The piece below is from grantland.com. It is far and away the most trenchant analysis of the Penn State scandal. It is by Charles P. Pierce.
The Brutal Truth About Penn State
The problem can't be solved by prayer or piety — and it's far more widespread than we think
"But you, when you pray, go into your inner chamber and, locking the door, pray there in hiding to your Father …"
— Matthew, Chapter 6
It was midway through the pregame prayer session that the gorge hit high tide. There is always something a little nauseating in large spectacles of conspicuous public piety, but watching everyone on the field take a knee before the Penn State-Nebraska game, and listening to the commentary about how devoutly everybody was praying for the victims at Penn State, was enough to get me reaching for a bucket and a Bible all at once. It was as though the players and coaches had devised some sort of new training regimen to get past the awful reality of what had happened. Prayer as a new form of two-a-days. Jesus is my strength coach. Contrition in the context of a football game seemed almost obscene in its obvious vanity.
So, when the feeling had subsided somewhat, I dropped by the sixth chapter of Matthew, and then I went on to the Teacher in Ecclesiastes, who warned his people:
For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.
And I felt better, but not much. There is solace in Scripture, but there are also too many places where the guilty and the morally obtuse can hide.
The crimes at Penn State are about the raping of children. That is all they are about. The crimes at Penn State are about the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky, and the possibility that people lied to a grand jury about the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky, and the likelihood that most of the people who had the authority at Penn State to stop the raping of children by Jerry Sandusky proved themselves to have the moral backbone of ribbon worms.
It no longer matters if there continues to be a football program at Penn State. It no longer even matters if there continues to be a university there at all. All of these considerations are trivial by comparison to what went on in and around the Penn State football program.
(Those people who will pass this off as an overreaction would do well to remember that the Roman Catholic Church is reckoned to be a far more durable institution than even Penn State University is, and the Church has spent the past decade or so selling off its various franchise properties all over the world to pay off the tsunami of civil judgments resulting from the raping of children, a cascade that shows no signs of abating anytime soon.)
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.
Please continue to read the full column: The Brutal Truth About Penn State