September 26th, 2010
06:55 PM ET

Opinion: Why black church culture rejects homosexuality

By Shayne Lee, Special to CNN

Editor's Note: Shayne Lee, Ph.D, is an associate professor of sociology at Tulane University. He is the author of "T.D. Jakes: America's New Preacher," which analyzes major changes in the black church culture and contemporary American religion, and co-author of "Holy Mavericks: Evangelical Innovators and the Spiritual Marketplace," which looks at the appeal of celebrity preachers.

As a sociologist who studies black churches, my research allows for compelling conversations with some of our nation's most powerful religious leaders. But my most memorable interview to date was not with a celebrity preacher, but a lesser known young gay Christian I'll call David.

Like many black Christians, David grew up in a theologically conservative church culture that views the Bible as the authoritative word of God. This supplied David with a healthy dose of guilt and regret for succumbing to same-sex cravings, eventually leading to his despondent spiritual state. In gripping detail, David recalled spending many days and nights fasting and praying for God to "deliver" him from his homosexuality.

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Black issues • Christianity • Church • Homosexuality • Opinion • Race

September 26th, 2010
05:52 PM ET

Televangelist Eddie Long: 'I'm going to fight' sex allegations

Lithonia, Georgia (CNN) - Baptist televangelist Eddie Long said Sunday he will fight allegations that he coerced young male church members into having sex with him.

"I am not the man that has been portrayed on television," he told his congregation.

Speaking publicly about the accusations for the first time, Long did not address the specific allegations contained in four lawsuits filed against him earlier this week.

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Courts • Pastors • Sex abuse

September 26th, 2010
10:15 AM ET

Eddie Long breaks his silence

By the CNN Wire Staff

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) - Five days after the first of four lawsuits was filed claiming he coerced young males into sexual relationships, Georgia pastor Eddie Long took to the pulpit Sunday to tell his side of the story.

Speaking to the massive congregation packed into the Atlanta-area New Birth Missionary Baptist Church for an 8 a.m. service, Long said that "this is probably the most difficult time" of his entire life, but he intends to fight the allegations against him.


- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Homosexuality • Pastors

About this blog

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.