Home/Rod Dreher/Can’t pray away the Penn State rot

Can’t pray away the Penn State rot

Charles Pierce unloads on Penn State. He was not impressed by the pro-victim prayer service at Beaver Stadium before the game this past Saturday. Excerpt:

There will now be a decade or more of criminal trials, and perhaps a quarter-century or more of civil actions, as a result of what went on at Penn State. These things cannot be prayed away. Let us hear nothing about “closure” or about “moving on.” And God help us, let us not hear a single mumbling word about how football can help the university “heal.” (Lord, let the Alamo Bowl be an instrument of your peace.) This wound should be left open and gaping and raw until the very last of the children that Jerry Sandusky is accused of raping somehow gets whatever modicum of peace and retribution can possibly be granted to him. This wound should be left open and gaping and raw in the bright sunlight where everybody can see it, for years and years and years, until the raped children themselves decide that justice has been done. When they’re done healing — if they’re ever done healing — then they and their families can give Penn State permission to start.

If that blights Joe Paterno’s declining years, that’s too bad. If that takes a chunk out of the endowment, hold a damn bake sale. If that means that Penn State spends some time being known as the university where a child got raped, that’s what happens when you’re a university where a child got raped. Any sympathy for this institution went down the drain in the shower room in the Lasch Building. There’s nothing that can happen to the university, or to the people sunk up to their eyeballs in this incredible moral quagmire, that’s worse than what happened to the children who got raped at Penn State. Good Lord, people, get up off your knees and get over yourselves.

UPDATE:  Unbelievable: the judge who let Sandusky out on $100,000 unsecured bail is a volunteer for his Second Mile charity. A central Pennsylvania criminal lawyer says that he’s never had a client accused of crimes like Sandusky’s released on such flimsy bail. Maybe we should pray for her.

I’m not serious about that, but let me bring something up: I know of two jaw-dropping instances in which Christian employers informed their employees that they were being terminated, or had those employees balk when being asked to do something outrageous. In both cases, the employers asked for a moment of prayer. It was a disgusting move, trying to spiritualize these situations to manipulate the underling into accepting meekly what the boss wanted. It was along the lines of, “Lord, please help your servant [Employee] have peace as she embarks on this exciting new adventure You have brought into her life.”

about the author

Rod Dreher is a senior editor at The American Conservative. He has written and edited for the New York Post, The Dallas Morning News, National Review, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the Washington Times, and the Baton Rouge Advocate. Rod’s commentary has been published in The Wall Street Journal, Commentary, the Weekly Standard, Beliefnet, and Real Simple, among other publications, and he has appeared on NPR, ABC News, CNN, Fox News, MSNBC, and the BBC. He lives in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, with his wife Julie and their three children. He has also written four books, The Little Way of Ruthie Leming, Crunchy Cons, How Dante Can Save Your Life, and The Benedict Option.

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