Not Sorry for Sandusky

Main entrance of Old Main, at Penn State Unive...
Main entrance of Old Main, at Penn State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Jerry Sandusky is on suicide watch, and I find that I am just not feeling sorry for him.

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

God’s Imperfection?

Cleft palate. Baby feeding from a bottle.
Cleft palate. Baby feeding from a bottle. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have been watching the Jerry Sandusky trial with a lot of interest and a lot of questions.

I am angry at him for what he has allegedly done, but, as I have wondered before as I have listened to stories of men sexually molesting children, I have also been kind of confused about something.

Are people who sexually molest children sick, or are they evil?  If they are evil, were they born that way? Or does that kind of evil come about as the result of some childhood trauma?

I can’t look at pictures of Sandusky without feeling ill, any more than I can stomach the thought of Roman Catholic priests molesting children and the Church keeping quiet about it.  I was molested once when I was a child by a man, a delightful man, I thought, who lived down the street from us. The memory makes me ill…but the questions I have about why, how molestation is such a major problem make me even more ill.

If those who molest children are sick, is it a sickness that was present in them when they were born?  Is there a gene or something that went haywire during the time the fetus was forming?  On the other hand, if those who molest are evil, how did that, how does that evil make its way to individuals? And why is there so much of that kind of evil in the world?

It makes me want to ask, out loud, “O God, where art thou?”

I have often wondered about the creative process. There are so many children born sick – bad hearts, no hearts, cleft palates and lips, rare genetic diseases …It seems like if there was one place where one could expect perfection, it would be in the womb, during the formation of the fetus, where the hand of God seemingly would be most active.

And yet, so many sick children are born! I saw a program on CNN the other day where 10-year-old children were accused and convicted of killing other children. And I have wondered,  “Did God miss a day in the creative process? What happened, that made such imperfection a reality of a process which on the surface would seem to be one streamlined for perfection?

I say that God doesn’t make mistakes, but when I think of the evil and sickness that is prevalent, I shudder. I know, I am disregarding the words of God in Genesis where God said that because of the sin of Adam and Eve, there would be misery in the world…but, still, I find myself struggling. Can God NOT stop the prevalence of sickness and evil in the world, or does God simply choose not to stop it?

I know…there are no answers…I am still angry, sickened, really, at the thought of what Jerry Sandusky may have done to those boys. I am saddened when I see a child born into the world gravely ill. And I have questions that I really wish God would answer.

From what I have heard and read, Sandusky is guilty…but I cannot help wishing God, with all of Her power, would do something to keep evil (or illness, if it’s that) like that out of the world. Too many children have suffered, and I guess I like the notion of a God that sees suffering …and stops it.

A candid observation …