An interesting new development in the case of Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-based anti-gay mega-church pastor accused of luring young men into sexual relationships and using church funds to give them cash, gifts and cars. The four men have filed sexual coercion lawsuits against Long and New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Read the complaints HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.
It's common knowledge in Atlanta's Black LGBT community that many Black gay men attend Long's anti-gay mega-church. One of those gay men is finally speaking out. Samuel Brown was interviewed by BET News and says he has been a member of New Birth MBC since 1993 ... and it's "insulting" to him that Long is apparently being hypocritical.
"He was unable to say that he was 100 percent guilt-free, and it was insulting to me to not come out and be straight-forward. Basically him and his lawyer crafted a statement where he didn't have to hit the situation head on. The reason Bishop Long is so popular in Atlanta and all over the world is his transparency. He preaches about it in his sermons. He will say things that other people won’t say. He will push the envelope on a lot of things. So with him speaking so strongly about transparency and now not being able to deliver a clear-cut answer, it doesn't sit well with me."
Samuel Brown explains why he and other Black gay men attend services at New Birth.
BN: Do you think New Birth Church would have allowed you to be a member if they knew you were gay?
SB: Probably not. But at the same time, there are a pretty large number of congregants in the church that are gay or appear to be gay that I know of personally as well.
BN: Do you know why other homosexual Christians would become members of a church that preaches sermons condemning their lifestyle?
SB: The majority of the homosexual, gay members of the church that are at New Birth, most of them 'fall in line' with the teachings. They feel like it’s wrong, they are sinning, they are sinners and it’s something you have to get rid of.
It's a massive exercise in denial when a gay man would say that it's "insulting" that the anti-gay pastor doesn't practice what he preaches ... but it isn't "insulting" to attend a church that offers ex-gay workshops and where the pastor rants against gay rights. Unfortunately this is all-too common in the Black church, where gay men overpopulate the choirs and usher boards and silently enable the homophobia from the pulpit.
For what its worth, Brown and his partner tell BET News that they are finally "thinking" of leaving New Birth. Watch it AFTER THE JUMP ...
BET's full report is HERE ...