Monday, September 27, 2010

Truth; The Hardest Part is Telling It

The Bishop Eddie Long scandal – and make no mistake, it is a scandal – called forth our flawed trait of attempting to shift blame when faced with controversy, rather than confronting it head on and telling the truth. It seems that human nature – our pride specifically – will have us believe that our good works, our standing in the community and our perceived cover, will keep us safe from the truth. Working from the belief that ‘where there is smoke, there is fire’ Bishop Long’s future and his reputation as a man of God, hinges simply on telling the truth and how he handles the allegations in this scandal.

It doesn’t take a public relations expert or media guru to know that Bishop Long should…

1. Address the controversy head on and be clear on his stand on the issue:
When the young men came forward alleging that Bishop Long used his power as a world renowned religious leader to coerce them into having intimate sexual interaction with them, Bishop Long SHOULD HAVE come forward and emphatically (as he has done with regard to other issues that didn’t directly affect his life) deny the allegations and state clearly that he DID NOT engage in any sexual interaction with these young men and that he DID NOT in any way misrepresent his relationship as pastor with these young men. Instead, Bishop Long’s carefully crafted response to the allegations was delivered before his staunch supporters within the cocoon of his congregation and included, “I am not a perfect man, but this thing I will fight.” If that doesn’t stink to the high heavens as the precursor to, ‘Yes, I had a little homo fun, but they were adults by Georgia law and that doesn’t mean they’re entitled to any monetary damages.’ Bishop Long may be fighting the good fight with the belief that if the young men were of legal age in the state of Georgia, he is safe from prosecution and that his reputation will rebound from this, but his reputation is everything to keeping a multi million dollar religious entity like New Birth – and Long as its leader – afloat. With a flawed and hypocritical minister at the helm, New Birth’s much needed financial support would falter and die.

2. In today’s era of email messages, text messages, mobile movies and pictures, don’t play yourself thinking there is no proof:
Let’s keep it real here… today’s friends and colleagues have the potential to be tomorrow’s enemies and back stabbing climbers. In light of this, I always caution my family and friends to steer clear of communication (of any kind) that can be used later to drive a campaign to discredit or humiliate you. Most important, I caution folks to NEVER take photographs or videos that place them in compromising positions – literally or figuratively. I don’t care how much love you feel today, pictures and movies have the potential of being forwarded or found at the most inopportune times. That said, Bishop Long KNEW he forwarded pictures and email messages that were inappropriate to some of these young men. So it begs the question, why would a pastor of a 25,000 member congregation and connection to countless world leaders, act like it’s okay to email/text muscle shirt photos to the young men of his congregation? What spiritual mentoring did those pictures seek to achieve? The Bishop appears too pride-filled to recognize how damning the email, picture and text mail trail are to his reputation.

3. Illegal, immoral and unethical are three different things; as a spiritual leader, you have the responsibility to have your decisions be legally, morally and ethically righteous:
Bishop Long mentioned that he’s not a “perfect man.” The thing is, as human beings, NO ONE is. What we’re expecting from you as a pastor and leader is to be a man that makes decisions that are legally, morally and ethically righteous. Part of this means that as a leader, we expect you to have the ability to look at an issue objectively and make decisions as a leader that WE as laymen, may find difficult to come by.

Did Bishop Eddie Long indulge in homosexual behavior – the very behavior that he criticized and damned-to-hell for so many years? Was his delayed response to the accusations a means to collect himself and consult his legal experts for an ‘appropriate’ response? Would a heterosexual minister who has been tied to so many public anti-gay campaigns, wait until Sunday service to proclaim that he is, “not a perfect man…” instead of taking the bull by the horns and immediately (as he has done with hundreds of previous television appearances) state that he unequivocally, “did NOT have any kind of intimate or sexual relationship with ANYONE outside of his wife”?

This a techno-savvy pastor with extensive public relations knowledge. He is a seasoned media person who knows how a story spins and what makes for good press. His mediocre statement, coupled with his SAFE venue to deliver it, is as telling as the young men who are coming forward with their stories.

Sadly, Christianity and many folks’ belief in God will suffer because ONE man could not live his truth OR quite simply, tell the truth when exposed.

Keep passin ‘the open windows…


fuzzy said...

I'm a fan and supporter of the bishop. I'm not a fan of media humiliation.if he did it, whatever. If he didn't do it still whatever. I don't know why he isnt choosing to nip this in the bud. We will all see. As momma said, by and by time will tell!

Nobody not really... said...

Media humiliation? Were these allegations brought up against someone who is NOT a public figure, he wouldn't have to worry about it. When you're in the public eye -- and millions around the globe have grown to adore -- and fear -- your word, you must represent differently.

That said: (1) I was talking with my aunt about this case this weekend. He needs to seek out a member of the media he trusts and tell whatever side of the story his attorneys will allow.

Reading your entry makes it clear we're on the same page with regards to this situation. Good to know.

Anonymous said...

@ fuzzy...watchu mean "whateva"? are you serious? if the "allegations" are true, he needs his pecker nailed to the wall...with his nutsack affixed to the back of his ass with an industrial strength staple gun.

Yes, I saw all twenty seven versions of "Saw"

Demon Hunter said...

Exactly, Cocoa. That response was very evasive. I chuckled when I heard it. The same thing happened to a local pastor where I live, except this fella was a child molestor because the boys were children.