In fact, I am angry at him, and I find that I am angry at Penn State, for apparently being quiet about Sandusky’s alleged sexual activities with young boys. I find that I am as angry at Penn State as I have been at the Roman Catholic Church‘s hierarchy for protecting priests accused of sexually violating children, primarily young boys.
I suppose Penn State’s hierarchy kept quiet because they wanted to protect their beloved football program. I love football; I love Penn State’s team, and I loved Joe Paterno…but football should never have been more important than protecting children.
The whole issue of sexual crimes, and what institutions do when such charges come to the surface, is a critical one. Institutions, it seems, are more interested in protecting their institutions than they are in protecting victims of sex crimes, and because of that, are prone to keep silent when the possibility of such a crime has occurred within their walls.
Talking with a friend of mine this weekend, I learned that sex crimes, or sexual impropriety are really common in churches. The tendency, my friend said, is for churches to keep silent. It is the worse thing a church could do.
“What happens is when it comes out that there’s been a problem with a sexual predator and one child, there usually are more children involved,” she said. “It blows up. Churches have destroyed by instances of sexual violations of children.”
What bothers me most in the Sandusky case is that Sandusky didn’t “look” like a bad guy, certainly not a guy who could or would violate children. He looked like he could be anyone’s grandfather…and he had an organization he founded to help kids at risk! To have violated their trust makes me sad and sick, but Penn State’s “looking the other way” bothers me, too.
In the conversation I had with the same friend this weekend, I wondered out loud if people who commit sexual crimes are sick, or are they evil? Or…are some sicknesses in fact evil?
Neither one of us had an answer for that question, but I asked because maybe there needs to be research, if sexual impropriety is a sickness, on how to treat it early on so that people will not grow into sexual predators. Sick children grow into sick adults …
I don’t know that there is a treatment for evil. I am not even sure if I am clear on what evil is. So many behaviors could fit into that category.
If Sandusky is sick, I am sorry nobody ever pegged it, but I just cannot feel sorry for him. No, I don’t want him to commit suicide, but the fact that he is despondent is not moving me. I keep thinking of all those boys whose lives were forever altered by what he is accused of doing…
And as far as Penn State goes, if they knew and were silent about it, they should have to answer for it in such a way that nobody ever does anything like Sandusky supposedly did and think he or she will get away with it. If their silence was driven by a desire to protect their football program, maybe they ought to be made to sit out a couple of seasons, and get a good policy in place on what the university will do should such a situation ever develop again.
I read that the investigation against Sandusky is not yet complete, that there could be other charges against him. I’m not surprised. After all, he doesn’t look like a bad guy; he looks like he could be anybody’s grandfather.
That’s part of what makes him and other predators so dangerous. They fit in…they don’t stand out.
A candid observation