Five days, four lawsuits and two i-Phone pics later, Bishop Eddie Long finally addressed accusations that he coerced four young men to have sexual relationships with him while lavishing them with cars, clothes and cash. Of course his speech (or sermon if you like) had all the necessary ingredients for a classic non-denial denial.
Neither confirming or outright denying the charges levied against you? Check. Trotting out the supportive wife and kids? Check. Twisting the case into a biblical battle, in which you simultaneously compare yourself to one of the holy book's heroes and label your accusers villians out to destroy the ministry? Check. All the while accepting thunderous applause, according to The New York Times:
Addressing a New Birth Missionary Baptist Church sanctuary packed with thousands, Bishop Eddie Long neither discussed specifics of the lawsuits filed against him nor flatly denied the accusations. But he drew thunderous applause when he addressed his flock publicly for the first time since the first lawsuits were filed several days ago.
"There have been allegations and attacks made on me. I have never in my life portrayed myself as a perfect man. But I am not the man that's being portrayed on the television. That's not me. That is not me," he said as applause interrupted him during the first of two services Sunday morning.
Long's final remarks during the service invoked the biblical story of the small David doing battle with the gargantuan Goliath.
"I've been accused; I'm under attack. I want you to know, as I said earlier, I am not a perfect man," he said, briefly pausing for effect. "But this thing I'm going to fight. I want you to know one other thing, I feel like David against Goliath. But I got five rocks, and I haven't thrown one yet."
And church folks ate it all up like the Sunday afternoon all-you-can eat buffet at Ryan's. Rod 2.0 pretty much sums up my thoughts about the whole spectacle.
"On a personal note, it was totally expected and sadly disappointing to watch thousands of churchgoers applaud a man accused of using their church tithes to buy cars and give cash to teenage boys. Apparently, there is no rush to seek the truth, only a rush to convince themselves that they haven't been lead by a hypocrite. Good luck with that."
Good luck indeed!
Watch the whole thing below:
And in case this predictable response has got you feeling down, here's little snippet from the good bishop speaking on preacher's and "God's sperm," courtesy of Son Of Baldwin. Watch below: