My Take: Penn State’s dark fellowship
Joseph Loconte looks to C.S. Lewis for help understanding the reaction of Joe Paterno, above, and others to Jerry Sandusky.
July 15th, 2012
03:00 AM ET

My Take: Penn State’s dark fellowship

Editor's Note: Joseph Loconte, Ph.D., is an associate professor of history at the King’s College in New York City and the author of The Searchers: A Quest for Faith in the Valley of Doubt.

By Joseph Loconte, Special to CNN

(CNN)–The results of the investigation into the sexual abuse scandal at Penn State University, released last week, suggest a crisis of conscience in the academy. The report blames “the most powerful leaders at the university” for concealing vital facts about football coach Jerry Sandusky’s chronic record of child abuse. Singled out are university President Graham Spanier, Athletic Director Tim Curley, Vice President Gary Schultz, and head Coach Joe Paterno. “Our most saddening and sobering finding,” the report said, “is the total disregard for the safety and welfare of Sandusky’s victims by the most senior leaders at Penn State.”

Last month Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of sexual abuse, including rape and sodomy. If the investigation’s conclusions are correct, he had help. It seems that all these individuals, men of public achievement and outward propriety, conspired together to protect a serial pedophile. How is it possible?

An intense desire to shield the reputation of the school, a jealous regard for its venerable football tradition, a determination to avoid the financial fallout of a sex scandal—these are the usual suspects, and they all played a part in this criminal episode. Yet even taken together they don’t fully explain the alleged conspiracy of silence.

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In their 162-page report, investigators said that “a culture of reverence” for the football program contributed to the abuse and its cover-up. This “culture of reverence,” in fact, functioned more like a quasi-religious cult than a college football program. At Penn State—as well as at other competitive football schools—we find the secular equivalent of high priests, holy rituals, secret initiations, unquestioned dogmas and fanatically devoted followers.

And, like any religious cult, there is a sanctified hierarchy: a cadre of elite who stand guard at the temple to protect its power and prestige—and its darkest secrets. They are individuals who, once welcomed into this fellowship, will not break faith with one another.

Christian author C.S. Lewis called this dynamic “the Inner Ring.” Based on his own experience at Oxford and Cambridge universities, Lewis discerned a powerful desire to enter these elite societies, to experience “the delicious sense of secret intimacy.” He described an equally potent fear of being shut out of the inner ring and, once admitted, to close ranks at the first sign of trouble.

Sandusky’s pastor addresses conviction from pulpit

In book three of Lewis’s space trilogy, "That Hideous Strength," we watch the moral descent of Mark Studdock, a university professor who comes under the influence of the N.I.C.E. (National Institute of Coordinated Experiments). The leaders of the N.I.C.E want to distract attention from their wicked machinations in the town of Edgetow. In an effort to consolidate their stranglehold over the community, they ask Studdock, a writer who craves their approval and acceptance, to fabricate a newspaper story.

“This was the first thing Mark had been asked to do which he himself, before he did it, clearly knew to be criminal. But the moment of his consent almost escaped his notice; certainly, there was no struggle, no sense of turning a corner,” Lewis writes. “For him, it all slipped past in a chatter of laughter, of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.”

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It now appears that the circle of leadership at Penn State, not unlike the N.I.C.E., was ruthlessly devoted to its vision of glory: a secular mission that took on the righteous urgency of a religious cause. The cult of football, like any other cult, not only produces heroes and saints. It creates hypocrites and charlatans.

None of the men implicated in the scandal at Penn State began his career determined to abandon his most basic moral obligations: to protect children from physical and sexual abuse. And, yet, the report found “a striking lack of empathy for child abuse victims by the most senior leaders of the university.” How could it happen? It probably happened in “a chatter of laughter,” in that dark fellowship that invites decent men to quietly condone the most indecent of acts against their neighbors.

If the report’s findings are true, the inner ring at Penn State manipulated a power structure that made dissent costly. University janitors, who knew what was happening to the children, reportedly kept quiet for fear of reprisals. “They were afraid to take on the football program,” said Louis Freeh, the former FBI director who led the investigation. “If that’s the culture on the bottom, then God help the culture at the top.”

The great tragedy here is that God and his moral law were excluded from the culture at the top. If that culture is to change, it will require more than tough talk and secular therapy. Maybe it’s time to recall that the God of the Bible is portrayed as the great defender of society’s weakest and most vulnerable. Jesus showed a special regard for children—a countercultural quality in his day—and admonished his followers about taking advantage of them.

