The evidence released today reveals that Joe Paterno actively concealed the molestation of children by Jerry Sandusky for over a decade.
The release today of the Freeh Report (it can be read in its entirety by clicking here) gave all of us in the general public access to an incredible amount of details surrounding the conviction of former Penn State linebacker’s coach Jerry Sandusky. Sandusky has already been convicted, and deservedly so. His acts were so monstrous that they are difficult to even consider. However, I do not want to focus on the figure of Sandusky in this post. Rather, I would like to focus on Joe Paterno, the iconic head football coach of Penn State who died of lung cancer shortly after news of Sandusky’s vile actions became public.
You see, the enigma of this man is deeply disturbing to me. And when I am disturbed I write. And I write, if for nothing else, because to do so is cathartic.
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NB: This is the fourth part in a short series that will be summarizing and, at times, interacting with Mark Lilla’s The Stillborn God: Religion, Politics, and the Modern West (Vintage, 2007).
After exploring the shift in philosophy and theology brought by the thinking of Georg Hegel, Lilla moves on in his next chapter to explore the rise of liberal theology. As always, it is helpful to begin with definitions. A movement that began in the Protestant churches of the United States and Europe, Lilla characterizes the term liberal theology as having different connotations in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. During the former, a liberal theologian:
“…would have been someone critical of traditional orthodoxies and authoritarianism, a preacher of toleration among the Christian faiths, someone who welcomed the challenge of modern science as an opportunity to sift out the essential moral teaching of the gospel from the mythical and superstitious chaff obscuring it. Such a theologian would have deemphasized original sin and spoken of the grand possibilities of human self-improvement and the need to defend freedom of religious conscience, and of the benevolence of a caring God.” Continue reading »
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