Sunday, 26 September 2010

Thought Picnic: Me and Mr Long

Did he do it?

It could almost be mischievous if it was not true or it had the semblance of truth just as we are made to understand that there is no smoke without fire.

The countless children that had fun at Neverland Ranch which turned out to be either a lifetime experience of glee for some and a ruinous assault on the person of others left us reeling with incredulity.

The power of means to attract the young into the enclave of mentoring or support and then use that influence to procure sexual gratification still shocks beyond words.

In those cases, settlements were reached but nothing proven beyond reasonable doubt that the events our imaginations had carried well beyond the incredible really happened.

The accusations could die out but the truth might never materialise because beyond having confused the sexuality of the “victims”, their characters will be assailed to the point that they might become suicidal if they are not already so from their supposed ordeal.

Me and Mr Long

Me and Mr Long seems to be the chorus from four young men who were groomed, feted, lavished and kept by the pastor of a mega-church whose pulpit and activism against homosexuality is publicly strident, fundamentalist, intolerant and persuasive.

There might well be enough resources to make this all go away but it would not go away easy, if what they have stated did not happen it must make one wonder what act so despicable Bishop Eddie Long might have committed or abetted for these men to concoct these long tales.

On the balance of probability one might be swayed to point fingers but let us put that aside and deal with a more pertinent issue, the merciless, heartless and dispassionate assault on homosexuality from the pulpit.

In black churches there seems to be this idea that homosexuality is a white man’s thing, where black men appear to exhibit this “trait” it is viewed as an affront to masculinity which is most expressed with machismo and a lascivious heterosexual sexual appetite with overflowing testosterone apparently curtailed by religious instruction.

Accommodation and intolerance

Adultery and fornication even though abominations by fundamentalist appropriation find better expression and tolerance in the church than homosexuality could ever dare to dream of.

The mantra of loving the sinner and hating the sin usually gets conflated into hating the person and closing the doors to the church to them except where they subscribe to gruelling psychological-reorientation called counselling which is a kind of aversion therapy to make albeit homosexuals apparently heterosexual.

It creates another more complex person, a secret homosexual and a public heterosexual, someone on the down-low whose appetite for homosexual copulation is sated whilst pretending to be a devoted and committed husband with loving wife and kids.

One expression with another lifestyle

It is well for some to have nothing against homosexuals but to rail against their lifestyle when no one asks about a heterosexual having to live a heterosexual lifestyle – maybe Bishop Eddie Long knows seeing that the documents entered in court show he was about to use scripture to sow his wild oats in strange fields.

At the end, the advocacy against gay marriage is interesting because it is not gay marriage that affects the institution of marriage but the infidelity and untruthfulness of people in the traditional institution of marriage that undermines its foundations, principles and sacramental values – all that gay marriage is seeking is just the right for partners in those relationships to find significance in the face of the law.

The words of Bishop Long’s predecessor Reverend Kenneth L. Samuel are foreboding as they are insightful on this matter as he said, “Whether it’s true or not, the church has an issue of duplicity, hypocrisy and denial in terms of human sexuality that the church has to deal with. Unfortunately, I think Bishop Long is emblematic of a culture ... that causes pastors and parishioners to preach and testify one thing and practice something else.”

Me and Mr Long – the refrain

Bishop Eddie Long would no doubt fight this to the bitter end but I cannot help but hear the song ringing incessantly in my head.

Me and Mr Long
We got a thing going on
We both know it is wrong [At least Mr Long should if the boys don’t]
But it’s much too strong to let it go now.

References and other reading

Men allege sexual coercion by prominent Atlanta pastor - CNN.com (Includes PDFs of lawsuits filed)

Fourth lawsuit filed against Georgia pastor - CNN.com

Bishop Eddie Long | Powerful pastor’s ministry put to test | ajc.com

Why black church culture rejects homosexuality - CNN.com

Me and Mrs. Jones: Lyrics from Answers.com

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