Atlanta — With little fanfare or news coverage, the four sexual coercion lawsuits confronting Bishop Eddie Long had the first hearing recently, with both sides opting for mediation to avoid a trial.
Why no major news outlet or editorial columnist has discussed the implications of such a move is nothing less than egregious in nature. Despite the initial media crush and coverage and the incessant analysis of Bishop Long’s statement on his website and “sermon,” there’s been nary a peep in response to the quest for mediation.
Granted, if the future mediation in February does not solve the dispute, there is a tentative trial date set for July 11, 2011. This could still end up being resolved in a courtroom.
Bishop Eddie Long agreeing to mediation of sexual coercion charges is an end-run around the universally accepted moral and ethical responsibilities of any ecumenical leader. Mediation of sexual allegation grievances is tantamount to an admission of “some” guilt, “some” form of ministerial misconduct. Innocent folk don’t make deals if the claims against them are baseless and untrue. Mediation for the accused is a forfeiture of the right to ever claim innocence, and readers should be absolutely clear on this point.