Paterno and the Pope

Jon Stewart says what needs to be said.

(via Kylie)

Freethought Blogs coverage of this disgrace comes from PharyngulaWhat? It’s not just Catholic priests? and This is why I hate college football programs, Digital CuttlefishAm I Making Myself Clear?, Commradde PhysioprofDoes Penn State Actively Condone The Rape Of Children?, and Almost Diamonds: Understanding Penn State.

Your Thoughts?

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.

  • Loyal Hall

    I get a lot of resistance here in Penn State land when I say JoPa failed in his moral obligation to protect the child that he knew about and to further protect other children from this predator (raping a child is not a one-time deal; it is a pathology and that person does it as a way of life). In many ways JoPa is like the pope. He is deified to some extent and whatever sin of omission or commission he commits is somehow overwhelmed by his other good works or just his personal aura.

    • benfrank


      To those who give you flack, refer them here and tell them to read the Grand Jury presentment and see if they still feel the same way.

      It’s quite clear that there has been a pattern of conduct over two decades which anyone in JoePa’s situation would have to be blind to have missed.

      I suspect there was more at work than just being sympathetic and protecting an old friend and colleauge by giving him the benefit of a doubt. Various news outlets are currently investigating some credible reports that the kids were pimped off to wealthy donors.

      This is not unprecedented. A documentary on Boys Town which contained similar evidence of the same type of catering to the wealthy and powerful’s pedophilic appetites was quashed by Discovery Channel.

      You can view it here if you like. It may give you a broader context with which to place these events in.

      I will grant that the truth is usually somewhere in the middle. But even from the middle..this is just horrendous.

  • benfrank

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation”

    On a “freethought blog”?????

    It’s a wonder people’s heads don’t implode from their internal inconsistencies.

    Too funny.

    • Sithrazer

      Clearly, as your comment made it through moderation, I think it’s fair to say it’s a means to keeping spam to a minimum. They don’t want to give away free advertising when they’re trying to get advertisers to buy ad banner spots.

    • Camels With Hammers

      Two links in one post is automatic trip to Moderation Land. I don’t set it that way, it’s the default. But it’s reasonable enough. I’ve only ever deleted three non-spam comments in almost 30 months of blogging with thousands of comments. They were all unequivocally racist remarks. Lots of free thought is welcome here. And, I’m extremely lucky so far to have almost no one abuse the privilege.

      Sorry it took me until now to finally return to the blog and approve your post, but I am without internet access most of the day on Fridays.

  • Glodson

    I’ve replied on the subject a few times.

    Things worth nothing first: there have been allegations and charges against Sandusky from at least 1998, maybe even as far back as 1994. And he was explicitly told that he couldn’t shower with young boys anymore before his retirement in about 1998, which came at the height of his career.

    The grad assistant that caught him was 28 at the time. Old enough to know what to do. There is every reason to believe that Paterno and McQueary(the grad assistant) acted out of self-interest and in the interest of Penn State. And not the children.

    My conclusion: fuck Paterno. Fuck McQueary. Fuck the administration of Penn State that covered this up. Fuck the coaching staff that turned a blind eye to it. Fuck the students and alumni supporting Paterno. Fuck them all. Instead of trying to help children being raped, they thought it was a better idea to sweep it under the rug in the hopes that it all goes away. It is disgusting. Their efforts to cover it up, and cover their own asses, likely allowed other children to be raped.

    Every criticism one can lay at the feet of the Catholic Church for covering up and enabling the rape of children under their watch can easily be laid at the feet of Penn State, and the most powerful man at Penn State for a long time. That man being Joe Paterno.

    So, fuck Joe Paterno. Oh, if you don’t keep up with sports, before this was reported, Paterno was considered to be a paragon of virtue. Turns out he’s just a selfish asshole only interested in self-preservation. Seriously, what an asshole.

  • ‘Tis Himself, OM

    Paterno & Co. thought that a sport was more important than the welfare of children. The only action taken as a result of Sandusky raping children was to tell him not to do his raping on campus. Paterno was supposedly running a “good, honest, uplifting” football program. The parallels to the Catholic Church are quite obvious.

  • JohnnieCanuck

    I’m seeing a link in this post to Digital Cuttlefish’s “Am I Making Myself Clear”, that seems to have nothing to do with Penn State. If he did make a different post on the subject, I couldn’t find it just now.

    Pilot error or part of the upgrade activity?

  • Camels With Hammers

    ack, “pilot error”. Was originally going to round up more FtBlogs like I did last week but then decided to make a post only about Paterno after that pattern was emerging. It seemed worth its own post. Omitted to take out the originally included Cuttlefish…