If a mom sees an college athletic director at an airport, should she shield her son’s eyes? If a football coach says hello to your boy, should you bark at him: “Get away, you monster!”
And should we call every follower (fan) of Penn State University an accomplice to this evil? Should we ask PSU students and alumni why they support an organization that condones child rape?
Of course not! That was be a ridiculous overreaction. And it would be cruel and unfair.
In light of the horrific scandal coming from Penn State University, can we now come to an appropriate reaction to the sexual abuse of minors?
It is a unspeakable crime when anyone gets sexually abused, especially a child. Sometimes this barbaric evil gets compounded because adults fail to report the crime to the authorities.
Right now there are probably some Penn State University fans who have loved Joe Paterno and the Nittany Lions football team for decades. They surely want to believe that these accusations couldn’t possibly be true. (The evidence, however, looks very damning.)
There were surely some Catholics who didn’t want to believe the sex-abuse stories when they first came to light.
And yes, there was media bias against the Church. And yes, this awful crime is not limited to Catholic priests. And now we know that cover-ups are not exclusive to the Catholic Church.
But the Catholic Church frankly deserved a considerable amount of scorn for the horrific cover-up and the shuffling of predators. Just as people are outraged at Penn State officials today. (Though, it should be noted that the shuffling of predator priests happened mostly in 1970s, whereas this Penn State allegation was first reported to Coach Joe Paterno in 2002 — the same year the Boston Globe uncovered the sex-abuse scandal in Boston.
Nevertheless, given all that we have learned about the size and scope of abuse, we as a society should now come to a proper understanding of this unspeakable evil.
Pedophiles and pederasts who prey on young children will seek out occupations where they have an opportunity to abuse children. These people will work hard to become religious ministers, bus drivers, high school coaches, amusement park employees, and scout masters.
This does not mean we should treat every football coach, priest, or bus driver like he’s a pervert.
But it does mean that we must be vigilant. We must have safeguards in place to reduce the possibility of abuse. Like anyone who is accused of a crime, we should treat them as innocent until proven guilty. But we must also never simply dismiss any accusation out of hand.
Keep your guard up, protect your children, treat everyone fairly, and report every accusation to the authorities.