he well-known black pastor Eddie Long, currently facing allegations of gay sexual abuse, is a "vehement crusader against same-sex marriage — and against homosexuality in general," says Eugene Robinson in The Washington Post. Whether the charges that Long conducted inappropriate relationships with four young men are true or not, perhaps this scandal will "force the African American church to finally confront its long history of homophobic hypocrisy." As the world "become[s] much more understanding and tolerant of homosexuality," writes Robinson, the black church needs to drop its "deep social conservatism" views on the issue. Here, an excerpt:
I'm guessing that maybe Long has some questions of identity to grapple with. He might choose to seek and confront the answers, or he might not. But meanwhile, African American preachers and worshipers across the nation are watching — and, one hopes, learning...
Nothing he learns about himself can negate all the good works he has done in his ministry — all the people whose lives he has changed with a message of faith and hope. Maybe he could forgive himself. Then maybe he could forgive all the gays and lesbians he so coldly condemns.
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