Anthea Butler, writing in Religion Dispataches:
While most Christians were having regular Sunday services, over at Eddie Long’s New Birth Church in Lithonia, Ga, Ralph Messer, who is part of the Hebrew Roots movement, was crowning Eddie Long King in an elaborate ceremony that included wrapping Long in a Torah Scroll purported to be found at Auschwitz and Birkenau.
In case you’re unable or unwilling to watch: the video shows Messer giving Long the Torah scroll declaring that he is the first man to look upon the scroll after 3000 years. Long is “wrapped in the scroll” and prayed over. Messer asks Long to take a seat, and declares that God gave Long a position of power and authority. He is given the constitution of God as a king (6:49), the Torah, and then, Messer has four men representing the four corners of the earth, (7:04) pick the chair up. Messer then declares that Eddie Long is raised up from a commoner to a King, replete with music, cheers, and a poorly executed blessing in Hebrew. If it weren’t so offensive to Christian and Jewish sensibilities (and so utterly in error in terms of tradition, as Wil Gafney points out at HuffPo) it would be laughable.
Last word goes to Peter Manseau, also from Religion Dispatches:
When Messer broke into Hebrew song as Long was paraded aloft in a chair, carrying the Torah and draped with a prayer shawl, it was like watching a summer stock revival of Yentl performed by a cast that had never met any actual Jews.
I have no more to add…
Wow. Too early in the am for my brain to process such bizarre goings-on.
Too much. I had to laugh at the description, though, that ended “never met any actual Jews”. Colorful.