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A Call For Restraint


Where to begin? This is probably going to ramble, so deal with me.

My heart weeps for everyone involved in this mess. I pity the victims and their families who will have to live with the emotional scars for the rest of their lives. I feel for the people who knew Jerry Sandusky and the betrayal they must feel in knowing the guy they knew and loved was leading a secret, destructive life. I sympathize with the millions of Penn State fans and alumni that have to watch in disgust as their cherished Alma Mater is dragged through the national headlines this week. I even feel bad for Sandusky. He's a disturbed man who needed help but was let down by his friends and family who either didn't see the warning signs or they saw them and didn't act on them. This whole thing makes me sick to my stomach.

I wish I knew why people do evil things. For his entire life, Jerry Sandusky was lifted up as a hero. He was praised for his football mind, and he was lauded for his work with The Second Mile in helping disadvantaged children. I'm sure in his sick mind, Sandusky thought he was expressing love for his victims. I'm reminded of Michael Jackson saying, "What could be more beautiful than sharing your bed with a child?" The mind of a pedophile is disturbing. It must be miserable to live such a life telling yourself you love these kids, but at the same time having to constantly hide your actions and make up excuses.

I wish I knew why good people make horrible mistakes. How could so many people know this is going on, and yet nobody thought to pick up a phone and call the police? Ever since I first heard the news this Saturday I've been trying to put myself in people's shoes to ask myself what I would do. It's easy for us to puff out our chests and say we would have called the police, but it's never easy when you're in the situation. When the person involved is like a family member or someone you have always looked up to, or when you might be afraid that rocking the boat could cost you your job, it's just not the same as being an objective outsider. To us, Jerry Sandusky is just a name we match with a face. To a person like Joe Paterno, he was like a son he had known since he was a kid in high school. To a person like Mike McQueary, he was a respected coach and elder with an impeccable reputation. To everyone, Jerry Sandusky was a guy who loved kids and devoted his life to helping them succeed in life. As Paterno said, he fooled us all.

I see a lot of people advocating a total house cleaning, but I don't know if that's the solution. At least not at this time. It certainly won't change the events that got us here. It will just make the people involved go away, and I suppose then we can all pat each other on the back and tell each other how well we handled that. I guess that would feel good for a little while.

I don't really want to get into who did the right thing and who did the wrong thing. We have a justice system, and I'm confident that in time, the truth will be made known. I'll reserve my judgement on who should go to jail and who should be fired until that time. Frankly, the calls to clean house and fire everyone are poorly thought out. We live in an orderly society. One that guarantees all men a trial before their peers and that they are presumed innocent until proven guilty. This is a core value of our society, and must be protected at all costs. Otherwise we become ruled by Kangaroo Courts, and after that we're nothing more than mobs burning witches at the stake. Our criminal justice system is purposely slow and deliberate. While that can be frustrating in an era where we want instant gratification and instant justice, we must protect it because the alternative is something none of us are really prepared to see.

There will be those who say everyone must go, and some of them must go directly to jail without passing Go and without collecting $200. I'm asking you all to take a more measured response. You don't have to defend people when your co-workers ask you what you think. Just say you don't know the facts and we'll wait and see what happens. Let's remember that in the eyes of God, we're all sinners. In the eyes of God, Jerry Sandusky's sins are on the same level as cheating on your tax return or lusting for your neighbor's wife. Jesus said, "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."

I don't know why bad things happen to good people. But I believe God has a plan for us, and while we don't understand it and it doesn't always make sense, His is a perfect plan. This is my approach to life now-a-days, and I cannot describe the comfort and joy it brings knowing God is in control, and He loves us.

It is my prayer that God would comfort the victims and families affected by this terrible tragedy. May they feel the love of Christ. I pray for Jerry Sandusky that if these allegations are true that he would get well and rehabilitate himself. I pray he would see the error of his ways and seek forgiveness for his sins so that God may have mercy on his soul. I pray for restraint by everyone to let the justice system complete its mission and execute the justice we all seek.

I believe God can create something good out of this tragedy. May God's will be done so that His Kingdom would be glorified forever.

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