home
RSS
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.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

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. Lol

    Exhume Joe Pa's body and throw it in a lake of flaming sewage!!!!!!!!!!!!

    July 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Exactly! So glad to see more people thinking with their hindbrains. Comforting.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • Realist

      Hey, LOL.. You can now see how people will reject the thought of holding the Catholic Church accountable. I wonder what the problem is with these people. Many children of abuse become mentally ill and others commit suicide. If it were their children, or brother or sister, I'd bet they still could care less.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • MReynolds

      " I wonder what the problem is with these people."

      Religion (as we already know). It makes otherwise good people do bad things.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
  2. Jay

    The scandal is an utter disgrace to the Penn State football team...Joe Paterno is also an embarrassment to the university...he could have diffused the situation by coming out straight with it...yet, he and the Penn State bigwig assh*les hid it, allowing Sandusky to continue the abuse...

    I hope Sandusky gets the abuse in return in prison...then it will be a revenge best served cold! He was a heartless man who doesn't deserve an ounce of our sympathy at all...I also don't have any sympathy for the Paterno family...I am appalled by the entire thing and I am very, very angry that this scandal was never revealed until it was too late...

    July 15, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Because knowing that another human being is suffering makes all of us feel better. I know it fills my days with peace and contentment.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Oh, I missed your part about the Paterno family. They should all be r.a.p.e.d and tortured also. Revenge truly is a dish served cold. Mmmmmmm. Yum.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  3. Reality

    Sandusky started coaching at Penn State in 1969. He was convicted for having s-ex with underage boys from 1996 to 2011. So what was he up to during the period 1969-1996?? Maybe Joe knew and kept quiet about it??

    July 15, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Jay

      Exactly! I believed he must have abused more boys prior to 1996 but no one seemed to come forward about it...

      July 15, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • MReynolds

      We should find any male that Sandusky had contact with prior to 1996, no matter how seemingly innocent, and MAKE them come forward.

      July 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Andrew

      @MReynolds do you have anything constructive to add to any of these conversations that doesn't involve sarcastic attacks on people who want to hold Paterno, Sandusky, and others accountable for their deeds?

      July 15, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
  4. pedagoguish

    This is all not all that hard to understand. Sandusky and Paterno were friends. When one friend is in trouble, friends tend to protect friends. That is what happened here: no more, no less.

    July 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • MReynolds

      You mean that there might be a complex web of human interactions involving life-changing events, moderated by human frailty involved in this situation? Naw. Couldn't be. All seems so black and white to me.

      *massive sarcasm alert*

      July 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      I don't give a sh•t how "best" friends I am with someone. If their is evidence of them fvcking children in turning them in. Yes it is that easy, cut and dry, black and white.
      You to are idiots for justifying peterno's disgraceful, criminal, evil behavior.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Except, Satan, that there is a fundamental difference between "justifying" and "understanding" or "analyzing". I'ts hard to comprehend this level of distinction, but I hope this helps you.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  5. MReynolds

    "It would seem that what would help is to change the statute of limitations on such crimes. Has any action been taken in that direction?"

    Genuine concern. Heartwarming.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your ability to judge concern is suspect.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, gee, I forgot to safely ignore you. Or ignore you safely.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • MReynolds

      I hope never implied that I wasn't an a**hole.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, you never did. And if you had, I would have inferred that it was a lie anyway.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • MReynolds

      I'm what they call a "troll" for the most part. A bit more sophisticated than most if you'll allow the conceit. But still...

      July 15, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      NO! You don't say!

      July 15, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • MReynolds

      That was sarcasm, wasn't it?

      (*meta-sarcasm alert*)

      July 15, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  6. Victim of Clergy Abuse

    You can tell your children to tell you everything, but if they never come, they can tell you nothing. As a victim of gang sod-om-y at age 9, by 4 priest, one a bishop today in Western New York state, one later attempted to suffocate me, I played dead and slept in the woods. Trauma is a horrible thing which is why it takes victims so long to come forward. In New York state and Pa, for example, the catholic bishops lobby to stop laws that would enable victims to come forward once they have woken from the trauma. Two of those priests who abused me, held a camp for disadvantaged boys a few years ago. I went to the DA, who is friends with the bishop who abused me, and to the FBI to stop them from holding the camp. They said they could do nothing due to statutes of limitations. I have witnesses, yet they will never be heard. These pedos are free. In fact one of those who abused me, abused another. That child later committed suicide, his mother cried to he death.

    There is a strong law that Margret Markey has been trying to pass that would expose over 1,000 pedos in NY alone. However the catholic church has been successfully lobbying to stop it from passing. Catholic senators as Senator Defransisco of Syracuse, another friend of the bishop who sod-o-m-mized me, pushes the Bill into a subcommittee where it sits and never reaches the floor for votes. The catholic church wins each year as this Bill remains away from votes. See it here. http://assembly.state.ny.us/mem/Margaret-M-Markey/

    That same Bill was disputed by Senator Defransisco and friends. They wanted it changed. Margret changed it exactly as they wanted it. They again pushed it down into a subcommittee. Bottom line, that was their goal anyways. Margret reverted back to the original Bill. Today, it sits in a subcommittee with no chance of reaching the floor.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • MReynolds

      So, with everything we now know about the far larger, and on-going tragedy that is the Catholic church child r.a.p.e industry, where is the equivalent outrage and calls by EVERYONE to at least suspend or even disband the f***ing catholic church worldwide?

      "But they still do good works..." Right. Just like JoePa was complicit in child a.b.u.s.e but he still was good at football. Meh, let's just burn down PSU and be done with it.

      Bunch of hypocrites.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, for Pete's sake. Your grasp on reality is tenuous, M. Nothing of the sort is going to happen. Who is it you think is going to do any such thing?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      So V of C A,
      Any suggestions about what can be done to help you up there in NY ?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It would seem that what would help is to change the statute of limitations on such crimes. Has any action been taken in that direction?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • MReynolds

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son:
      Ad your grasp of illustrative black humor is nonexistent.

      "You seem a nice fellow. I hate to have to kill you."
      "And you seem a nice fellow. I hate to die."

      I can safely be ignored.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Black humor, like sarcasm, doesn't post well and is easily misinterpreted.

      I'll be sure to adjust my radar.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • MReynolds

      I know it doesn't. But if everything were clearly communicated on the interwebs, what fun would that be? Like I said, I can safely and in most cases reliably be ignored.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Victim of Clergy Abuse

      "anything to hep.." You can contact an organization as Protect. org They are in TN but with enough people calling them, they can open up forces. What should be done is some sort of web site that exposes those in the Senate who oppose the Bill and protect the church, election time is near.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  7. Alien Orifice

    Where's the poop worshiping story?

    July 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      http://abcnews.go.com/US/video/virgin-mary-statue-bleeding-louisiana-16767660

      July 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/14/faithful-flock-to-bleeding-virgin-mary/

      July 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      I was kidding Fluffy but thanks for the link!

      July 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Fluffy's head is often up his orifice. 🙂

      July 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
  8. dk

    keith, didnt jesus try to teach compassion and caring and love to his followers? obviously that message was lost on you. people are born gay...they do not choose it! why would some one choose that life and deal with the rath of bigots like yourself? your logic on most points makes no sense whatsoever. give up the hate. id like to think heaven is saved for those who treat ALL kindly...not those like who who spew hate rheotoric at every chance!!!

    July 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Lost in Babylon

      I think you are grossly over-reacting to Keith's posting.

      What if he would have said the same thing only about a culture that refused to condem stealing (just as an example)? He didn't say that the person is not worthy of forgiveness and God's love. He said that if the culture promoted robbery pride parades (again, as an example), then, of course, people are going to begin to think that it is ok, perhaps even cool...

      Get it???

      July 15, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No. Being gay isn't a crime. Robbing is. Get it?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • J

      Actually, there are studies that go BOTH ways. Some say theyve proven people are born that way. Others say they've proven people are NOT born that way.

      As far as "why would they choose to live a life where they're hated"...
      Well, why would somebody choose to kill another person when they know they'll get put in jail? Why would somebody choose to steal when they know they'll be fined? You could go on and on...
      It isn't a valid argument.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Keith needs to tell us when he chose to be straight, and why, and how much he was attracted to guys, when he made that choice.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      J, you, like Babs, are equating choosing to commit a crime with what most researchers now believe to be an inborn, biological orientation. Not a good argument.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Keith will be back any minute now, with a whole litany of Bible verses and/or a link to some news story that CNN supposedly hushed up about nukes hidden somewhere.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Lost in Babylon

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son "No. Being gay isn't a crime. Robbing is. Get it?"

      According to God, it is indeed a crime. That is what Keith was refering to. Get it?

      So is lieing, lusting, bearing false witness, and numerous other things. I am not picking on gays.

      Again, no we have Liar Pride Parades?

      Do we have Rapist Pride Parades?

      Do we have Alcoholic Pride Parareds?

      Get it???

      (I didn't think so.)

      July 15, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      The 10 commandments came from the Egyptian Book of the Dead. The injunction about same s'ex behaviors was entirely culturally based. Morality does not come from gods.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your God's laws are irrelevant in this country, dumbfvck. Neither you nor Keith seem to be able to figure out that this isn't a theocracy and that hom0s3xuality is not against the law.

