With this being the end of the week I got a call from a few of my close male friends and we inevitably talked about the Eddie Long situation.
My standard line with them upon initially talking with them has been "Listen man. We have been friends for a long time. If you are a 'Down Low Brother' like Bishop Long - tell me now and I won't hold it against you". :-/
The disposition of my friends is so predictable. I knew how the conversation was going to go in advance.
Friend #1: Hardcore Progressive Democrat, Corporate-type, Church Member
We did the "Why boys(?) when there are so many fine women in that church if you are going to do some dirt" line.
I interjected that this was an organizational failure. This is like a sole proprietorship that has grown into a major corporation and the corporate board fails at its duties to protect the entity against its founder's actions. They showed too much deference when they should have considered the fallout to their entire entity if this ONE MAN were to show that he is a man rather than a profit without sin. The church should have placed an institutional framework around the pastor - never allowing him unfettered access to ANY individual in which any question of such sexual impropriety could take place. If these allegations are true - the church failed to keep such an integral party of its organization "away from himself" and his proclivities.
He agreed with my assessment.
Friend #2: Anti-Republican/Conservative - Democrat
George W Bush came to Coretta Scott King's funeral that was held at the New Birth Church sanctuary. Bush looked around and saw all that BLACK PEOPLE had built up and was in disbelief that we were capable of such a feat. He then realized that all of this is TAX FREE because it is a church.
Bush realized that he must bring this Black man down because he is too powerful.
As he was talking I was thinking to myself - THIS is a Black man who is educated and has a master's degree talking right now.
I asked him: "So are you saying that the FBI planted these young Black males in Long's presence so he could be snared? Why didn't Obama and Holder stop the operation if this is so?"
His answer - "You know what I'm talking about. They have been trying to take out Black men with too much power for a long time. You keep fooling yourself".
I asked him: "So how do you figure THEY are going to take out Obama - the most powerful man in the country and the world?"
His answer - "Obama and his family are descent people. He is intelligent enough not to get trapped up in anything like that. He would never be able to survive what Bill Clinton got away with. They are not going to let any Black man off of the hook like that".
(I should have saw the caller-id and let it go to voice mail)
Friend #3: Self-Admitted Communist/ Anti-Jewish / Anti- Christian
"I told you about that comic book called the bible. Here you are praying to Jesus and that man (Long) is going to receive $10 from everybody this Sunday who is going to go and hear him lie about what he did.
Tell me where there has ever been peace where there is Christianity? That White man gave you that religion as a means of controlling you.
All the while that Jew is sitting back orchestrating all of this and ya'll Negroes swear you got control of yourselves. Don't nothing happen to you all without some Jew somewhere making it happen."
Me - trying to get the conversation back on track to the points relevant to Bishop Long - "This was a problem with the church governance. They should never have allowed him to be alone with anyone on official church business. They should have assigned a set of policies to make sure this never happened".
My friend: "You didn't hear a word I said"
Me: "YES I DID!! What did you say that has relevance to the situation at hand?"
My friend: "That man got Black people to give them all of that money to build up that mega church and he was preaching from a book that does not connect to our spiritually as Black people. This ain't our natural religion man. It was stolen from us. That devil had us enslaved and he stole our culture away"
(At that time I was thinking about my wife's recent trip to Africa and how she said that she would never go back to Nigeria. An armed checkpoint guard pointed a gun toward her car and it was aimed right at her head - rattling her. I could not bear to get into it with my friend. His vision of the "mystical magical Africa does not exist and NEVER DID". )
I have come to the conclusion that their is no MAGIC in this world.
There is a Christian religion that has a set of rules by which to live by.
These rules and this philosophy has endured for more than 2000 years, this DESPITE the devilment of MAN, who imparted the name upon himself but choose to do all sorts of things that were contrary to these standards.
A religion or other set of rules also require ENFORCEMENT. A group of conscious people who know that a society that does not have such rules will collapse. That an institution that fails to uphold its standards with integrity will have those who were predisposed to "hate upon them" will be provided with the ammo to prove their suspicions right.
PERFECTION on this Earth is not possible.
It must be MANAGED toward.
No one man can ever be allowed to be more important than the integrity of the whole.
Sadly too many people get their narrow agenda item out of the inspection of the entity in question.