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My Take: Reactions to Cain, Paterno point to a not-so-Christian nation
Penn State students rally around a cut-out of football coach Joe Paterno after he was fired.
November 12th, 2011
05:00 AM ET

My Take: Reactions to Cain, Paterno point to a not-so-Christian nation

Editor's note: Stephen Prothero, a Boston University religion scholar and author of "God is Not One: The Eight Rival Religions that Run the World," is a regular CNN Belief Blog contributor.

By Stephen Prothero, Special to CNN

In the never-ending debate over whether the United States is a Christian nation, recent events support the nay-sayers. I am referring to the troubles of Herman Cain and Joe Paterno.

How we respond to ethical conundrums often boils down to empathy. In the abortion debate, do you identify with the woman who wants an abortion or with the fetus? Concerning the federal deficit, do you identify with the wealthy person who might see his taxes rise or with the poor person who might see her unemployment benefits extended?

One purpose of the world's great religions is to widen our circle of empathy beyond ourselves and our families to others in our community, and in the wider world. Christianity, for example, has long taught that we should empathize with “the least of these,” and particularly with the poor and oppressed (see Luke 4:18).

The morality plays we are now witnessing—the sexual harassment allegations swirling around Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain and the sexual assault charges swirling around the Penn State football program headed by former coach Joe Paterno — provide an opportunity to assess just where our collective empathy lies.

When we look as a nation at the Herman Cain campaign, do our hearts go out to the wealthy businessman and White House contender or do they go out to the women who are accusing him of sexual improprieties? In pondering this case, and trying to determine where we stand, how do we approach the evidence? To whom do we give the benefit of the doubt? To the “least of these”? Or to the most powerful?

When we turn our gaze to Penn State, do our hearts go out to the boys, some as young as 10, who were allegedly sodomized or otherwise sexually assaulted by a former assistant coach under Paterno? Or do we empathize with Paterno, the closest State College, Pennsylvania, gets to a graven image?

I know there are many unanswered questions in both cases. So I am not commenting here on whether Cain is telling the truth or whether Paterno did all that he was obligated to do when he first heard allegations of a sexual assault in his locker room.

I am talking about where are hearts instinctively go in these situations.

When I turn on the television and see “family values” conservatives jumping to Cain’s defense within hours of the first charges surfacing, or Penn State students rioting over the decision of their university’s Board of Trustees to fire Paterno, I have to ask myself, “What has happened to this supposedly Christian nation"?

I know that in the United States defendants are considered innocent until proven guilty. But I am not talking about the law here. I am talking about where our hearts incline, and whether they incline in a Christian direction.

I do not know whether Jesus is a Penn State football fan. He may well be. But if he were here today, would he be laying flowers at the front door of Paterno’s house (as many students have done), or would he be seeking out the boys whose lives have allegedly been so irreparably damaged?

Would he be standing alongside Cain’s lawyer as he issues not-so-veiled threats against accusers who have not yet gone public with their stories, or would he be standing by their side?

In your heart of hearts, I think you know the answer.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Stephen Prothero.

- CNN Belief Blog contributor

Filed under: Christianity • Herman Cain • Pennsylvania • Politics • Sexuality

soundoff (2,118 Responses)
  1. Patrick Williams

    Just like going to MacDonald's does not make you a hamburger, so going to church and saying a little prayer does not make one a Christian.

    Christianity is a lifestyle more than just knowing things in your head.

    November 12, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Zeb

      Sounds like No True Scotsmen to me.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
    • Al

      Patrick Williams
      Few suspect that it's about knowing things in your head.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:24 pm |
    • Al

      But going to MacDonald's regularly can make you overweight and unhealthy, and since so many self-describes 'sinners' hang out at churches isn't that also a risk? If you don't like hanging around hospitals because they are full of sick people, why would you want to hang out around sinners?

      November 12, 2011 at 9:29 pm |
    • Patrick Williams

      I would want to hang-out with sinners because I, too, and a sinner.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Wait.... I'm not a hamburger???

