Once again returning to his favorite topic of sexually molesting four members of his LongFellows Youth Academy, Bishop Eddie Long told his congregation today his “faith is being strengthened” by the scandal. That, and he is “not going to be pulled into a street fight.” Dammit, I just bought nunchucks!
The scene at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church today was once again an exercise in dodging and weaving: Like last week, the Atlanta area pastor didn’t directly address the accusations against him. It was enough to draw cheers from his audience.
Quoting from the Book Of Job, Long said, “Those who hate you will be clothed with shame, and the tent of the wicked will be no more.” (AP: “As his devoted flock cheered, Long joked that he accidentally led them to the wrong page. ‘That was the Holy Ghost,’ he said, flashing a smile as the sanctuary echoed with laughter.”) “I ain’t going to stop living,” Long said during his hour-plus-long sermon.
Yes, Long’s popularity only appears to be growing. While the media continues covering the molestation scandal, Long — who drives a Bentley and earns millions of dollars a year — is able to continue adopting the “underdog” image. Sound familiar?
It’s the same thing we saw with Ted Haggard — whose own story of growing a small church into a nationwide phenomenon, only to see his reputation crumble amid gay sex allegations, only to resurrect himself with a groundswell of support — eerily resembles Long’s situation. And I predict Long, if he does manage to get ousted from his pulpit, will enjoy a similar fate. No wonder Ted has already recognized their kinship.