The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

How Spiritual Leaders Get Through What They’re Going Through: Lie or Leave


Iyanla Vanzant (The Huffington Post)

True or false, right or wrong, good or bad, the average human being will at some point live some degree of inauthenticity. Whether at work, at home or in public, we have been trained to believe that who we are at the core of our being is often unacceptable. As a result, we work diligently to live up to – and sometimes down to – what others have made us out to be, whether or not it is an accurate reflection of who we are. Should we be bold enough to attempt to tell them that we are not, we cannot and we have no desire to be who they require, they get mad and threaten to withdraw or withhold their love. That’s when we panic! Once panic sets in, our choices seem limited: knuckle under to the expectations or walk away. Misery results when we knuckle under. It is difficult to live being someone you are not. It is even more difficult to tell the truth when you are taught that who you really are is unacceptable. Heartache and anger are often the outgrowth of walking away. If we can’t be authentic with you, we can choose to be authentic without you. This approach almost always leads to spending a great deal of time in anger. There are other choices; however, once fear, panic or anger sets in, they become difficult to identify.

I have been in deep contemplation about the allegations hurled at Bishop Eddie Long. I am not at first concerned with whether or not he has done what he is accused of doing. That is his business and his Creator’s business. My job is to love, in good times and in bad. I have learned the hard way to mind my business, without judging who people are and what they do. I am more troubled by the lack of space being provided for the truth to unfold. Humans cannot seem to wait for or honor the truth. Instead, we make it up based on who we believe people should or should not be. My heart goes out to the young men who have lodged the allegations of inauthentic living against the bishop. If they are telling the truth, they are being demonized for it. Their motives are being questioned, and their humanness is being put on trial in the court of public opinion. As it relates to them, there doesn’t seem to be any space for the probability of truth. Should we allow it to be so, it would mean that the bishop has betrayed us and we must judge and attack him.

My heart is also tender for Bishop Long. Having been in a position of leadership, I know the sting of the arrows that are thrown at you. I know what it feels like to be judged while having your connection to, and admiration of, a community threatened. But, what if? What if this bishop or any bishop, cardinal, priest or pastor has a truth that has been withheld? What if the natural human fear of being rejected, abandoned and unloved motivated him to live within the confines of external expectations? What if this bishop or any other person within a church community is a good human being whose human needs and desires are considered unacceptable in the eyes of other human beings, specifically those in the church? Where does that person go to tell the truth? Is there space in the minds and hearts of his peers, or community to hear, accept and release judgment about what his truth may be? Could be. Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows?

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October 12, 2010 Posted by | Commentary, Current Events | , , | Leave a comment

Don Lemon Reveals To Eddie Long Supporters “I Am A Victim Of A Pedophile”


Older Article:

CNN anchor Don Lemon admitted over the weekend that he was a victim of a pedophile as a child.

Lemon made the startling announcement on live TV while discussing the scandal involving Georgia Bishop Eddie Long, who is accused of sexually abusing male teenage members of his church.

“I have never admitted this on television,” Lemon said. “I am a victim of a pedophile when I was a kid. Someone who was much older than me.”

“I have never admitted that on television. I didn’t tell my mom that until I was 30 years old,” he added later.

“Thank you all for your kind words. I had no idea I’d say that on national tv. It just came out. Sadly, it’s the truth for so many young men,” he tweeted shortly after.

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October 5, 2010 Posted by | Current Events | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Eddie Long Scandal: Betraying The Memory of MLK


Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

David A. Love (The Huffington Post)

… But Bishop Long’s sexual orientation ultimately is not the subject of this commentary, although it provides some valuable context. Now, if these accusations are true, then Bishop Long is at least guilty of hypocrisy and self-hatred. And if the charges are not true, he is still an anti-gay minister who has damaged many people. Either way, he is a prosperity preacher who preys on the black community and shames the legacy of the civil rights movement. And that’s most of what we need to know.

When the Southern Poverty Law Center decides to write an intelligence report about you, you know you’ve done something wrong. SPLC calls Bishop Long “one of the most virulently homophobic black leaders in the religiously based anti-gay movement.” In one sermon, he says to gays and lesbians, “God says you deserve death!” The message of “hate the sin and the sinner” are strong words in a religion that is supposed to teach love, healing and redemption.

Long believes that homosexuality is spiritual abortion, “a manifestation of a fallen man.” He believes that if black gays and lesbians feel alienated and abandoned by the black church, the problem is not intolerance against them but their own sins. But before these people go to Hell as he contends they are, Long is trying to cure gays and lesbians (except himself, we can assume). And his church bookstore sells the works of authors such as the homophobic James Dobson of Focus on the Family — no friend of the black community.

And Long’s misappropriation of the King legacy is shameful. Coretta Scott King’s funeral was held at New Birth in 2006 rather than at Ebenezer Baptist Church, the King family’s church. Civil rights giants Harry Belafonte and then-NAACP-chair Julian Bond were so mortified by this fact that they boycotted the funeral. After all, Mrs. King was a supporter of gay marriage, and she called it a civil rights issue. The late Yolanda King, the oldest child, took after her mother in that regard, but Bernice King, the youngest child in the King family, called Long her “new father” and symbolically passed a torch to him.

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October 4, 2010 Posted by | Current Events | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Eddie Long Victim Of Spiritual Warfare: Condemned As Predator And Monster


Christian Science Monitor

One of the four young men accusing Bishop Eddie Long of abusing his pulpit power to force them into sex has now gone on Atlanta’s airwaves to condemn the charismatic megachurch pastor as a “predator” and a “monster.”

Bishop Long, who denies the charges but admitted from his pulpit Sunday that he is “not a perfect man,” has decried the case on television as “spiritual warfare.”

But even as the heated exchanges multiply in the Atlanta media – in what some observers say could be an attempt to jockey for position ahead of an out-of-court settlement – a more immediate question is looming for Mr. Long: Can his ministry, and his 25,000 member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, survive the increasingly explicit accounts of Long’s alleged misdeeds?

Some who study the black church will be watching to see how his flock reacts when Long passes the plate at Sunday service.

“There’s a lot of theater here, it’s a live chess match,” says Tulane sociologist Shayne Lee, author of “Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace.” “The plaintiffs want to keep the blood flowing, and Bishop Long is trying to figure out how to stop the bleeding. But the longer this goes on in the media, the more [church] members are going to demand cogent responses to the claims instead of vague denials.”

Long became emblematic of an anti-homosexual strain of the black church after he marched in gay-friendly Atlanta against gay marriage in 2004. Part of his ministry is dedicated to “delivering men” from same-sex inclinations. At the same time, the lawsuits allege that some in the church community were aware of Long’s alleged same-sex trysts.

On Sunday, most New Birth parishioners loudly and excitedly voiced support for Long. But for some, Long’s rebuttal from the pulpit fell short of assuring parishioners that he’s telling the truth.

“He wasn’t genuine,” one woman said as she left the church Sunday, ABC News reported. “It was very heartbreaking.”

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October 1, 2010 Posted by | Current Events | , , , , | 1 Comment