His stern warning, repeated several times in the gospels, might serve as a moral signpost for coaches everywhere: “It would be better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck than to cause one of these little ones to fall into sin.”

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Joseph Loconte.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Cults • Sports

soundoff (780 Responses)
  1. SPD

    Among the first and most obvious signs of trouble is that a football coach is among the most powerful people on a university campus. That's like the groundskeeper being among the most powerful people at a hospital. It isn't a good sign. If your grounds are very important to you, then pay the groundskeeper well, but don't let him govern the hospital.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  2. Carl

    What a bunch of "Holier Than Thou" Hogwash. Penn State is a great university and much bigger than the administrators and Sandusky who committed the crimes.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • talkin2u924

      Carl, you are wrong...in my opinion. Dead Wrong. The opinion of this piece is spot on. I've been involved with things like this. Yes it is a cult. It's a cult that exists in every top football school in America. Just try to challenge them with anything they may not welcome and you'll be crushed for the sake of the program. That's the power of college football in this country. This will not change until the powers that benefit from the power and money make change. They won't.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:52 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      PennState is a party school. It's a red neck beer drinking pile of crap, that contributes to the anti-intellectual climate in the US. Any academic insti'tution in which the violent version of football is celebrated is bound to come to no good. Bunch of fat good ole boy idiots.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:54 am |
  3. sdabby

    The recent revelations that a “culture of reverence … functioned more like a quasi-religious cult” at Penn State University (PSU) has been an issue for a long time. The University lost its bearings many years ago - doing the right thing became optional.
    For about a year between 2000 and 2001, I was the manager of small technology company located in Pleasant Gap, Pennsylvania – a small town about 10 miles from PSU. The company had 9 employees.
    During my tenure, two events changed my view of the University. On one occasion, an applicant who worked at PSU, interviewed for an opening. He asked for 6.25/hour. I could not understand why anyone would want to leave PSU. He explained that he was part of the PSU “wage payroll group”. These were the underclass of the employees. They received very low pay and no benefits. But the upside was they could bid on regular jobs at PSU – jobs with benefits that paid living wages. The applicant had a very sick child at home and needed the coverage.
    A second incident was a desperate call from the local Food Bank - they were out of food just before Thanksgiving. I recall everyone chipped in. Employees earning $9 an hour brought in cans of food. I thought of Joe Paterno. Did he not hear about the Food Bank? A donation from him with some publicity would have made a big difference. How about others at PSU? The silence from PSU was deafening.
    In later years, when PSU was trying to convince Paterno to resign and he fought back – I often heard the saying “it’s all about Joe Paterno”.

    The poor communities 10 miles away did not matter. The victims from poor communities did not matter either, in retrospect.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |
  4. tina

    Thanks so much for the Perelandra comparison. Perfect!

    July 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
  5. topperG

    What I find interesting and kind of the behind the scenes real story is the link to the Catholic Church in the Freeh Report. Child abuse, especially young boys, seems to folllow that organization around like a caboose on a train.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:34 am |
  6. SevenT

    The liberal elite "intellectual" that runs Penn State pushes gay-marriage. So naturally they do not see anything wrong with this type of behavior. The shower stuff is perfectly natural and normal to a secular Penn State administrator.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:31 am |
    • midwest rail

      Congratulations. Only 7:35 A.M. central time, and you've already won the ti-tle of dumbest post of the day.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • UncleM

      Is the Vatican run by a liberal elite that supports gay mariage?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:38 am |
    • Trumpet

      You are an idiot. Gay people do not accept abuse of children any more than straight people do!

      July 15, 2012 at 8:40 am |
    • Esoteric

      Someone doesn't know the difference between a consensual relationship involving two adults and child abuse. It's not the same thing!

      July 15, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Obviously SevenT got his education at Party State.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:55 am |
    • sbp

      Don't let the fact that all the administrators involved were conservative republicans get in your way.....

