Thursday, June 28, 2012

Why Keepeth Thee Thy Head?

[Longtime Penn State linebacker coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted last week of 45 counts of sexually abusing boys and will be sentenced this fall. 

One of the main prosecution witnesses was former assistant coach Mike McQueary, who late one night happened upon Sandusky and a youngster in the university showers.  Rather than intervening, he reported the incident to his father – and to head coach Paterno the following day.

Pennsylvania has the death penalty, but there is no indication that Sandusky is a candidate.  The most recent execution in the state was in 1999.

Here is Dr. Pence's reaction to the Sandusky trial.]

    Holiness is not simply knowing God, but desiring Him. Whetting the desire of a weakened will is for many men a more arduous task than enlightening the darkened intellect. Love of God depends on training our emotions as well as ordering our intellects.

   So, too, in our response to evil. Watch the predator Sandusky – see how he lies. Hear the screams of his victims – see how they suffer.
   Do not be sad. That will not do. Judas “was remorseful.” Be angry.

   The demon angel betrayed the Trinity’s plan for love. Do not be bewildered by the mystery of evil. Be angry with the Dragon, who is the Father of Lies and a murderer from the beginning. He must be cast out – permanently. If you have no anger to embolden your reason, you will never dare face such a terrifying enemy.

   Those given over to diabolical acts must taste the righteous anger of legitimate authority, or in justice they will taste the righteous anger of offended men and their kin.

   The State was given a sword for a reason. “Two swords are enough,” said Christ. So Peter was to sheath his sword, but not the State. Christ did not doubt the authority of Pilate. He confirmed: “You would have no power at all against me unless it was given you from above.”

   Watch the predator – smell the wolf. He will not strike the man, but a screaming boy in the shower. The boy looked in vain for a shepherd man to step between him and the wolf.
   But finally the rapist is captured and found guilty, though the echo of the screams still reverberates – awaiting a just ruler who will carry out sufficient punishment.

   The man at the scene of the crime did not have the athlete’s instinctual traits of character that would have moved him, as an act of habit, between the rapist and his victim. The State in the courtroom of the righteous verdict brings no instrument for justice that can match the terror of the crime. Better that states define a crime as capital, and bear a sword raised in deliberation to focus a criminal for a last act of repentance (for he too is a man, not the Devil). But the slow raising and rapid falling of the sword is not principally for rehabilitation or deterrence. It is an act of imperfect, though partial, justice.

   Ten men – once boys – were found to testify. They did their part inside the law, and now they ask the State to shed the blood they have forsworn. The jury, too, did its duty and rendered a verdict on the feast of Saint Thomas More. That noble Catholic and Englishman lost his head unjustly; but he too, like his Savior, never questioned the deadly ‘potens’ of communal authority. Every earthly pleasure that Jerry Sandusky enjoys will mock the maimed souls of his accusers. It is not the moral superiority of our age that feeds and pampers Jerry Sandusky. It is effeminate decadence that lets him keep his head. 

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