      Stealing, robbing, ra pe and murder are, because they all infringe on others' rights. Hom0s3xuality doesn't. GET IT?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Well then, if GOD says it's a crime, then it must be a crime. Let's get a list of everything that god prohibits in the bible and label it a crime. Then let's non-selectively start enforcing all of them. Since god's word is absolute and all that.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And Lost, your name surely fits. Are you under the misapprehension that someone can be "turned gay" by seeing a parade?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Lost in Babylon

      Absolutely, TT. For someone who "seems" to be so well-informed, you are absolutely clueless on this one. BTW, you are STILL missing the point. Let me make it simple for you. Do we have Straight Pride Parades???

      July 15, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The only one missing the point is you. Go sit on the Stupid Bench beside Keith.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Lost in Babylon

      Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son, "Your God's laws are irrelevant in this country, dumbfvck...."

      Game over. You lose. That was sure easy...

      (Resorting to name-calling is a sure sign of no real argument.)

      July 15, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Not only are you stupid, but you read at the speed of molasses in January.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • J

      ...

      July 15, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  9. bobby

    penn state is not the exception.these colleges with football programs are all the same.the team are gods.they are allowed to do anything and they coverup everything.and i think they should close the penn state football program as a example to the rest of them.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Agreed.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      But this sort of thing doesn't happen in a vacuum. Alumni donations at these schools hinge on the success of the football program. The "win at all costs" is not solely the song of the administration or the coaching staff-the parents and the alumni foster it.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:25 pm |
    • MReynolds

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son:

      Well, well. Someone's beginning to see a light. Encouraging.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I made mention of this pages ago, dink.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And none of that excuses what Sandusky, Paterno, or the PSU administration did at all.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • MReynolds

      @Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son:
      "I made mention of this pages ago, dink."

      Well, my attention span isn't what it used to be. And neither is my ability to five a f***.

      "And none of that excuses what Sandusky, Paterno, or the PSU administration did at all."

      Right you are.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • MReynolds

      *give*

      July 15, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, you're the one acting as though your every thought is original.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • MReynolds

      I am? I thought I was just bored on a Sunday afternoon, dreading the coming work-week and trying to kill some time. Thanks for inducing a self realization of my own superiority!

      July 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
  10. WOT

    The question was why? The answer is Money for the school and themselves!

    July 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
  11. MReynolds

    Religion: Not interested in s.e.x.u.a.l repression since... Oh, wait.

    Religion: An organized system of beliefs who's sole apparent purpose is to make issues of s.e.x so abhorrent as to virtually eliminate the possibility of discussion and foster the most secretive behaviors possible.

    July 15, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • sam stone

      Keith is a bigot who wraps himself in a bible to appear pious. Nevertheless, he is a bigot.

      July 16, 2012 at 7:26 am |
    • sam stone

      Sorry, replying to wrong post

      July 16, 2012 at 7:27 am |
  12. MReynolds

    I wonder what kind of culture makes it so hard for victims of s.e.x.u.a.l crimes to come forward, without embarrassment or fear of stigma? Hmmm... Let me think...

    July 15, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Keith

      A culture that refuses to condemn h0m0s^xual perversion and gives it a free pass every chance it gets.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hom0s3xual relationships between consenting adults hurt no one. What Sandusky did was NOT with another consenting adult, idiot. Why can't you get that through your skull?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Keith, you're a god damned genius. Submit a paper or something because I think you've got the answer.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      Well Keith is a bigot, so....

      July 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Keith is a ho'mophobe. You know what they say about them, don't ya ?

      July 15, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Oh Keith, I know you dislike me but here goes...how exactly do you figure a free pass was given here? Even if Sandusky had h.omo.se.xual tendencies, chances are they had next to do with his actions as a pedophile. The two are not mutually exclusive. Hetero's also are pedophiles. To set the record straight (not that you give a damn what the actual reality is...as long as your buybull disagrees then you figure you get to be a bigot even though you are too blind to see that); Sandusky was not given a free pass...he is looking at over 400 years in prison. You keep speaking about how horrible gays are and yet your own excuse for this dislike is the buybull verses you have read. I'm willing to guess that outside of that book you can't give one personal reason to dislike them (thus proving you are truly not capable of thinking for yourself).

      July 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      should have read 'chances are they had next to nothing to do...' instead of 'chances are they had next to do...'

      July 15, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Keith is a closet queen who dreams of eternity on his knees, pleasing Jeebus

      July 16, 2012 at 7:29 am |
  13. MReynolds

    Gods moral law. Please re-read the bible and tell me again about gods moral example.

