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September 27th, 2010
11:48 AM ET

Pastor Preaches Inclusion of Gays

Bishop Eddie Long, the leader of one of the nation's most influential black megachurches says he's ready to fight against allegations that he preyed on four young men, using his influence to force them into sexual relationships. Long stood at the pulpit during Sunday services, and defended himself in front of thousands of cheering parishioners at Georgia's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church.

Reverend Carlton Pearson is a pioneering black televangelist and a close friend of Bishop Eddie Long's. But he lost a lot of his flock when he began preaching that everyone has a place in heaven, including gay people. Reverend Pearson shared his thoughts with CNN's Kyra Phillips on the allegations against Long.

Watch CNN Newsroom with Kyra Phillips M-F from 9-11am ET.

Filed under: Anchors • CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. f. shadow

    Ms. Phillips made some rather disparaging remarks about L. Lohan this morning. I think that she should keep her opinions to her self and just read the news.
    She has no idea of how this girl has grown up, what she has been subjected to and the fact that she has a convict father and a disinterested mother.

    Thank You.

    September 27, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
  2. kory

    Great job Kyra. Thank you Rev. Carlton for you compassionate analysis on this subject. Your comments and thoughts are some of the most realistic yet spiritually centered comments I've heard during this whole discussion. Hopefully, you're right and at least we can begin to have a REAL discussion of inclusion, human nature and religion.

    September 27, 2010 at 2:46 pm |
  3. Pastor Kyo Cummings

    The story is troubling all together. I am disappointed in Kyra Phillips that she or her producers did not present both sides of the story. Bishop Pearson told half truths and lies. You can't change the Bible to how ever you want it. Good churches don't exclude gays, murderers, prostitutes etc. but they also don't stop preaching and teaching the Word.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:06 pm |
  4. Bridgett

    Eddie Long did not say nor deny having sex with these youngsters. It sounds as thou he's saying he did not entice and misled the boys. So Bishop Eddie Long did you have sexual relation with these kids?

    September 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm |
  5. S. Haase

    If it is not supported by scripture they have no business preaching it !

    September 27, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  6. sharonb

    this is the most honest peice of truth I have seen on the matter of Bishop Long. We are going to have to face our truth and stop the blind faith.

    September 27, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
  7. Chelle

    Kyra, I would like to say "Thank You" for having the guts & superb interviewing/journalistic skills to have such a enlightening, nonjudgmental, spine tingling interview with Rev. Carlton Pearson.. I was late for school this morning b/c I was trying to wait and hear/see who would be discussing the topic. It was well worth me missing the 3pts. on the pop quiz but I just felt that I needed to see this interview. This conversation has been a long time coming but just as you said, "It's taboo to discuss things such as this in the media." Now, I don't know if Bishop Long did or did not commit these acts but if he did; he will have to answer just as all of us will have to answer for whatever sins we have committed. No one can save Bishop Long's soul but himself but I just want to thank you and Rev. Pearson for having such a discussion that made my heart happy all day. God loves all of us & no matter our sins; sin is sin. Continue being a great person who looks out for all individuals, regardless of race. You are a outstanding journalist.

    September 27, 2010 at 5:05 pm |
  8. M.Taplette

    Carlton has lost his mind

    September 27, 2010 at 5:48 pm |
  9. Brent

    I love Bishop Pearson!

    September 27, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
  10. Apollo Ophar

    Rev. Pearson may the lord have mercy on your soul....Jesus loves us all....He hates sin and homosexuality and lesbianism is a sin and it's destroying the plan of God. My desire is to be like christ and love inspite of their condition. If they don't change the lifestlye of behavior before they leave this earth.....they will spend eternity in hell. Our job as christians is to walk in the truth and let the word is of God continue convict us as we build a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ. Without it we will continue to walk in darkness. I encourage you read a book entittled Sinking Saint's written by Pastor Etta B.Harbin she speaks about how judgement must begin in church. I believe the Bishop Eddie Long knows Jesus and if he's gulity of those charges he knows what to do. I pray that the Lord continues to strengthen his family as he goes through.

    September 27, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
  11. DeWayne Jackson

    Hypocrisy is a serious problem that I think the Bishop faces. You cannot preach against something and then find yourself partaking in the very same thing you are preaching against. This is the major problem I'm finding with him not to mention having under age boys and kicking them to the curve when they reached adult status.

    September 27, 2010 at 7:39 pm |
  12. Duamel Torres

    The comments I posted earlier regarding Kyra's interview with Rev. Pearson were not meant to be defamatory or offensive and I apologize if they were received that way. As Roland Martin indicated in his article, for men who claim to be shepherds of the flock and lead people to Jesus the Son of God, the Head of the church, the Bible should be the standard or manual on how to live. I'm no expert on the matter, but I just believe that when it comes to issues of the church or people living or doing things in the name of God, we should refer to His Word, the Bible. In the end, God's opinion is the only one that matters, certainly not mine. I think these men need our prayers, so that God will make it clear to them how He feels.

