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A View from the Altar / The Sandusky affair
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The Sandusky affair

The news media are getting a case of the vapors about Sandusky.  Is there a teachable moment forming?  Every Christian from sea to shining sea should say to the Secular Man:  What’s the meaning of all your huffing and puffing about Sandusky?  A guy raped a child… so what?  Other people knew about it and did nothing.  Again, so what?  A student claims he actually witnessed a child rape in progress and didn’t intervene, didn’t call the cops, didn’t do much of anything, and now this student is a coach on the football team.  And now it’s being said that kids were being pimped out to rich donors.  Shrug.  Yawn.  So what? Who cares?  Is it time for lunch yet?

On the Secular Man’s view of things, what’s wrong with any of this? Indeed, what is “wrong” at all? A cluster of atoms came into contact with another cluster of atoms. It happens all the time. It’s what atoms do. Just now, the fan in my heater viciously assaulted some air molecules. Same thing.

A Christian would say there’s a Creator who endows people with his image, imparting dignity and worth to their souls. But what do you say?  Come to think of it, what can you say?

The Secular Man could say that this goes against societal norms.  Big deal.  It also goes against societal norms for a genius to think complex thoughts or for an inventor to create something never seen before.  Arguing morality on the basis of what’s normal gets you nowhere.  It just moves the argument from individuals to populations and leaves the essential questions unanswered.

The Secular Man might argue that man has evolved to be better than Sandusky.  I would ask, what is this “better” that you speak of?  Does that mean previous species of hominids did sex acts with their young while a subsequent species of hominids did not?  Why should we go with the later hominids rather than the earlier hominids?  This just slides the argument back and forth along the time scale and leaves the essential questions unaddressed.

The Secular Man has no argument here.  It’s good to see him angry and appalled over a man that has abused kids.  But he needs to be reminded that on his godless principles, he has no grounds for objecting to anything Sandusky does.  The strongest objection the Secular Man’s principles can justify is that he doesn’t like it.  Sandusky is entitled to reply that this is nothing more than a contest between his own pleasure and the Secular Man’s displeasure.  “You don’t like me doing this.  I get that.  Now… so what?

There’s no way out of the argumentative tit-for-tat unless we get above this level and bring the question before the infinite-personal God.  And at that point we are confronted with perfect holiness which sets the moral standards men must live by.  And God himself is the authority on which true morality is founded.  A society that (properly) feels moral outrage but can’t produce a reason for its feelings needs what Christianity offers: a real answer.

otherbrothersteve@gmail.com

2 Comments

  1. Amen. I hope at least ONE secular man reads your blog, Steve, because I don’t think secular man EVER asks these questions. Secular man is rather good at living in the void.

    Posted on 14-Nov-11 at 22:54 pm | Permalink
  2. “Living in the void” is a good way to express that. I’ll have to pilfer your phrase!

    Posted on 15-Nov-11 at 18:04 pm | Permalink

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