Players in the Pulpit

Bishop Eddie Long
I am not a religious individual and  I just don't feel the need to attend Sunday sermons every week. I am definitely not opposed to religion or those that bathe themselves in it. I was deeply rooted in Catholicism as a child and it lasted until I decided to take my own spiritual path and limit my contact with organized religion. Now organized religion still intrigues me but I prefer to be on the outside looking in.

Recently Louisiana Pastor Ronald J. Harris Sr. was shot and killed in the pulpit in front of his congregation. When the story first broke it seemed like a deranged man ran into the church and killed this God-fearing man.  When his daughter presented herself to the media it appeared to me that she was doing damage control.  I knew what would happen next; the sex scandal would follow.  Then like clockwork the rumors of the pious pastor and the gunman's wife, being caught up in sexual relationship, began to circulate.  Everyone in that church who witnessed the murder probably knew exactly what was going on. It wasn't a maniacal stranger that fired that gun, but one of their own. He was either defending his wife's honor or eliminating the competition.

The shooter's wife had filed a rape complaint days before the murder but this was after the distressed husband had confronted her with some racy photos she sent to the pastor.   More rumors have since surfaced that Pastor Harris had several ladies in waiting.  There is nothing surprising here.  We have seen it time and time again.

Bishop Eddie Long's sexual abuse case and his thirst for pubescent boys decimated his reputation. The heinous accusations were plentiful. He arranged trips to hotels with his self-proclaimed "spiritual sons" then ceremoniously dumped them when they aged out. Long settled with at least four men although he continued to deny that he used these boys, that were seeking fatherly guidance, for his own sexual pleasure. After years of stubbornly standing his ground the man who stated that homosexuality is a "spiritual abortion" has finally resigned from his lucrative position.

Pastor Zachery Tims the former leader of the New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, FL and his salacious affair with a Parisian stripper willing to tell it all on the internet destroyed his marriage. In August 2011 he was found dead in the W Hotel in New York City.  His mother went to court to stop the medical examiner from releasing the particulars of his death to prevent further embarrassment. There is no telling what went down in that hotel room.

It is not just a Christianity issue. In Harlem at the historic Mosque No. 7, Minister Benjamin Muhammad, formerly Reverend Benjamin Chavis, was caught up in his own sexual impropriety with a Muslim woman he had counseled for marital problems. The woman went on to accuse him of badgering her for sex after he cried that his wife had not given him any for over six months. He begged her for oral sex and when she refused he coerced her into letting him do the favor.

We know sex scandals in religion cover the spectrum. A male prostitute accused, anti-homosexual and former pastor, Ted Haggard of paying him for sex for three years while he led a congregation of 14,000 followers at the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.  Later on a young man in the church revealed their sexual affair. Haggard who is married, eventually professed to the world that he did engage in a homosexual acts but he was not gay. He eventually stepped down from his multi-million dollar position still denying he likes the D.  Even his therapist is in on it, describing him as "a heterosexual with complications."

I could go on and on about scandals in the church, synagogue, temple, etc... These men and women are of the flesh and cannot be expected to be without sin. Yes they are only human but it still amazes me that there is just as much or even more sexual hook-ups going on in a place of worship as there is in a a nightclub on Miami's South Beach.

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