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September 22nd, 2010
10:18 AM ET

Spokesman: Atlanta pastor is target of retaliation, shakedown

Allegations that a prominent Atlanta pastor coerced two young male church members and employees into sex are "a case of retaliation and a shakedown for money by men with some serious credibility issues," the pastor's spokesman told CNN Wednesday.

Pastor Eddie Long "categorically and adamantly denies these allegations," said spokesman Art Franklin. "There's been a lot of chatter since yesterday, but these complaints that have been filed are definitely without merit."

Lawsuits filed Tuesday in DeKalb County, Georgia, allege that Long used his position as a spiritual authority and bishop to coerce young male members and employees of his New Birth Missionary Baptist Church into sex. CNN was the first to report on the lawsuits.

Read the full story

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Georgia • Leaders • Pastors • Scandal • Sex abuse • United States

soundoff (19 Responses)
  1. Kate

    There's something rott in the State of Denmark: http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/10/14/georgia.harassment.suit/index.html ...

    Now I'm not saying that there's a porvasive atmosphere of sexual matters at Long's "church", but how many more rats are going to come scurrying out of the woodwork before people wake up to the fact that yet another so-called "pastor" and his organization are more about earthly pleasures and porvorsions than they'll ever be to do with heaven?

    Just sayin'

    October 15, 2010 at 10:38 am |
  2. Nicole

    We should hear every side before we point the finger at anyone. We don't know who is telling the truth and who is not. All I know at this point is that the young men is doing all the talking and not Bishop Eddie Long. I presonally believe that there has been inappropriate behavior going on and it seems like it is coming from the Bishop. Even if he did not do anything with the gentle there has been some level of inappropriate behavior.

    October 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm |
  3. just a concern american

    @ Wisdom78850... "the divel" is that a new spirit that has surfaced? you said that divel is a liar...instead I think you need to go to that academy and tell them you need some tutoring 🙂

    September 30, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  4. NC_CAT

    Matt 24:11
    and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people

    September 23, 2010 at 11:07 am |
  5. WISDOM78850

    THE LIFE OF THE CHILDREN OF GOD, SOMETIMES CALLS FOR SACRAFICE OF TIME NOT MONEY! WE STAND FOR TRUTH AND JUSTICE IRREGUARDLESS OF TIME.

    September 22, 2010 at 9:09 pm |
  6. WISDOM78850

    Why did the attorney ATTEMPT to settle the case with money since she is so concerned about the "CHILDREN"?

    September 22, 2010 at 9:01 pm |
  7. WISDOM78850

    It is strangte to me that two families moved,to be in this particular church, Bishop Long's Church Out o of all the 23,000 (TWENTY THREE THOUSAND) MEMBERS THE TWO FAMILIES THAT MOVED TO BE IN THIS CHURCH are the accusers.?

    September 22, 2010 at 8:58 pm |
  8. WISDOM78850

    Mr. Walton, it is obvious thate you are not a lover of the Lord. Therefore, you are making (fueling)all these "Personal Assumtions" with not nothing to base it on Althoug you speak in a manor to discredit Bishop Long, you actually confirm his innocence. Nothing anyone has said has any basic rational "grabbing for straws."

    You don't want to go down this roads!

    September 22, 2010 at 8:48 pm |
  9. WISDOM78850

    THE DIVEL IS A DAMNED LIAR ! Not only that, Are they trying to divert the attention from the Catholic Church; and their money laundring? Bishop Long should sue them back and let them know what it feels like!

    September 22, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • LAview

      google Eddie Long Photos and look for the photos he took in his bathroom mirror - posing in a pink muscle shirt and black spandex. Supposedly these photos were sent to one of the plaintiffs. Then come back here and tell me how innocent this man is.

      September 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm |
    • lawerence

      its devil, and how would you know hes lying, , unless...he told you, lol, get the hell on, cool aid drinking Jim Jones following, idiot

      September 26, 2010 at 10:02 am |
  10. Brittany

    I hope that people are not so quick to condemn before the facts are heard. There could be many motives for a lawsuit of this kind. It is my sincere hope that this is untrue and just some sick people's way to extort money from a man trying to fulfill his calling. My prayers are with all those involved, not only for the truth to be revealed, but for the heart of those who are wrong or are knowingly or have knowingly wronged a person, to get it right with God!