      November 12, 2011 at 10:24 pm |
    • Al

      Patrick Williams
      Works, I suppose, if you like being a sinner. 🙂

      November 12, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  2. Patrick Williams

    America is not a Christian Nation...it is a materialistic nation that encourages people to forget about God in the pursuit of materialistic ends.

    VERY FEW people who call themselves Christian actually live it...very few. They say, "were trying" and some are but most are really not trying.

    America is a modern Rome. Americans are religious but not Christian.

    November 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
    • Jigga Man

      Most Wealthy People Are What You Would call..... DEIST

      November 12, 2011 at 7:19 pm |
    • Zeb

      "nation that encourages people to forget about God"

      If only that were true. Remembering a fictional being isn't very helpful in solving debt problems, nor in dealing with moral issues.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      And the ones who went to high school say "we're trying".

      November 12, 2011 at 8:20 pm |
  3. Paul

    Christian here. Mr. Prothero, you're WAY off base on this one. Did you forget that Jesus was also God, and therefore, 100% just, as well as compassionate. So, it stands to reason that Jesus would not condemn Mr. Cain for what has so far amounted to baseless accusations, and he wouldn't make Joe Paterno the scape-goat for "not going to the police," when he did follow the chain of command by going to his superiors. Why didn't his superiors call the police?

    Oh, and Jesus would also have compassion on the victims of the PSU situation, and NO, no one who believes I'm speaking of here has forgotten them just because we think Joe Paterno is taking a bum-rap here.

    November 12, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • Colin

      hat's funny. I thought the Christian god hated children. He was always killing them – Egypt, Sodom/Gomorrah, Noah, various battles.

      November 12, 2011 at 7:11 pm |
  4. Jane

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=nwyjxsOYnys

    November 12, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  5. fofo

    “is the Judeo-Christian God more preoccupied with belief than behavior “ The Believing Brain by Michael Shermer.
    I am a non-believer but have lots of respects for Jesus’ teaching. In my opinion being a true Christian, means to follow Jesus’ teaching not to just believe in him. But since that would not make our crooked greedy pastors and churches rich they basically are telling people that no matter what you do its okay as long as you believe in Jesus and you’ll be saved. And of course these kinds of bs suits the brainless Right Wing Christian Conservative just fine.

    November 12, 2011 at 6:47 pm |
  6. ja-coffalotte

    ALL religious people are mentally ill on some level, the more devout they are to their brand of crazy, the more dangerous they become to their fellow human beings. Christians and Muslims are equally worthless.

    November 12, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • fofo

      Amen.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • okonkwo

      Church! The White Mans mind control.

      November 12, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  7. Robin

    So assuming that someone is guilty until proven innocent makes you a better Christian. Thank you, Mr. Prothero. Now go soak your head.

    November 12, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • fairchilds

      Not what he said at all.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
    • Ray

      This article is not about 'guilt' or 'innocence' it is rather about WHO you have compassion for.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • John Richardson

      I have compassion for anyone who ever signed up for one of Prothero's classes.

      November 12, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  8. RIGHTEOUSNESS RULES OVER ALL !!!

    AMERICA IT IS TIME TO REPENT AND TURN FROM YOUR WICKED WAYS... THAT IS THE KEY TO PROSPER AND TO BE BLESSED IN ABUNDANCE... YOU HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD IN YOUR WICKED WAYS AND EVIL DESIRES... AMERICA YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO IN ORDER TO BE PUT BACK IN PLACE YOU HUNGER FOR.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
    • RIGHTEOUSNESS RULES OVER ALL !!!

      AMERICA IT IS TIME TO REPENT AND TURN FROM YOUR WICKED WAYS... THAT IS THE KEY TO PROSPER AND TO BE BLESSED IN ABUNDANCE... YOU HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD IN YOUR WICKED WAYS AND EVIL DESIRES... AMERICA YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO IN ORDER TO BE PUT BACK IN THE PLACE YOU HUNGER FOR.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • News Flash

      So the motivation for you righteousness is so that you will be blessed and prosper. Rather selfish, no ?

