So for those of you in the United States you have undoubtedly heard about the scandal currently being investigated at Penn State University. The football program is one of the most storied, the coach is already legendary, and the actions of one former assistant have tarnished the memory of all of that, and the lives of a number of young people were drastically impacted.
I don’t really want to add to the tons of articles being written about this. There is plenty out there if you want to find more details about it. What I do want to share is the mental journey that I went through as soon as I heard about this story. Actually the NBC Nightly News segment linked below also took a similar direction.
“The sexual abuse of young kids by a trusted authority figure”
Sounds terribly familiar, huh? Just within the United States over the past few decades we have had this or similar scenarios play out over and over again. From the Catholic Church, to the Boy Scouts, and within the most conservative and religious elements of our society as the 20/20 special from April covered. Now to a leader of a football program that was built on a code of honor.
I think for myself when I heard about these incidents as they occurred over the past 10 or 15 years I looked at the institution as lack having some unique dynamic that created this circumstance. But what really do a state university football program, conservative Evangelical Christianity, the Boy Scouts, and the Catholic Church have in common?
That’s about as far as the connections go. Yet, I think that is enough. I think all of these terrible scenarios expose the nature of man as a sinful being who when left to himself is capable of committing awful acts. As a Christian, I find the Bible describes this in a number of places and most notable in this scenario the first chapter of Paul’s letter to the church in Rome. I’m not going to turn “expositional” here but in that portion of his letter Paul is writing to show how all mankind is in need of a righteousness that can’t come from within.
The scandal at Penn State is another reminder to me of how the heart of man is corrupt and for righteousness to come from it can only be the result of something supernatural.