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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. mo

    and now the nerds (from high school and college) laugh with glee as they attack sports. sandusky was first and foremost a gay man, that is what led him to little boys. a straight man would have no interest in little boys. hence the anger should be directed at gay men, at their agenda and what they are teaching little kids in school. leave sports out of it... it was not the game of football that drove these fools into silence, it was their lack of a consciense.
    i say this as someone who has played sports throughout my life.. sports saved me from jail, from an early funeral; sports taught me a lot... and no, there were no gay men where i played.
    attack the movie or music industry, where there do exist rituals; where young aspiring actors and actresses must visit the 'casting couch'. there is a ton more pedophelia and pedastery in those industries..yet you nerds say nothing of it.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • No mo mo

      If you had gotten to high school, you might have learned that there are these things called "capitalization" and "making sense".

      July 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • JWT

      Being gay has nothing to do with people being ped-ophiles.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      stupid mo
      A guy who says he's not gay is part of the gay agenda. Alrighty then.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Pedophilia is not the same thing as hom.os.exuality. You are simply trying to deflect blame from those who deserve it. Sports may have saved you from bad things, but they did not make you a good person. No good person defends pedophiles and those who protect them.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
    • Keith

      t13, Are you familiar with the H0M0s^xual group of perverts called NAMBLA? They prey on young children and will give their members advice on how to "beat the rap". Real upstanding organization they are. Surprised Obama didn't honor them at the White House during gay pride month.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Keith

      So t 13, do you support NAMBLA or are you just an ignorant hateful bigot?

      July 15, 2012 at 3:57 pm |
    • JWT

      Ah Keith – demonstrating yet again why bogots are such ignorant people.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • Keith

      Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      stupid mo
      A guy who says he's not gay is part of the gay agenda. Alrighty then.
      Gee, do ya think Sandusky might have been LYING?! Again! You people will stop at nothing to defend the h0m0 perverts will you?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • Keith

      JWT, I take it you're a card carrying member of NAMBLA, then-the way you defend them and all...

      July 15, 2012 at 4:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Still getting your news from World Nut Daily, Keith? Find evidence that Obama wasn't born in the US yet?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • tallulah13

      No, Keith. I am not a fan of NAMBLA. I do not support underage/adult relationships of any kind, even if they are consentual or under the aegis of a religious group.

      I do know that young gay men and older gay men often enjoy relationships, perhaps because the younger men seek a mentor to navigate life in a world where certain bigoted religious groups and people continue to vilify and attempt to incite irrational hatred against them.

      But that's beside the point. Hom.os.exuality and pedophilia are not the same thing, no matter how many times you lie about it.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:10 pm |
    • JWT

      NAMBLA ? No they deserve no support. Not all gays are perverts though. If you believe that they are I have a bridge in NY that is for sale and you look like a worthy buyer. Just the type who needs a bridge.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:11 pm |
    • News about Joe

      The Catholic Bi-tchop of Boston was a NAMBLA member. BTW: these little boys were prep-ube-sce-nt, that doesn't interest those who are gay. In fact Sandusky and 40% of Catholic Priests and Bishops who abused children, those victims were prep-ubesc-ent.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wouldn't you think that someone who spends as much time on the web as Keith does would know the difference by now?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • JWT

      You'd think so Tom but the lies people convince themselves of are legendary. As with so many things I wonder why people so prefer to believe the lies and myths rather than the truth. Baseball rules are the same – people prefer the rules myths than the actual rules.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Keith

      tom, left you a reply and question on pg 1-but I'm not sure you're smart enough to figure it out. Oh, and speaking of citing your sources-perhaps you can show me where cnn or any of your propaganda (news) sources covered the IDF attack on the Syrian nuke site in 2007?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sweetheart, I'm not interested in your paranoiac conspiracy theories or your spurious references. When you get psychiatric help, let us all know. We're rooting for you!

