Friday, June 17, 2016
Whaddya say, Sven from Sheboygan?
I had finished watching "Spotlight" the week before the verdict for the Stanford University case became public. The film is the true story of how the eponymous investigative team at the Boston Globe uncovered sexual abuse by priests of young boys and the Catholic Church's systemic cover-up of the same. It wasn't just the bishops, and the church lawyers, and the politically powerful parishioners who looked the other way. Because they were afraid of losing the good things the Church represented, or losing the approval of those who associated the Church with good things, people within the Church and outside of it looked the other way, and --until new blood came to the editorial staff--some of the Spotlight staff themselves did, too.
The movie brought back memories of the scandal at Penn State University, where coach Sandusky ran a charitable program for disadvantaged kids that was actually a front for pimping them out. My husband's family taught me to join them in the enthusiastic chant, "Joe Pa, Joe Pa! Terno! Terno!" and so when it all came to light, it was really difficult for me to join in the criticism of the iconic figure: how could he not have known what was going on? I must admit, I understand how the aura of powerful folk in all arenas--religion, government, sports-- can outshine our conscience, our common sense, our commitment to believe--and to tell-- the truth.
What questions should I be asking myself, hmmm, IreneAthena, young lady? For whose approval do you write this blog?
While I ponder that thought, I'll be letting "Sven from Sheboygan" do the talking in the next installment of my series, "When Sweden, Rape, Stanford and Google Collide."