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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. religion; a way to control the weak minded

    Heavensent said: "You touched another topic of not corrupting scriptures."

    You obviously have no idea the history of your religion or what you are talking about. The scriptures were already corrupted a long time ago by men to fit an agenda.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:52 am |
  2. religion; a way to control the weak minded

    "HeavenSent said:

    "God didn't create other life forms on other planets. Sounds like you're a Trekkie."

    LOL oh yeah? So I guess we are just so special to own the entire universe? Please enlighten us all on how you KNOW this to be true. Have you been to every planet orbiting every star? Doubtful since we cant even see every planetary system out there.

    Law of averages says otherwise.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:48 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      It would only be a religious mind that dismisses life on other planets. It's statistically impossible for there not to be plenty of intelligent life in the universe. Even our own galaxy probably contains plenty of intelligent life.

      July 16, 2012 at 8:54 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      only a weak religious mind would consider the earth and its inhabitants universally centric

      July 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  3. tegelbegel

    I think that all games with Penn State should be boycotted, including those they play away in the Big Ten, in honor of those who were abused. Money talks, and lower revenues would surely send the message that this kind of nonsense will not be tolerated. My heart goes out to all victims of this outrageous scandal.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:42 am |
  4. SuZieCoyote

    Didn't they pray before every game for victory? Seems to me they were firmly entrenched in the faith.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:33 am |
  5. Rational Libertarian

    Yeah Joe, because Christianity and child protection work really well together. It's not like any Christian organization has ever had any issues with child s.exual abuse.

    July 16, 2012 at 8:15 am |
  6. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things ,

    July 16, 2012 at 4:19 am |
    • just sayin

      But stupid never changes at all.

      July 16, 2012 at 4:29 am |
    • AGuest9

      I'm sure some of those little boys prayed to not have to endure Sandusky's torture. Look what it did for them.

      July 16, 2012 at 6:00 am |
    • Jesus

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

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

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

      July 16, 2012 at 10:21 am |
  7. the logical centrist

    As usual the non believers are beating on the believers who are not properly trained in the word by their spiritual leaders. All praise and worship, whoopin it up dancing, no bible study. Hey if the bible is correct, JoePa may need some ice water 'bout now. I hope he does.

    July 15, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Hey pick a side pal. Logic is no place for a believer to hang their hat! Or...are...you....

      P.S.

      I. like. to. imagine. the. little. voice. in. people's. heads. pausing. after. each. word.when. they. read. this.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Logical,

      The Holy word of God is true.

      Pay NO attention to the fat drippings.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Hi HS, did you call me fat drippings? Zing! You are amazing!

      July 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah, she's got a real thing for fat lately. Explains why she can't waddle out of that trailer of hers.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Yes, well that and the piles of 20 year old magazines and trash and feces blocking the way out. Her toilet hasn't worked in years.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Jesus Christ had it scribed in scriptures. Everything He had scribed is true.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jesus never wrote a thing, HS.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      All the kittens have new homes. I have 4 puppies to find homes for.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom. He had Holy men scribe His truth. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior is the author.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      HS, do you still think I am Tom Tom by the way? Just curious.

      Also, Jesus most likely never existed, but if he did the NT was not written by him nor dictated by him. It was written decades after his death and probably by the RCC.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alien Orifice, it's irrelevant when His truth was scribed. He inspired Holy men to pen His truth. Jesus Christ is the author. You'd know that too if you chucked your ego out the window, humbled yourself, to read His word. EGO means to Erase God Out. Your ego butts heads with His truth.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      HS that is incorrect, but thanks for playing.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:11 pm |
    • Mickey1313

      Hs, how could they write his truth long after those who knew him were dead. Also the jesus was no more devine than the charlatan joe smith

      July 15, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      It really means Jeebus did it if you put a capital "H" in holy.
      Oh..I think I am a belieber now. Where do I sign up HS ? You can mark me as convert #1.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • RuPaul

      Fluffy, get back up my ass where you belong!

      July 15, 2012 at 11:50 pm |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "Jesus Christ had it scribed in scriptures. Everything He had scribed is true."

      Everything written in the book was written by men to control people. The people who wrote about Jesus did so only 60-100 years after his death. good try though

      July 16, 2012 at 8:42 am |
    • religion; a way to control the weak minded

      "Tom. He had Holy men scribe His truth. Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior is the author."

      according to the people who wrote the bible....SMH are you that r3tard3d?

      July 16, 2012 at 8:43 am |
  8. Me

    Check out the Pen State website, looks like business as usual. No apology, no statement , nothing. Hmmmmmm.

    July 15, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The attorneys probably advised PSU not to publish any sort of apology. Civil suits are coming.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Hey Tom Tom, how are you? I think you are right on. There is 10 years of litigation ahead....

