Category: common peace consensus

Eddie Long’s Gospel

Bishop Eddie Long

My post on Bishop Eddie Long has been raising eyebrows. Many readers agree with my critique of the “prosperity gospel”; others find it offensive. One reader, who asked to be taken off my distribution list, was horrified by my perceived willingness to throw Bishop Eddie to the wolves before he has his day in court.

A few words of clarification are in order.

Eddie Long’s guilt or innocence is not my primary concern. The state of Georgia has filed no charges against the Bishop; this is a civil case. When the weak find themselves on a collision course with the strong, my sympathies are with the weak (the strong can take care of themselves). Eddie Long has always been the man with all the power. Having transformed himself into an authority figure of superhuman stature, the pastor assumed the mantle of responsibility.

Pastor Long has compared to himself as David up against Goliath. That image should be reversed. Yesterday, thirty-two pastors came to Long’s church to commiserate with him and show their support. Goliath received that kind of encouragement from the Philistines; David was on his own. (more…)

A conservative case for ending the drug war?

Jeffrey Miron’s op-ed in the Los Angeles Times argues that the drug war is just another big government boondoggle.  If you aren’t familiar with the libertarian critique of the war on drugs, Miron’s column will give you the basic outline of the argument.

Libertarians are consistent conservatives.  They aren’t fussy about wars of any kind (domestic or foreign) because they are obscenely expensive and never produce the desired results. 

American conservatives are successful because they don’t worry about consistentency.  Conservatives are a fearless lot.  They aren’t afraid of poverty or unemployment because they have secure jobs; they aren’t afraid of sickness because they have great health care; they aren’t afraid of bigotry or discrimination because they are normal (white) Americans; they aren’t afraid of civil rights violations because their civil rights are rarely infringed. (more…)

Putting butts in the seats: the rise and fall of Bishop Eddie Long

Bishop Eddie Long

 Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia has been accused of using a mentoring program to lure gifted young male congregants into sexual relationships.  Long, an adherent of the “prosperity gospel”, told his congregation this past Sunday that, although he has never advertised himself as “a perfect man”, he intends to fight the allegations in court. 

Significantly, the bishop never claimed to be innocent. (more…)

Tulia script plays out in southern Louisiana

Sheriff Greg Champagne of St. Charles Parish reported yesterday that 70 narcotics cases made by a single undercover officer are being dismissed.  Elijah Gary, the officer responsible for making almost 100 cases in the Parish, was on loan from a neighboring Parish (see Times-Picayune article below for the details).  When it was discovered that Mr. Gary had been convicted of domestic abuse and violating a restraining order, he was taken in for questioning.  Beating up a girlfriend and violating a restraining order doesn’t disqualify an undercover cop–lying about it does.

Several attorney friends sent me this story yesterday because of the obvious parallels between Elijah Gary and Tom Coleman, the Texas “officer of the year” who implicated 47 residents of Tulia, Texas in 1999.   According to the Times-Picayune story, “[Sheriff] Champagne’s office received the Crimestoppers Law Enforcement Award at the 25th annual Crimestoppers luncheon in March in New Orleans” on the strength of Elijah Gary’s work.  (more…)

Standing up for guilty defendants

Michelle Alexander says the criminal justice reform movement should shed its fixation with innocence.  In her groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, Alexander suggests that reformers start focusing on normal defendants.  Since most criminal defendants done the deed, that means going to bat for guilty people.  Why would we want to do that? (more…)