The Horror in Happy Valley
Several young boys were allegedly sexually victimized by former Penn State coach Jerry Sandusky. In the aftermath, people have already been fired, and the suspect arrested. More details will come out, and they’ll be even more sickening that what we already know. I’m not sure I want to know them at all. The red-blooded Horry County boy part of me still semi-wishes that child rapists simply be dragged into the public square and bludgeoned to death by the parents of the victims. Don’t judge me; you were thinking the same thing.
There are some parts of the story that don’t make sense to me. How could Coach Joe Paterno, long esteemed as the gold standard for integrity in college coaching, NOT have known? This pervert was his Defensive Coordinator. Scott McQueary is the assistant who says he saw Sandusky sodomizing a 10-year-old in the shower. How the HECK is he still coaching at Penn State if he didn’t tear the place apart to get the perv arrested? Come to think of it, why didn’t he go RESCUE the child immediately?
Sometimes shocking news tends to reboot our senses. Emotions get raw. The truth becomes THE thing. And some proven principles once again emerge. For instance:
- People are sinners. Human beings – ALL of us – are horribly flawed. Issac Bailey noted today on his blog that you don’t have to be a monster to do monstrous things. He is right. Molesting a child is monstrous. But so are who-knows-how-many other, smaller, easier-to-excuse acts that reside in the dark recesses of the human heart. All hearts. Scripture says all of us have sinned and fallen short of God’s standard (Romans 3:23).
- Silence is complicity. Molesting a child is monstrous. So is covering that act up, for any reason. Our first responsibility if there’s a hint of it is to protect the children, NOT a friend’s reputation. Nashville pastor Pete Wilson rightly said today, “Never forget that you have influence for one reason … to speak up for those who don’t.”
- Children should be protected – at all costs. If you are a pastor or church staff member, read Thom Rainer’s reminder about our obligation to do so. Even Jesus carved out a deeper place of punishment for those who cause little children “to stumble.” We all know that an adult sexually victimizing a child is wrong. Dead wrong. In the face of it, the idiotic notion of moral relativity comes to a screeching stop, and rightly so. Nobody today is saying that you “can’t legislate morality.” But how about the sexualization of children in other venues? Please don’t think I’m exploiting the exploited just to make a cheap point here. But have you ever watched Toddlers and Tiaras? Actor Will Smith’s 12-yr-old daughter danced around last night in a tight leather outfit. 12! Did you read the story about the “parents” of a California boy who are giving him hormones to delay puberty – SO HE CAN DECIDE IF HE WANTS TO BE A GIRL? Hey, and while we’re all on the same page about protecting children, can we extend that protection to those living helplessly in their own mothers’ wombs?
Monstrous is monstrous, even if it is – for now – protected by the law.