Rev. Carlton Pearson talks about friend, Eddie Long, and church suppression of homosexuality [video]

Posted by JD Uy
September 28, 2010 6:32 AM |

''Not only the black church -- the Church disagrees with it. And my gay friends -- and I've had several over the years -- were some of the most sensitive, loving, creative, ingenious, generous people. Some are in my family. I got tired of sending them to Hell.... So I started preaching the gospel of inclusion; saying that Hindus, Muslims, Jews, everybody has access to the grace of God we preach.... And that's what got me into trouble with the Church. The devotion to the Devil and Hell is as strong as anybody's devotion to Jesus to many in the Christian circles.

''I reached out to [Eddie Long]. A couple of years ago, when he knew that I had been castigated from the Church, he walked up to me ... and just embraced me and said, 'Bishop, we didn't do you right.' ... No one else had said it that way....''

''I think in his heart, he does accept [LGBT people]. I think in all of our hearts, it's not 'kosher' to accept them because -- people like Ted Haggard. Ted couldn't have gotten where Ted got. He couldn't have grown where he went in our Christian fundamentalist evangelical movement, if he was gay. So, he went as far as he went, and they said, 'Oh, no. You don't qualify any longer.'... It grieves me that we treat people the way we do once we find out they stop impersonating who they aren't....''

''[Eddie Long] is a prince of a preacher. He's really a prince of a person. He's a generous spirit. He's an incredible worker at the city.... Usually, the people who speak most vociferously against something are dealing with it in their own life.... I wish the young men would have come to some of the apostles surrounding the Ministry and confronted Bishop, and said, 'Let's deal with this....'''

''The other hypocritical aspect... is our churches are filled with same-gender loving people. From the music department to the pulpits.... With tears in their eyes, they're afraid. There are people who have come to me and said, 'I embrace your gospel of inclusion, Bishop. But I can't. It's not a theological issue with me, it's a business decision. I'll lose my flock. I'll lose my money. I'll lose my parsons. I'll lose myself. I can't love everybody. I can't even love me....''

''I love Bishop Long. I love anybody out there hurting, and I'll be there for them.... It's a delicate subject, and I'm trying to be as discreet and tactful as a I can, but it's an issue that's not going to go away.''

Carlton Pearson, a famous reverend and gospel singer, telling CNN that he shares a friendship with Eddie Long, the famous televangelist from Georgia's New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. Long is accused by four young men of coercing them into sexual relations. Pearson, to his credit, did not go along with CNN host Kyra Phillip's repeated insistence that Eddie Long's problems are uniquely related to the black church; saying that "the Christian Church is having to confront its issues." (CNN)

It is reported that Pearson was once a conservative evangelical preacher who went to Oral Roberts University and supported George Bush in 2000. He had a large congregation of several thousand people in Tulsa, OK and a show on the Trinity Broadcast Network.

But he says he had an epiphany where he stopped believing that people go to "Hell." And he learned to fully embrace lesbian and gay people. His peers called him a "heretic" and he lost much of his following. Since then, he has moved to the Chicago area and joined the Unitarian Universalist Church.

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