Four young men have accused the leader of one of the largest churches in the country of sexual abuse. The accusations have sent shock waves through the media and the 25,000 souls who belong to New Birth Baptist Church near Atlanta. Some commentators have condemned Bishop Eddie Long’s virulently anti-gay theology and political activism and have called for a black church that is more welcoming and inclusive of gays and lesbians. Others have urged ministers to lead more stringent lives and to adhere to anti-gay interpretations of the Bible.
Thomas A. Foster teaches history at DePaul University. He is the author of "Sex and the Eighteenth-Century Man: Massachusetts and the History of Sexuality in America" (2006) and editor of "New Men: Manliness in Early America" (2011).