Comparisons

The child molestation scandal at Penn State has been compared to the ongoing child molestation scandal within the clergy of the Catholic Church. This seems to me to be a valid point. Despite the vast scale of the Catholic Church and it’s clergy, there are some similarities.

The most important one is that the real problem is not the individual offender. While heinous, his crimes are isolated to his personal actions. The real problem is the people that become aware of the offender and participate in covering up the offenses. To protect the offender becomes more important than justice for the victims and more important than preventing further offenses.

Bishops and Cardinals in the Catholic Church did some moral calculus that I cannot fathom and decided that the innocence of the children in their dioceses was less important than “protecting the church”. There are even cases where parents who became aware of their child’s abuse were told by clergy to keep silent for the good of the church. Here’s one. There are many more.

I don’t attend Mass anymore. I stopped giving money a few years before that. If you want to get the attention of people that care about an organization more than they care about any moral standard of human behavior, you have to figure out what will concern them. It’s money. Money runs the show. All those church buildings and rectories and retreat centers take money to heat, light, and maintain. Since the Church is completely dependent on the donations of the laity, the laity holds the power. All they have to do is take it.

The Penn State football program is the same in this way. It is money driven. Penn State’s mission statement and charter says it clearly:

Penn State is one of four “state-related” universities (along with the University of Pittsburgh, Temple University, and Lincoln University), institutions that are not state-owned and -operated but that have the character of public universities and receive substantial state appropriations. (Bolded by me)

Cut off the flow of money until they feel the pain. Do the same to Sandusky’s charity victim pool.

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.
–Matthew 5:13

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