Bishop Eddie Long's looking a little gaunt these days.
If you aren't from the Atlanta area you might not have heard of the prosperity gospel compound just outside Atlanta, complete with slick high-octane and high-dollar preacher, "Bishop" Eddie Long. I say that in quotes because he decided he was Bishop of his own "Independent" Pentecostal whatever, which means that he disagreed enough with every established hierarchy to have to hang out his own slate.
He was known for two things. You give him a check, Jesus will give you a bigger one. They call that kind of stuff "seed planting" - if you have the faith by buying God's representative his own personal helicopter, well, those money troubles you all have will just go away. They literally PRAY FOR CHECKS.
Well, quite recently Eddie Long had to pay some people off to settle a quiet legal issue involving him, the sucking of teenage penis and a bevy of owners of said penises claiming that they needed a father figure and got abuse instead. Oh, Long spun it as the usual: David and Goliath. You don't want to be a preacher, because SATAN makes them all come out of the woodwork to TEAR YOU DOWN.
Eddie also liked to pose with his big muscles. He was into muscles - his own and those of others. Ran a gym out of his huge church complex. Something to do with a ministry involving the name Samson. He's gaunt now, a shadow of his former self. He's openly said he has a "health issue" - some whisper Stage 4 cancer, but given his reluctance to say what the situation is, a lot of people are guessing hood cancer, which there's a lot of in the Atlanta area. Between "herion" (not a typo), homelessness and a lot of black men on the down low - theres a LOT of hood cancer going down.
A lot of people are saying that Karma doesn't give a shit how big your biceps are, it can lay a beatdown right across your chops with a wicked set of fives just like everyone else who needs it. A lot of other people are saying that whatever you castigate a Bishop of the faith with, well, God gonna get you.
I don't judge Eddie Long. I pity Eddie Long. I don't like what he's accused of doing. Whether he's done anything or not, he'll die with that stain on his name long after whatever he has gets him.
But Jesus overturned the tables of the moneychangers, he didn't put them in charge of his church. That dammmn much I dammmn know.
In other news, the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta had a stirring message go out over Facebook today - a personal one from the Bish. It's Suicide Prevention Month and please, for the LOVE OF GOD, reach out to someone if you think in any way your being gone won't hurt anyone else. Reach out to me if you want. Or anyone else who you trust.
It's not been that long since I had someone locked up and in velcro shoes writing with crayons on a suicide ward. It isn't worth it to do that, and you really do hurt others.