- “You look at our eyes,” Parris said. “You hear the pain in our voice. We have no reason to lie to (about) this man.
- “”I loved him,” Parris said. “I’m always going to have love for the things that he taught me. But how he left us hurt worse than anything I ever felt in my life.”
- “You finally have a father that you’ve always wanted for and always dreamed of,” Parris said. “He would just walk away from you if you don’t give him what he wants. So you end up turning into something you never thought you would be, which is now a slave to a man that you love.”
- “This man turned his back on us when he had no more need for us,” Parris said. “That’s not a father, that’s a predator.”
I have to admit I had never heard of Eddie Long prior to last week. I don’t attend many churches because of the history of dogmatic religious rhetoric that isn’t always based on sound biblical application. The more I research the history of his behavior the more horrified I become.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock you might not be aware this pastor (mis)leads one of the largest megachurches in this country. Eddie Long is being accused of sexually (and emotionally) abusing many of the young male congregants.
So far four young men have bravely stepped forward to break their silence. This situation has been the buzz of the week for those who are titilated by the aspect of sex between males. Apparently the good pastor is a staunch opponent to gay marriage and condemns homosexuality. People are missing the point by suggesting that if the allegations are true it means Long must be closeted.
They are not evaluating the behavior of a pedophile and predator who is simply targeting those who are easiest to exploit. Adults who sexually abuse children do so because they have been provided with the opportunity especially if they are an authority figure to that child. It’s why they’ll target some but leave others alone. When children are snatched off the street that’s an extraordinary measure and usually met with violence. Most pedophiles want their victims in their proximity and under their control for quite some time. Orientation has little to do with it.
The focus on the gender of the (alleged) victims concerns me because I believe if these were young women many would have taken extraordinary measures to discredit them due to their inherent racio-misogyny. You know the R Kelly defense of “she knew what she was doing” for those perverts that watched the video recording of him having sex with a 13 year old.
People would have pointed out the gifts received as “proof” of entrapment not exploitation (and still may try). So while I do focus on how women are mistreated this is a teachable moment to break down the language and seduction of a pedohpile. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were young women who haven’t come forward yet.
One of the first four to come forward, Jamal Parris gave an exclusive interview to Fox 5 Atlanta. There were certain details he’s made that are disturbing…but familiar. It’s textbook exploitation and the fact that he was 14 years old being raised by a single mother when he met Eddie Long is one key element.
I understand people are focused on justifying OOW child-rearing, stating strawman arguments and offering exceptions. Fine. Save the ego. Wave your flag proudly. Yet it cannot be denied the extra danger unprotected children face from people who are well aware of their precarious state to use to their advantage. Extraordinary measures must be taken to make up for the deficits of inadequate parenting no matter how well-intentioned people may be. I fail to comprehend how others do not see that.
Long sought out fatherless males to mentor and some will say, to groom for assault and manipulation. At some point other adults would have seen some suspicious behavior and they clearly did nothingIt seems this is going to be tried in the court of public opinion instead of a court of law because Mr. Parris specifies a timeline for intial contact and how it escalated to physical contact at and until a certain age. It would appear that Long was very well aware of the age of consent being 16 and may have been able to skirt around violating child endangerment laws. Of course that doesn’t negate the moral codes broken.
FYI, Long is currently under a Congressional investigation for misusing funds that has been ongoing for quite some time. Perhaps these cases will be tied together to corroborate evidence.
Excerpts from the interview:
…he told a riveting story about how as a young teen– a 14 year old with no father in his life– he joined New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Bishop Eddie Long came into his life. He said Long said to call him “daddy” and to trust him with spiritual guidance.
Parris claims in his lawsuit the father-like figure used scripture to justify sex. And he lavished money, cars, jewelry, trips in the Bishop’s private jet, even homes on the teens, sometimes with funds from the church coffers.
Jamal says the bishop began a slow sexual seduction, which became more intimate and more intense after the young boys became of legal age.
Watch this video and tell me you don’t feel for this young man. Long has not denied any of the charges but insists he will not step down from the pulpit.