      July 15, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Winston5

      SevenT = future Darwin Award Recipient

      July 15, 2012 at 9:02 am |
    • Keith

      Trumpet, Liar. Ever heard of NAMBLA? Not only is it acceptable-this organization promotes such deviant behavior and informs its membership how to get away with their crimes. You are a liar.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ignore Keith. He thinks Obama is a Muslim. He is delusional and should be on medication.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Keith

      TTPS, Why is it you can't seem to take your own advice? You are the stalker of this blog whenever I post something. If what I say is crazy and so insignificant-why do you respond to my posts? Take your reprobate mind and move on, tom.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. I'll stalk you if I please and point out your complete insanity at every turn. Don't like it? You move on.
      You're a nut-job, plain and simple. You are crazy. You should be insti tutionalized and treated. You are beyond ridiculous and heading for Basket-Weaving Country.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Keith

      Judging by tom's reaction, I must be doing something right.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you are, it's by accident, dingus.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:45 am |
  7. Matthew

    Fabulous article with a great perspective. I don't always appreciate the belief blog pieces, but this one is a gem. Thanks.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:29 am |
  8. ssmazzon

    It is beyond horrible...but it is important to remember that the current coach and players had nothing to do with this. The current staff and team are not the enemy. Just shockingly sad!

    July 15, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  9. How

    The purpose of sport education is about playing by the rules and team work. But the fundamental morality behind it has long been lost. What happened at Penn State is happening everywhere, i.e. those who make and execute the rules do not have to obey the rules, those who preach the judgement may think they will never be judged. You think we have democracy and equality under the law, think again.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:19 am |
  10. Chris

    Open your eyes. This isn't exclusive to PSU – the same thing exists at every football factory school across the NCAA; USC, Alabama, LSU, you name it. If the NCAA sanctions PSU for lack over sight, a runaway football program, then they will need to add these rules to the book and will then apply to all the others. Face it, Nick Saban has more power in the state than to Governor.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:15 am |
    • ssmazzon

      Sports as a whole in our nation has too much power due to big dollars. However, every staff surely does not hide and harbor a pedophile!

      July 15, 2012 at 8:28 am |
  11. Reality

    (If Penn State wants to start cleaning up the mess, all statues or other symbols of Joe Paterno should be removed immediately from their campus.)

    A general overview of many problems involving-


    Obviously ordination in any religion is not assurance of good behavior !!!!!

    Neither is coronation!!! e.g. Henry VIII, King David.

    Neither is marriage as 50% of those men convicted of pedophilia are married.

    Neither is being elected president of the USA!! e.g. Billy "I did not have se-x with that girl" Clinton, John "Marilyn Monroe" Kennedy".

    Neither is possessing super athletic skill!!! e.g. Tiger "I am so sorry for getting caught" Woods.

    Neither is being an atheist or pagan or football coach since pedophilia is present in all walks of life.

    If someone is guilty of a crime in this litany of "neithers" they should or should have been penalized as the law dictates to include jail terms for pedophiliacs (priests, rabbis, evangelicals, boy scout leaders, married men/women, football coaches), divorce for adultery (Clinton, Kennedy, Woods), jail terms for obstruction of justice (Paterno et al, Clinton, Cardinal Law) or child endangerment (Paternon et al, Lynn) and the death penalty or life in prison for murder ("Kings David and Henry VIII).

    July 15, 2012 at 8:14 am |
  12. bow to the sports god

    Penn States' board are such cowards. I just read where they are going to honor a new contract that was in the works for Joe Pa. They still dont get it. They are still bowing down to football and the god Joe Pa . I hope the school goes bankrupt with all the law suits and has to close its doors.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:07 am |
  13. Andrew

    Yeah and God in his infinite wisdom and power allows such acts to happen. If God exists he cares just as much as the leadership at Penn State.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • Andrew

      Did I mention what a big, fat idiot I am?

      I have nothing better to do Sunday morning than express my bigotry and stupidity.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • Frank

      *groan*...you've opened yourself up to the so called freewill scam. Counting down the clock now....

      July 15, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • Andrew III

      Any time someone criticises religion, I say "bigotry and hate". My vocabulary is a slimited as my IQ.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:59 am |
  14. David Sims

    The pedophile coach and his cover-uppers should be tarred and feathered, boiled in oil, put to the rack, drawn and quartered, hung by the neck, burned at the stake, and beheaded.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:55 am |
    • Rufus

      That's all?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  15. O.T.