      November 12, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • fofo

      You even want to make business with God?

      November 12, 2011 at 6:51 pm |
    • Zeb

      All caps = fail. Come back when you can stop shouting at us, bully.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  9. Avser Bastian

    ARIZONA = UTOYA(there was no shooting either in NORWAY OR ARIZONA, but instead governmental "afterlife" flash and cash mob ONLY; however, bombing was real) - WHO/WHY//HOW CREATED SCHOOL SHOOTINGS(Arizona incl.) - HAARP AUSTRALIAN FLOODS(Incl. deliberately busted oil pipe in gulf of Mexico) – WIKILEAKS is CIA(truth about Anti-Wall-Street protests) !!! – BREAST FEEDING INSANITY PROTESTS(insanity frenzy) – FACEBOOK or CIABOOTH !!? – NWO MULTICULTURALISM SWINE/PIG FLUE SYNDROME – NEWS/MEDIA OR SIMPLY BIG FAT VACUUM WORLD OF LIES/DEMENTIA(nothing else than police) !!? – THE REAL DON'T ASK DON'T TELL, BUT DIE !!! – OBAMINATOR'S FREE HEALTH CARE PLANE or GENOCIDE BASED ON FORGIVE AND FORGET – WAR ON TERROR or WAR AGAINST YOU !!? – HUMAN FLASH EATING MACHINE – UNITED NATION'S Chef Ban Ki-moon or CHINESE BAN KEY MONKEY IN CRIME AGAINST WHITE HUMANITY !!? – PARLIAMENTARIANS or SICK BIPOLAR CRIMINAL DISTORTIONISTS !!? – COMMUNISM IN EASTERN and HEART OF EUROPE TODAY IN 2011(learn about ongoing genocide against Germans since WWII) – NEW WORLD ORDER POLITICAL PARTIES(not there for you, but instead to seal your faith for their own parliament pay$$ scale !!!) – EURO DIC TRAITORS vs DICTATORS; WHAT IS WORSE !!? – LEARN WHAT DO LIBYA AND EUROPE OR USA HAVE IN-COMMON !!! and sooo much more !!!

    VISIT ALL NEW "OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH and USA = SOVIET UNION" AT http://stateofterror.blogspot.com/ OR http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.com/ TO LEARN EVERYTHING ABOUT WHO RUINED YOU, WHY, AND HOW !!!

    WHERE NEWS IS TRUTH AND NOT 66 YEARS OLD LIE ATOP OF OTHER LIES !!!

    November 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • RIGHTEOUSNESS RULES OVER ALL !!!

      AMERICA IT IS TIME TO REPENT AND TURN FROM YOUR WICKED WAYS... THAT IS THE KEY TO PROSPER AND TO BE BLESSED IN ABUNDANCE... YOU HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD IN YOUR WICKED WAYS AND EVIL DESIRES... AMERICA YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO IN ORDER TO BE PUT BACK IN THE PLACE YOU HUNGER FOR...

      November 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      Sir, you are seriously disturbed. You need help.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Get Real

      Charge Nurse Betty,

      You have that right. Google this guy - he is truly a madman, complete with a very scary manifesto. I hope that someone is on the alert.

      November 13, 2011 at 12:23 am |
  10. bobcat2u

    The thing that really gets me about our "christian" majority is how they will rail against abortion and in the same breath condone war and capital punishment. These people don't care about anyone but themselves. The only reason that they claim to be true christians is so they don't be austricized by their friends. To most of them it nothing more than a badge of honor. Would you expect to see a true christian in a bar or gambling place ? Of course not. But I can gaurantee you will find them there every day and night of the week. Including Sundays after church.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • RIGHTEOUSNESS RULES OVER ALL !!!

      AMERICA IT IS TIME TO REPENT AND TURN FROM YOUR WICKED WAYS... THAT IS THE KEY TO PROSPER AND TO BE BLESSED IN ABUNDANCE... YOU HAVE TURNED AWAY FROM GOD IN YOUR WICKED WAYS AND EVIL DESIRES... AMERICA YOU KNOW WHAT YOU MUST DO IN ORDER TO BE PUT BACK IN THE PLACE YOU HUNGER FOR..

