When the now infamous allegations against Bishop Eddie Long first surfaced, the world – and specifically the African American community – paused for a seemingly endless moment. Attempting to cope with the complexity of the situation, we began questioning everything from faith and leadership, to sexuality and civic responsibility.
Accountability and Responsibility
An ongoing issue within the Catholic Church, this was the first time that we within the Black Church were faced with the troubling notion of pedophilia and abuse of power. And though nothing has been confirmed nor denied at this point in time, this difficult period should serve as the quintessential teachable moment on a plethora of levels for everyone who cares about the future of our community, the Black Church and our children.
To be clear, let’s first remind ourselves that Pastor Long is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. Our constitution affords all of us a just trial within the judicial system, and we should honor it no matter what the views in the court of public opinion may be. That being said, we can however highlight the need for growth within leadership, and the duty upon all of us to assess our own shortcomings and potential hypocrisy.