Bishop Long Deserves a Fair Hearing but

By James Causey
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 24, 2010

Bishop Eddie Long, who runs a Atlanta megachurch that has hosted the likes of former Presidents Bush and Clinton and many celebrities is accused of coercing three young men into sex.

Long is one of the most powerful men in the black megachurch movement and he lead a march in Atlanta against homosexuality. Now he must defend himself against civil charges that he took sexual advantage of young men from his flock.

Now he deserves a fair hearing, but why would Long (pictured above) send a picture of himself in a black cut-off Speedo outfit to one of the victims?

Long often calls himself the “spiritual daddy” to young black men in search of salvation. Some critics say through Long’s church he has helped to perpetuate homophobia and this comes at a time when HIV/AIDS is killing young, black men who sleep with men at alarming rates across this country.

In Milwaukee, 40% of young, bisexual men are HIV positive. The numbers are so alarming that the federal government sent health officials to the city late last year to find out why the numbers are so high.

Black churches for the most part have been mum on the issue and many black megachurches across the country appear to be anti-homosexual. Black gay and bisexual men are often forced to hide the fact that they are gay just for some kind of acceptance.

I get it, there are still some people who view gay men as "unmanly" or "weak." It’s sad that this society still hold this view. In the black community from my personal experience it seems like blacks take a different view on homosexuality only after a family member comes up.

Regardless of how the situation turns out with Long, I hope that this can spur more conversation about homosexuality. The black churches play a crucial role in curbing the spread of HIV/AIDS in the community. Pretending that it’s not there will not make it go away.

Maybe the Long case will bring more of these issues to light. Thoughts?


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