      November 12, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Anyone can claim to be Jesus before or after He walked the Earth. But whoever doesn't do the will of the Father is not the real deal. Let's face it, no one can ever be like Jesus, but we can learn to be great imitators of Him. Shall we give it a try?

      November 12, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by BoldGeorge is the No True Scotsman fallacy.

      http://www.iep.utm.edu/fallacy/

      November 12, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  11. Andrew

    Is it just me or do the parallels of Jesus Christ and Krishna reveal that they are copies. Krishna, the story told 3000 yrs prior to Christs time was also born of a virgin, crucified, resurrected, etc etc. Sorry, I was raised "Christian" and consider myself Agnostic since there has to be a beginning of physical existence of everything however Christianity along with the worse Islam is just a political movement that has grown beyond its creators wildest dreams.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      There are and were many "Christ-like" figures in human history, and believe it or not even before He walked the Earth there were some. Every cult leader, self-proclaimed prophet or even some contemporary Pastors have claimed to be the "next Jesus" or at least sent by Him, revealed in a dream, in a vision, by an angel or a dirty napkin stain. Makes one wonder why people choose Him to make their claim of being Him or sent by Him. I never heard of anyone claiming to be Buddha, Gandhi, the Dalai-Lama or even the Pope.

      Of course, there can never be anyone like Him or even close, but one thing is certain, according to the bible, we are commanded to be imitators of Him.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:40 pm |
    • i wonder

      Bold George - "I never heard of anyone claiming to be Buddha, Gandhi, the Dalai-Lama or even the Pope".

      That's because you live in a western culture where Jesus is a popular icon. All sorts of nonsense goes on with people claiming to be the reincarnation of Buddha, Gandhi and the Dalai-Lama (the Pope, not so much, cause he's alive ya' know, and not considered to be a god).

      Here are just a few... you can google for a bunch more if you so desire...

      http://www.experienceproject.com/stories/Believe-In-Reincarnation/441806

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ram_Bahadur_Bomjon

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalai_Lama#Searching_for_the_reincarnation

      November 12, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Thanks for the links. I'll take a look at them. But just so you know, anyone who claims to be Christ or His replacement or even a similar character altogether or preaches another gospel than the one that has been revealed, He is a false prophet. And it makes sense. No one who has walked this earth has claim to be God other than Jesus Himself. No one has ever offered humans a heavenly dwelling just for believing in Him, other than Christ Himself. So, you either have to believe He was a lunatic or He is the real deal. His message and prophecies ring very true to me. So I choose Jesus.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Andrew

      BoldGeorge: I don't think you're understanding my point. These previous characters pre-dated Christ and there stories were the same before he was even written about. Please check it out. All these "Sons of God" were believed to be true prior to anyone speaking of Christ and thats why I'm saying that someone manipulated these prior stories and finally built a strong following.

      http://listverse.com/2009/04/13/10-christ-like-figures-who-pre-date-jesus/

      November 12, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      I understand, trust me I do. But just so you know, remember who Christ is. He is the Son of God, as in God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is the trinity, which means all three are one and one are three. They are the same with different attributes. Now, having said this, the bible is loaded with Christ like figures. To name a few: Noah, Moses, Abraham, Joseph (the Prince of Egypt). They all resembled Christ in that they were redeemers, saviors of a people...and they all followed and worshiped the one true God (obviously this is a matter of believing this or not). And not only did they resemble Christ, they all prophesied His coming; this should be a clue to why others have claimed to be that messiah, which brings me to your point. If these biblical characters represented Christ in some way and they were all hinting on His coming to save the world, it would be very safe to assume that others with different agendas in mind have been claiming to be the Christ throughout history as many have heard of prophesies of the One whose imminent arrival was at hand.

      November 13, 2011 at 11:34 am |
    • Commenter

      BoldGeorge,

      Don't you think that the writers of the New Testament (and Jesus himself, if he existed) read or otherwise knew about those prophecies and were manipulating facts and events to seemingly fulfill them? Jesus is even said to have called for a donkey to ride into Jerusalem to 'fulfill' prophecy.

