Ever since the video of embattled megachurch pastor Eddie Long being anointed “king” by a Jewish rabbi hit the web, people have been crying foul.
The video showed Long being wrapped in an alleged scroll from the “Holocaust Torah,” being crowned a king by Messianic Rabbi Ralph Messer, and hoisted up on the shoulders of men at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta.
After the video of the ceremony went viral, many Jewish leaders condemned the ceremony, saying it bore no historical or religious significance to Judaism.
“We were appalled by the video of Bishop Long being celebrated in a fake Jewish ritual,” said the Anti-Defamation League’s Southeast Director Bill Nigut. “There’s no Jewish ritual that bears any resemblance to what went on at the church last Sunday.”
Long sent Nigut a letter apologizing to the Jewish community for the ceremony at his church.
“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.
“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.”
Bill Nigut of the Anti-Defamation League said he accepts Long’s apology, but others are still wondering how a man with such a questionable past still has so much influence over thousands of parishioners.