Sunday, November 6, 2011

Sad, Not Mad

I am a Penn State grad, and as you may know, a story came out this week about a possible cover-up over alleged sexual predator charges against Jerry Sandusky. He was the football team's defensive coordinator at Penn State for a long time, and then left to run a camp. You can read a story about it here in the NY Times, though it is in virtually all papers this morning.

Part of the outrage that is bound to emerge would concern the supposed integrity that Penn State's coach, Joe Paterno, has espoused over the years. Though Penn State has had troubled players like most teams, Paterno emphasized academic achievement and character as part of his program.

No matter the outcome of this affair, unfortunately in this world there are many things to be outraged about. The seemingly unending revelations about priests sexually molesting their young charges, the cover-up by bishops, the unwillingness of the higher-ups to clear up and clear out the victimizers.

Now German Bishops are caught red-handed in a scandal wherein a Catholic-owned book publishing business has been found to sell pornographic material.

In a way I'd like to bask in holier-than-thou vindictiveness toward the male-dominated Church authority. I feel they are unfair to women, and if women had the equality in the Church they should, these things would not get out of hand as much as they do. But, women have their sins as well as men, and my own shows in the very vindictiveness I here confess.

These crimes and alleged crimes still must be revealed, purged, and payed for in whatever way is best. But I believe it is important for all of us to take the path that many before us have summarized simply as "hate the sin, love the sinner." As simple as it is said it is vastly beyond difficult to do. Yet it is our job as Christians to lead others to Christ, whether others are non-believers or believers who have somehow gotten themselves entangled in horrible things.

There's an interesting column at Uncommon Descent in which a radio-cast of Frank Turek asks why atheists are so angry (if you are so-inclined, you can hear the audio and read comments to it here). The context of Uncommon Descent is that biology displays evidence of design, but they have gotten off the subject here. My own conclusion in this context is that atheists, non-Darwinists, Darwinists, IDists and Christians all seem capable of hurling insults at each other. I believe it is true in other contexts as well, such as male authority in the Church. In my opinion, it is human to be angry with those who disagree with us, and my own blog shows past entries where I blew my cool. What Christians should remember, is that our purpose is not to pull all stops just to win an argument, but remember that each person with whom we are engaging is one we want to help experience the love and holiness of Jesus Christ, just as we want that for ourselves. I think to do this we need to ask God's grace and strength. He is merciful, and I believe He has already helped me. I pray he continues to do so.

No comments: