September 22nd, 2010
09:37 AM ET

Accused pastor crusaded against homosexuals

Editor's note: CNN's John Blake first covered Bishop Eddie Long as a religion reporter for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.

As Bishop Eddie Long poked through a salad in his church office one summer day in 1999, he shot a weary look at a person ticking off his ministry's successes.

His Atlanta megachurch had already reached 25,000 members. He had been invited to the White House, built a global television ministry and drove around town in a $350,000 Bentley.

But Long told the visitor who had come to write about him that the pressures of being a high-profile pastor could be brutal.

"You don't want any of this," he said in a raspy baritone as he shook his head. "You don't want any of this ..."

Long didn't get more specific about those pressures.

Read the full story

- CNN Writer

Filed under: Church • Georgia • Homosexuality • Leaders • Pastors • Scandal • United States

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. MU

    oops.....just realized I spelled "their" instead of there. See...I'm human.

    September 22, 2010 at 5:58 pm |
    • DavidPun

      So what you're saying is that the definition of humanity is being able to spell "there" correctly MMmmm interseting.... 🙂

      September 24, 2010 at 11:00 am |
  2. Thugliest

    you know what they say, where there is smoke there is fire

    September 22, 2010 at 3:48 pm |
    • NL

      Not always. There have been plenty of teachers who have been the targets of admitted fabrications. The scandals usually still destroyed their careers but, then again, they weren't Christian clergy, were they?

      September 22, 2010 at 5:37 pm |
  3. 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 12:23 pm |
  4. KafLik

    wheel, just sends dat there pink frocked dude to da Kaflick church..all is wel- c-m-e-d. He kin breeng he's unwrinkeld self wif all he's spots too. Wez don't minds. He's kin give us'n some of he's money, itll make up forah whats wez missin in the Coffers..he kin rides in ma popemobile, and if'n he's good, he masaswell have a beer in de church hall

    September 22, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  5. Second old guy

    @First old guy

    LOL...*cough*..I think we're safe now, I fooled her into thinkin' she wuz nekkid. LOL

    September 22, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • First old guy

      Damn...didn't see a thing...*cough*..but a bunch of dust the whole time...

      September 22, 2010 at 11:29 am |
    • Second old guy

      *cough* Time for a drink...

      September 22, 2010 at 11:38 am |
    • First old guy

      *cough* And then mebbe we kin move somewhere less dusty...*cough* ...with slower wimmin, too...

      September 22, 2010 at 11:41 am |
  6. Kate

    No, I'm obviously a figment of your feverish imagination

    Just ghostin'

    September 22, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  7. Luke

    Anyone shocked by this?

    September 22, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Coroner Dude


      Nope, we see it all the time. These old guys just can't take this sort of excitement. Or were you talking about that pastor fella?

      September 22, 2010 at 10:57 am |
    • First old guy

      Hell yes! I thought I wuz dead!

      September 22, 2010 at 11:09 am |
    • Kate

      You are dead, you're just discovering that even in the afterlife you still can't get wimmin 😛

      Just laughin'

      September 22, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • Second old guy

      *cough* is that you, Luke? Is this the afterlife?

      September 22, 2010 at 11:10 am |
    • First old guy


      A woman! Say...haven't I seen you somewhere around here before? *cough*

      September 22, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • Second old guy

      @First old guy

      See? I told you she had tlts. Don't know why she's nekkid, though...unless...Say! Do you think she likes us?

      September 22, 2010 at 11:18 am |
  8. Second old guy

    I think she's gone again...*cough* ..but I can't see for sure....*cough*

    September 22, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • First old guy

      Don't look now but we've got another one! *cough*

      September 22, 2010 at 10:31 am |
    • Second old guy

      I think we'd better head inside before we get run over...They're comin' outa the woodwork, now...

      September 22, 2010 at 10:36 am |
    • Kate

      If we're coming out of the woodwork, then obviously going inside won't help you in those old log cabins up on a mountainside you're livin' in

      Just analyzin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:40 am |
    • Second old guy

      Goodgollyjumpinjehosephat! Where'n heII....*erk!* (heart attack)

      September 22, 2010 at 10:53 am |
    • First old guy

      (keels over deader'n a doornail from the shock)

      September 22, 2010 at 10:54 am |
    • Sunglasses and a badge


      Ma'am, if you'll just sign this speedin' ticket down here at the bottom....

      September 22, 2010 at 11:08 am |
    • Kate

      *Uses Reality's name*

      Just impersonatin'

      September 22, 2010 at 11:09 am |
  9. Diana Block

    I am wondering about the "abuse" From what I am reading the men were above the age of consent. There was no physical force used. I didn't realize showering a romatic interest with gifts of cars, money and trips was considered "abuse" If they didn't like it all they had to do was go to another church, or sit in the back and leave immediately after service. No one forced them to go on shopping trips to Paris and drive the Lexus he bought them. A couple of guys I have dated have showered me with gifts because they were interested in me romatically.. Can I file a lawsuit against them?

