We love zygotes and embryos. Long's accusers have said they believe the bishop abused more young men that eventually will come forward. Play Anti-Homosexuality Pastor Faces Accusations of Sexual Misconduct Long has vehemently denied the accusations and said in a statement this week that the charges in the lawsuits have "hurt me deeply. Parris alleged in the documents, obtained by ABC News , that the bishop would request he be nude while in his presence and would request "sexual massages" and "oral sodomy" when they traveled. I am even more disturbed by the silence around rape and molestation, and the ways survivors are mocked and called liars. Echoing his comments after the first two lawsuits, he said, "We believe that it is unfortunate the young men have chosen to take this course of action. This should not be overlooked. Bernstein, the lawyer for the four men, has said she has photos, texts and e-mails that show a relationship between her clients and the bishop.
He also came under fire for his homo-antagonistic sermons and his book, Deliver Me From Adam , in which he cloaks homophobia, misogyny and patriarchy in the lexicon of self-help. One of those photos depicts Long posing in what appears to be a bathroom stall in a red muscle shirt. Echoing his comments after the first two lawsuits, he said, "We believe that it is unfortunate the young men have chosen to take this course of action. Right now, it's allegations. Although the New Birth Christian Academy closed down , the church doors remained open. Many people at the church knew what was going on but covered for Long, victims claimed. Long was the prominent Atlanta pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, which at its height, boasted a congregation of over 25, Some have argued that he fathered and pastored a homophobic theological legacy at New Birth. Renita Weems notes , how Biblical text even endorses rape. The accusations, according to court documents, also claim that Long would try to block sexual relationships the young men had with women. The men, now all in their 20s, came forward this week with separate lawsuits alleging that Long lavished them with expensive jewelry, a private plane and luxury hotel rooms, and then used his status as a spiritual leader to force them into sex. LeGrande said Long agreed to be a father figure for him because his own father was an absentee father, according to court documents, and that Long began asking LaGrande to call him "dad. The church—New Birth et al. In a separate statement issued shortly after LaGrande's lawsuit was filed, Long again denied the charges. The lawsuit alleges several more instances of sexual contact, both before and after LaGrande graduated from high school. Long also used the Bible, one of the leading moral texts of the Western world, to excuse himself of communal accountability. The same Bible that is used against women, LGBTQ individuals and other marginalized identities, was simultaneously used to shame survivors and privilege harm-doers, and the church must acknowledge, as the Rev. Long was said to have used his prosperity gospel-accrued wealth to lavish Flagg, LeGrande, Parris and Robinson with private planes, expensive jewelry and luxury hotel rooms. If we deny justice, we are telling those who go without that they are worthless […] Folk need to hear the church say in a clear and unequivocal voice that sexual and domestic violence are not acceptable behaviors but they are lethal values. Although the allegations against New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Long appear damning, some church members refuse to believe they could be true. But we do not — no, we absolutely do not — love children. Long represented much of what the church prizes: When you're a friend and I support you, I support you. Meanwhile, abusers escape accountability, often keep their positions of power and manage to gain support as if they are the true victims. This should not be overlooked.
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TD Jakes Discusses Bishop Eddie Long; Catholic Church
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