      July 15, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keith is always bashing CNN (the "Crescent News Network") and bit@hing about their biased coverage, blah, blah, blah y blah. Why he reads and posts here is a mystery. I can only guess he's been kicked off the comment boards of every other news source.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
  2. CARLOS

    This mess is just one more byproduct of a Consumer society, that is what we are right, consumers ? That is how we are referred to in the media. We go shopping for a feel good shiny bobble, and then we sit on the couch and consume T.V. We live vicariously through warped role models (Grown men being paid millions to play a child's game) We cannot get enough we become fan-addicts and we wonder why these awful things happen.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • settino

      Maybe those who turn a blind eye for the sake of football should try out taking a shower with Jerry, or let thier kids, small brother, try it too? Maybe then some sense will creep into these morons. GO PENNSTATE!!!!

      July 15, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Oh shut up.

      Cut the "we" crap and obvious platitudes. It just makes you sound condescending.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Glad we have it all figured out, and a complex culture fits into your tiny pinhead paradigm.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
  3. Cow Manure

    The only reason we are facing this situation today is because we, the United States, as a society, did not deal adequately with another organization harboring criminals, the Catholic Church.

    Had the Catholic Church been dealt with swiftly, early, and severely, we would not be facing with 14 years of neglect at this point.

    2 Criminal harboring organizations exposed.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Victim of Clergy Abuse

      Not only did the catholic church demand these crimes were hidden,, many priests shared victims and some engaged in gang so-d-o-m-ies of children. Today, the catholic church lobbies to stop laws that would expose pedos – all victims lose, no matter who abused. It's a filthy organization.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
  4. Cow Manure

    The only thing missing from Joe Patterno's resume is "allegedly harbored a criminal". I hope that with time and due process, the alleged word can be removed, so that we can say with peace: "Joe Paterno, harbored a criminal from 1999-2011".

    July 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  5. Andrew

    Look, no one wants to face the reality of a situation involving someone you revere, but sometimes you have to face the truth. Paterno knew something was amiss with Sandusky. Paterno did the bare minimum, and then tried to stonewall any further investigation in order to protect the "integrity" of the university and the program. By doing this, Paterno severely damaged the integrity of the university and the program. End of discussion.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • JWT

      The emails seem to pretty damning. I will agree that he did the minimum necesary by law.

      Regardless of what may or may not have been happening . Paterno had a solid report that Sandusky was naked in a shower room with a boy. He had an absolute responsbility to ensure that Sandusky had no more such opportunities on the campus at least. It did not matter what was happenign in the shower. At the extreme least Sandusky was showing such poor judgement that he should have been banned from the facilites. At the worst – well what happened. Paterno has to shoulder at least some blame for allowing Sandusky to continue to keep access.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • Andrew

      @jwt yeah I know, was trying to keep it short and simple. Besides, the only people defending Paterno's actions here are losers

      July 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  6. o_o

    Children need extra protection – perhaps it is time to talk of privacy and how often it is used to hide criminal activity.
    And then we can start putting cameras in every place that a child could possibly be at risk for any harm at all.
    I know it sounds like a massive invasion of privacy, but the extreme vulnerability of children during their formative years would be much easier to address in terms of protection and getting evidence of criminal activity than it would be to track down every possible and probable victim in the past.
    We can move forward, and keep these abusive predators away from all children....or we can continue to stumble and fail our responsibilities as human beings to protect all children from abuse.

    It has never been done before. To begin would be a small step in the right direction.
    Protecting children is something I think everyone should be able to get behind and support.
    We should be protecting every single child in the world as we educate them with the knowledge and skills they can use in real life.
    If we kill them with privacy, then that is too great a cost. They are dying and suffering from this blind spot our societies have of leaving their protection in the hands of sadistic and abusive adults without any oversight whatsoever.

    If there had been cameras in those places where Sandusky did his violent crimes, would he have done them?
    The children's safety is paramount. We have the technology now. We didn't before. Let's use it to protect children.
    Children are dying everywhere, being treated horribly all over the world. Let's start turning that around for once.
    Let's do it for all the children. Who out there is against this idea?
    Does anyone have any other ideas? One that will protect all children?

    July 15, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Answer

      In our world it is not feasible or completely/totally available to protect our children 24/7 from all avenues of harm.

      You could hover around your child's entire presence (be that bubble of protection yourself) but then your work/income is affected. Reducing your ability to provide the other protection.. like rent for home and food. The best is to let go, place your trust in the education you have learned and give it upon your child. Providing quality education reduces all manners of harm.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • JWT

      I am against big brother.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  7. Q Daniels

    Just curious how you know this Fluffy...Sound like they kicked you out...too much partying huh???

