JoePa… Football legend and Icon… Yelling at the top of his lungs to get his players motivated… Completely silent when people needed him to speak.. Well not completely.
Joe Paterno reported to those over him what was witnessed by an assistant. However, he did not share it with the authorities. He refrained from taking what the assistant saw to the police. He has not spoken out about what he thought at the time. I can imagine what was going on in his mind. I can’t imagine this being reality.
When commenting on the lack of JoePa at the game following his dismissal, Whoopi Goldberg refers to JoePa as a bad man because “he fell down on his moral obligations as a human.”
This phrasing struck me hard because people I know and love have stood by or misread signs or just plain missed child sex abuse. It struck me hard because I don’t think the labels are helpful. It’s just not.
Right, wrong, good, bad. These do not help the situation. Speaking up. Clearing out shame. Bringing Grace. We don’t need conversations. We need action. We need JoePas to stand up and stop it. We need pastors to take steps to protect children. We need forgiveness to help bring peace to a pain that “murders a child’s soul (Joy Behar, see video below).”
We need to mind more than our business. We need to stop the hurt and bring the rain that brings freedom and grace. Silence does not get the job done. Active forgiveness for the abuser, the protectors of the abuser, and for the person who experienced the abuse.
BREAK THE SILENCE!!! SECRETS PRODUCE SECRET SHAMES! WE ARE NOT ENTITLED TO THEM!
They do not help anyone.
You have just finished reading, “Never Beyond: JoePa and the Problem,” written for ProcessOfBecoming.org. I believe we learn best when we take the time to express our thoughts with each other. Please take a few minutes to comment or to email me with what you are thinking.