So far, the best articles I’ve read about Bishop Eddie Long have, not surprisingly, been written by Eugene Robinson, and “The New Republic’s,” John McWhorter. There is so much good in this article it is hard to choose an excerpt, but here goes:
This means basing the opposition to gays on passages in the Bible—the same Bible that was once used to justify the enslavement of black people. The very notion of prosperity-gospel churches like Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist that teach that Jesus was all about getting rich is, itself, a decidedly creative take on the teachings in Matthew and elsewhere. Clearly blackness can encompass a dynamic relationship to the Bible. Refusing to do so as a mere cloak for a visceral repulsion is not the best we can do.
Eddie Long would do himself and his own race a massive favor if he, shall we say, had a conversion here. “Got the call,” to put it in language familiar in his realm. He should openly admit what he did, disavow his antigay positions, and serve as a beacon to a black community that needs to get beyond an unthinking prejudice especially unseemly in a group positioning itself as a standard-bearer of America’s moral advancement.
He should get with the times—as the NAACP has, with Benjamin Jealous announcing an upcoming “One Nation Working Together” march with gay and transgender groups. America becomes ever more open to gay marriages. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is doing a slow fade. Ever more celebrities are coming out with no detriment to their careers. Call it a new kind of New Birth.
Yes, Bishop Eddie Long and his congregation have lots of soul searching to do. Let’s hope they start by reading and integrating the profound truth in John McWhorter and Eugene Robinson’s articles. One would have to be soulless and brain dead to not recognize the profound power of their ideas.