    July 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • settino

      What a sick, sick school. No wonder the US is going to the toilet. They value sick people like Paterno and sports. Nothing else counts. Protect the nut for the sake of football. How cruel was this guy targeted only fatherless kids!!! Yet, dumb Penn State morons still think paterno is a hero. may he rest in hell!!

      July 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  8. founders1791

    JOE PATERNO gave his life to teaching boys to become men for longer than most of you have been alive. He is famous for pulling players out of games for ..poor academics. (JoePa graduated from Brown majoring in English)

    Over 250 NFL players played under Joe Paterno at Penn State.

    College Football Hall of Famers coached by Joe Paterno at Penn State: Mike Reid, Ted Kwalick, Jack Ham, Dennis Onkotz, John Cappelletti, Keith Dorney, Lydell Mitchell, ...Curt Warner

    $3.5 million: Dollars Joe Paterno and wife Sue donated to the brand new Paterno Library on Penn State’s campus in 1998. He and his wife gave more than $4 million total to Penn State over his the course of his career.

    Joe Paterno has SPECTACULAR CAREER that has improved the lives of THOUSANDS all across this nation and does not deserve the ABUSE he is getting when 'he' committed no crime at all.

    July 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He deserves to be criticized for doing no more than was required by law when he could have stood up for what was right.

      Don't like it? Cry me a river.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • You are an idiot. And that is your good characteristic.

      You sound like a Catholic defending the dehavior of the clergy who covered up the abuse and protected the perpetrators.

      People sure get their priorities all screwed up!

      Your attitude would be really different if it was you or your son who got it in the ass and nobody did anything to stop it!

      July 15, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • deeSeven

      I don't care how many great things Paterno did for football players or anybody else, when he failed to help even one of the most vulnerable kids, the victim of a child molester, he became an enabler of that abuse. He aided and abetted that abuse, and that Is a crime. His reputation deserves to be flushed right down the sewer.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • settino

      May he rest in hell!

      July 15, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • WAM

      It's called BLOOD money.... HE knowing allowed the ruination of young peoples lives... he should have "pulled" Jerry Sandusky out of the "game"....

      July 15, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • JWT

      None of which has anythign to do with the subject at hand flounder.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
  9. rmahone

    It takes a damn poor person to predict the past.........lots went wrong....learn from it.......move on.......

    July 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  10. News about Joe

    Joe and Jerry, Catholics. Joe used his power to persuade law makers from passing laws that would expose the Catholic church cover ups.His Catholic bishop friend knew what happened as Joe had told him. Hence, the cover up through counseling by the church.

    July 15, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  11. founders1791

    "...If everyone is thinking alike, then no one is thinking..." - Benjamin Franklin
    ------------------------------–

    ALL but one (me) on this site are in lock step lemming mode !

    July 15, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That should tell you something, flounder, and it's not what Ben Franklin is saying.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Flounder -

      "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt."
      Mark Twain

      Take off your football goggles and look at the reality.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I wonder what motivates Flounders to defend Paterno so vehemently. Is he a team member? A relative? Rabid Penn State fan? Or just stupid?

      July 15, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • founders1791

      .....the liberal lemmings ALL say the same bs...typical Obama supporters.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So which one are you, Flounder?

      July 15, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • Troll Alert

      "founder" is just doing a troll gig. Don't fall for it.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 15, 2012 at 1:13 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      I bet those kids being rap.ed prayed to your god....look what happened. God didn't give a fvck.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
  13. Jeff Robins

    Please remember that the 1998 incident was reported and DA declined to prosecute for lack of evidence. Sandusky retired from coaching and as an employee of PSU after the 1999 season. Paterno reported the 2001 incident to his superiors. Sandusky was not on Paterno's coaching staff.

    July 15, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • Justice

      sounds as if Penn State had some power..

      July 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Irrelevant. Paterno didn't do what he should have done. Whether or not Sandusky was still on the staff or not, his behavior should have been reported. Paterno failed to do what any ethical person would have done.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Skipper

      That's a load of crap.... Sandusky was granted "emeritus" status and had keys the the locker room the day he was arrested.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Reality

      From today's Philadelphia Inquirer under "Penn State's Sins".

      "In 1999, after the first instance of Sandusky's transgressions, the assistant coach retired with an unprecedented $168,000 lump-sum severance, plus an "emeritus" ti-tle. Nonetheless he did not stop visiting Penn State's campus. His very access to athletic facilities was the bait for "grooming" victims, the showers a favored hell of his crimes."

      July 15, 2012 at 1:17 pm |
    • truth be told

      Joe Paterno did ALL that was required of him, at the time. Mr. Paterno was not a witness to the events and could not give first hand accounts. Joe Paterno reported what he had been told to those who should have investigated or brought the matter to legal authorities. Blaming the dead guy is about par for the class of someone like Tom Tom.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • founders1791

      Jeff,

      I'll be damned, at least 'one other' intelligent life form on this site of emotion Witch Hunters and knee jerk reactionaries.

      Thanks for actually reading the 'facts'.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope. You are wrong, truthy. But that's not surprising, since you've only commented here because I burned your ass on other topics, and it gripes your butt.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, flounders, you are willing to worship your idol, JoePa, regardless of his failure to protect children? Good to know. Keep that in mind next time a priest is found guilty of pedophilia and his superiors protest that they "did all they were required to do."

      July 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • Andrew

      Gotta love Founders1791 and truthbetold (ironic nickname, btw). Surprised y'all are complaining, since ignorance is supposed to be bliss. Oh well

      July 15, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Paterno did the bare minimum to cover his back should Sandusky's activities come to light (as they did). Perhaps Paterno committed no prosecutable crime, but his lack of action was immoral and despi.cable.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Andrew

      Once again, your ignorance shows. Sandusky continued to be a welcome presence on PSU sidelines and in the locker room long after he retired. Even after the 2001 incident, Paterno did the bare minimum (reporting the incident) and then, according to released emails, attempted to obstruct any further investigation because he was scared of what would be found (just read the emails; it's all there). Sad but true. Oh, btw, so long as you're basing your criticism on legitimate facts there is nothing wrong with criticizing a dead person

      July 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm |
    • truth be told

      Joe Paterno was not charged with any wrong doing and was not about to be charged. To insult the man after his death shows an amazing lack of character and an unbelievable lack of knowledge concerning the events.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, blow it out your ear, tbt. Paterno didn't have the balls to do what he should have done. An honorable, ethical person would have reported Sandusky to the cops and his superiors. Doing the bare minimum? Hardly admirable. Save your outrage for someone more worthy.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Andrew

      @truth you really believe the cops were going to charge someone as revered as Paterno with any crime? If you believe that I've got some ocean-front property in Florida I'd love to sell you for cheap. And regardless of whether Paterno should've been charged with a crime, he committed a moral crime, which should not only ruin his legacy but should also make him liable in a civil suit (which, right or wrong, is based on some inherent belief about what someone should've done in a given situation).

      As for not criticizing the dead, are you for real? By your logic I shouldn't criticize Hitler or Stalin because they can't defend themselves. Well, call me a heartless hypocrite, because that's exactly what I'm going to do, so long as I have the facts straight

      July 15, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • truth be told

      It was reported. Joe Paterno was never charged and will never be charged. Your rant against him is no more than calculated slander. He did what was required of him, end of story.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      tbt, just withdraw gracefully. You've been trounced.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
  14. plenty

    Candy Crowley is hot

    July 15, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
  15. 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......................................

    July 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      And don't forget to rid the religious one's as well!

      July 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
  16. founders1791

    THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM – which will probably be censored – is that being gay is a disorder and Sandusky is but a TINY reflection of that disorder. THAT is the truth. THAT doesn't fit with the Liberal Agenda and Media Meme.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Desperate, are you?

      July 15, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Justice

      huge difference between some one who is gay and another who is a pedophile. They have nothing to do with each other. You need to stop running away from your gay thoughts.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Sandusky is a pedo, big difference brother!

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

      Tom, Tom,

      Desperate? No, that is you for ignoring that 'reality'.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sweetie, you are attempting, yet again, to side-track the conversation. You have no traction. Pedophilia is a crime. Having a h0mos3xual relationship with another consenting adult is not. Try to figure this out.