      July 15, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm fine. I am sure the victims and their families will be coming after PSU if they haven't begun already. Any admission of guilt on the part of the university on a public website would be foolish from a legal standpoint.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:36 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Si.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:44 pm |
    • Fluffy the Gerbil of Doom

      (lawsuits)

      July 15, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • Pull My Finger

      No shlt. You think? Watch all the student transfers when the next tuition hike hits to cover their losses. And football tickets?

      Ha!

      July 15, 2012 at 11:52 pm |
  9. Alien Orifice

    God has you in his book.

    He has a plan for each of us. He knows when you will be born and when you will die. He is therefore responsible for all death, murder and destruction for all of history including every abortion ever performed, every r.a.p.e, every murder, every miscarriage, every atrocity.

    He is perfect. He is omniscient. He is omnipotent. So how could this not be so? It is God’s will.

    Praise the Lord!

    July 15, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Orifice, you chose to be fat drippings.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What a wackaloon you are, Stinky. Fat-drippings and coming to earth in female form....

      No wonder you got kicked out of Sunday School.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:48 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      That's what you atheists are ... Fat drippings. All happy and smug as a bug on a rug, getting everything you want on earth, never having to walk through the fire (that's left for his chosen children) ... then zap ... flaming in the eternal fires, like fat dripping. In layman's terms ... God gives you enough rope to hang yourselves.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I just love it when you post, HS. It's like listening to one of the inmates in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest."

      July 15, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      I have a liar folder, just for you. I never went to Bible school Tom, therefore, I never posted it.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:55 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Wow Tom. You're slipping.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "getting everything you want on earth, never having to walk through fire".

      Yes, because everyone else has it easy compared to you, poor little dear. Kicked out of your job, disliked by people in your former church, unable to get along with others no matter how they try to placate you...

      July 15, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Never said anything about "Bible School." Stinky, you're slipping. Must be old age creeping up on you.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "I have a liar folder just for you."

      "I have a little list" - Gilbert and Sullivan.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nighty-night, Stinky. Don't let the fat drippings grease up your lips, now. That would be messy.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      LOL Tom. My bosses were exactly like you. Always lying, never knew how to do anything. Set people up who they perceived as a threat to the lack of security for being in their positions.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Santa

      Tom Tom,
      Watch it. I have my list. Beware the lump of coal.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
    • Pull My Finger

      We'll just cover Tom Tom's house with one of those proverbial "Wrath of God Universal Porta-Pots."

      July 15, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      HS: Your god is in impotent little punk. Now, B, get back on your knees like a good little slave

      July 16, 2012 at 12:28 am |
  10. SFANDE

    According to SFANDE.com the more effort could have been made on all parties

    July 15, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      How much more effort could Sandfukme make on all parties?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
  11. Alien Orifice

    God created the universe. Many billions of years ago, a life form evolved on a planet not so far distant and their scientists deduced the building blocks for life existed in the universe and from it, new life forms could be created.

    These ancient ones populated Mars with life and eventually, due to asteroid events over millions of years, life arrived here on Earth. We are a product of that primeval turbulence.

    Therefore, we must worship the Aliens, not God. The Aliens have to worship God.

    This is all true because I have faith that it happened just this way.

    July 15, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      I cannot prove it did not happen, so it must be true.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God didn't create other life forms on other planets. Sounds like you're a Trekkie.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:47 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      O, mighty Stinky, you must have visited other planets if you know they do not have any life forms.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Yes, scientists can't even answer the question "where did it all come from"?

      July 15, 2012 at 9:49 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      God didn't create any life forms on earth, either.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And neither can you. Unless you lie.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:50 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      HS,
      That in comforting, neither can I. I guess I am in good company.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom. Maybe I should give you a list of what He's going to fry you on. You touched another topic of not corrupting scriptures.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Santa

      When they do find life on other planets HorseSh1t will have to finally mover her trailer.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  12. mespo727272

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

    *******************************
    Au contraire, Professor. Paterno went to church every Sunday and led his football team in prayer before most games. “Faith and family were so important to Joe Paterno,” said Bishop [Mark} Bartchak. “Joe’s commitment to prayer, family and faith was a great example to the students at Penn State,” and will leave a lasting impact, he said.
    Indeed, it will.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:57 pm |
    • Potamia272727

      Sandusky was a church-goer as well. His pastor reached out a while back to help ease the pain – which oopsy-daisy excluded the victimns and their loved ones. He reached out to help heal those around the perpetrator, and spent time consoling Sandusky. And he reached out for the microphone when the press was near. But the victims?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:12 pm |
    • JoePa was NO Christian...

      So, Joe attended church every Sunday? Um, so did Jim Bakker and Al Capone.