    September 27, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
  13. Sean Robinson

    Can we stick to the scriptures Bishop Pearson? Leviticus 18, Romans 1 and countless others. Both of these individuals deal mostly with the neo-pentecostal movement which is loaded with religious overtones but does not focus on the gospel or scripture, but money and their emotions. Bishop Pearson, it is almost stand up that you are quoting greek and scripture, although we are well aware that Satan knows scripture as well. Just like Satan, You pick and choose scriptures and take them out of context to support your "radical" agenda which in reality is just heresy.

    September 28, 2010 at 3:23 am |
  14. Dan

    While I agree with Rev Pearson that IF you have accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior, heaven is assured, I DISAGREE with him saying homosexuality is ok.
    I don't know what bible he is reading, but he needs to re-read God's anger towards homosexuality (Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis chapters 18 & 19).
    The bible clearly states that marraige is a sacred union between a man and woman. There is NO gray area there.

    September 28, 2010 at 5:42 am |
  15. hourglass

    It continues to AMAZE me how people get into all these religious discussions and take religious positions on what being a Christian is or what God expects of us, when they obviously have not or do not read the Bible (God's Word and the very foundation of the Christian religion) or seem to have any knowledge of what it actually says! It is very clear on what God expects from us, including His Word against Homosexuality and unnatural things. As to whether one has to KNOW Christ to belong to Him, there is an important verse that comes to mind that says in the last days before His return to earth, "Many will say, Lord, Lord, and I will say Depart from me......I never knew you!" That should be clear on what it means to be a Christian...knowing and loving Him, and following His commandments! Christ paid a dear price for us and we don't even bother to read His Word, and so often attribute our own idealogies to Him erroneously to justify our own actions. Study the Word of God and then make your conclusions honestly! He is a great and loving God!

    September 28, 2010 at 9:23 am |
  16. Lena

    I agree with Rev. Pearson's statement that incidents like these are an impetus for the church to begin to have honest dialogue on human sexuality. I disagree with him, however, when he states that he wished the young men who are accusing Bishop Long of wrongdoing could have first went to the elders of the church and told them and cleared the matter"in house". Some of the church hierarchy is named in the suit for a reason: they KNEW what was occuring and in blind faith(and greed), did nothing to stop what was happening. Keep in mind that the Bishop has close ties to the police department, many of them being members of the church as well. Let us remember what happened to defectors of the People's Temple under Rev. Jim Jones. They had to flee the country to escape his henchmen and this was PRIOR to the temple move to Jonestown in Guyana. One must deal wisely with snakes. The boys are in my prayers continually.

    September 28, 2010 at 12:04 pm |
  17. Steve

    I applaud CNN specifically Don Lemon and Kyra Phillips for their coverage of the Eddie Long scandal.

    I think Pearson made important statements about human sexuality in the black community and none more important perhaps than his lighthearted remarks that signify the differences between black and white ideology on the matter.

    Black Americans to have very different (not better or worse) attitudes about sexuality leaving many black lgbt people in a constant state of battle with the black religious institutions.

    If Pearson believes that Long's accusers may have gotten support from other church leaders then he is naive. That is applying the "black folks don't air their dirty laundry" concept here which has been damaging to our community for such a very long time. I have every confidence the church leaders would have done all they could to cover up the whole thing. The African American community continues to sacrifice individuals for its institutions and none of us wins in the end.

    It is important to note that neither Eddie Jones or his accusers may see themselves as gay or homosexual. We must be careful not to assume that sexual behavior is equal to orientation or identity. They are not the same and as was stated in the interview there must be a space for all in black religious institutions in order for these spaces to truly do its work.

    As an out black gay man I hope that CNN continues to dig into this subject more deeply and sheds greater light on the nuances that are at play in this matter. It would be good to hear from members of the black gay men who, like myself are open and affirming of their sexuality. There is much we could contribute to the subject.

    September 28, 2010 at 1:40 pm |
  18. Kris


    I love the love this man is showing where other so-called ministers would take gays to rehabilitation camps for simply being who they are.

    This is a minister I would think the church would embrace but without the treat of eternal hell the money would slip away from the church.

    its all about the money people and don;t you forget it

    September 28, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
  19. Scott in Atlanta

    @hourglass, Thank you. You don't have to argue with these individuals. Do not cast your pearls before swine. There will come a time when they will not endure sound doctrine, but instead, wanting their ears tickled they make up their own Gods. Then they are easily made merchandise of.

    There is no wonder why bishop skillet can get on TV at 3 am and broadcast lies to them who are awake, and desperate with worry for whatever situation. They are easily sold and will pay $19.95 for the "miracle soap" that's being offerred.

    And because this false prophet is tell'n lies and sell'n pies, the minute the "miracle soap" doesn't stop their home from being forclosed on, they don't stop believing in the jacklegg preacher; they stop believing in God.

    People, you don't put on this parachute to have a better flight. You put on the parachute because one day you will have to leave the plane...

