Why am I not surprised. According to CNN.com, prominent Atlanta pastor Bishop Eddie Long has been accused of by two young men of coercing them into having sex.
The pastor took one plaintiff, Anthony Flagg, 21, on overnight trips to a half-dozen American cities in recent years, Flagg's suit alleges. "Long shared a bedroom and engaged in intimate sexual contact with plaintiff Flagg including kissing, massaging, masturbating of plaintiff Flagg by defendant Long and oral sexual contact," the suit says.
Long took the other plaintiff, Maurice Murray Robinson, 20, to Auckland, New Zealand, in October 2008 for his 18th birthday and engaged in oral sex with him, Robinson's suit alleges. "Following the New Zealand Trip, Defendant Long regularly engaged in sexual touching, and other sexual acts with Plaintiff Robinson," Robinson's suit alleges.
Long spokesman Art Franklin said Tuesday that "we categorically deny the allegations.""It is very unfortunate that someone has taken this course of action," he said. "Our law firm will be able to respond once attorneys have had an opportunity to review the lawsuit."
Unfortunate is definitely the right word, especially since Long has built a reputation for being virulently anti-gay. In December 2004 he led a 25,000-strong march against gay rights and gay marriage according to Rod 2.0, and in 2007 he was named "one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.," by the Southern Poverty Law Center's magazine. The suit also alleges that Bishop Long framed his sexual relationship with the two young men in a spiritual context.
The suits allege that Long chose the plaintiffs to be his "Spiritual Sons," a program that allegedly includes other young men from the church.
Flagg moved into a home owned by another New Birth pastor when he was a high school junior, according to the suit, where Long would sometimes share a bed with him. Flagg was eventually put on the church's payroll, his suit alleges, with Long personally delivering his checks. Flagg's suit says that Long presided over a spiritual "covenant" ceremony between the two of them. "It was essentially a marriage ceremony, with candles, exchange of jewelry, and biblical quotes," Bernstein said Tuesday. "The bishop [told] him I will always have your back and you will always have mine."
Touching souls in more ways than one. How many times do church folks (i.e straight black folks and delusional queens) have to see this mess play out again and again before it sinks in that you can't pray the gay away? That no matter how many times you run to the alter after hooking up with some church queen on BGC, no matter how many times you top but don't bottom, no matter how many women you managed to slide up inside while secretly thinking of the head deacon, you will STILL BE GAY. Granted the case is in its early stages and the full story hasn't been revealed, but needless to say, shit is about to hit the fan.