Jamal Parris Exemplifies The Potential Danger In How Fatherless Children Are Targeted By Predators

    “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.

13 Replies to “Jamal Parris Exemplifies The Potential Danger In How Fatherless Children Are Targeted By Predators”

  1. This is such a sad story.

    "I don’t attend many churches because of the history of dogmatic religious rhetoric that isn’t always based on sound biblical application."

    That's why i always tell people to fact check to confirm that what the pastor says is in line with what the bible say. If it's not….run!!!!

  2. This sounds irrelevant BUT how come 'black churches' have Bishops and Not pastors like everyone else. Usually Bishops are different than pastors, like in the Catholic Church, etc.

    1. Not all churches have Bishops. It depends on the denomination. A lot of it is simply made up like these frontstore churches.

  3. Faith, its kinda sad that Eddie Long's 'mentor' was a sexual freak and DIDNT get thrown out--that could be why Eddie Long has these problems--if this wasn't the 'black church' these problems wouldn't be here as much. What if Billy Graham did this? Billy Graham tries to be above reproach by not riding with a woman in the car, so he wouldn't be accused of an affair!

  4. Faith,

    I'm fine, thanks!! And how are you doing?

    School's been crazy this year! I took this semester off to work a bit and I'm going back in the spring. Also, it doesn't help that my architecture studios are almost 6 hours long! But I digress…LOL

    "We're often our own worst enemy."

    Preach! (not like the Bishop, though) That just about sums up what's wrong with us. From those of us who want to drink the kool-aid to the ones who want to give it too us, even I have to admit it's getting harder to 'keep hope alive'. *raises fist in the air*

    Hmmm, wow, you know that we're at a low point in society when our hope for the race is hanging by a thread. I believe that the best we can do right now is live by example, but what can we do when the few of us with common sense isn't enough?

    1. MesaATLien: I think we need to find a combo of people on and off line and really try to find common ground where can work together. It can be done. 6 hour sessions for class? Wow. Am I to assume that means you're working on a particular project as if it was a regular work day's effort? Should I call you the next Paul Williams?

      1. Faith,

        Call me crazy but I love it! And we're always technically working on a project. The reason why the architecture and art studios are so long is so that we actually have "class time" to do our assignments. Homework for my studio is essentially the different projects that we have. Don't worry, I only had one studio each semester! But I even had to get some out of class studio time to get some projects done!

        And I still have some hope that it can be done. But I think that it will have to done in a way that shows those people who want to better their lives that our "groups", I guess, or places for discussion and improvement are safe zones, so to speak. We need more safe zones.

        It bothers me to say it that way, but we know that many women who dare to challenge old ideology face some sort of backlash from those trying to lure us back in. Like physically, for women who live in high risk communities. Or psychologically, for women who are afraid of being cast out from all the people and the lifestyle they've ever known. One of our greatest fears, in my opinion, is being alone. These women will stick to what they know, no matter how bad it is, just for the acceptance by the 'community'.

        So sorry for taking this post completely off topic, y'all.

        But in this case, this could be applicable. These young men thought they had a safe zone in Bishop Eddie Long, as did his followers, similar to how black women will accept their current situation as something that is normal. These men are probably gonna face so much backlash from that church's devout followers, and hopefully they have a true safe zone somewhere.

        1. You didn't hijack the thread. I appreciate all thoughtful comments that add dimensions to the conversation. Jamal lives in Colorado and was tracked down by the Atlanta tv station so he has already removed himself -- very wise of him to do so!! What we have just discussed at Khadija's blog is how all of the seemingly supportive women have completely outed themselves in a very public way as essentially opposing one major component to freedom for black women and children. It's been very telling. Now get back to your studies, haha!!

  5. Faith, as much as the so-called church folk preach "values", they have ignored and helped promote the ineffective or invisible father epidemic. When there are real men (integrity, honesty, etc.) around, this crap in the pulipt gets called out…QUICK! That is why you find many ministers puffing themselves up to be the authority over women and children, instead of encouraging good authority in the home. If there is good authority in the home, there won't been prey left open in their sanctuaries. Earl Paulk, known as Eddie Long's mentor, had a history of deceptive, harmful conduct, sexual and otherwise, but "Christians" covered his nastiness and kept parading him on TV as some great example until he died. The Eddie Long mess is only the beginning. Homophobia in the church is no different than all their other "deadly" fears, but hypocrisy is certainly the deadliest. Hopefully, light will shine on all the mess behind closed doors before more of our children are victimized.

  6. can't get enough pf this story. it is so in your face what this man has doen. When, is the people going to see his wrong. He is so guilty, is all over his face.

  7. Faith,

    I hate that this mess has to go down in my city (but most of the fake pastors are from the south), and I especially hate that I actually know people who go there! People like a teacher of mine whom I trusted (in middle school, she actually took a bunch of us kids on a field trip there).

    I have never been a real fan of these megachurches, and this incident once again proves why. I know that church is supposed to be an instrument for fellowship with others, but stuff like this has made me gun shy lately about choosing an institution to attend. And it's sad because you have Christians out there who want real fellowship and stuff like this causes people to walk away from the church and it gives actual Christians and Christianity a really bad name.

    Ultimately, if Bishop (can we even call him that?!) Eddie Long's devout followers have any type of dignity left, they will get behind these young men who have been victimized. But knowing our people, many will show up bright and early Sunday morning to hear the "good word" that he has to say.

    1. MesaATLien: Hey how are you?! You know I always thought the "church" was supposed to be about believers coming together -not a building, supplying a minister with a private jet or lack of accountability. The Sheeple factor has always been around and will continue to exist. The more I study trends in behavior I see there's nothing really new under the sun. I used to wonder if black people were "cursed" on some for despite all the religous talk and the presumption we have an extra special relationship with God (for those that refer to themselves as Christians) I' ve realized we're often our own worst enemy. We've been lifted up as a collective so many times but God can't "make" us rise to the occassion to fulfill our destiny. So if people don't start separating from the pack I'm not certain what will emerge but I do wonder how bad will it have to get for even the staunchest of naysayers to rethink their position on a lot of things. Perhaps they have permanent scales over their eyes. I don't know but it scares me to see just how little people think of each other. I hope I get the message when the times comes to get to heck out of Soddom & Gommorah before it's too late!!

      Roslyn: I know those benefits are already being rolled back and limited. These are small nations after all and they can only support so many people. Sweden has stopped giving out free tuition to foreigners who come to study for college and students are required to prove they have a minimum ten thouand dollars (unless you have refugee or some other special status).

      Isabel: It's truly heartbreaking but even worse it's not unique.

      LaVonne: If people weren't turning a blind eye to evil these predators wouldn't flock to the ministry. It's going to take the long arm of the law -- probably not criminally but in civil court -- to temper (if that's even possible) this. The Catholic Church has had to pay millions and so should New Birth. Sometimes "hearts" won't get changed but BANKRUPTING them will!

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