Joe Paterno has finally, after ten years of denial and sheltering a child rapist, taken a moment to do something. He has spoken out for a change and for action to be taken, and it’s amazing…I thought my respect for the guy had hit bottom, but no, he had miles to dig further.
I shall pass this one on to a fine angry rant at the Atheist Camel:
His termination by Penn State was right and proper, and that would have been the end of it save any legal actions that might befall him as a result of his inaction. I’d have had nothing to comment upon, no further ax to grind with him. But then he said this:
“As you know, the kids that were the victims, I think we ought to say a prayer for them,”
And there, in that one sentence is the very heart of the grotesqueness of religion, the very core of what I have raged about, fought against, and endeavored to put a face on for these many years all summed up nice and tidy by a disgraced coach.
PRAYER?? Say a PRAYER for the child victims? You self righteous sanctimonious jerk… some of those kids are victims partially because you failed as a man. You relinquished your responsibility as a human being. Your hubris and self interest over shadowed those victims interest. But, now, NOW you’ll implore us to mumble words to a nonexistent thing in the sky as though that will fix things? As though those kids’ lives will be repaired by words to a deity when your own misbehavior, self-serving actions, or apathy was a causal factor for their pain?
When you’re at the very bottom of a pit, when you’ve failed egregiously at basic human decency, there’s always that one last recourse for the scoundrel and coward: turn to Jesus and hope that piety will buoy your reputation up a little bit. It’s sad, too, that it often seems to work with that credulous majority.
It’s interesting how much loathing Paterno’s remarks have inspired here. Let us make public piety a repulsive act!
If you really need to puke, look at this video, where students have a sign that says “Two of my favorite J’s in life: Jesus and JoePaterno”. It also says he plans to coach this weekend. Is it too much to hope he’s met by the police and turned away?
Oh, man, it just gets worse and worse. There was a press conference at PSU, and the media and students embarrassed themselves. They were questioning the firing of Joe Paterno by raising the spectre of what is good for the university and the football program. Allen Barra has the best and strongest answer…what the PR flacks should have said.
Angry student: Was any consideration given as to how his would affect the football program?
Me: The football program? The football program?? Are you serious? A former assistant coach was just indicted for over 40 counts related to sexual assault on a child, your football coach was fired in disgrace, your athletic director has been indicted for perjury, and a current assistant coach will, I’m sure, soon be fired. And the crimes against humanity — against children — took place in the university’s athletic facilities. Do you think you will even have a football program when the full extent of this becomes known?
Do you even think you’re going to have a university?
I made the point the other day that sports programs can develop an undue and even pathological effect on academic programs, but that a winning season does have a surprisingly powerful effect on enrollments. This is quite possibly the most catastrophic disaster I’ve ever heard of hitting an athletic program, and it’s at a university that has always made a huge deal of their football team. Barra’s article emphasizes the financial hit the university is about to take — a whole department sheltering a pedophile for more than a decade? They are about to cough up more in legal fees than my university spends on operating costs — but it will be interesting to see what happens to enrollments next year. It’s going to hurt. I hope it hurts a lot…not because I have any animus against PSU, but because I hope the students who planned to go there will discover a shred of conscience.