Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts on Eddie Long.

I'll be honest. I'm no fan of Baptist doctrine and I am especially not a fan of mega churches, but I do find the allegations against Eddie Long very sad. Bishop Long has been accused of coercing young men from his church to have various types of sex with him and using his power and money from the church to entice them further and keep them quiet.

He states that the allegations are untrue and that he will fight against them. He really has no choice though. A mega church is a business. Bishop Long is the head of the business and he can't allow anything to get in the way of what his business does. Whether you believe that is making money or saving souls, it doesn't matter. If Bishop Long is innocent and steps down (that way that Roland Martin suggests in his piece on CNN) he appears guilty and weak. If he stays and fights the allegations from the pulpit, he gives his followers some hope. They don't believe that he would stand in front of them and lie about something, fully knowing that the proof would never be able to set him free. One of the men accusing Bishop Long claims to have photographic evidence that should clear this all up.

I think the truth of the matter will be discovered in a relatively short while. If there are photos of the Bishop and his boys in the act then I really don't know why he'd bother to showboat, unless he felt that he could financially satisfy the accuser. If you'll notice, there are no criminal charges being filed. I don't find it very strange to be honest. I think that you'd be hard pressed to find the physical evidence or evidence of any kind that these men were forced to engage with the Bishop.

The fourth lawsuit is very interesting to me. The supposed victim was allegedly showered with gifts like a car and tuition. If that was the case there should be a paper trail of some kind (unless he paid for the car and tuition with cash, of course.) Surely, someone would have noticed the time that the Bishop spent alone in hotel rooms with his young male followers.

It is my experience, from situations I have witnessed within churches where a scandal erupts, that when we have a situation like this that people within the church know. Not the parishioners, but typically the leader in question will have a power circle. This circle excludes his wife. She's given other duties typically in the women's ministry. The power circle is an incredibly small group that believe so strongly in the leader that they unquestioningly follow every order. These are the people that the lawyers need to get to. It won't matter really, even if they do find them the members of this small group will lie on the behalf of the leader because being part of this group gives them a significant amount of implied power. I'd look for one or two couples that are always around, not necessarily high ranking members of the church.

I think the biggest outrage that some people feel is that Bishop Long has long been an outspoken anti-gay leader. He preaches and campaigns that marriage is between a man and a woman and that if you are gay his ministry can cure you. (It is my opinion that by "cure" they mean to humiliate and use fear tactics to shame you into behaving "appropriately".) What does it say about Bishop Long if he's been preaching so strongly about this topic, only to be "struggling" with it himself?

I do not want to hear that it means he is human and we need to forgive him. (Frankly, it's not any of my business to forgive him. He's not harmed me in any way.) I also am not sure that I agree with the fourth suit that claims the church had an obligation to warn these guys. I suspect that even if they allegations are true, that "The Church" had no idea what was going on. "The Church" believes very strongly in mentoring and training up young men to be leaders and I believe that is what people thought was happening. I do not believe the attendees of Baptist churches or Mega Churches are bad people. I think they believe very strongly in the doctrine of the church and that the Mega Church provides a strong sense of community and belonging. The Mega Church is so large that sometimes things that could never fly in a small church, can be easily brushed aside or looked over in this larger environment. I think that the lawyers are targeting "The Church" because what they really want is "The Church's Money."

I also wonder why it took the fourth victim so many years to become disillusioned with the Bishop's message. (I'm not blaming the victim. I just wonder about these things.) If the Bishop's message in the pulpit is "Homosexuality is bad" and his message in the hotel room is "Homosexuality is rad" you'd think it would have brought up some questions a little sooner.

The best way to sum up my feelings on the matter are to say that it would be refreshing to see the Bishop cleared beyond a shadow of a doubt. I don't agree with his message, but I dislike people who use false claims to damage other people even more. I hope that this causes his followers to take a good hard look at what they believe and ask themselves important questions. I hope that if the Bishop is found to have been participating in homosexual acts, that he stops faking his hetero lifestyle or at least finds a way to come to terms with it. I feel terrible for the hard time his family is going through either way and I hope that a resolution of some kind can be reached soon.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

At least they're honest.

I saw this last week and I figured they would change it, but today I was stuck in traffic so I could get a picture for you guys. It totally cracked me up.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Welcome to the weekend.

