Buddhism is a religion without a god or a creed, yet it's a way of life for four hundred million. It seeks
no converts and strives only to relieve suffering. This blog offers no high teaching but only practical observations, mostly about the daily news. You can write me at email@example.com.
All Eight Sandusky Accusers to Testify: Wise Compassion
espn.com news services
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. -- The alleged sexual abuse victims of Jerry Sandusky will testify against the former Penn State assistant football in a preliminary hearing next week, ABC News is reporting, citing people close to the case.
At least one of Sandusky's eight alleged victims was known to have plans to testify at the Dec. 13 hearing, according to the man's attorneys. But ABC News is reporting the other seven alleged victims also will testify.
In a recent interview with The New York Times, Sandusky said he never sexually abused any child and that prosecutors have misunderstood his work with kids. He described a family and work life that "could often be chaotic, even odd, one that lacked some classic boundaries between adults and children."
He described scenes in which his State College, Pa., home turned into a makeshift recreation center with wrestling matches and sleepovers.
"It was, you know, almost an extended family," Sandusky said of his household's relationship with children from The Second Mile. He characterized his experiences with children he was close with as "precious times," and said the physical aspect of the relationships "just happened that way."
Michael Boni, the attorney who represents Victim Number 1 in the grand jury report, took offense to Sandusky's characterization of the events.
"These were, quote, 'precious' moments for him," Boni told ABC News. "In fact, they were the most vile, horrendous, unspeakable moments for his victims."
The Practical Buddhist Responds
If Mr. Sandusky is guilty as accused, his explanations and denials are tiresomely familiar and typical of articulate child molesters. If guilty, he might have convinced himself he was showing love for these vulnerable kids, and that if sex "happened," it was just a normal, innocent thing.
What an opportunity to practice compassion, the way the Buddha and Jesus did for murderous thieves. But those criminals were repentant.
True compassion is informed and wise. You remember the story of the monk who found the injured cobra and nursed it back to health, then in a burst of misguided affection, took the cobra into his bed. Of course he was bitten and died. Had the foolish monk been practicing wise compassion and using skillful means, he would have cared for the cobra, then cautiously released it far from humans.
Just so with Mr. Sandusky. If he is guilty he must be kept apart from all potential victims, forever. There must be a thorough and far-reaching investigation to determine what went wrong in the impenetrable and self-protective football culture that sheltered him. That will be the first of many steps demanded by a compassionate response.