    It was like a religious cult, and like a mafia gang, with Joe Pa as the Tony Soprano-style boss and the administrators the corrupt politicians. Events of the last few days make it clear that the PSU community does not get it. They are still playing football, the statue will still stand, and everyone in Happy Valley will be most concerned with beating Illinois and bringing in a great football recruiting class, at whatever cost necessary.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • no point

      when you sue a university, you are suing the STATE. and they are just as bad if not worse. have the potential to be MUCH MORE intimidating. we still don't know what happened to the missing guy.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:17 am |
  16. Keith

    This is what happens when a h0m0s^xual crime occurs in this day and age. Had Sandusky's victims been female, everyone would've been exposed and prosecuted a long time ago. But the h0m0's and their supporters continue to get a free pass-even though when presented with the blaring evidence that the crimes were in fact H0M0SE>XUAL in nature, they will deny it!? I hope the whole stinkin' apple cart gets kicked over and the victims of these h0m0s^xual attrocities sue Penn State into oblivion. When this is over, Penn State should cease to exist-and let the blame fall squarely were it is deserved-on a man who committed h0m0s^xual perversion on innocent young boys(and those who covered it up and those who continue to defend the "lifestyle") thus destroying their lives and violating their RIGHTS. Who cares about gay rights? What about these children's LIVES and RIGHTS? Shame on those who hid these crimes and the perverts who STILL make excuses and deny the fact that this is the fruit of their sick lifestyle. These kids should sue NAMBLA and every other gay rights organization that they can get their hands on who continue to defend/deny such behavior.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:37 am |
    • JWT

      What lifestyle are you talking about ? Some gays are perverts just like some herterse-xuals are perverts – so what ?

      July 15, 2012 at 7:48 am |
    • Keith

      JWT, Were not the very acts themselves committed by Sandusky h0m0s^xual in nature? Yes or no.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:49 am |
    • JWT

      Sandusky is likely an immoral bi-se-xual. His immorality does not step from his s-exual orientation.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:51 am |
    • JWT

      \and yes they were

      July 15, 2012 at 7:52 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      You obviously know nothing about pedophiles. This man would have attacked a female just as easily as he would have a male. These are diseased minds and have absolutely nothing to do with whether or not they have ho.mo.se.xual tendencies. Sandusky was married and although that does not mean he was not gay, it certainly doesn't mean he was either. To as.sociate the two proves your ignorance and bigotry. There are plenty of gay men in this world who would NEVER harm a child and there are plenty of straight men/women who would. There is no direct link between pedophiles and gays.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Keith

      JWT, ALL gays are perverts. They have CHOSEN to alter the way God created them to be: male and female.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:54 am |
    • Keith

      TP, Once again with your rambling insights? Blah, blah, blah. If what you say is sooo true, then why hasn't ONE single female victim emerged?

      July 15, 2012 at 7:57 am |
    • Keith

      TP, Furthermore, the flipside of your statement must also be true: There are plenty of straight men who would NEVER harm a child but there are many GAY men and women who would. Yes, TP? Funny how evil people such as yourself are always so quick to label righteous people as bigots and hateful when they stand up to the h0m0s^xual agenda and people like you who willingly support that agenda-no matter who gets hurt-kids included. Shame on you.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:03 am |
    • JWT

      So if I understand you right then all catholic priests are perverts because a small minority are ?

      There are a a number of hetero-se-xual child mole sters also – thus all heterose-xual people are also child mol estors?

      I suggest that your logic is non-existant on this topic.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:14 am |
    • Andrew

      All gays are perverts. Why else would you let some guy stick his #$#@ up your @##@?

      It's a sickness.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:16 am |
    • aginghippy

      You could be the poster child for ignorant ho mophobia. Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that gays are born gay. So, if your imaginary skydaddy existed, he would be hating his own creation.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • Mirosal

      JWT and Keith ... when did you CHOOSE to be hetero? I'm betting you didn't make that choice.. it was just the way you are.. gays do not choose it either, just like you didn't choose to be hetero

      July 15, 2012 at 8:22 am |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Really Keith? My point is that pedophiles will abuse regardless of who it is or their se.xual preference. Sandusky had more access to young boys then he did girls...that is a known fact....there is no way to know if he would have or would not have abused girls had he been given the chance. Sandusky is a sick individual and fortunately will never walk the streets again. Personally I think Sandusky's wife should be in jail also for simply standing by his side but that is my opinion. I have better things to do with my Sunday then to sit here and listen to your obvious bigotry of gays that is not founded on anything more than what you believe from a 2000 year old book.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:27 am |
    • Neauxdoubt


      On a Sunday afternoon.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:36 am |
    • Andrew III

      That other Andrew is too stupid to know that An'al intercourse is practiced as much by straights as gays. He obviously went to Penn State.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:00 am |
    • Keith

      JWT, Just for clarification...I think, based on the Bible, that h0m0s^xuality is sin-a perversion of God's original intent for man and woman-another form of rebellion against God. I don't condone molesting ot children by anyone-clergy especially. These people who had positions of trust will be dealt with most severely by God for abusing their postions of authority and so will those who cover up such abuse.
      What I can't stand is the hyprocricy of the LBGT people. They duck and dodge and outright deny that the acts perpetrated by Sandusky were gay in nature. They are a stinking joke. They will do anything to make their sinful, perverted liestyle look normal and acceptable in society. I will stand up and fight this evil lot every chance I get. And I will not let their labeling of me as a "hateful", "ignorant", "bigot", etc. etc. blah blah blah, deter me. I sure at some point they will pass laws to put people like me in jail for holding the views I do. So be it. I will never compromise with this evil. This nation is like Nineveh. We are on God's chopping block right now. We can repent from our sins or be destroyed in righteous judgment. I'm not saying we're on the 40 day time clock that Nineveh was on, but our clock is ticking. And the rapid advancement of the LGBT agenda is just one of the signs that we're going in the WRONG direction. We can expect more judgments like the fires, earthquakes, haboos, derecho's, pests killing our trees, drought, etc. I know I'm in the minority, but I will stand and fight evil on every front.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:29 am |
    • Keith

      Jon 3:1 ¶ And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

      Jon 3:2 Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee.

      Jon 3:3 So Jonah arose, and went unto Nineveh, according to the word of the LORD. Now Nineveh was an exceeding great city of three days' journey.

      Jon 3:4 And Jonah began to enter into the city a day's journey, and he cried, and said, Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown.

      Jon 3:5 ¶ So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them.

      Jon 3:6 For word came unto the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, and he laid his robe from him, and covered [him] with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.

      Jon 3:7 And he caused [it] to be proclaimed and published through Nineveh by the decree of the king and his nobles, saying, Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water:

      Jon 3:8 But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that [is] in their hands.

      Jon 3:9 Who can tell [if] God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

      Jon 3:10 ¶ And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did [it] not.

      The leadership of Nineveh rallied the people to repent. And they were spared destruction. Our leadership declares the month of June as Gay Pride month and the nation burns and is hit by an "inland hurricane" which no one saw coming...If you start connecting the dots, you might figure it out. If we follow our leadership, we're screwed.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:35 am |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      We need more quotes Keithy.
      Frickin bible thumper. The world is not explainabe by 3000 year old books. Genesis was not about disobedience. If you ever took a class incComparative Mythology, you might find out it came from Babylonian Chaos myth. You are too stupid to live. What a waste.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:23 am |
    • Keith

      Many in Ja.pan are making the connection with the other thing that brings God's judgment. Those in the government are realizing that they screwed up bigtime by having their ambassador to the UN declare the country's official stance on Israel as one based on pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of a palestinian state a mere 48 hrs. prior to the earthquake/tsunami. Many of them are converting from bhuddism to Christianity. You won't see this reported here in the states. You also won't hear it reported that the first scientists who went into the burning Fukushima plant were Christians-because no bhuddists would go in. It was reported on Ja.panese tv with the scientist quoting the Bible, "Jhn 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. " But I'll bet ya didn't see that on Faux News or the crescent news network.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:26 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keith, as usual, brings the crazy.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Many in Ja pan"? Oh, really? Then cite your sources.
      I'll check with a relative who lives there to verify.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • Keith

      TTPS can't bear to think that any of what I said is true. To do so, she would first have to acknowledge that God is real and she would realize that she is in deep crap for mocking Him on a daily basis. People like TTPS and TP will end up believing a lie-and probably taking the mark of the anti-christ if they live long enough to see that come to fruition. Too bad, really. But don't make the mistake of listening to their humanist drivel. Look to the Lord and repent of your sins.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you can't cite your sources? Good to know, and exactly what I've come to expect.

      Keep on posting the crazy, dear. It's the funniest sh!t on here.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Keith

      TruNews broadcast from July 5. Guest: Henry Gruver. Enjoy.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      TruNews: "A Christian News Network."

      Next, Keith will cite World Nut Daily, Focus on the Family, and Pat Robertson as "proof".

      Keith, you're not only crazy, you're stupid.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • midwest rail

      You're seriously giving TruNews as a credible source ? Next.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you want a good laugh, google Henry Gruver!

      July 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • sam stone

      Just for clarification, I think that Keith is a bigot with a bible shoved too far up his rectum to think clearly

      July 15, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • Keith

      What's your beef with Gruver, tommy? It might interest you to know that the Russians made a dry run on Vandenberg AFB on the 4th of July. You won't believe such a thing possible until there's a mushroom cloud forming right over your head, though. God used that ancient Assyrians and Babylonians to judge Israel and Judah-but I suppose none of those actually existed in your mind. So why can't God use the commie Russians and Chinese to do the same type of judgment on America? It certainly would be a big help to them when the clown in the White House unilaterally reduces America's nuke ar.senal by 80%. How convenient. Will the US fall under a nuclear attack? Who knows? Does God have a track record of using foreign nations to disipline His own? You bet. Will God righteously judge any nation when its wickedness passes the point of no return? Yes. Sodom and Ghom.orra. What makes this nation any different?

      July 15, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • Queth

      wow! truNews is hilarious- "Sonar scans show that 'UFO' at bottom of Baltic sea may actually be a top-secret Nazi anti-submarine defence lost since the Second World War"

      July 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
  17. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    July 15, 2012 at 7:22 am |
    • Joe

      Getting off your butt, does more.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:59 am |
    • SurRy

      Seems Sandusky was not an atheist and had prayer. Sandusky reportedly attended St. Paul's United Methodist Church in State College. According to USAToday, Sandusky had a sticker on his garage door with the following verse: "Be still and know that I am God". Hmm, a message to his victims?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:57 am |
    • Winston5

      yah right, cause only Athiests r ape little kids. no, wait, that's all of those "good Catholics"

      July 15, 2012 at 9:10 am |
    • Jesus

      Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      July 15, 2012 at 10:03 am |
    • jbg757

      Idiot's delight.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:12 am |
  18. Flamespeak

    If the problem is that football programs are being revered to the point of covering up monsters, then perhaps football should be removed and people forced to focus on education while in college.

    July 15, 2012 at 5:42 am |
    • aginghippy

      Exactly. We wonder why the football program operates with complete impunity, when schools will entice mediocre students to attend, with a full scholarship, just because they can play football. It's all about the money and has nothing to do with education.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:27 am |
  19. tallulah13

    What a wretched article. Morality is born of human decency, not religion. There is not a moral person of ANY faith (or lack of faith) that would protect a pedophile. The situation at Penn State is the result of the collegiate football-over-all culture, not the result of the lack of religion. Perhaps it's time to take football off the pedestal and bring back education as the primary purpose of college.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • Small "c" christian

      "Perhaps it's time to take football off the pedestal and bring back education as the primary purpose of college."

      Hear, hear.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:22 am |
    • Johnny Blammo

      I fully agree with you here.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:54 am |
    • Maximus9

      Yeah, of course, God is the answer! Laughable does't even cut it. Why even mention what is probably the most corrupt, devious, vile, part of humanity. The church, religion, are actually since the beginning of time, have the root of all evil. Wars, deceit, lies, pedophilia, riches..all hidden and contorted under the name of "GOD". Give me a break. Penn State is a college. Should be a about education, not a stupid game played by a bunch of cult belonging jocks. But, this is America, and priorities are way too often backwards, as witnessed but the generally pathetic state of affairs we live in.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:56 am |
    • no point

      they are trying to cover up so its harder for people to sue them, but all they do is make it worse. re-trauma.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:10 am |
    • CentreRes

      Yes, we should reduce the emphasis on football. This is why the NCAA just approved a four team playoff for division I schools. Are we de-emphasizing football? No, we have just added fuel to the fire.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:26 am |
  20. Frederico Kenneth

    Okay, so this is exactly like the Vatican's response, yet this guy thinks that the problem was not enough religion?

    I'm finding that a little tough to swallow.

    July 15, 2012 at 3:15 am |
    • JWT

      Being religious does not of necessity mean that a person is moral, being non-religious does not of necessity mean that a a person is immoral. The author is totally wrong in his conclusion that god should be necessary.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:50 am |
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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.