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Sandusky revelation sparks debate over sin

Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case
Former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky leaves the Centre County Courthouse after being sentenced in his child sex abuse case
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The adopted son of former coach Jerry Sandusky stated in an interview that oral sex was a part of the abuse, according to a July 18 article in the New York Daily News. Matt Sandusky, in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, stated that Sandusky would rub up against his genitals or tickle him when they wrestled. Matt Sandusky had previously (in a 2012 interview) stated that he did not recall any penetration or oral sex.

Jerry Sandusky served on the Penn State University coaching staff for 30 years, according to Wikipedia. In 1977, he founded “The Second Mile,” an organization designed to help at risk youth. The program gave him access to dozens of young men. In 2011, Sandusky was charged with 52 counts of sexual abuse. Most of the accusers met Sandusky through “The Second Mile.” In 2012, Sandusky was found guilty of 45 counts of abuse. His lawyers’ appeal and request for another trial were denied.

On the subject of children, the Bible does not differentiate between sin and forgiveness as it relates to children. Jesus told His disciples to allow children access to Him. The Bible does say that anyone who leads a young person astray would be better off at the bottom of the ocean with a stone around their neck.

75 Christians who have read about or followed the Sandusky case were asked if they could forgive Sandusky if he had molested 1 of their children. Only 50% (38) said that they would be able to forgive him. Almost 70% (50) of those polled felt that Sandusky’s actions were far worse than someone leaving a child in dangerously high temperatures in an automobile. Only 7% of those polled believed that both actions would require the same things (confession and repentance) as it relates to forgiveness.

The Sandusky story is one that won’t go away. Among other things, it has redrawn the boundaries between coaches and players of all ages. Are Sandusky’s actions any more or less egregious than leaving a child in a car in dangerously high temperatures? Are there (in the Bible) sins that are bigger or smaller than other sins?