By Bryan Fischer
Follow me on Twitter: @BryanJFischer, on Facebook at “Focal Point”
“You shall have no other gods before me.” ~ God
A whole lot of people have decisions to make in the wake of revelations that Joe Paterno and other top Penn State officials participated in a cover-up of Jerry Sandusky’s reprehensible same-sex pedophilia.
The board that governs Penn State, the Pennsylvania state legislature, and the NCAA all have decisions to make.
In reality, they have just one decision to make: should Penn State’s football program get the death penalty?
Only one football program in NCAA history has received the death penalty, SMU in the 1980s. The NCAA canceled SMU’s 1987 season altogether, over a scandal surrounding a slush fund used to make under the table payments to players, and SMU sat out the 1988 season as well.
The result: SMU had only one winning season over the next 20 years and didn’t make it back to a bowl game until 2009.
If SMU deserved the death penalty for concealing financial skulduggery, how much worse a punishment does Penn State deserve for concealing the soul-scarring sexual abuse of young boys?
Evidence from Louis Freeh’s 267 page report on the scandal indicates that Penn State officials were concerned about the impact on the university’s reputation if word of Sandusky’s conduct got out to the public.
Well, they obviously can forget about all that now. Discussions are now ongoing as to whether a statute of Paterno should be removed, and a mural artist has already erased the halo he had painted about the iconic coach’s head.
The bottom line here is that, to put it bluntly, football mattered more to Penn State than the sexual integrity of vulnerable children. They cared more about what the public thought of Penn State than they did about what God thought.
That makes this cover-up a manifestation of gross idolatry, an egregious violation of the very first of God’s Ten Commandments.
Idolatry under the Mosaic covenant called for the death penalty. And it is called for again. Penn State should receive the ultimate penalty from the NCAA and receive it quickly. Swift justice sends a powerful message about values and has a powerful deterrent effect on other institutions who might be inclined to imitate Penn State’s abysmal example.
If the NCAA wants to tell the public that they value the sexual innocence of young children more than they value season ticket sales, they’ve got the chance right here, right now.
If, on the other hand, Penn State gets off with a slap on the wrist, other institutions will be inclined to sweep dust under the carpet in hopes that they too can escape punishment.
Jesus at one point said that those who want to save their lives will only lose them in the end.
Penn State officials hoped to save their lives by turning a blind eye to a homosexual pedophile’s conduct. But they have come to the bitter realization that that is a losing proposition. They have clearly lost the respect and admiration of an entire nation, and it’s time they lost their football program as well.
It’s time for the guillotine to fall on football at Penn State.
(Unless otherwise noted, the opinions expressed are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American Family Association or American Family Radio.)