Last night, from 10 PM to 12:30 AM, Bishop Eddie Long held the first of three Monday night men's-only prayer vigils at his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.
Long, an unabashed homophobe, remains embroiled in four civil suits that last September rocked his 25,000-member prosperity ministry. In the suits, four young men who had been active members of his flock accuse the Bishop of manipulating them into sexual relationships under the guise of spiritual fatherhood.
Although Long famously vowed to "fight very vigorously" when the suits were filed, by mid-December he agreed to mediation (read: a private resolution that will likely make out-of-court financial settlements contingent upon the silence of his alleged victims). The cases are still pending.
Sooo, within this context, hubris-master Long issued the following call, via YouTube. Watch it above, or read my transcription of the clip:
"Men all men, starting tomorrow night and the next three Monday nights ... we will be worshipping in the sanctuary and praying. God has put a mandate on me to call men together--the Bible says three times a year shall men come together to praise and bless his name and bring an offering worthy of the Lord. So you're bringing an offering, we're praying, and God specifically said pray for this nation in such a time as this.
And when God says pray for the nation, that means there's something serious. And I believe that we'll get a breakthrough for this nation for our president, for the Congress, for the Senate, for the governors around this country, etcetera, that they'll do justice, love, mercy, walk humbly with you and a revival and a revolution would break out for the spirit in the kingdom of God. ...You don't have to be a member of this church to be here for our prayer. If you're a man, come, join us, bring your friends. We're going to have a wonderful time in the glory of the Lord."
Besides providing fodder for ribald jokes about the size and girth of the offerings he seeks, Long's call is a bizarro-sexist, steaming hot-ass mess.
I mean, if there's something serious going on in this nation that requires prayers for secular leaders including our president, and if we're asking that the Congress, Senate and governors "do justice, love, mercy," on the cusp of a federal government shutdown, wouldn't this prayer be that much more potent if women joined in?
That's a rhetorical question. Because this is the same man who preached this:
"...And the problem today, and the reason why society is like it is today is because men are being feminized and women are becoming masculine..."
"God said everybody in here that knows what's right and ain't practicing, and every woman who knows what to do but still wanna act like a woman of the '90s that the world has described, God says and to every man that knows God is saying to do and you're still acting like the boys on the corner--God says you deserve death!"
The narrow, controlling, mean-spirited masculinity Long covets is a travesty. May Jesus help him and the redemption-seeking boys and men who follow his twisted path.