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I write the biweekly “Beliefs” column for The New York Times and also report for The Atlantic, The Nation, This American Life, and elsewhere. I have four daughters and two dogs.

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Tuesday
Sep282010

More on money and religion...

Just so you know it's not all “Bishop” Eddie Long these days, here is some uplift about money and religion.

Tuesday
Sep282010

Hitch on Bishop Long (NO, not literally!)

Always good to hear what Christopher Hitchens has to say about a fallen (or falling) man of the cloth.

As for me and men and cloth, I will be debating Sam Harris about religion on The Economist's web site, next week I believe it is. The topic is “Resolved: Religion is a force for good.”

Tuesday
Sep282010

More on why Yale should dump Singapore like a bad habit.

I wonder if the tide is turning on the Yale/Singapore arranged marriage.

Tuesday
Sep282010

“Bishop” Eddie Long...update

Some good updating from a prof who was at Long’s service...and who thinks a confession may be coming down the pike...

Some video here:

 

Monday
Sep272010

If you make too much money, do you sexually coerce young men in your church?

Well, probably the link is not quite that clear. But what is clear is that when pastors/rabbis/imams/whoever make too much money, they are more likely to think of themselves as infallible celebrities, less likely to think of themselves as men of the cloth. If I have anything to add to this Eddie L. Long mess — the Atlanta mega-church prosperity-gospel Baptist preacher, married with children, who is now accused of seducing several young men in his spiritual care — it is that we should read this episode alongside other episodes of wealth invading the sanctuary. The guy was making $1 million a year in salary and other perks. His reasoning?

 

“We’re not just a church, we’re an international corporation,” he told the newspaper in justifying his compensation. “We’re not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who can’t talk and all we’re doing is baptizing babies. I deal with the White House. I deal with Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a multimillion-dollar congregation.”

 

That is known as walking humbly with the Lord...

Also: beware megachurch preachers who call themselves "Bishop." If they are too good for plain old "Reverend," and feel the need to assume an unnecessary (and misleading) ecclesial title, what else are they insecure about?

Oh, here is "Bishop" Long preaching — note his attack on the news media at about 00:20: