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.

CNN's Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the big stories

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. founders1791

    CENSORSHIP and STEERING THE DEBATE is par for course with the Lame Stream Media

    CNN is spiking any comment that brings up Teachers - CNN is allowing any comment that brings up Churches

    July 15, 2012 at 12:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are a paranoid nut, founders. Get a grip and figure out the filters. There are no "moderators" here.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Terry

      FYI, founders1791, CNN just has an automatic word filter that filters naughty words and word fragments such as "cum" such that using words such as "document" cause posts to be blocked. Do some searching and you'll find the naughty word list.

      There looks to be no bias there, so you probably owe CNN and the media an apology.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
    • Justice

      How silly.. It's likely you have a word that contains a fowl one. Not intentional, this forum uses a automated word check. ie it is not the word prost-itute that it would kick out, but the t-i-t in the middle will cause the entire post to reject.

      Now if you want to talk about teachers, go ahead. Let me help you.. Thankfully teachers blow other teachers in for pedophilia. More so, we have always heard those in the news. And even better, they seek out help for the child.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      founders1791, Here ya' go. (paranoia is gonna git you!)

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      cu-nt.....as in Scu-nthorpe, a city in the UK famous for having problems with filters...!
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, ent-ities, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).

      July 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
  2. jonp

    Everybody (except penn state alumni) should make it an annual tradition to deface the grave of joe paterno. they can keep the stupid statue.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  3. Let it go

    Ok already, we get it. The man is dead, let him rest in peace and let the accusers fade back into anonymity. You can't rewrite history and change the fact that Coach Paterno was a great coach and PSU had an amazing football program.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      PSU's football program will always be tainted by this crime and its cover-up. Paterno did much good in his life and mentored many students who went on to achieve success, but his reputation will not survive this scandal, and rightly so.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      "...let the accusers fade back into anonymity."

      Really? How about the permanent damage that has been done to the accusers? You're a fool and an idiot.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
  4. Bazoing

    Such monsters are the rulers of the earth. We somehow select for them call them leaders, and filter decent people out. If you are not willing to sacrifice others, any others, you will never be a 'leader.' This selection process seems to be built into all world's societies.

    Incidentally 'That Hideous Strength is part of a trilogy starting with 'Out of the Silent Planet'.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  5. founders1791

    Teachers abuse more children than ANY GROUP IN THE COUNTRY and the Lame Stream Media SPIKES THE STORIES and / or will bury them. You will not read about them ON THE FRONT PAGE like you will anything negative about Football, Sports, The Military, or Churches. There IS an agenda.

    There are numerous case '..this year...' of rampant student abuse. Listen up Liberals ....your glass ceiling will be ..next.. and the public will watch liberals and their teachers unions protect anything and everything they did, even if its on tape.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Haven't you used up your supply of saliva yet?

      July 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      I don't know about other parts of the world or the US, but where I live, teachers who abuse students are outed on every tv news station and in the newspapers and every where else you look. I would say that they overdo these stories, but I'm glad these sorts of people are exposed.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • founders1791


      You are sorely mistaken and the links of evidence on teacher abuse, just for this year, are not allowed on this blog or CNN in general.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      founders, you idiot, you don't know how to post links on this blog so that they get through the filter. That's your own stupid fault, not CNN's.

      Figure it out.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
    • JWT

      Gee founder I guess tahts why i can read such stories on cnn every now and then.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
  6. bow to the sports god

    This is the kind of stuff that happens when someone is treated like a god. Joe Pa answered to no one. He was the most powerful man in Pensy. When one person is given this much power bad things are going to happen.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  7. WorkingInVa

    Joe Pa's bubble has finally been burst. Built into a legend and idolized for decades, we now know that he was not just an ordinary person with a long list of faults, but far less than that. Whatever it was that he loved so much up there in happy valley, he loved it a lot more than his honor, integrity, and decency. Sad. The same statement clearly applies to the fanatics that continue to defend him. If football went away from PSU for a long time, the place would be better off. Time to put away the game and get back to real life.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
  8. Pig in a Poke

    You all have the perfect scapecoat now that Joe Pa can no longer defend himself. The supposed release of emails could not possibly be true. Email storage space and backups during the time frames when these abuses occured simply did not exist so I vote for conspiracy on this one. Make it look like Joe stood in the way of Justice so the living culprits get away with it.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tom B.

      Ability to archive emails has existed for a long time - drop your silly conspiracy theories, stop making excuses and face the truth: the Penn State program's hierarchy was rotten to the core.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
  9. secret societies, who knows what they do

    skull and bones, illuminati, gridiron secret society, opus die, freemasons, 16' club, pitt club, bohemian grove and many, many more.
    Winston Churchill wrote..any orginization that requires absolute secrecy is inherently evil. The inner circle rules.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Just and Honorable

      Organizations Like The Freemasons and Knights of Columbus have its members take an oath that includes God and his Moral Laws and to do good and help the needy. I believe the football inner circle at Penn State had no such commitment so it does not surprise me there is this "Dark Side". I hope Rutger's football culture is paying serious attention to what happen to Penn State.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
  10. tuot

    I came to the US 40 years ago and was so shocked at how fanatic Americans are to football. That is all they can talk and live about, nothing else. High schools and colleges worship football better than gods. What so heroes about some nutty neanderthals running around with odd-shape balls while other neanderthals (coaches) on the sidelines yelling like crazy old men.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  11. founders1791

    The attacks on Joe Paterno are GROSSLY OVERSTATED on this great man who dedicated 63 YEARS to the betterment of mankind and will not go unchallenged by those who are very familiar with him, Penn State, and Football programs in general.

    Joe Paterno is the "famous name" that draws readers like flies to the story because the other guys names are not known from adam. THAT IS WRONG.

    The Board of Directors ..were complicit. The Board of Directors ..are guility, repeatedly, of ignoring the facts that were presented to them.

    Joe Paterno did what he was supposed to do ...report the incident to his superiors. The Police had a record of Sandusky, long before JoePa knew squat, and nothing was done.

    BLAME the Police, BLAME the Board of Directors, ....do not crucify the wrong man...Joe Paterno!

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

      Paterno did NOT do what he should have done. He should have immediately reported the incident to police. He didn't.

      Whether the police had any reports previously or not is immaterial.

      Your idol had feet of clay. Get over it.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Justice

      Founders doesn't like the idea of protecting children. Must be Pope Founders.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • founders1791


      But of course you must arm chair quarterback (pun intended) with woulda coulda shoulda. The TRIAL, and the FACTS at that trial, are what matters and they do not ..dovetail... with Louis Freeh's OPINIONS and SPIN.

      FACT: The Parents of these children DID NOTHING, KNEW NOTHING, and like Obama, blame anyone BUT themselves for not being aware of their own children's safety or well being.

      FACT: The Police knew YEARS BEFORE PATERNO even heard the 'accusations', and did nothing.

      FACT: Penn State Board of Directors knew YEARS BEFORE PATERNO even heard the 'accusations', and did nothing.

      FACT: Joe Paterno is WAY DOWN THE LINE in his involvement of this terrible situation. McQuery's father was a doctor and failed to report what his son told him ...before... he even spoke to Paterno.

      THIS IS A WHICH HUNT WITH MOTIVE – tear down sports, football, and the attention and money associated with it.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You can insist all you want, founders, dear, but the fact is that Paterno knew and did less than he should have. Is that, or is that not, true?

      July 15, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Come on, founders. Is it or is it not true that Paterno did not report Sandusky's behavior to the police?

      July 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Dr. Oo

      Founders1791. You are right. Paterno did the right thing when he reported to the University officials. BUT THEN PATERNO DROPPED THE BALL, when he noticed that Sandusky was still hanging around, FOR FOURTEEN YEARS.

      IOk, Imagine Sandusky selling Penn State's football PLAYBOOK to a RIVAL team, and Paterno reported it to the officials! But then Joe Pa notices that Sandusky is still around on the field after he violated and betrayed the team's best plays and strategies. JOE PA would have had Sandusky eliminated. WHY COULDN'T HAVE DONE THE SAME FOR THE CHILDREN!?????????????????????????????????

      Please open your eyes, Founder1791....Paterno FUMBLED over and over again, but the Universty Officials still gave him 6 points for touchdowns AND the extra point for just being Joe PA! I'm sorry, but my childhood idol has been reduced to a pathetic enabler of a PEDOPHILE. Joe Pa, you're a SICK MAN for working alongside a creep who screws kids for fun.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • founders1791

      Tom, Tom,

      Is it, or is it not true, that.....Joe Paterno involvement was YEARS down the road from when Police and Penn State Board members knew of troubles?

      Is it, or is it not true, that....Joe Paterno, as stated in COURT, informed his superiors immediately upon McQuery's accusation?

      Is it, or is it not true, that.... that nothing Joe Paterno did or could have done would satisfy ..THE MOB MADNESS... that 'you' are a part of?

      YES, YES, AND YES.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Fail, founders. You didn't answer the question. Did Paterno do all he should have done? Stop trying to deflect the question by bringing up what others did or did not do. Did PATERNO do all he should have done?

      July 15, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • founders1791

      Dr Oh,

      The FACT is that Jerry Sandusky ...had a direct contract with Penn State... that gave him the right to use school facilities REGARDLESS of what Joe Paterno said. That is a matter of LAW.

      ...all of you are in the woulda coulda shoulda.

      Let's see just how objective you folks are with those excuses for Obama and the awful job he's done for this country and the BLAME on anything and everything ...except who actually caused the problem!

      FACT: Sandusky is the 'convicted' criminal
      FACT: Penn State Police did nothing as far back as 1998
      FACT: The Board of Directors knew 4 YEARS before Joe Paterno and did nothing.

      DEAL with reality. LIVE an objective life. SEEK the truth.

      Joe Paterno is, and will always be, a great man with 63 YEARS of service who committed no crime but '..coulda done more..'

      ...how many of YOU .....coulda done more in YOUR lives?

      July 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still you evade. Telling, that. Here's a little hint for you, "flounders": Using caps does nothing to improve your credibility.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • tallulah13

      founders, I get that you really admire Joe Paterno, but your hero has feet of clay. He had the power to do something. He chose not to do any more than the bare minimum, just enough to protect himself should this situation come to light (as it did). A good man would have protected those children. A good man would have openly cleaned up the mess, and would have been admired for it. Paterno chose the low road. Whatever good he did in his life now bears the stench of corruption.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • founders1791


      Tell me about ....Obammy supporter!

      July 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OK, you're stupid, flounder.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Flounder appears to be okay with children getting ra.ped, as long as he can still watch football. I hope this yahoo isn't a parent.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
  12. enact RICO laws against the catholic church now

    ... Penn State and the catholic church. Seems Penn State will pay. However why isn't the catholic church held for crimes against humanity? In fact in states as New York, the catholic bishops lobby to stop laws that would expose pedos and the cover ups. And politicians support the bishops for the promise of catholic votes. (please don't tell me the catholic church doesn't hold your vote, they hold your vote in their negotiations without your consent)

    It is a well known fact, that in 1962, the vatican issued a do-cu-ment which had the word 'Secret' written all over it. In fact they were so worried someone would find this do-cu-ment, they instructed the bishops to hide it. This do-cu-ment was written in a mob style which also included the use of threats, to anyone who exposed the abuse of children. Threats to children as well.

    In 2002, the vatican played another mob style game stating the cover ups of child abuse were not the intent of the 1962 do-cu-ment. (They even stated that very few bishops were given the do-cu-ment.) Then, in 2002 a letter was found with instructions from the vatican, it was dated 2001 and written by the current pope, when he was a cardinal, This letter was sent to all the catholic bishops and demanding they adhere to the 1962 doc-ument (proof they all received it, vatican lied about that.) In this letter, it also stated to make sure no victim is found out until 10 years past the victim reaching adulthood (adulthood, meaning 18 years of age). Why? Because now statutes of limitations protects the church since most statutes expire when the victim reaches less than ten years of age past adulthood. The church is now protected, the pedos protected and the victims denied. No priest was ever stripped of the priesthood, back then, as long as the secrets were kept. Oddly, priests were kicked out when they stole money though. Amazing, you'd think the vatican would forgive the theif and expose the pedo.

    No other organization has orchestrated a cover up of child abuse as this organization has. And how often do we have criminals who actually lobby to stop laws that would expose the truth about their crimes? This was a clear act of the obstruction of justice, and it's discovery should have suspended statutes giving victims and their families a chance to legal action. And more importantly to prevent the so-do-my of other children. However the catholic judges refused to act accordingly and within law. (The reason it takes many victims so much time to come forward is due to the illness caused by the abuse. In fact the most violent acts of childhood s-od-o-m-y will traumatize the victim for 10, 20 and more years past the age of 18. This enables the worst pedos freedom)

    Many victims of abuse become mentally ill due to the abuses and others committed suicide. And the catholic church, with it's actions to stop laws, now cause harm to all children abused and their families, no matter who abused.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
  13. greybees

    Fine article. What to think of men of privilege and honors who cast children into the sea for sake of a sports team. What Shakespeare could have done with a tale such as this.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  14. Oscar disabled vet

    @Founders 1791. Do you realize you just atempted to rationalize child abuse by a person who was to help disadvantaged kids! and in your epic fail to do so you conjunctured democrats and liberals at that. do you even kno whats happeneing? do you have no soul but to blame everyone else other than the people who are responsible? oh let me make it clear for you politics has no place in your comment other then the politics of the top circle of fools of Penn state.who by the way are republicans! so think about it

    July 15, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • founders1791

      No I didn't, and you clearly are stuck on stupid.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, sweetie, it's definitely you that's stuck on stupid. Delusional and silly, as well.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
  15. Barry

    They could have transferred Jerry Sandusky to another parish.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Dr. Oo

      Good one Barry!

      July 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  16. GME

    This article sounds a lot like the repeated descriptions I keep hearing about the Republican/Tea Party. Everyone, moving in lock step, striving to be in the "inner circle" at the top, afraid, literally for their lives and livelihoods to disagree. They are indoctrinated at their work by cohesive businessmen trying to gain power and wealth, and in their churches by revered and venerated leaders, with the same nervous laughter. They are encouraged to steal the hard earned liberties of women, encouraged to demean, demonize and even physically abuse their neighbors and relatives who disagree. We must beware, be free thinkers and reveal all who use their power and prestige to destroy that which is good.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • commonsense

      Anyone believing that the Tea Party is a corrupt organization is ill informed. Blindness can be other than the eyes. Blindness to reality and mindless acceptance of something that you know nothing about leaves you wanting.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Pig in a Poke

      dude, you are a frickin nut job.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Another White Lie

      The "Tea Party" is about a loosely knit group of free thinkers that you will find. There is only two qualifing items for membership. Believe in more freedom and less government !

      July 15, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sure. Unless you're talking about the right to choose.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  17. Robert

    I have been saying that Penn State is a cult for years.

    July 15, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  18. founders1791

    If anyone of 'intelligence' actually read the report, and were objective, they would conclude this as nothing but hyperbole to spin ...a position.

    That position, by the left wing liberal socialist democrats, is to tear down a great man and football coach. They attack football because ..they don't play it.. and are their envy and jealousy fuels this literal hate towards football and sports in general. That is why we read ever single day now calls to end football in schools. Pathetic

    Where are all the comments about the HUNDREDS OF TEACHERS that abuse their students DAILY? ....not a peep out the liberals. This year alone there dozens of examples that ..never reach the front page.

    July 15, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Froth at the mouth some more.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Voice of Reason

      Don't you have a few bible verses you could throw in there to make more sense?

      July 15, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • midwest rail

      Gotta be trolling. No one can be this deluded.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • R. Richardson

      Mark this comment as Exhibit "A". There is not better evidence of why Penn State and College Football have a problem than this post.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • james

      religion is like football, useless.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • AtlJack

      Odd how over 90 % of Americans – those OUTSIDE the cult of Penn State – see Paterno for what he was: a man who only cared about his legacy as "St Joe". (your artist painted a halo over his head for Gods sake.)
      More is coming Mr Potato Head.
      this is all just getting started.
      You deniers are pathetic. That kool-aid has rotted your brain

      July 15, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • founders1791

      Well the Soros bots have fully infested this site ..again. CNN is at their lowest readership EVER for a reason....it is simply an arm piece of liberal orthodoxy as are 99% of their viewers (and posters)

      EVIDENCE is what matters. INTENT is 3/5ths the law. FACTS are simply ignored because the vast majority of 'you' simply do not have control over 'your emotions' and are subjective, and downright manic, in your comments and thoughts.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Justice

      Founders must be a Catholic priest.

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

      I suspect he's a former (or current) player on the team.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:28 pm |
  19. Voice of Reason

    For the life of me I could never figure-out why football is so popular. It has to be one of the stupidest sports every concocted. I know it's a multi-billion dollar industry but why? And there lies the truth behind this whole debacle, money AND god. Absolutely no morality in either of the two. No accountability, no responsibility, heck I'm going to heaven no matter what!

    July 15, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • RonFromNM

      It's popular because it is like war encapsulated and sanitized.The Roman arena of the modern day.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  20. Lou Cypher

    The narrow culture of reverence has made way for a much larger culture of revulsion.

    Twenty years from now, the world will still hate Pedo State. This will never go away.

    July 15, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Q Daniels

      Just like everyone hates the Roman Catholic church. Your common sense has taken a holiday.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:56 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.