I just have to say something about the recent revelation of Bishop Eddie Long who has been accused of coercing young men to have sex with him. Copy and paste the link for the full story. http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2010/09/23/evening-buzz-bishop-sex-scandal/?iref=allsearch
I’m not going to play judge, jury and executioner but often when it comes to the gay lifestyle, they do the same to us. If you’re gay often the preachings of the churches demonize and stigmatize those who are gay. Looking at black churches, which I’m more familiar with I have to say that I have experienced this first hand.
I was raised in a religious environment. In fact my grandfather was a pastor who owned his own church that he built himself and as kids we had no choice of not attending. So God has always been a big part of the tapestry of who I am. My mother made it known to us as kids that if we ever turn out gay “she’ll kill us”. This was said to all of us, my siblings included, but it felt like it was meant for me. As I got older and struggling with my identity I wished I had the same black churches I frequented to give me hope, instead I was literally each time I was told I was going to hell if I didn’t flick the switch on my back and go straight.
Bishop Eddie Long represents what’s wrong with the black churches and gay identity. For gays, we’re hated during the day but lusted for at night. Black churches have so much power and responsibility to welcome all God’s children, yet like the old “No Coloreds Allowed”, we have “No Gays Allowed”. Living in Harlem you can’t throw a quarter without hitting a church as there are plenty and yet also these same churches sit in the epicenter of a community that has the highest rates of AIDS/HIV. The silence of the black churches is deafening. And in a way it’s sad that the only time a black church will listen to the message of a gay men is that he first must dress in drag and call himself Madea. Almost like the modern day of blackface, an entertainer to make us laugh.
As a young man living on my own I wanted to stay connected to the church, yet it never failed that when I would go eventually the preacher would sermon about the gay sexuality and how we’re going to hell. And for me it was almost like the message was directed to me, similar to the message my mother directed to me.
And it’s ironic that in the churches I briefly frequented you would listen to the choir and I’m not trying to be stereotypical here but it seemed that for me my gaydar would be blasting. It was sometimes obvious the choir was made up of gay singers and the choir director made you tilt your head as well. And they would sing their song after a sermon of them going to hell. Basically to me they were singing at their own funeral. Yet on the other hand some gays continue that relationship knowing the price and knowing that they needed a house of worship.
Do I go to church now? No but I learned I didn’t need a building to talk to God. God and I talk everyday and everywhere. And unlike some who go to church on a Sunday and don’t practice the teachings of God until the next Sunday, a true person of faith knows that church is everyday. I learned that just because you highlight passages in your bible doesn’t make you a religious person. Just as sitting in a garage all day doesn’t make you a car. You just have a marked book and a elephant in your building that is not being talked about.
Finishing with Bishop Eddie Long he represents the hypocrisy of black churches as he has constantly attacked homosexuality. Instead of saving he was helping someone dig a grave. Now look at him. I guess it’s true when they say what you do in the dark will eventually come to light. Instead of hiding behind his spin control machine he will see the light and see that no matter what or who you are we all are a child of God. And for those churches out there that recognizes this and accept us as we are I thank you but seriously for my black churches we need to get our head out the sand as your flock is slowly dying and it’s because of two four letter words, HATE and AIDS. Scriptures should elevate not denigrate!
Corrine Cochrane on Hurt/Hate/Heal Anonymous on Life’s Lesson with … gerard riveron on Christmas Wish Anonymous on Happy World AIDS Day Anonymous on Happy World AIDS Day