      November 13, 2011 at 12:43 pm |
  12. RIGHTEOUSNESS RULES OVER ALL !!!

    DO NOT MAKE PROMISES WITH GOD UNLESS YOU WILL BE WILLING TO STICK TO THEM... THIS COUNTRY HAS MADE MANY PROMISES FROM THE VERY BEGINNING.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      ...and hasn't stuck to them. That's why the country is in the current state that it's in.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:28 pm |
  13. Austin

    What a ridiculous article, all fluffy, genteel, high and mighty. Off you go now and float away in your delusional heart of hearts cloud.

    The US, for better AND for worst, was founded by the veil ideology, not Christ as the one being but only the convoluted idea, of Christianity. The US today, previously the leader of all but now is all but the follower of the last, in various circles is an obstinate child who still refuses to grow up to accept the world outside. We struggle with the concept of being good to others as how Christ preaches us but we don't want to pay for it. We even have the arrogance to believe that Christ really loves America first and foremost, that we are right for choosing Christ for moral guidance as a nation and for those who don't should suffer flood and disasters of all proportions and that Christians would never do any harms unto others, Christians and otherwise and finally Christ is not a socialist.. NEWS FLASH: he doesn't (he got better people to bless in Africa, S America, Asia and all the other nooks of the world than this overpriviledged whiny nation), we are not in the right, and yes, Christians do plenty harms unto others, and why not, a generous sprinkle of your fellow Christians with that, too...and finally, in case you skipped the pages of the bible, Christ is a one true speaker for equal rights and benefits...and national health care, pure socialism, mind, body and substances. You love only me, you listen only to me, and you give all to me and your brothers and sisters.

    .YOu don't need a heart to decipher whether the 8 victims' testimonies are true (there are most certainly more than 8). You don't need to be empathetic when the facts are glaring enough that 2 staffs were summarily terminated. When a child , a human being comes to you for help, as a grown responsible adult, you are to follow through and believed and esp when there are 8 of them who have bravely stepped up. When the cowardice coach admitted that he should have done more and eventually relieved, the proof of his sin is as that. It doesn't take a heart, just simple deducting critical thinking.

    When a swaggering, sometimes incoherent, issues stepping, jokester Herman comes on the podium and expects all seriousness and at the same time, belting out inconsistencies, it is even more difficult to believe him when the heat of the past is upon him., esp when there are four (for the moment). Again, it doesn't take a heart to read the fine lines but it does require some independent thinkings and education of the subject, of gleaning personal experiences from living on this planet to know whether a person in front of you is putting on air.

    The US of the future, however, I am happy to observe is on the path to a wider acceptance of the world, albeit slower than all but we are coming along. No, not you Jesus that I thank, I thank you the younger, thinking and passionate Americans.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:15 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Wait a minute, why the hostility? This article is in fact in the BELIEF BLOG. Isn't it. Whether you believe or not in what people write and comment in here is ok, but why the hostility? I keep on reading comments like "take your beliefs elsewhere"....Where to??? This is the blog for it. Let's be educated and civil enough to post our disagreements in a respectful manner. We have the right to comment in favor or against, but not to insult, ridicule or bash. Your hostility toward the comments you disagree with is totally inappropriate and makes me look really GOOD.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  14. Educator

    right on

    November 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm |
  15. BoldGeorge

    Just THREE bible verses in Matthew sums up what the article states (and then some):

    Matthew 7:21
    “ Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter."

    Matthew 22:14
    "For many are called, but few are chosen.”

    Matthew 24:12
    "Because lawlessness is increased, most people’s love will grow cold."

    The latter verse is now the way of this once great nation.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:04 pm |
    • Al

      "Cold" is how I describe many Christians' att.itude towards gays and women with unwanted pregnancies.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:19 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Oh yes, and that too.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:25 pm |
  16. Cruzader

    We are so self-centered that, according to that, God must be very interested in our football and political parties. If there is the Almighty, He must be engaged in the continued expansion of the Universe and not holding the hand of the inhabitants of this insignificantl planet.