    July 15, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  14. MReynolds

    I think Sandusky, and anyone on the senior staff of Penn State should be publicly tortured and executed. Joe Paterno's corpse should be dug up and hanged in the public square in State College. The football players and fans of PS football should be, at minimum, publicly lashed to near death. I, as a PSU graduate in engineering (not a football fan!), have already cut myself to leave scars as a reminder of my association with such a world-shattering tragedy. The parents of the victims (who of course had no clue that anything was wrong with their children's behavior over the years) should be given the right to slap, or beat in public, anyone who mentions the words Penn and State in the same sentence. The souls of these victims have been murdered. Clearly their lives and any hope of, well, anything have been utterly destroyed, and we need to keep reminding them of that. I think it would be a kindness if they were simply put down gently or at least heavily sedated for the rest of their ruined lives. Don't you all? At this point I would rather see a large, smoldering crater replace State College in PA, and I certainly wouldn't give any warning to the residents of this hell-town, before the bomb was dropped. I'm sure everyone here (except corrupt PSU graduates, like me) have the same righteously wrathful feelings. I know for certain that any of you, in a similar situation, would have "done the right thing" and it gives me glowing hope for the future of mankind to know that our civilization is in the hands of good people like you.

    July 15, 2012 at 3:47 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Your sarcasm aside, MReynolds, I would have done the right thing. I imagine most people would. But from the sound of it, you would have just averted your gaze to protect yourself.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Clearly you are correct. As have been the thousands over the years who were also just as certain of their moral fiber.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • tallulah13

      Do not project your cowardice on everyone. I have always tried to do the right thing, and sometimes it has cost me, but I have never regretted it.

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

      I've thrown a lot of vitriol at Penn State but if you really feel this way and if you are engaged in self mutilation, you definitely need some counseling.

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

      I agree Rick. If I really felt this way and was cutting myself, I would certainly need some professional help.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm |
    • MReynolds

      @tallulah13: Please run for high office. We need more people like you.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      MReynolds,

      Hang yourself already.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:19 pm |
    • MReynolds

      Maybe soon. Maybe soon my friend.

      July 15, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
    • Satan is waitin!

      Do it, and quit talking about it. Actions speak louder than typing on the CNN belief blog.

      July 15, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
  15. Elizabeth

    It was a cult of Spanier. My graduate level administration in higher education professor pointed out to our class that University presidents typically average a tenure of 5 years and then move on. Spanier stayed for 17 years, very unusual. When asked why he stayed so long, Spanier said he had the best job in the world. Absolute control of the governing Board of Trustees? Absolute control of the Senior Vice-President of Finance, who oversees the budget and the police officers on campus? Absolute control of Student Affairs (Triponey destroyed the student government and the radio station, outlets for students to voice their concern and dissent with Spanier)? Absolute control of the Athletic Director, who oversees 30 sports and the substantial revenue it brings? Spanier is nothing more than a 3rd world dictator, parading around in the clothes of a University president. Yeah, I guess when you have unquestionable control of the governing board, the revenue streams, etc., and can do whatever you damn well please, then Spanier did have the best job in the world.

    July 15, 2012 at 3:45 pm |
  16. שמיחזה

    lesson in language of the bible number 4,302
    Thou shalt "not lie" with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Leviticus 18:22

    רבץ
    to Lie; as to speak untruths

    not to lay as in have s3x4@l !nt3rc04rs3

    another words lie to woman not men

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3rhQc666Sg

    July 15, 2012 at 3:27 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      No one cares. The law was written by humans.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:37 pm |
    • Andrew

      Genesis justifies segregation ("keep the tribes separate"), and the books of the law justify slavery. What's your point?

      July 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  17. ME II

    @Joseph Laconte,
    "The great tragedy here is that God and his moral law were excluded from the culture at the top."

    That's the tragedy here? That God was excluded... really?

    July 15, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      Yup. See the last sentence. The children sinned. God was left out in the hall when the pedos met, and he wanted a place at the table, but was too powerless to demand one. Great god they got there.

      July 15, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  18. Mickey1313

    We must end the football first culture that permeates most of our universities. It is corrupt and evil. Jocks should not get free education. Scholarships should be for the smart or the under privalaged. Throwing a ball should not get you anything.

    July 15, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
  19. Flint Fredstone

    Boy, I'm not religious, but this story reads like a modern version of Faust, where in return for fame and success, Paterno and Sandusky must perpetrate a horrific atrocity.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
  20. Proud 2b a birther

    We MUST all remember that JoPa did NOT molest these kids! He only aranged the coverup and murder of the D.A. Who was investigating. He wasnt IN tbe shower with the children, he only invited the molester in and kept watch. JoPa NEVER touched any child, he just kept quiet while he knew they were being ra,ped a few feet away.

    July 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Andrew

      Wow, other than the DA comment that's actually a pretty accurate assessment. I guess birthers do have some intelligence.

      July 15, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Except you r name, that was a great comment

      July 15, 2012 at 3:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11
Advertisement
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.