Belief Beat

I haven’t blogged yet about Eddie Long, the black church pastor who has preached against homosexuality and is now accused — falsely, he insists — of coercing men into sexual relationships. After sifting through dozens of stories about this emerging scandal, I don’t even know where to begin — so, here’s the gist, from the latest Religion News Service story:

Bishop Eddie Long, the Atlanta-area preacher facing charges from four young men that he coerced them to have sex, told his congregation Sunday (Sept. 26) he is “under attack” and will fight the allegations against him.

“I’ve been accused,” Long told the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Ga. “I’m under attack. I want you to know … I am not a perfect man but this thing I’m going to fight.”

Four men, all in their early 20s, filed suits alleging that Long used his spiritual authority to coerce them into sexual relationships. The men said Long gave them gifts of cash, cars and overnight trips. The fourth suit, filed Friday, alleges that Long paid for shopping sprees and tuition for a 22-year-old with whom he had a sexual relationship.

Long has protested gay marriage and is known for celebrating “muscular Christianity,” which supports strong heterosexual male leadership.

Three more useful links on this topic:

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