      Ethics are proven no one is watching. Joe Paterno was not a good man or a good Christian. But, at least he made a good show of it.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      If going to church does not reduce the number of crimes and atrocities – and study after study proves that religious people commit more crime than seculars – then what good is it? How can it claim to be the basis of morality when the seculars are more moral in practice?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Just goes to prove how blinding the sin of lust of the flesh is.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • AGuest9

      A lot of drug dealers wear Guadalupe tattoos on their chests, and go to church every Sunday. Then, again, a lot of child molesters say mass. What's your point again?

      July 16, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  13. Name*partypeanut

    Its horrifying. Arrogance to this degree. Goes to show that no matter who you are, God is watching and He exacts justice at the end of the day. No one is above the law. The whole ordeal will soon be a LIFETIME mini-series..........

    July 15, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "God is watching"? Why didn't he DO something instead of peeping?

      July 15, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • mespo727272

      @partypeanut:
      Tom Tom has an interesting point. If God is all powerful why didn't He intervene to save innocent kids? if he can't, he isn't all powerful. If he didn't want to intervene, He isn't good, is He?

      July 15, 2012 at 8:02 pm |
    • Flint Fredstone

      If God won't intervene to stop atrocities like this or the Holocaust or cancer or birth defects, then what good is he, even if he exists?

      If it is only "the end of the day" where he steps in, then he must reward the good and punish the bad. But that is not what the Bible says. Remember? It is faith alone that rewards you. If Sandusky and Himmler repent before dying, they go to heaven, and the kindest amongst their victims go to hell if they do not choose Jesus (which it is safe to say a lot of Jews didn't and some of these victims won't).

      That is not justice. The is the next crime.

      Don't expect final justice from God, because works do not count with him, only faith. Only loyalty. He is not interested in helping the good if they don't kowtow.

      God, as described in the Bible (and the Quran), is unjust and only interested in obedience. He is no good to anyone on earth because he does not intervene, and he is no good after death because being good count nothing with him.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Cboren

      Flint – Because God, above all, respects our agency as individuals and will never force us to compromise that agency. However, while this is inherently for our ultimate growth and learning, it can also lead to our condemnation and downfall.

      "... and he (God) doth suffer that they (we) may do this thing, or that the people may do this thing unto them (innocent), according to the hardness of their hearts, that the judgments which he (God) shall exercise upon them in his wrath may be just; and the blood of the innocent shall stand as a witness against them, yea, and cry mightily against them at the last day."

      So in essence, God will not judge us based off of some perceived notion. Rather, it is we, through our own words and works, that we will be judged.

      July 15, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      Flint, well said.

      Cboren, you are an idiot. That is not an insult, just a fact.

      July 15, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      God doesn't intervene because life is our test. Do we pass or do we fail?

      July 15, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Alien Orifice, you asked me if I thought you were Tom. Answer: Yes, I know you to be.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:51 pm |
    • Alien Orifice

      HS, you are incorrect as usual.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • No gods, no masters

      Life is a test? How can it possibly be a test. God already knew everything that will happen before he started the whole thing 14,600,000,000 years ago. He knew the exact outcome before he started, so there is nothing to test for. Indeed, by knowing everything, you were committed to your course of actions before you were born, so there is no way you chose it. Worse, if you don't have choice, and you cannot if he already knows what you would do before you were even born, none of us is responsible.

      It isn't a test if you know what will happen before you do it. It isn't a test if you cannot be responsible for the actions that went imprinted onto the fabric of time for you before you were born.

      Not a test. Impossible. All part of the impossibility of the Abrahamic god. Not to mention, that makes your god incredibly petty.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:55 am |
    • Joe FluffyBunnies

      HeavenSent thinks everybody is TomTom. It's a paranoia thing. She'll accuse me of being Tommy next. See me, feel me, touch me, heal me.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:08 am |
    • Get Real

      Joe FluffyBunnies,

      It's part paranoia, part rank stupidity and part sheer desperation to try to minimize the number of non-believers.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:35 am |
    • AGuest9

      It's that whole "free will" free pass. The Big Guy supposedly wants everybody an equal opportunity to do evil so he can stick them on a spit for eternity. How's that for "loving"?

      July 16, 2012 at 6:07 am |
    • sam stone

      AGuest: This being sounds like a petty vindictive punk. This is likely one of the reasons HS worships "him"

      July 16, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  14. Howdy Ho

    It really sickens me to read all of the stories on how Paterno & PSU officials covered up the terroristic assaults of Sandusky for over a decade. However, something else sickens me; this isn't the first serial criminal behavior in college football. The NCAA, scores of fans, & a large part of the media have turned a mostly-blind eye to scandals (such as Christian Peter & Lawrence Phillips @ Nebraska, the recent suicide of a young Notre Dame student after an alleged assault by a player was 'handled internally', the strip club scandal @ Colorado, & the many assaults by players on fellow students & local citizens) for decades, only to now step out & say 'no more'. I guess I could take the 'better late than never' route, but it's very hard to ignore all the past incidents that were covered up, yet never challenged by the public, media, & the NCAA. I agree it's time to gut Penn St. Football, but don't stop with them. Turn the college game back into it's old form rather than a farm system for the NFL. Sadly, this will never happen. College FB pulls more money than some pro sports, & money's rarely neglected for honor these days.

