Family Matters

How to Tear Down a Statue

Written by FM Staff on November 11, 2011 | Found in: Dinner Dialogue

Read the Article:  "As Penn State students riot for Joe Paterno, others ask 'why?'" -LA Times

After 44 years as the head coach of the Penn State Nittany Lions, winning 24 bowl games and two national championships, many see Joe Paterno as a hero -- a legend.  After revelations about Paterno's handling of alleged sexual abuse on the Penn State campus by a football assistant, many see Joe Paterno as a disgrace, a moral failure -- more willing to protect the image of his football program than to protect innocent children from abuse.  Students from the University rioted in the streets protesting his sudden firing, "after 44 years, he deserves better," the thinking went.  Advocates for the abused and many more thought losing his job wasn't enough, and that in fact Paterno should face legal consequences -- held responsible for not preventing future abuses.  A legacy threatened by a single indiscretion.

Serve it Up!

  • How do you think Joe Paterno will be remembered years from now?
  • Penn state football has a long earned reputation as a clean, academically successful program.  Do Paterno's actions, or lack of action, related to the Sandusky abuse charges negate the positives of his contributions to the school?
  • Politicians, Pastors and everyday people show concern over how they'll be remembered.  Can you think of other instances of those who saw their legacies tarnished by actions or revelations late in their lives?
  • In I Corinthians 9:24-27, Paul compares the Christian life to that of an athlete.  Compete to win, train for a purpose and "discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified." (v.27)  Like an athlete trains to make certain that he'll finish the fight strong, we concern ourselves with finishing well and having a lasting legacy.  What kinds of ways can we discipline ourselves now to ensure that we won't fall short of our goal.