Monday, November 14, 2011

Penn State Scandal

It’s a shame that Joe Paterno’s career had to end so disgracefully. When the story broke about this sex scandal involving young boys, I immediately thought of the Catholic Church’s problems with priests sexually abusing young boys. What makes these things so bad is not only the crime itself, preying on innocent children, but the cover-up by those who should have known better. Because of the sinful nature of humankind, we have to realize that organizations can’t police themselves and can’t be counted on to root out the bad elements.

We have high medical malpractice insurance because the medical profession couldn’t police itself, and people needlessly died or had their lives ruined by incompetent doctors.

We had the terrible situation with the pedophile priests because even the church couldn’t police itself, but continued to pass these predators on to another parish and a fresh new batch of victims.

We have incompetent practitioners in many different fields because they can’t police themselves, or union rules make it nearly impossible to eliminate them (such as teachers).

I think the mentality is often one or both of the following within professions:

(1) People are hesitant to punish or remove incompetent practitioners or those doing bad things, thinking “There but for the grace of God go I.” They identify too closely with them because they are one of them.

(2) It’s all about protecting the institution, whether it’s Penn State or the Catholic Church. Sometimes it’s protecting your buddies, such as the wall of silence with the police or failure to report crimes in the military.

Sadly, people don’t think of the victims:
-Children who are scarred for life by sexual abuse;
-Children who aren’t getting a quality education because incompetent teachers can’t be removed thanks to the union;
-Patients who die or are harmed by incompetent doctors and surgeons like the one recently fired from a practice in Poughkeepsie recently.

Because of the sin nature of the human race, we need to have laws, regulations, and outside agencies watching over companies, institutions, or professions. Left to our own devices with little or no oversight, we’ll do it wrong much of the time.

Let’s keep the victims of abuse in our prayers, and let none of us hesitate to tell authorities if we find out that a child is being abused.

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