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From The Grio: There she stood right beside her man: an attractive, God-fearing and loyal middle-age woman holding the hand of her fallen pastor husband. He walked her out ever so gently, held her close and kissed her lips for all to see as he ushered her back to her seat on stage, before he took to the lectern to speak to his flock.

Bishop Eddie Long, a self-proclaimed prophet of God has been accused of coercing four male parishioners into sex. This Sunday, in his first public comments on the scandal, Long never once said, “I am innocent of what I have been accused of doing with these young men in my care.” Instead he vowed to fight the charges and in doing so he did what all guilty defendants do (in my experience as an attorney): He used careful language, such as “I am not a perfect man,” parsed his words and hid behind his lawyers admonitions, something that a man of God likely would not do if he was in fact innocent.

As I watched the Bishop Sunday morning, images of other pastors (Ted Haggard) and politicians before him (Bill Clinton’s emphatic: “I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Ms. Lewinsky”) came to mind. But the person I was most intrigued by was Vanessa Long and the hell she must be living through right now.

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