Monday, September 27, 2010

Preacher Man (as required by Internet Rule #47854)

Ramblings Post #138
I don't really do scandal. I can do gossip a little, but I draw the line at scandal. It's fun for a minute, but then you realize it's real people, not scripted drama where the actors all go home at night. Then you have to go WHOA. Because everybody in a scandal, especially those at the edges, don't always deserve to be there.

You may live in a part of the country where things like Unemployment, Human Rights or Middle East Peace Process are the top stories of the day. Or maybe the ailing budget of the US government, long term environmental impact of industrial accidents, deflation worries of the current wages of the modern worker, or changes in socioeconomic trends that indicate a coming shift in the always moving balance of the world's power and thus the future standard of living for you, me and, well at this point, my most likely imaginary progeny.

Or...if you live where I live, you could be worried about the image of a preacher who may or may not be sleeping with young men.

You see what happens when you put these things in perspective?

Now, I'm not a legal scholar, or a crisis expert, but that preacher man down at the church called New Birth (25,000 strong) is in a peck of trouble, and is not handling it well at all. The suits filed at this point number four, and I think we're maybe two more from someone making the Tiger comparisons. Or the Micheal Jackson comparisons. Not the greatest company for a man of the cloth. I could make a call, I think Tiger's folks are free right about now.

I didn't wait with baited breath like some for Eddie Long's response to the allegations, but I do know he needed to at least, for his supporters, deny them, instead what he did - making a vague reference to fighting it in court. You could fight it in court and win, and still be gulity of the actions. The other side just may not have enough evidence to prove anything. What he gave was a legal answer, one as a lawyer you will tell or write down for your client to make. Calculated words. It begs the question of why not deny it? The legal response that has to be filed pretty much will deny it all, it has to, so why not have him say it on the stage? Like those pictures of him in a muscle shirt that "apparently" were sent to the young men, it makes you think.

I read the complaints, which are online, and even with my naive legal eyes I can see trouble. The suits name Eddie Long in particular, but also the church as a whole as a defendant. And it mentions how the church spends it's money. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that this means at some point the plaintiff is going to want to go over the church's books with a fine tooth comb. If nothing else, nobody wants that. A church's books and how it handles its money are one of the last great vestiges of mafia accounting and creative "figuring" left in America. A trip though them will take a forensic accountant or six, two NASA scientists to keep the numbers straight, and Lara Croft.

In the interest of full disclosure, my own relationship with God has always been more personal. I grew up in the South, where the preachers sometimes kept the collection money in the trunk of their car and occasionally visited attractive female parishioners to "lay hands" in private. My father referred to that type as "Jackleg preachers", and although I never understood the complete meaning of the term, I knew it wasn't a compliment. So there's that background, and the idea of needing an intermediary to learn the word or speak to God never really sat well with me. My grandmother taught me he was everywhere, always listening, so I figured I could directly talk to him whenever I needed to and I can read the word myself. I'll listen and learn. I'll fellowship. But I can't take any man's word as gospel if I got a bible and brain myself. But that's just me.

I can't say if Bishop Long did or did not do what he as been accused of. But I can say with what little I know, the plaintiffs should be able to get at least into "Discovery". And that's when the fun starts.

Barkeep. Just start pouring, we're gonna be here awhile.

No comments: