Eddie Long Is Sorry

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The Georgia mega-preacher apologizes for having himself crowned a "king" by a fake rabbi:

"The ceremony was not my suggestion, nor was it my intent, to participate in any ritual that is offensive in any manner to the Jewish community, or any group. Furthermore, I sincerely denounce any action that depicts me as a King, for I am merely just a servant of the Lord," Long wrote in a letter dated Saturday. 

The letter was addressed to Bill Nigut, southeast regional director of the Anti-Defamation League -- a Jewish group that fights anti-Semitism. 

"While I believe that Rabbi Ralph Messer has good intentions during his message at New Birth, I understand that the ceremony he performed on Sunday, January 29th, caused harm to the Jewish community, for which I am deeply sorry," Long wrote.

One thing I missed in my initial reaction to this was how offensive the whole spectacle must have been for devout and believing Jews. I live in a world of agnostics and atheists. The few people I know who are religious (with the obvious exception of family) are not evangelical and have no interest in my soul. Thus the ceremony struck me, originally, as more ridiculous--in the most literal sense--than offensive. It was only after a few private conversations that I realized I was, like, sort of missing something among my guffaws.
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Ta-Nehisi Coates is a national correspondent at The Atlantic, where he writes about culture, politics, and social issues. He is the author of the memoir The Beautiful Struggle. More

Born in 1975, the product of two beautiful parents. Raised in West Baltimore -- not quite The Wire, but sometimes ill all the same. Studied at the Mecca for some years in the mid-'90s. Emerged with a purpose, if not a degree. Slowly migrated up the East Coast with a baby and my beloved, until I reached the shores of Harlem. Wrote some stuff along the way.

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