If you have tuned into any news today you have undoubtedly been bombarded with coverage of the Penn State Football Scandal. Regardless of whether you are a sports fanatic or not, this story has blown up every news outlet in America.
At the heart of the matter is the question of morality. Joe Paterno, head football coach at Penn State University for the past forty-six years, has been the key figure even though he is not the arch nemesis in this story.
In 2002, a Penn State graduate assistant entered a locker room in the football complex where he soon discovered Jerry Sandusky, a Penn State assistant football coach, sodomizing a male child in the showers. In the long run of things the graduate assistant who made the discovery reported the incident to coach Joe Paterno, but not until the following day. Coach Paterno, two entire days after the incident, then passed along a version of the incident to Penn State Athletic director Tim Curley. Long story short, reports of this heinous event were hushed and not shared with the proper authorities. For more thorough details into the case, access http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/09/penn-state-scandal-timeline-jerry-sandusky_n_1084204.html?ref=mostpopular.
Tragically, much of the attention is not on the disgusting actions of Jerry Sandusky, who sodomized a number of other children due to the hush-hush of the Penn State graduate assistant, football coach, and athletic director. Nor are the helpless victims that Sandusky violated being talked about. Rather, Joe Paterno is the guy in the hot seat, who as of today along with the Penn State University President, have been fired from their positions.
Joe Paterno, 84, has amassed a stunning 409 coaching victories in his coaching career. He is the only coach to pass the 400 win mark. Additionally, Paterno has built a larger than life reputation for being one of the classiest coaches of any sport. However, all of this equity “JoePa” has stored up has been lost in the past few days. While Paterno did accomplish the legal minimum in passing along his knowledge of the incident to the athletic director, all who understand the story place a huge burden of responsibility on his shoulders: if no one else was going to push the envelope on making sure that Sandusky was convicted, Paterno should have.
It’s a strange thing, while many are sad to see Paterno’s career end this way, no one is debating that he had a responsibility to do more and did not. In play are strong, albeit unconscious, moral convictions. Christians, atheists, agnostics, and the confused are all crying foul against Paterno, as well as the graduate assistant and athletic director, and rightly so. But my question is, why in this incident, but not in others of similar or even more severe realities? Paterno and everyone involved deserve all consequences handed down. But why is our country and world reacting so strongly to this case, but not to others?
In the world around, millions of babies are being aborted each year, genocides are being attempted, assisted suicide takes place, and immorality terrorizes many individuals. Sodomizing a young child is one of the most despicable sins that can be committed no doubt. The outrage and outcry against the wrong committed is justified. But why not towards the entire scope of immorality?
The answer is simple. We live in a sinful and fallen world. It’s difficult to comprehend how our culture picks and chooses morality, but the long and short is because sin and its consequences has so far removed us from God and good and right that our view of the world is jaded. Sometimes we see through the cracks of our sin and visualize what is right, but a majority of the time our view of life is tainted and far from how God views existence. The only answer is the correction, the forgiveness and washing away of our sin, so that we can do life with God through a personal relationship and have a corrected view of the world.
Tragedy, that’s the title of the Penn State Football scandal. Lostness is the title of our lives apart from God. Now that the truth is being revealed, justice will be served in this scandal. Justice will be served over all people at some point. Though our sin and brokenness cuts us off from God and makes a wreck of our world, Jesus Christ died for our sins to justify us before Almighty God and unite us with Him if we trust in Jesus for salvation. (If you would like to know more, just ask.)
The Penn State Scandal will be the focus of the news world for a short time, but what will steal its thunder next? The Penn State scandal, alongside all other realities of immorality, reveal the secret to life. Rather than continuing through life with blinders on, open yourself to the One who created all.