    September 22, 2010 at 2:27 pm |
    • Kate

      @Brittany

      Making it right with their victims would probably be better first, don't you think?

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm |
    • cindy

      I watch the CNN News when they interview the lawyer she had to bring up the Micheal Jackson case, someone need to inform this lady that this is not like the Micheal Jacskon case. This Man is of God..... Some one please tell me what parent would aloud their child to travel all over the world with them. I think that these people are out for money....... Let's not accused a person with out the FACTS....

      September 22, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
    • Kate

      @cindy

      Yeah, ummm, in case you haven't been keeping up with the news about the past few decades, being a man of god doesn't actually imply any moral superiority of ability to control one's impulses – and it ain't just the Catholic ones.

      You're right, it's not like the Michael Jackson case – a man of god is much, much, worse.

      Although I think you miss the delicious irony of your own statement about waiting for the facts right after saying you think the victims are out for money. Maybe it'll turn out this minister doesn't practice what he preaches any more than you do – then you're borked.

      Just notin'

      September 23, 2010 at 12:31 am |
    • The Truth

      I hope it is true. Pimp Eddie has been pimping Christianity for too long. He could have fed thousand instead of drive a Bently. Maybe we can stop the ignorant idiotic members of New Birth from makikng this man rich. Hopefully, this will be enough from the other set monkey's at Creflo Dollar's to understand they are being pimped.

      September 30, 2010 at 6:03 pm |
  11. David Johnson

    That's right! This was a shakedown! I made them get it and shake it! Their faith is stronger for it!

    September 22, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
  12. Reality

    For new members only:

    For truth in scandals:

    "In a statement, read out by Archbishop Silvano Maria Tomasi in September 2009, the Holy See stated "We know now that in the last 50 years somewhere between 1.5% and 5% of the Catholic clergy has been involved in s-exual a-buse cases," adding that this figure was comparable with that of other groups and denominations."

    “As with other religious organizations, Jehovah's Witnesses have been obliged in recent years to develop child protection policies to deal with cases of child a-buse in their congregations. Details of the policy have been published in Jehovah's Witnesses' publications and press releases issued by their Office of Public Information.[1][2] Some details are found only in letters to elders which, while solely for internal use, have been made available on the Internet.”

    “Facing calls to curb child s-ex abuse within its churches, in June the Southern Baptist Convention — the largest U.S. religious body after the Catholic Church — urged local hiring committees to conduct federal background checks but rejected a proposal to create a central database of staff and clergy who have been either convicted of or indicted on charges of mol-esting minors. The SBC decided against such a database in part because its principle of local autonomy means it cannot compel individual churches to report any information. And while the headlines regarding churches and pe-dophilia remain largely focused on Catholic parishes, the lack of hierarchical structure and systematized record-keeping in most Protestant churches makes it harder not only for church leaders to impose standards, but for interested parties to track allegations of abuse. "

    "Yet another prominent Orthodox rabbi has been charged with se-xual abuse. This time it is Rabbi Mordechai Elon, one of the foremost rabbinic leaders of the Israeli Orthodox movement and former rosh yeshiva at the flagship Yeshivat HaRav, where last year a Palestinian mounted an assault which left several students dead. The result was that students of the yeshiva and other far right Jews went on a rampage and tried to burn down the home of the family of the perpetrator of the attack. Elon’s brother is Benny, a former MK for a far-right pro-settler party."

    "A jury in Oregon ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay $18.5 million to a former Scout who suffered s-exual ab-use as a child at the hands of his troop leader — the largest such award levied against the organization, reports The Oreg-onian.

    Attorneys for 38-year-old Kerry Lewis said the verdict exposed the organization’s “dark history with pe-dophiles and its unwillingness to come to terms with the problem.” They waved “per-version files“ around the courtroom – secret files kept by the Scouts doc-umenting claims of se-xual ab-use by troop leaders and volunteers over a 70 year-period."

    September 22, 2010 at 12:22 pm |
  13. Kate

    Cue Gloria Allred

    September 22, 2010 at 10:22 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.