    September 22, 2010 at 10:29 am |
    • Kate

      @Diane Block

      I'm thinking it's going to boil down to abusing a position of authority and using the fear of public outing, humiliation, or embarrassment as a blackmail/extortion tool. I'm no lawyer, but you've got some pretty good defense bullet points there that the accusers (or their lawyers) have to have considered and have an answer for else this is going to get tossed out of court at the first motion to dismiss.

      Nice logic catch!

      Just thinkin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:39 am |
    • JohnQuest

      Diana Block, this is an abuse of power, breach of trust, and utterly unethical, no difference than a Prof. and a student, a manger and an employee. I don’t think he should go to jail (I don’t know all of the facts) but they might have a case.

      September 22, 2010 at 10:55 am |
  10. First old guy

    I think I'm a-gettin' me one o' them wimmin. D'you think they'll ever make 'em slow enough for someone like me to catch?

    September 22, 2010 at 10:18 am |
    • Second old guy


      September 22, 2010 at 10:19 am |
    • First old guy


      September 22, 2010 at 10:21 am |
    • Kate

      You want wimmin?? You can't handle wimmin!!

      Just paraphrasin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:22 am |
    • Second old guy

      Where'd she come from? Dang! She popped up like a gopher! Did you see where she came from?

      September 22, 2010 at 10:24 am |
    • First old guy

      *cough* Nope, but she's raisin' a heII of a lot of dust! *cough*

      September 22, 2010 at 10:26 am |
  11. Kate

    Am I the only one who's sitting here wonderin' about the fact the guy is wearing a pink tie, and a pink hankie, in the article photo?

    Did no-one even notice the warning signs about this guy?? Have people become so worried about Islamic extremists that they miss the portents and signs right here in our midst??

    Wake up America!!!!

    Just hypin'

    September 22, 2010 at 10:11 am |
    • NL

      If there were a link between pink ties and this then Donald Trump would be suspect, but we know that nobody with that lame a hairdo could possibly be gay, so I think your theory is without merit.

      September 22, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • Kate


      Trump probably just uses it as bait so he can snare more victims into his web so he can fire them later 😛

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:46 am |
    • Nonimus

      Just stereotypn'?

      If I were a member of this church, I'd be more worried about the friggin' Bentley ($350,000!!!)

      September 22, 2010 at 11:15 am |
    • NL

      Meanwhile, evangelicals are pointing at the accusation of money laundering over at the Vatican bank. It's nice to be in a position to see every abuse equally, without loyalty to a particular sect getting in the way.

      September 22, 2010 at 11:47 am |
    • Kate


      I don't get it, I haz two hands but only one keyboard, I can't type in stereo ...


      I think it's more a case of hopin' that pointin' to someone else's abuse will take the heat off their own.

      Dang but those Ivory Towers are getting all dirtied up these days for some sects!

      Just sayin'

      September 22, 2010 at 11:58 am |
  12. First old guy

    Eh? It's what?

    September 22, 2010 at 10:10 am |
    • Second old guy

      It's a woman, I think. She's got great tracts of land...and she's drivin' like a maniac. Look out! Here she comes again!

      September 22, 2010 at 10:12 am |
  13. Old guy sittin' on the porch

    What the hell was that? It went by so fast I think I may have to change my underwear...again...?

    September 22, 2010 at 10:06 am |
    • Other old guy sittin'

      I think it had tlts...

      September 22, 2010 at 10:08 am |
  14. Kate

    Well you know what they say – most h0moph0bia is self-denial

    Just psychin'

    September 22, 2010 at 10:02 am |
    • NL

      Based on that principle, who would you speculate amongst Christians outspoken against the "lifestyle" would likely be next to be caught with his hand in somebody else's cookie jar?

      September 22, 2010 at 10:32 am |
    • Kate


      My guess is someone in Focus on the Family – not Dobson though, he's too boring to ever have a guy interested in him (except maybe as a b0ttom, which he looks like).

      Oddly, I don't think it'll be anyone on the Prop 8 side – but that Bush aide coming out did surprise me.

      What would just make my entire life perfect is if it ends up being Ol' Freddie Kruger (Phelps). It's only a small step from beating your kids with a pickaxe handle to messing with them in other ways.

      Just musin'

      September 22, 2010 at 10:37 am |
    • NL

      I'm betting on Joe (Texas city, home of the Cowboys) eventually dropping his self-denial, but I would be shocked if he was abusing his power for favors.

      September 22, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  15. David Johnson

    Ken Copeland preached against the gays also. Ken said being gay made Jesus very mad.

    Let's have a show of hands: Whose sorry they ever put a buck in the collection plate?

    September 22, 2010 at 9:54 am |
    • Critter

      @David Johnson

      My hand is up! (wait, which hand?) uh...okay, both hands! Hallelujah!

      September 22, 2010 at 10:00 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.