    July 15, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
  15. Mike from Calgary

    Paterno was not party to or privy to the recent emails released by Penn State, but they do indicate that Paterno reported the inadmissible hearsay and rumours of abuse by Sandusky so that Penn State could take appropriate action. Paterno bravely took steps that led to the investigation, the prosecution and the convictions of Sandusky that will put him away for life.

    Without Joe Paterno's brave and balanced stance, the treachery of child abuse (what are children doing at University) would continue unabated. Kudos to Joe Paterno for his precedent setting action that forced universities to address these issues. Paterno's legacy is a safer more secure place for students to strive for excellence academically, artistically and athletically.

    Why Johnny Come latelies like Freeh and Triponey want to crucify Paterno is beyond me!

    July 15, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Andrew

      I find it hilarious that you actually believe that. Even if none of the evidence was legally admissible, the emails prove that Paterno suspected the worst and wanted to make it all disappear. Paterno was a coward, plain and simple. I try not to be absolutist in my views, seeing as there's always two sides to every story, but given the staggering evidence against Paterno, Sandusky, and the rest, if you disagree that Paterno could've and should've done more, you're wrong. Sorry, but that's the way it is

      July 15, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Santa

      That's why they want his statue removed. The Trustees are not "Johnny come latelies".

      July 15, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
    • Pull My Finger

      Someone needs to take a tow truck and metal saw out to his statue, cut it off at the knees and lift it – never to be seen again. (Or, just sell it on eBay, "local pickup only" from the nearest trash dump – prepay only, we prefer PayPal)

      July 16, 2012 at 12:03 am |
    • Pull My Finger

      I just read Mike from Calgary's initial comment. Mike – stay in Calgary. You're a f'n idiot who can't find his ass with both hands and a mirror in each one.

      Penn State is royally, NCAA'd f'd in the ass. Spanier lose his pension, possiblyl go to jail, and the entire board will resign. Then, no football for a year, no bowl for three-five years. If the State of Pennsylvania has a brain in it's head they'll prohibit PSU tuition increases for the entire NCAA penalty period.

      Penn State is on it's way to becoming a division A school. Their next scheduled game will be with Bumfuk Egypt University.

      July 16, 2012 at 12:09 am |
    • Josh

      "Paterno suspected the worst and wanted to make it all disappear. Paterno was a coward, plain and simple."

      Could not have said it any better.

      July 16, 2012 at 8:57 am |
  16. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    July 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Polly want a cra cker?

      July 15, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Andrew

      Prayer may help, but action is better and – particularly in these situations – should be an extension of one's faith

      July 15, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • truth be told

      Tom Tom is a cra cker

      July 15, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Better than being cracked like you, TBT.

      July 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Andrew

      @truth clever. How bout I say "What's up" and you reply "chicken butt", as if we were in 3rd grade?

      July 15, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Tom, you do know why shrinks can't help you?

      July 15, 2012 at 10:53 pm |
    • Santa

      Cause they didn't help you.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  17. Joe Pa's toupee was made from people!!!

    it's..............PEOPLE!!!!!!!
    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

    July 15, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
  18. Merak

    As long as Americans continue to pour billions of dollars into college sports, people will be abused, just hopefully not the kids.

    July 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
  19. Rick

    A Ph.D. in history? What he couldn't get a real degree?

    July 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And yours is in what?

      July 15, 2012 at 6:23 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Rick, you know those bull throwers always have to get the Piled Higher and deeper degrees.

      July 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • HeavenSent

      Actually Rick, the reason they have this degree is they took all the psychology courses to figure out what was wrong with them. They kept digging for 4 years ... never accepted an answer they'd admit to, so, they ended up walking out with the degree to screw others over.

      Then the atheists swear by their credentials as they list all of them for any argument they want to win. LOL. Too funny.

      July 15, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • Get Real

      Heaven Sent, Clueless, as usual.

      1. Rick was referring to the writer of this article having a Ph.D in history. The author sounds like a Christian. Will you diss his degree if he agrees with your stuff?

      2. You do not have your facts straight regarding how Ph.D. degrees are earned and awarded. You could look up the process.

      July 16, 2012 at 1:32 am |
  20. howart Dao

    Just give the D'vil a year for this to quiet down... he will find the next P'terno protege' at the next foolsball hungry school 😉

    July 15, 2012 at 5:55 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.