Eddie Long, the Atlanta pastor who calls home the 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church he took over in 1987, must’ve confused his hate for the gays with his love for them, according to a new lawsuit from two men who says the man of the cloth sexually molested them.
Interestingly, neither men appears to be requesting to stay anonymous, a common practice in sexual assault cases.
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.
[…] Both plaintiffs said the pastor, his church and church employees gave them cash and lavish gifts that ranged from cars to college tuition. The suits also said that Long framed the sexual relationships as religious in nature. The suits allege that Long chose the plaintiffs to be his “Spiritual Sons,” a program that allegedly includes other young men from the church.
As is growing so typical with these cases, Long himself has spent much of his career railing against the gays. “Men can look attractive when they are dirty,” Long writes in his 1997 book I Don’t Want Delilah, I Need You!. “We see sweating, dirty, hardworking men on television all the time and we say to one another, ‘There’s a macho guy.'” Well isn’t that an interesting perspective for such a fella! As the Southern Poverty Law Center notes:
Despite this affinity for sweaty, macho men, Long is one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement. His book, subtitled What a Woman Needs to Know, What a Man Needs to Understand, appeared in the midst of a roaring growth period for Long’s New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga., near Atlanta. During the mid-’90s, it swelled to over 18,000 congregation members, men and women who worship in a multimillion-dollar complex that’s the size of most major universities, spread out on 240 acres of land
[…] Much of what appears in I Don’t Want Delilah was espoused in the videotaped “Back to the Future” sermon Long gave when his church was still small. “It is the most unattractive thing I have ever seen, when I see women wearing uniforms that men would wear, and women fighting to get in the military!” Long shouted to his congregation then. “The woman gets perverted to turn towards woman … and everybody knows it’s dangerous to enter an exit! And everybody knows, lady, if you go to the store and buy these devices [marital aids], it’s Memorex! It ain’t real!”
The audience, seated in a congested sanctuary, erupts in laughter. But what Long says next is no joke. “God says you deserve death!”.
And in 2006 Long
extended an invitation to gays and lesbians looking for a “cure” to attend a “Sexual Orientation and Reorientation” conference at New Birth. The event consisted mostly of “ex-gay” ministers like the Rev. D. L. Foster and former gangsta rapper Samantha Coleman preaching that people can be “delivered” from the “unwanted desires” of homosexuality. Foster told the small crowd of black and white Christians with same-sex attractions how he “never once prayed to God for him to make me homosexual … but I didn’t know how to get rid of it.”
This is the same man who hosted Coretta Scott King’s funeral in 2006, with then-President George W. Bush and three other former commanders-in-chief attending. And the same man who founded a charity that paid him more than $3 million in cash and gifts. Oh, and he lies about his hair!
If God doesn’t have a special place for this guy, America’s judicial system might.