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Homosexuality and the Black Church

At one time the cornerstone in the African American community, the black church has morphed into a glamorized bastardization of its former self.

Bishop Long in his bathroom shoot to one of the alleged victims

With the recent allegations of noted pastor Bishop Eddie Long (Deliver Me From Adam) of the 30k member strong, New Birth Missionary Baptist church in Atlanta, GA, is just another example of how the Black Church has exploded from a mom-and-pop shop type of organization, to these mega worship centers that resemble huge corporations.

The allegations state that when these men were boys, they were a part of a mentoring program sponsored by the church and headed by the Bishop himself who supposedly seduced them with money and other lavish gifts. This is the ulimate betrayal as these young boys were already in a vunerable state of mind, and if anyone could be trusted it would be a minister. If any organization could be given blind faith, it would be the church.

However, over the years it appears that the churches are now monocracies, governed by the head pastor and his legion of loyal attendants.

Some may take offense to this description and it is not meant to demean the church as a whole, but rather some of the leaders within its structures.

In Baltimore there are three mega churches not without their own scandals and allegations of adultery and out of wedlock children by their female parishioners.

This is why the recent allegations of Bishop Long and his supposed molestation and seduction of young men in his mentoring program should not come as a surprise to those within the Black Church, nor within the Black community.

For years there has been the standing joke of the "gay choir directors" and "sweet altar boys" in many congregations. Pastors preach sermon after sermon of the 'wrongs' of homosexuality and other perversions, yet its ironic and amusing to find that he who protest too much is now being hoisted by his own pretard.

Rather than having the willingness to accept these men/women as they are, the church would rather burrow their pious heads in the sand and pretend it doesn't exist.

It's almost as if the Black church as well as the various conferances have an unwritten 'Don't Ask Don't Tell' rule that has stopped alot of indivuals from living true to themselves. Their love for church and their love for those of the same sex is sequestered and practiced out of the eyes of so called 'true Christians' who will most likely not understand their alternative lifestyle, but would most probably remove themselves from that person's life because of it.

Knowing that their coming out may cause more pain and anguish to family and friends, they tend to keep their life secret. It may be the pink elephant in the room, but its an elephant that is ignored and feared as a perverse form of love.

What bother's me the most about this entire issue is that the Bishop is a married man () as well as a leader of his congregation, whose role is to set an example and be the guiding light and driving force of both. He was to be a role model, not put on a pedastal like God, but whether he and other's of his ilk like it or not, they are deemed to be male role models within our community. And as these role models, we should not be afraid of sending our young male mentee's to be mentored for fear of being persuaded to do anything against their will.

It is time for the Black Church to once again be the cornerstone of the Black community as it was in the past. The place where gossip wasn't as mean spirited as it is now. Day's when the pastor and his family were respected by all, rather than being the suspect of all of the ills within the church. A time when you could counsel with your pastor and know that it would remain in his confidence. A time when women respected the fact that the pastor was married and did not try to insinuate and/or seduce themselves into his life.

It is time for the Black Church to embrace everyone of God's children, regardless of sexual orientation, education, marital status, or socio-economic standing within the community.

Saundra E. Harris aka SassyScribe
Tune into WSER Sassy Entertainment Radio, Thurs. Sept. 30th at 9pm est/ 6pm pst for HOMOSEXUALITY & THE BLACK


This kind of thing is not just limited to the black church, but to ALL churches. It's disgusting and it should stop.
Lisa said…
Excellent blog post. I just found this by doing a little research on the Eddie Long situation. You write very well, thanks a lot for taking the time to write this!

Be blessed!
Lisa :-)

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