The weekend is finally here. It's been a very long week. I was training a new person at work and I haven't felt particularly well and neither of those things created a good week.

I dislike training people. I'm not particularly good at it since I would much rather be doing the work myself. I recognize the necessity at this point since I'll be leaving on maternity leave shortly. This particular person just isn't computer literate, so it adds an extra level of difficulty. He's trying hard, but I want to literally throw him aside and do it myself. I generally try to give all trainees to other employees, but he only wants to work with me.

I think the long hours are finally getting to me. By the time I get home I am in misery. I want to rip out my own spine. It's a strange feeling to feel so angry at a part of my own body. I am not upset with Jack, obviously. I just don't understand why this hurts so badly.

This weekend we are going to a birthday party, buying my daughter some shorts, and hanging out with the kids. I'll update you soon!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I love this song.

Earthbound by Rodney Crowell

I am really not sure why this song appeals to me so much, but I like it. It just feels so pleasant. It's a song about reasons that we might want to stick around and not die too soon. I think there are so many songs about how horrible peoples lives are and how great the afterlife is going to be, but not many songs that talk about enjoying what we have while we're here which is the entire point of living.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Weekend Update

I know it's Wednesday, so technically the weekend is long gone and a new one is fast approaching, but I figured I'd fill you in on the weekend anyway. This was one of the most relaxed weekends that we have had in a while.

On Friday, I left work at 2pm to go get Max from school. After some delightful banter with the school's secretary in which she revealed that despite the fact that Max is in her son's playgroup she had no idea that Max had a step mother. She was so surprised that I had to ask her to check the card to see if I was, in fact, Max's mother. She then proceeded to announce (to a guy who had been sitting there the entire time and had probably figured it out on his own) that Max's "REAL mother" was here. These people have my son's birth certificate on file and I have always been on his paperwork, so I am unsure why she acted like it was the strangest thing in the world. I also told her that we didn't consider the multiple mothers thing a big deal and that Max calls both of us mom. Max kindly demonstrated this fact seconds later by walking in the door, shouting "MOM!", and hurling himself into my massively pregnant body. As we left, I felt more amused than anything.

Later that night, we took the kids to Long Horn Steakhouse. We had to wait about 40 minutes, but it was worth it. I always get the same thing despite the fact that I know I should probably try something else at some point. Max ordered the kids sirloin and proceeded to destroy  it. It was actually cooked perfectly, which surprised me since they never asked how we wanted it cooked. In the future, I'll remember to switch out the fries for something he'll actually eat. Annie got the chicken tenders which actually looked kind of gross. I can't imagine she cared since she hardly ever eats anything anyway.

Saturday we hung out at home for the most part. The kids played Wii Monopoly for a good portion of the day. Then we went over to our friend John's house for dinner. We had burgers and fries and great conversation. I was pretty wiped out when we got home and so after a brief snack for the kids we all went to bed.

Sunday was a big deal. We all got up and got fancy because it was the day of our Baby Shower. It felt like everyone on my mother's side showed up. My uncle Fred brought his inflatable kayak and Max took paddled around the lake for a while. My cousin Brittney got some great pictures of him and everyone else. Uncle Fred used his camera to get a giant family photo. It's been quite a while since we have had this many members of the family together at once.

My mother made meatball subs and barbecued turkey sandwiches. They were really great. We also had a huge salad, tons of watermelon, cole slaw, and a huge cake that had a baby on it. We were all pretty well fed. Mom made the cole slaw for my husband because he loves it, and I think he probably had three bowls of it. (I'm glad he likes it because that's one of the few things I will not eat. Yuck.)

It was seriously hot, but everyone stuck it out and did their best to stay cool. Right when everyone had about had it with the heat a storm rolled in. We had just enough time to open our gifts, have cake, and start saying goodbye when the sky opened up and dumped a huge amount of water on us. It was nice to finally cool off a little. I was completely tired and covered in sweat, so we decided to head home and shower and then later we would head to Steak and Shake. Max likes it there and he was staying with us an extra day since Max and Jenny were still at Dragon Con.

Monday was spent relaxing with Max and going to the grocery store. We also took him to the Mellow Mushroom for lunch. It made me want a beer pretty badly. They have beer on tap and in the bottle of all kinds. It's kind of torturous actually, but I know that soon enough I'll be able to have something good with my pizza.