    September 28, 2010 at 2:36 pm |
  20. JRinColoradoSprings

    This sounds too much like Ted Haggard

    Hope I'm wrong

    September 28, 2010 at 11:13 pm |
  21. Deborah

    I happen to agree on one issue that Bishop Pearson stated, that we as a church need to address the issue. However, the Bible clearly states in numerous occassion, how God feels about homosexuality or unnatural things. God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah in Genesis and it is referenced again in Romans 1. The Bible states in Romans that God gave them up unto vile affections. We must remember, God is love, but He is also just.

    September 29, 2010 at 8:52 am |
  22. MB in Florida

    Why is it necessary for people of any age to reveal their sexual information (gay, lesbian, straight, ac/dc ? We can't make enough laws to keep up with our "too much information" culture. Wouldn't having mandatory privacy laws, if we are going to legislate anythng, be the answer to all this? Maybe "don't ask, don't tell" isn't such a bad idea. School age children and youth are often not mature enough to be dealing with adult oriented issues.
    Re: Pastor Eddie Long – it's well known those who protest too much (preach vehemently against certain things) often have hidden phobias and tendencies. I believe pastors get off track by making these personal issues the focus of our message to church members. Thank you and enjoy your programs, Kyra.

    September 29, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  23. Renee Jackson

    LOVE is not confined to anyone's views. LOVE is vast beyond our ability to see with our limited eyes, ears, perception,and experience. LOVE is being, and does not concern itself with anything other than the greatness that it recognizes in everyone. LOVE does not see the mote in one's eyes, because it beam is not in LOVE. LOVE on reflects LOVE!

    September 29, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  24. Terry Mitchell

    People keep on using the bible for saying whether he was wrong for what his being accused of doing and All I'm saying is that God did not write the bible or give the inspiration for writing it either,but [sick white forks] with many of them doing and living this same type of life.So in other words the bible is not the word of God but of and by men who pratice this same lifestyle day in and dayout and then judge other with their book that is made up by them too benefit them and the keep them in positions of control.Now prove me wrong

    September 30, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  25. shawna jones

    As God is our witness, he will have to deal with Bishop Long. If it is true, may the mercy of God be upon him

    October 2, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  26. shawna jones

    It is amazing how we (humans) are so quite to judge. Like they judge President Obama. The same ones who said that he is a Muslim but yet, they themselves have no religion or even stepped foot inside of a church. It bothers me that this is happening to the Bishop. I admired him for so long. I sincerely hope that if all they're saying is happens to true, Bishop Long should go to God, ask for forgiveness and whom he has hurt, then step down.
    Bishop Pearson made an interesting comment, "if he is gay, then we should embrace him". How many of us have sinned and sinned and keep sinning again and again. Not once but over and over again. What happens, well... let's see, oh yeah, we go on with ourselves like nothing happen. We are judging a man who is not perfect. What I'm saying, if in fact, he did do those things, Bishop Long, being a man of God should have been able to avoid the temperation!!

    October 2, 2010 at 1:48 pm |
  27. Audrey Addison Williams

    I am sorry I missed the interview with Bishop Carlton, however I am quite a fan of his. He is a courageous man who demonstrates his love for Jesus by his willingness to surrender old, hand me down belief systems to "fresh new revelations" that we all receive from Spirit. The difference between most of us and Bishop is that he has committed his life to truth and is no longer willing to hide between a "second had belief system".

    We pray for answers, and we receive guidance from spirit we reject it because it shatters the myths, stupidity, lies of our lived lives. One of the hardest things to do, yet one that is vital to any spiritual growth is the willingness to empty ourselves or all beliefs, question and challene everything, do the hard work of revising our maps of reality over and over, this is the work of a life that is lived well.

    I agree, this is an opportunity for all of us, especially people of faith to have a serious and honest discussion about human sexuality, marriage, monogamy, reproduction rights...all of it. We are such hypocrites, we hid our shame, are afraid to question and to challenge, so we rarely get to know who we are on a deep level. Bishop Long, I pray that he chooses to be fully honest in this moment. To his church,I ask were not these young men part of the flock, do you not owe any allegiance to them. As to why they did not go to the elders of the church, do you really believe that REv. Long's inner circle was not aware of his "preferences and indiscretions". He did not deny the allegations on Sunday, i was very ashamed and disappointed in him. This is a major problem in the black church and the black community. Black women are still dying from aids, because our lovers, husbands are on teh "down low".

    The bible is NOT the innerant word of God! yet, it has enormous value once it has been de-throned as the ultimate authority over our livs. I was raised by a pentecostal bishop and struggled so many years with the doctrine and dogma of mainstream Christianity, it is because of my love for Jesus that I speak from this place of authenticity today.

    October 2, 2010 at 2:25 pm |
  28. BertR

    So I have some questions... why are we not still executing adulterers? Why are we not forcing widows to have intercourse with their husbands brothers? Why did we outlaw slavery??? All of these "abominations" are proscribed in the Bible. If homosexuality was such an offense to God, why didn't Jesus himself speak out against it? Why wasn't it made a commandment? When Jesus himself was asked what the greatest commandment was, he replied "to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength." The second greatest was to love your neighbor as you love yourself. I also learned as a child that it was for GOD to judge, not us. How can any person call himself a Christian while waging a holy war against our gay brothers and sisters?

    October 3, 2010 at 1:46 pm |