Here There and Everywhere

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Law and Order SVU: How Did They Know and When Did They Know It?

What a tragedy. Joe Paterno, fired in disgrace. Joe Paterno, the much admired, the Penn State football coach who embodied integrity, fired, disgraced. “What did he know and when did he know it?” people ask.

What astonishes me is that the situation almost exactly parallels a recent episode of Law and Order SVU about which I recently blogged, in September.

In that episode, a much-admired football coach is reported to be preying on young men in his foundation, young men for whom he gave an opportunity to ‘be someone;’ he trained them, gave them motivation and the possibility of a lot of money, fame and good things for their very poor families. His victims were burdened by a debt of gratitude, combined with the shame of male-on-male sex, which they did not want to become public knowledge. The combination of gratitude and shame kept them silent, until one spoke out. It took a lot of courage, but finally, a big star who had come through this depraved coach’s program went public, appeared before the grand jury, and set the example.

The similarities are eerie. In Law and Order, however, the coach who had preyed on young players in the showers and locker rooms did not bring down a highly regarded top-ranking program director, and a university president.

Joe, we are so sorry this has happened to you, and we hope that posterity will recognize that one poor decision is counter-balanced by a lifetime of integrity. We pray that young men victimized by Defensive Coach Jerry Sandusky will come forward, have their voices heard, and be able to move on with their lives, knowing that Sandusky will be punished. We pray for their families, who had no idea what was happening in their sons’ lives. It’s a sad time all the way around.

And thanks be to God, we live in a society where the trustees made the right decision, they fired the men who looked the other way as Sandusky victimized his young men. Thank God, this dirty laundry was not buried away to be forgotten, but brought forward, the perpetrator arrested and shamed publicly. There are times, in this world, when in the interest of the God of football, or the respect of position, when a scandal victimizing the poor and voiceless is shoved under the table, ignored, the victims sent the message that they don’t matter. As bitter as this pill is, I thank God for it, and for the increasing transparency in our society which begins to equalize justice for rich and poor.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Character, Crime, Cultural, Interconnected, Law and Order, Leadership, Social Issues, Values | , , | 5 Comments

Getting Scripture Wrong

As you know, many Christians do readings daily; there are readings recommended for each day from the Old Testament, the New Testament and the Gospels. Technology makes life easier and easier, you can just go online to The Lectionary and it is all right there for you. They have all the readings, every day, and even have write-ups about the Saints days.

This scripture makes me nervous. I attend a bible study where they tell us exactly what to think. They are very clear in their doctrine. Because I need the self-discipline in my studies, and because I believe that they are mostly women like me, trying to serve God to the best of their abilities, I don’t argue a lot, I don’t say “no! that’s not what it says!” or cause a disturbance. I trust God lives in each of us, as the Holy Spirit, and figure the Holy Spirit will guide me through our studies.

In this scripture, the disciples who know Jesus the very best, the ones who travel with him and who listen to him every day are talking about bread when Jesus is talking about hypocrisy. It worries me. What else to we fail to see? What else do we mis-interpret?

Matthew 16:1-12

16:1 The Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test Jesus they asked him to show them a sign from heaven. 2 He answered them, ‘When it is evening, you say, “It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.” 3 And in the morning, “It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.” You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times. 4 An evil and adulterous generation asks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.’ Then he left them and went away.

5 When the disciples reached the other side, they had forgotten to bring any bread. 6 Jesus said to them, ‘Watch out, and beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees.’ 7 They said to one another, ‘It is because we have brought no bread.’ 8 And becoming aware of it, Jesus said, ‘You of little faith, why are you talking about having no bread? 9 Do you still not perceive? Do you not remember the five loaves for the five thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 10 Or the seven loaves for the four thousand, and how many baskets you gathered? 11 How could you fail to perceive that I was not speaking about bread? Beware of the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees!’ 12 Then they understood that he had not told them to beware of the yeast of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

November 10, 2011 Posted by | Communication, Language, Spiritual, Words | Leave a comment