It seems as if everyone involved did what was required by the letter of the law but not in the spirit of moral obligation to protect the kids.
Certainly there is, now, ample evidence that coach Jerry Sandusky actually admitted to breaking the law, since it's illegal for professional mentors in Pennsylvania to shower naked with their charges (DUH!).
Yes, yes. I heard the interview the other night with Jerry Sandusky, the Penn State coach accused of heinous sexual abuse, and Bob Costas, NBC Sports Commentator.
He claims he's innocent. Of course he does. Claims the rhythmic "slap, slap, slap" that was heard from the locker room was just Sandusky and a 10 year old boy playing "towel slap" while naked in the shower.
Never mind that he was naked and alone in the shower with a 10 year old boy. He admits that was "wrong". (Gee, ya think?) And, yes, he "occasionally" hugged kids. While they were naked. In showers. Occasionally patting their upper thighs. Snapping towels. Hugging them. But all "without intent of sexual contact."
See? It was nothing more than a little innocent "horseplay" in the shower.
You know. Just normal "guy stuff".
Is he sexually attracted to young boys? No, Sandusky said to Costas. But only after a long pause. Seventeen seconds, the media is reporting.
"Am I sexually attracted to underage boys … sexually attracted? You know … no, I enjoy young people … I love to be around them. Umm, I, no … I'm not sexually attracted to young boys."Jeeze!
Besides, in this country, you are "innocent until proven guilty", which, in this case - as in others that involve "celebrities" - means that you have access to a team of lawyers and 'spin doctors' and 'wordsmithers' who can work their way around the letter of the law but ultimately leave us wanting for the moral obligation required of all public figures.
I mean, his defense attorney is Mark Geragos, who successfully helped to defend the late singer Michael Jackson against child-abuse charges.
You figure it out.
So, here's the thing: I understand the whole "football world".
Well, no, I don't exactly.
I know that it has it's own world, it's own culture, it's own language. It's own rituals. It's own "spirituality". I don't understand it, but I know it to be true.
I watch my family get all hyped up before - and during, and, yes after - a game. I hear them talk about it with much the same enthusiasm and passion I speak about God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
I get it.
That being said, I don't understand the whole "Muscular Christianity" thing.
I'll give you a little taste of it from "The Victorian Web":
That's not what I mean - especially the part about "suffocating effeminacy", whatever that means.Beginning at mid-century, the broadchurch (or liberal) Anglican F.D. Maurice and his pupil, the Rev. Charles Kingsley, began espousing the virtues of muscular Christianity.
Maurice and Kingsley, like many Englishmen, worried that the Anglican Church and Britain were suffering from the evils of industrialization: among others, growing slums, poverty, secularization, and urban decay.
Life was a battle, Kingsley argued, and Christians should be at the center, actively employing their "manfulness" and "usefulness" against the evils of industrialization.
Kingsley doubted that traditional morality would be able to cope with the effects of industrialization unless the Church reformed itself.
He also deplored what many considered to be increasingly "suffocating effeminacy" within the Anglican Church, and believed that muscular Christian men equipped with a cohesive philosophy consisting equally of athleticism, patriotism, and religion could rescue Church and country from sloth.
No, wait. I think I do know what that means and I think it has something to do - at least in part - with what I heard happen just before the Nebraska-Penn State game on Saturday.
Actually, I'm referring to the sort of "muscular Christianity" I heard in the prayer given by Nebraska Coach, Ron Brown, at the beginning of Saturday's game - the first football game after Coach Joe Paterno and the President of Penn State were fired.
You can listen to a clip of the raw video of the prayer here.
Here are the words that I find most disturbing:
“There are a lot of little boys around the country, today, who are watching this game. And they’re trying to figure out what the definition of manhood is all about. Father, this is it right here. I pray that this game will be a training ground of what manhood looks like.”What?
I mean, what was THAT all about?
Is that what manhood is all about? A great huddle of men, on their knees, praying to God? Before an often violent game that more often than not leaves many young men with concussions and head injuries? A game that is a modern version of gladiators in a spectators ring?
Is that what "a training ground of what manhood" looks like?
Silly me. I thought it was just a game of college football.
Okay, so in the past Brown’s faith has come under negative scrutiny. He claims to have been passed up for a head coaching job at Stanford University because he, like many conservative evangelicals, believes that gay sex is sinful.
Is that what Brown was praying about? A hint? . . . A suggestion? . . . Another ignorant, uneducated predictably Evangelical link . . . between pedophilia and homosexuality?
Say it ain't so, Joe!
If Jerry Sandusky is guilty of the allegations against him, that doesn't make him a "homosexual person".
It makes him a pervert.
No? Then when, exactly, will you get it?
Oh, probably about the same time the Roman Catholics do.
Did you see this? Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the Penn State crisis reminds the bishops of their own failures to protect children.
"It reopens a wound in the church as well," said Dolan, the New York archbishop. "We once again hang our heads in shame."Cliche? Gee, ya think?
"Our love and prayers go out to the victims, the families and the whole Penn State community," Dolan said. "I know it's a bit of a cliche, but we know what you're going through."
I don't know if Jerry Sandusky is Roman Catholic, but is sure sounds to me like two brothers consoling themselves in their own corner of the hell of their own making.
I don't know. Maybe it's because I'm a woman. I don't understand this whole thing about using sex as a tool of power.
I don't understand child sexual abuse.
I don't understand rape.
I don't understand "domestic violence".
Indeed, I reject them all as pathetic last gasps of a desperate attempt to hold onto the dominant cultural paradigm.
I suspect what we need is not a "muscular Christianity" and its critique of a "suffocating effeminacy".
Rather, what we need is a Christianity which equips the people of God with a "cohesive philosophy" consisting equally of compassion, accountability and responsibility which could rescue Church and country from sloth.
I'm not going to hold my breath until that happens.
Meanwhile, I'll just simultaneously shake my head and wring my hands.
And, pray for the victims. And, work like hell to make sure there is zero tolerance at every level for sexual violence and sexual predators of young children.
Because prayer and service to God's people - especially the most vulnerable among us - are the two strongest muscles a Christian can have.