      I know you adored Paterno, but pretending he is blameless is futile.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Reality

      Sandusky could have easily hand-jived to relieve his "disorder". Instead he put children's lives at risk not including the emotional trauma these kids suffered. Paterno et al covered it up. One wonders what else they covered up. Time for Penn State to pay for this and it better not come out of the taxpayers' pockets!!!!

      July 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • founders1791

      (fifth attempt to post)

      Tom, Tom,

      First, you have a problem. I'm not 'your sweety' and that creepy comment is right out of the like of a Jerry Sandusky.

      Second, where were you folks when Democrat Congressman JerryStudds of Massachusetts when admitted to relations with a 17 year old boy ...and was repeatedly re-elected !!!

      July 15, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll call you whatever I like, flounders. I don't live in Mass. Furthermore, that has nothing to do with this case. The fact is that Paterno did not do what any ethical person would have done–report Sandusky to the police. You can keep attempting to excuse his failure by bringing up irrelevant points, but it won't do a thing to bolster your argument. The fact is that Paterno failed to do all he could have and should have done. He accomplished much during his tenure, but none of it will remove the taint of his lack of compassion and will.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Justice

      17 year old boy is NOT pedophilia. You blew it again Flounders. BTW, I bet Tom Tom is not a girl. You should now be happy you are 'sweety'. Stop running away from your gay thoughts, accept your gayness. Most of society will accept you. They won't accept you if you continue protecting those who didn't come to the aid of children due to abuse and hid it instead.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • tallulah13

      The elephant in the room is that you are defending a bad man. Paterno was the most powerful man at Penn State. He choice to let this get swept under the carpet hurt children. The sad thing is that he would have been hailed as a hero if he had insisted on an investigation the second he heard about it. Instead, he will be remembered as a man who protected a pedophile.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You lose, Justice. I am female.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • founders1791

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think not....more likely transgender...but you think you are, there for you are? Right? Too Funny

      July 15, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Flounder, I think anyone except tbt can see that you 'think not'. Neither do you reason. But by all means, do continue to make a fool of yourself.

      Why are you so eager to worship JoePA that you willingly ignore his failure to do what was right?

      July 15, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • JWT

      There is nothing wrong with being gay. And the only thing that being gay means is being gay.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  17. Justice

    There should be some method available to check for words that cause posts to reject, Then again, it could also be a tool to entertain priests. They could write posts, run it the the checker and then giggle. Go back again, write a different post just to check it and giggle some more. Heck, we could even keep them off these forums for a long time with their misleading handles as "Catholic Mom",..

    July 15, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  18. jenny

    so, safe to say the old b a s t a r d is rotting in hell.

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

      and the pope is praying for him..

      July 15, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • AGuest9

      No, he's no rotting anywhere. They likely filled his body with so many chemicals, he will just turn to soup after the water gets in. Unless, of course, he's been cremated.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
    • Voice of Reason

      Hell? No such thing.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • JWT

      I don't think a small town in Saskatchewan wants him either.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  19. Justice

    I think Founders is a priest..

    July 15, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I think founders is obsessed with Paterno. Probably eats all his meals at the Creamery and then goes and leaves offerings by Paterno's statue.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Don't go knocking the Creamery! Those cows had NOTHING to do with this.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, you can't trust those bovines! They're pretty good at keeping secrets, A.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  20. founders1791

    CNN CENSORS: Teacher student abuse is rampant.

    July 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • Justice

      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 12:47 pm |
    • Justice

      BTW, Founders. The Catholic Church tried to use the same same statement you did. They even went so far to create a concocted docu-ment show the abuses in schools. In the end, there was the highest % of priest pedos than any other. We are talking pedo here. In fact the Catholic church even lowered the age of prepubescence, how funny. Like they can change definitions to suit their needs.

      July 15, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Want to be even further disgusted? Your little under-age fuzzy-faced filthy little pigs of sons who black-mail young student-teachers and new non-tenured teachers into s.ex or "I'll tell the administration that you came on to me if you don't" never happen either, right? Like most things, this goes both ways.

      July 15, 2012 at 1:39 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.