The airwaves have been full of excuses this week. Herman Cain has been accused by no less than 4 women of sexual harassment and Penn State is embroiled in a horrific sex scandal (and cover-up) of its own.
Herman Cain has been blaming Rick Perry's Republican Presidential campaign, the Democrats, the media, as well as racism. His lawyer, Lin Wood, has actually tried to warn away any women considering coming forward, telling them that their lives will be under intense scrutiny if they do! This is unbelievable bullying on the part of the Cain campaign which has turned the clock back on women and politics at least 50 years. His tasteless jokes about Anita Hill and one of his accusers' lawyers, Gloria Alred ("I can't think of anything I would hire *her* to do" wink, wink...) show that outdated, power-hungry sexism is what he thinks it takes to get elected in the United States.
Meanwhile, radio narcissist Rush Limbaugh has been saying what even Herman Cain will not, making crude puns about accuser Sharon Bialek's last name as he takes Cain's base talking points and runs with them. There are some who say that is just part of Limbaugh's "schtick". Maybe so, but there are hoards of people who follow him like he is a modern-day Messiah, hanging on his every word. This latest twist doesn't bode well for the American political process. Being a supporter of "traditional values" does not mean going back to the days when it was de rigueur to call every victim of sexual harassment a "whore", as Limbaugh has done
Also this week, Penn State has been embroiled in a horrific abuse/cover-up scandal of its own. Over and over, those involved in this scandal put institution, money, and power over morality and children's lives. No institution, especially ones like the Church and Penn State who hold themselves up to a higher standard, should ever be put before the lives and safety of human beings. Preying on the weakest members of society, especially for such things as power and money, is so reprehensible that Jesus said it would be better for that person to have a millstone hung around his neck and he be cast into the sea.
I was horrified to discover that Mike McQueary did NOT break the law when he failed to call police after witnessing Mr Sandusky raping a child at Penn State. He told Joe Paterno. That is all he had to do, apparently. In light of this discovery, I have written my congressman and senators, asking that they write a bill making it a federal crime to fail to report to the police a criminal act being perpetrated against a minor child.
The people in this country are tired of the excuses. We will no longer tolerate covering up crimes. We will no longer tolerate blaming the victims. We can not. We are losing our moral compass in an era where literally, "anything goes" as long as it is for money or entertainment. Our horror over these tragic incidences have shown us that we've been asleep at the wheel. We are now waking up to the world we have made for ourselves.
We need standards that a philosophically well laid-out belief system gives us. One with standards. One that lets us come back, confess the wrongs we have done and make retribution. We need to remember that people fall--leaders, both Church and state are fallible sinners. But that does NOT give us an excuse to stop striving to follow the path set out for us by our infallible, perfect God. We need to try to keep to that path and we need to let our leaders know when they have fallen short in leading us.
We human beings are messing up on our own. It is time to try God.