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Be a Defender

2011 November 30


Until it’s replaced by something equally horrific, or another celebrity cheats on their spouse and knocks this out of the news, we are going to keep hearing about Penn State and former assistant football coach and foster parent, Jerry Sandusky.

This is one of those news stories I agree shouldn’t go away any time soon.

This past Sunday’s headline in the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review subtitle asks the question: “How was it missed?”

But it wasn’t missed. And therein lays the problem.

In a man’s sport in a man’s world, Jerry Sandusky was surrounded by other men who, if the reports are accurate, saw creepy things were going on and chose not to step in front of these children to protect them.

Putting their careers before protecting children, in some cases merely passing the buck by telling the next person up the line and hoping that would clear their conscience, these individuals prove one thing: They aren’t men.

There are people who are out to hurt children. Heartbreakingly, some kids have come to accept it as a trade off to having a family. In the newspaper story cited a social worker relates how a little girl she worked with waited until after the adoption was finalized before telling the social worker she was being abused in her adoptive home.

When I read that I recalled how one of the foster dads I talked to told me that kids will do what it takes to survive, to avoid being hurt.

This past weekend a guest speaker at our church, Pastor Joe Toomey, used the Titanic as the illustrative theme of his sermon. One of the interesting facts he pointed out was that of those who survived: 75% of the women survived, 50% of the children, and only 25% of the men. Why? Because back in 1912 they still worked under the adage: “Women and children first.”

My, how times have changed.

Men are supposed to be the defenders, even if that means going down with the ship or just losing a job.

Men, be a defender.

Photo: “Legionario” by Leonardo Barbosa

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