Long before Bishop Eddie L. Long became embroiled this week in allegations of using his leverage as pastor and mentor to compel three teenage boys into sexual relationships, the leader of the Atlanta-area New Birth Missionary Baptist Church recorded a sermon – and sold copies of it in the church bookstore – denouncing homosexuality and attributing society’s problems to men becoming more like women and women more like men.
“The problem today and the reason why society is like it is, is because men are being feminized and women are becoming masculine,” Long says. He then rejects the notion that homosexual orientation can’t be changed. “You can not say, ‘I was born this way’… I don’t care what scientists say, If you say you were born this way, then you’re saying, ‘God, you’re a liar! And I see this thing down here but I’m going to ignore it!’ ”
With the church’s website down this week, it isn’t known if copies of the undated sermon, entitled “Back to the Future,” are still offered for sale. The Southern Poverty Law Center purchased a VHS copy while producing stories on Long and other African-American church leaders who opposed gay rights for its Spring 2007 edition of Intelligence Report.
Much of Long’s sermon is devoted to the theme of proper gender roles. “It is the most unattractive thing I have ever seen, when I see women wearing uniforms that men would wear, and women fighting to get in the military!”
Long later mocks lesbians and female self-gratification. “So the woman gets converted, or perverted, to turn towards woman. Why would she turn toward woman? Because, she’ll turn toward woman because woman is acting like man.”
Later, he adds, “…and everybody knows it’s dangerous to enter an exit!”
He continues, “And everybody knows, ladies, if you go to the store and buy this device [marital aids], it’s Memorex! It ain’t real!”
Long later says, “That’s the reason why we got sexual immorality. That’s the reason why there’s a rise in the gay agenda. That is the reason why… Church won’t say nothing — It’s amazing, church folk: ‘Well, I’m gay. Well, ‘Just don’t bother me. Or you can bother me.’ That’s the only statements. You don’t say, ‘and the Lord said.’ You’re out of order. You’ve turned the truth into the lie. You can be converted. You were not born that way! Let me pray with you. Let me tell you, don’t you be conformed to this world. But be ye transformed from the, ‘Well, I don’t know what I am.’ Tell it, take your clothes down, I’ll show you who you are!”
Later, Long says, “And God said, ‘Everybody in here that knows what’s right and ain’t practicing, and every woman that knows what to do, but still want to act like a woman that, of the 90’s that the world has described, God says, and to every man that knows what God is saying to do and you’re still acting like the boys on the corner, “God says you deserve death!”