    November 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm |
    • Joel Weymouth

      No we should be attuned to what is right. There is no doubt Sandusky Sodomized little boys. A person not a victim witnessed it. Cain on the other hand – has 5 separate accusers of 5 separate incidents. Let every word be established by 2 or 3 witnesses. The last one by Biakel is totally outrageous and even members of the media in Chicago say she is not credible. And watching her on her "Talk Show" route, she is downright giddy. You want to destroy someone – you better have the evidence. You would best pray that you are never on the receiving end of an accusation that gives the preponderance of the proof of innocence to the accused.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • BoldGeorge

      Though I understand the sentiment in your comment, I must disagree. To God, this planet Earth and most importantly us humans, are his most valued creation.Yes, we are a wretched and lost bunch but out of everything He has created in this vastness, He regards us highly and has a favorable outcome waiting for those who believe Him. And I highly doubt He's continuing to create in the outer limits.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:12 pm |
    • Al

      Joel Weymouth
      "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses." 1 Timothy 5:19
      So, even discounting Bialek outright that still leaves four witnesses which is more than enough, right?

      November 12, 2011 at 5:27 pm |
    • Andrew

      Joel Weymouth
      "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses." 1 Timothy 5:19
      So, even discounting Bialek outright that still leaves four witnesses which is more than enough, right?

      No Joel, witnesses are not accusers...There can be many accusers seeking their own fame or moment in the son, witnesses are a 3rd party separate the accuser and the accused

      November 12, 2011 at 5:31 pm |
    • Charge Nurse Betty

      Boldy,
      How do you know what god values ? Of the hundreds of trillions of star systems, you actually think "he" cares about us the most. That is REALLY funny.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
  17. TruthPrevails

    This is totally off topic but it is information that needs to be shared with all the non-believers out there...I'm sure you'll agree that it is one more reason that the Catholic church needs disbanded and these pigs need to be arrested immediately.
    Sorry to the believers but every time you attend a Catholic church you are putting money in the hands of these monsters...it could be your kid...think hard about that and if you still go back after, you should not have your children. I understand you believe that god will make these people pay but why wait? They need to be shown that we as a world will not tolerate the abuse of the innocent especially in this sense. Try living in the shoes of a victim...it's a life long process for them.

    "Vatican Christmas Shocker! Pope says child ra.pe isn't that bad, was normal back in his day" This is the ti.tle of the article that you can find at: http://www.sott.net/articles/show/220257-Vatican-Christmas-Shocker-Pope-says-child-r.ape-isn-t-that-bad-was-normal-back-in-his-day

    (remove the dot between the r and the a in order for the link to work)

    November 12, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Joel Weymouth

      Attack the Catholic Church, but you ignore the evidence that 1 in 10 Public School Students are molested/harassed/abused by faculty members or employees of the school each year. This study can be found on the dept of Education website. This has been ignored by the MSM. Would you support a complete dismantling of public education?

      November 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
    • Al

      Putting your money in the hands of any of the protestant groups isn't much better.

      November 12, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Joel: As much as your stats may be right, those people are usually prosecuted by the law when they are caught. They don't have a huge organization to stand behind (even their unions will not support abuse of a child). The priests within the catholic church are not being prosecuted for their crimes and instead are being protected by the church. Read the damn article before you go spewing on about my dislike of this church and making as.sumptions. I am appalled that anyone supports this...these people are ra.ping children and getting away with it...the kids don't get off so easily. I'm not certain how anyone with an ounce of humanity can say they don't understand this...it is right before your eyes!!! This is criminal!!

