Joe Pa

I spent the weekend in shock and surprise over the outpouring of grief and accolades for Joe Paterno. Before I go into my screed I’ll save you all some time: 

The Biblical quote most of you will throw at me is, “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Fair enough.  Did you read the next part of that bit of Matthew 7:1, “ Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 “ 

Fair enough. I’m willing to take that text on its words and do a bit of judging, as I’m as pure as the driven snow on the subject of child molestation/rape and the shielding of predators who victimize children.

 I cannot know what Joe Paterno had in his heart. To the best of my knowledge he’s in Heaven at the foot of Christ for eternity. He made good with God before he went and he’s got a mansion on one of the better streets.

 But I’m pretty sure of one thing: while he was on this earth, by his own admission, he harbored a child rapist in his midst and continued to grant the man access to the special privileges and power that came with the Penn State football program. I can only surmise that it was to avoid interfering with his football program and leave it at that.

One of the foulest comments I read this weekend was from a man who is in a position of authority and trust over children.  He said, “Once he [Paterno] told the Athletic Director it was off his plate.”

REALLY? Excuse me while I finish being sick. So, if I’m working at a mall as Santa, and the photographer on the set tells me that they saw the early shift Santa molesting children all I have to do is tell the photo manager?  Whew, I was afraid I’d have to protect those silly children and go to the police.  Thank you for that out!  I cannot believe how easy that one just got.

IFyou know of something like this are you obligated to take it to the authorities?  If your assistant coach/grad student/jock-strap collector/minion comes to you with a story like Paterno heard, do you go to your boss, or do you frog-march that person to the police and make them tell their story? What if they don’t want to tell the police?  Then you fire them because they either lied to you or are such a wretched piece of detritus that you cannot bear to be with them. 

Sadly, in this case, it probably wouldn’t make any difference, as the cops and D.A. had already had reports of Sandusky molesting children and ignored them.

I’m heading way out on the limb here, so feel free to hang back closer to the tree trunk if you need to do so for your own mental health. It is my opinion, as a former police officer, a professional Santa Claus, as an ordained Chaplain, and a card-carrying human that everyone involved in this disgusting chain of events who did not do the utmost possible to put an end to it and see those children protected needs to be prosecuted. If the people involved did not say, “Well, your answer isn’t satisfactory, I have evidence of a crime against this child and I’m blowing this thing wide open” then they are culpable and should be punished.

61 years of football glory versus 1 second of ignoring the raping of a little boy.  I’m putting the scale of import to the right on that one and saying the football is irrelevant. Paterno couldn’t go back in time and fix what had happened, but he sure could have prevented what was to come in the future.  One commentator noted that “Paterno was always there for his kids.”

No, not for at least one of them.  Not for one who wasn’t a big, tough, college athlete.  This one was a grade school aged child who was brutally raped and ignored. No, “Joe Pa” wasn’t there for all the kids.  And that’s the point I’m trying to make.

So, before we talk about football glory, historic records, gifted talent and a legacy, let’s remember that one little boy who’s life was forever changed because “it was off his plate” once he’d told the Athletic Director.

Not the same scale in any way, but didn’t we learn our lesson in the aftermath of WWII?  Didn’t the Nuremburg trials tell us that following orders and the chain of command did not exonerate us from guilt and complicity?

Pray for Paterno’s family. Pray for Paterno. But pray for all those children who nobody protects and nobody believes in this world.  And be Courageous in your heart should you encounter a similar situation.  You may be the only one in a position to stop the evil that is rape and child molestation.

I’ll end with another quotation from the Bible.  I think it may explain my anger and disgust over this whole thing, in as much as Jesus seems to feel just like I do on the topic:

 Matt 18:1-6 (KJV)

 “1 At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven? 2 And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, 3 And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me. 6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.”

That is all, please resume the normal nonsense that occurs on this blog.

“Just when you think you’re out, they pull you back in.”

There’s more to that quote than I would like to even admit.  This morning as I was reviewing my horde of miserable scam/spam email I found one for a Biblical Aramaic course taught by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.  On the internet.


O.K…. You’ve got my attention God. I was thinking about this YESTERDAY and here is the email.  Somehow it just reminded me of the Godfather quote in the title of this piece.

I never seem to get very far from the University doorstep.

The information is on the way.  I’m probably doomed simply because I’m excited about the possibilities of learning the language Jesus spoke.  I figure I need any edge I can get to get into heaven.  Perhaps being able to greet him in Aramaic will help. (I know, don’t go all seminarian on me, it’s by Grace alone… )

So, I’ll keep you posted.

Bobby’s Back… well, he’s not there yet, but he’ll be back!

The next book is on the way to the agent!

The next book is on the way to the agent!

It seems real when you have it bound up and set next to the Fedex box.

The book isn’t done, but it’s far enough along to submit to the agent. (And, yes, I sent a “loose” copy as well.  Just wanted the fellow to have options, dontcha know!

All the months of sweat, thought, dreams, research, (I know more about Fort Huachuca than I ever want to admit) and prayer are paying off.

It’s at the point that by May (if not sooner) I’ll have it done.  And, given the pace the last two weeks that may be by the end of March.

I’m having great fun writing, great fun dreaming, and great fun putting His words into the book. You can praise God and still have a great story. You just have to let him help you write it down.

Is the Christian fiction world ready for me? I guess we’ll find out pretty soon. I know one thing – I’m ready for the Christian fiction world!

Thanks to all of you who prayed for me yesterday.  It helped.

And, most of all, my thanks to my beloved wife, Kip, who stayed up all night editing. I really couldn’t do this without her.