is an outward manifestation of their inability to produce the fruit of righteousness in the spirit realm.”
Probably means Long won’t be asking Jamal Parris, 23, Anthony Flagg, 21, and Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, and Spencer LeGrande, 22, on any trips to the five states (Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont) and Washington, D.C. where gays can legally marry. Just to New Zealand and other far-flung locales so he can continue kanoodling them.
And this one, where Long says the devil makes the gays do it. Maybe that’s a hint about where Long’s been spending his time.
“Neither does God make a person to be a homosexual. Look at yourself naked in a mirror and see what God gave you. That’s who you are in God’s creation. Your parents ... or someone else may have influenced you to engage in sexual behavior that was not godly, but God did not ordain that behavior for you.”
Long says it’s the fault of you uppity, NOW-inspired women – read: lesbians—that make some men gay. Of course it is!
Long’s explanation for why some men are gay, though, may appear puzzling.
He put some of the blame on women, in “I Don’t Want Delilah, I Need You!”
“In a society, where little boys are exposed to grubby, cursing, dirty, cigarette-smoking road construction worker women, is it any wonder they stop chasing women and start chasing men?”
And finally this from our favorite megadaddy:
“Men can look attractive when they’re dirty,” he wrote in “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.’ But women were not made from the earth. God made women to be lovely, gentle, clean and beautiful on the inside and outside. They are to be strong in character.”
That would make the Village People proud.
All that said, it’s really no surprise that some other preachers – chiefly, one Bishop H. “Prophet” Walker from True Light Pentecost Church in South Carolina – would call for Long’s ouster. Walker and about 75 people from his clan did so on the steps of the Georgia Capitol on Sunday.
Right on, you might say. Oust the sleazy megachurch pastor and his orange muscle shirts. We might be so inclined to agree, if all you did was read the account of the protest from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. They whitewashed it, not getting near the anti-gay venom that some of the six speakers at the protest tossed around like it was a rally for the National Organization for Marriage.
Fortunately, the GA Voice picked up on it, pointed to a video from WSB (below) to prove it and called a bigot a bigot. That’s for you, Reuben Armstrong and Peter LaBarbera.
Armstrong, just to bolster his hate creds, also tied Long’s alleged gay affairs to HIV and asked the judge overseeing the civil lawsuits to order Long to undergo tests for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.