      November 12, 2011 at 5:44 pm |
    • TruthPrevails

      @Al: putting your money into any organized religion is not the most intelligent thing one does, however if this were a protestant leader they would not necessarily be protected to the same degree as the catholic leaders. The pope readily states there is nothing wrong with his flock of ped.o.philes abusing children. Previously that same pope admitted to having knowledge of these ped.o.philes. Given that the pope is the head of the organization, the organization needs to be put under strict scrutiny for allowing such a monster to make their decisions....if this was only the occasional thing I would still be upset but not as upset as I am with this. To knowingly support and help cover up such a horrific crime makes him just as responsible (this goes for any other human on this earth). These are people children are supposed to trust and they are taking advantage of that innocence for their own per.ver.erse reasons. The stats state that there are approximately 5000 catholic priests who are known to have committed this crime.

      November 12, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Al

      TruthPrevails
      Notice that I said "isn't much better"? On the protestant side you also have televangelists, faith healers, rapture predicting con men, and their own host of molesters and abusers of women. They may not have a pope to direct them, but they do have congregations who are more than willing to turn a blind eye, and that's maybe even worse is some ways.

      November 12, 2011 at 8:58 pm |
  18. Jez

    Well, the author is judging just as the rest of us are. What a waste of an article.

    November 12, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  19. Michael

    Jesus would stand where the truth is, not with those who are weak just because they are weak. Remember, he declared of a Roman Centurion "never have I seen such faith in Israel."

    November 12, 2011 at 4:40 pm |
  20. Andy

    What do you really want from us, Mr. Prothero? Am I to admit I'm doomed to hell for feeling sorry for the victims AND for Joe Paterno and his family? If so, I intend to punch satan in the nose as soon as I get in front of him for cheating and lying to "beat the band".

    Here's the deal: my preachers and teachers, my parents, my brother and sisters, my aunts and uncles, my wife and our two grown kids, have ALWAYS looked up to Coach Paterno – for 50 YEARS!

    Why? Because he's been the best example to point out – to single out – to our young. Joe Paterno was and still IS the proverbial role model. Jesus will surely welcome Coach into heaven with a smile someday. He'll probably ask Joe why Penn State couldn't manage to get one more yard on Alabama, to win the 1977 national championship.

    You see, Coach wasn't in the shower designing pedophillia plots; Sandusky (the devil's boy) was the sneak-pervert doing that, and Sandusky's NOT in prison and he's NOT dead and he's NOT in hell yet. He's on the loose; go figure. Somebody took Sandusky's check for $100K and let him out. That doesn't seem to bother our "Christians" one iota. Again, go figure, where's the outrage at that?

    I have quit trying to "go figure" people's actions. This "messed up" America we have wrought, is so chocked full of "political christians", the same ones Jesus Christ warned (above all other sinners), of facing the hottest fires of hell. One day, Jesus got so angry at them, that he turned over their tables and threw them out. They "multiplied" and two-thousand years later, migrated to America – in droves.

    Therefore, the "Christian" nation of your day dreams and fantasies – doesn't exist. I can prove it! Someone took Sandusky's DOLLARS and let him OUT of jail! That proves we have at least ONE, right? There are MILLIONS more; they're walking and talking and making the rules; writing the laws.

    Coach Paterno and his wife have been 'nailed' to crosses by your "Political Christians", while Sandusky – free as a bird – seeks another child to 'ruin' and 'destroy' forever. In my mind, this is upside down and backwards, but TYPICAL.

    So do me a favor, Brother Prothero, if you can: Don't PRAY to Christ on Sandusky's soul's behalt, OK? Rather, PRAY that Sandusky's ASS be jailed along-side Bubba. Now THAT'S the prayer we SHOULD be praying, but we're not!

    The child rapist has walked and we "christians" have knowledge of it, and we have "turned away" so as to "trick" Jesus into thinking we didn't know of it. So stop preaching and fretting about our souls, until YOU – with your CNN writer's priviledges – start demanding Sandusky be JAILED and STOPPED forever!

    Jesus can't come do that, but YOU can! If not you, then WHO? Well? Did you start doing it yet? Why not? Get busy! THEN we can discuss our "souls" with more trust and honesty, versus pretending to be "Real Christians"; as in flapping our lips just to hear ourselves talk. The Good Lord MUST have a set of heavenly ear plugs within reach; wouldn't you if you were HE?

    November 12, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.