On Sunday, Jan.29, Bishop Eddie Long, the disgraced pastor of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in suburban Atlanta, invited Rabbi Ralph Messer to fellowship with his congregation. Messer wrapped Long in the scrolls of a Torah, sang a prayer and declared the bishop a king.
Long remained stone-faced throughout the ceremony. What was going through his mind? We think he was hoping his remaining parishioners would be so awed by his newly conferred royal status that they would forget all about the fact that their spiritual leader paid $15 million to settle a case brought by four young men who accused him of sexual coercion.