Category: Religion

Penn State Child Sex Abuse Opinion Wrap-Up

By , November 10, 2011 6:00 pm

All forms of media are blowing up with reaction to the firing of Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, the rape and sex abuse charges against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky, and the blind eye so many at Penn State turned to it. There’s a lot going on here: idolatry; the culture of college sports; people within institutions not holding themselves and their institutions accountable.

This story is multi-faceted with so many different angles, causes and repercussions, I wanted to put some them together to try to find some context.

First, let’s call these alleged crimes at Penn State what they are writes Tommy Christopher at Mediaite:

The nomenclature surrounding “sex crimes” is already hopelessly sterile, and the media routinely refers to cases of rape and sexual assault as “sex scandals,” but that makes it no less important to call them out every time they do it.

Sandusky is not accused of “having sex” with little boys, he is accused of raping them. In our civilization, “sex” with a child is not possible, since a child cannot consent to sex. As I half-listened to the news all day today, then, and I heard repeated references to “the Penn State sex scandal,” it pissed me off. It made my blood steam a little bit, like a hot cup of coffee.

(I would apply this criticism to the Dominique Strauss-Kahn alleged sexual assault which was often referred to as a “sex scandal.”)

Many have made the connection between the cover-up at Penn State and the Catholic Church’s cover-up of child molestation. Maureen Dowd made it in her Tuesday column in the New York Times:

Like the Roman Catholic Church, Penn State is an arrogant institution hiding behind its mystique. And sports, as my former fellow sports columnist at The Washington Star, David Israel, says, is “an insular world that protects its own, and operates outside of societal norms as long as victories and cash continue to flow bountifully.” Penn State rakes in $70 million a year from its football program.

Lawrence O’Donnell also discussed the failure of institutions and the people within them with with filmmaker Michael Moore on The Last Word.

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There was a lot of reaction on Twitter last night as protesters and rioters took to the streets at Penn State in support of Paterno.
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Drinking Only Beer For Lent

By , April 10, 2011 12:40 am

It sounds like a disrespectful college dare gone wrong, but it’s not.

CNN interviewed a newspaper editor and beer blogger who is only drinking beer (and water) for Lent. The beer fast has historical roots relating to 17th Century German monks.

Check out the interview:

Read more at CNN

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God’s Political Plan

By , November 5, 2010 3:48 pm

Guest post for Jazz Guns Apple Pie

CHARLESTON, WV - OCTOBER 30: Former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin greats supporters during a rally for Republican John Raese's U.S. Senate campaign October 30, 2010 in Charleston, West Virginia. Raese and West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, are embroiled in a hotly-contested race for the seat vacated following the death of Robert C. Byrd. (Photo by Randy Snyder/Getty Images)

There’s a saying that people use to explain things they can’t. ‘God moves in mysterious ways.’ Now, my religious practicing went the same way as my piano practice when I was twelve, but I’ve always understood this phrase to mean that we can’t always explain why God causes things to happen. Because it’s God. That’s part of the whole divinity thing.

So when you have political candidates such as Sarah PalinSharron Angle, and Christine O’Donnell, all claiming that God called them to run or it was a part of His “plan,” what does it mean when they keep losing? There’s a couple of ways this can go.

To begin with, maybe it’s a personal thing where He wants them to grow, to learn from their experiences on the campaign trail. Maybe He wants them to learn a little humility in defeat. After all, the meek are going to inherit the Earth.

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What Did We Learn From The “Ground Zero Mosque” Debate?

By , August 24, 2010 10:39 pm
Sandor John speaks to a crowd of protesters during a rally held to support the proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque that would be built near the World Trade Center site in New York August 22, 2010. Supporters and opponents of a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque near the World Trade Center site rallied in downtown Manhattan on Sunday, kept blocks apart by a heavy police presence. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: RELIGION POLITICS SOCIETY CIVIL UNREST IMAGES OF THE DAY)

The heat and level of the debate over the proposed “Ground Zero Mosque” – that isn’t at Ground Zero and is more community center than mosque – has lowered and will probably stay low for some time. Protests were held on Sunday with supporters and opponents of the space that is now known as Park51. Everyone has chimed in on the issue: Obama, Palin, Newt, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (whose speech on the subject was powerful), and everyone else with an opinion or an election to win.

With the media and the public’s short attention spans, there are other things to report on – the egg recall, the 5th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, plus whatever else comes up – and there seems to be nothing more to move the Park51 story forward. There’s not much left for talking-heads or politicians to dissect on cable news.

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