Churches and Abuse Cover Up — Insights From Penn State
[February 24, 2023: There have been some changes made to this post. For more information, read the Editors’ notes at the bottom of the post. Editors.]
(Luke 8:17 ESV) For nothing is hidden that will not be made manifest, nor is anything secret that will not be known and come to light.
Here is part of an AP (Associated Press) news story that helps us understand a very common motivation by churches to cover up abuse when it is reported. Christians seem to think that the Lord’s name needs “PR” (public relations) protection, so the scandal is hushed up. Or more specifically, the victims are hushed up. Of course these cover-ups are actually all about protecting our own names and reputations. The Lord of glory does not need us to rescue Him from a tarnished image, and in fact, the Lord is in the business of announcing evil from the roof tops no matter where it is found. Here is the AP story:
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Hall of Fame coach Joe Paterno and other senior officials “concealed critical facts” about Jerry Sandusky’s [Internet Archive link]1 child abuse because they were worried about bad publicity, according to an internal investigation into the scandal concluded.
The 267-page report released Thursday is the result of an eight-month inquiry by former FBI director Louis Freeh, hired by university trustees weeks after Sandusky was arrested in November to look into what has become one of sports’ biggest scandals.
The report concluded that Paterno, president Graham Spanier, athletic director Tim Curley and vice president Gary Schultz “failed to protect against a child sexual predator harming children for over a decade.”
“In order to avoid the consequences of bad publicity, the most powerful leaders at the university [Internet Archive link]2 — Spanier, Schultz, Paterno and Curley — repeatedly concealed critical facts relating to Sandusky’s child abuse,” the report said.
Read more: Report: Penn St. officials concealed abuse
1[February 24, 2023: We added the link to Wikipedia’s page on Jerry Sandusky. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that page. Editors.]
2[February 24, 2023: We added the link to Wikipedia’s page on the Penn State child sex abuse scandal. The Internet Archive link is a copy of that page. Editors.]
[February 24, 2023: Editors’ notes:
—For some comments made prior to February 24, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be an exact match.
—For some comments made prior to February 24, 2023 that quoted from the post, the text in the comment that was quoted from the post might no longer be found in the post.
If you would like to compare the text in the comments made prior to February 24, 2023 that quoted from the post to the post as it is now (February 24, 2023), click here [Internet Archive link] for the most recent Internet Archive copy of the post.]
“Nothing to see here, folks. Everything is great! Let’s not make waves — waves make life uncomfortable, difficult, and cost us money. We can’t let people think bad things happen!”
Sometimes it comes down to the difference between can’t and won’t.
(My stomach is churning and heart aching for the years of evil silence.)
Sort of gives an interesting visual to the truth that, when we all stand before God, the motives and intentions of our hearts will be revealed. These men will stand before God and explain why they allowed a predator to continue. Why they turned the other way and allowed all these little boys to be raped. Why they loved football more than children, their reputations more than justice.
Not going to go over so well on that day.
Self-preservation exercised from a sinful, selfish motivation always sacrifices others.