Why Hating Jerry Sandusky Does No Good

cs_heinz_as_jerry_sandusky_thumbLast week I wrote an article called, “It’s Not Possible To Be A Christian And Hate Jerry Sandusky.”

But of course it’s possible to be a Christian and hate Jerry Sandusky. Had I called the article, “Christians Shouldn’t Hate Jerry Sandusky,” only half of you would have read it. That title sounds like I’m scolding you for what is a natural and reasonable response. But I’m not scolding anyone. I’d like to hate him, too.

On June 22, 2012, former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child sexual abuse, using his nonprofit organization and status as a hometown hero and father figure to find and groom his young male victims. Like Pastor Dan Nold wrote, I don’t have God’s knowledge of the events, but the evidence seems overwhelming.

For this reason, I would like to hate Jerry Sandusky. It’s easier this way, there are lots of fellow haters to join me, and it’s what my heart wants to do. But hating Jerry Sandusky does no good.

Hating Jerry Sandusky is a sin, which before God puts me on the same level as him—needing salvation. God says to love our enemies (Matthew 5.44). Just who is my enemy? Could it be Jerry Sandusky? I can’t think of a better one. But hating Sandusky violates God’s command. God says if I break one command, I break them all (James 2.10). So if I hate Jerry Sandusky, then before God, I’m guilty of breaking them all. Hating Jerry Sandusky is a sin that necessitates salvation, and therefore I need salvation as much as Jerry Sandusky does. I also stand convicted, so to say.

Hating Jerry Sandusky is not supporting the victims. At times I felt that unless I hated Jerry Sandusky, then I wasn’t supporting the victims. I felt I had to choose between the two, and the choice was easy, I’ll hate Sandusky. But hating Sandusky won’t help the victims heal. Hating Sandusky won’t change the past. Actually I think that hating Sandusky keeps the victims stuck in the past. Hate burns heavy in the heart, calling for constant attention. That’s not what I want for them. I want them to move forward because these deeds do not define them. But hate will hold them back, and my hate approves of theirs.

Hating Jerry Sandusky is a road block to healing.  Some say justice was served for the victims because Jerry Sandusky was convicted. But justice isn’t enough. There’s got to be healing. Healing is impossible without forgiveness, and forgiveness is impossible with hate. I wish I could walk out the painful process of forgiveness for the victims, but I can’t. That’s a road for each of them. Their abuse is not a road they chose, but they can choose to walk in forgiveness. I can pray for their courage to forgive, and I can work on loving my own enemies, then praying for them to do the same.

So with God’s help, I will not take the easy way, will not sing the chorus of haters, will not do what my heart wants to do. I will not hate Jerry Sandusky. For if I can’t overcome hate, how will the victims? If I can’t learn to love my enemies, how will the victims? If I can’t forgive, how will the victims?

Hating Jerry Sandusky does no good.

Chris believes you can love your work. He's the Vice President of Human Resources for EnergyCAP, Inc., where he helps employees to succeed. He's also a Certified Professional Life Coach and a Certified Gallup Strengths Coach. He loves to coach people, write, and speak around the topics of engagement, coaching, strengths, and growth. He blogs often at ChrisHeinz.com.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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10 thoughts on “Why Hating Jerry Sandusky Does No Good

  1. Chris, I greatly appreciate both yours and Dan’s writing on this issue. Engaging our own sinfulness, refusing to take the judgment seat against others, and believing beyond all hope for a redemptive forgiveness is the core of the Gospel, and one which the Church must embrace if we are truly going to be a light to the world. Thanks for your witness. I must admit, the picture you took to accompany this post is a bit disturbing, but adequately piercing!

  2. Going to see Jerry whom I knew personally and pray he sees God in my heart as I agree tremendously with what you wrote. No one one yet but I know God will in the end. It’s hard to see trials of this life but they are Gods mercy in disguise. He has a plan and never promised no sufferings. He calls us to him and most find him during trials. Jerry’s trial continues. I pray I can help him find Christ by seeing him in me.

  3. How can we say we love and live for Christ, but pick and choose the commandments that we want to abide by? If we want God to forgive our sins, we must forgive those who sin against us and others. Also, we must trust God that vengeance is His, that He will provide justice for those wounded, and that he will give beauty for ashes. He is a restorer. As a Survivor of Childhood sexual abuse, I know firsthand how difficult it is to forgive a pedophile, and how the effects of it are ongoing. But God has made me sensitive and understanding and compassionate, and resilient.

    God is merciful, so must we be too.

  4. I just wanted to say thank you for your articles. God speaks to me through them and uses your words to teach me new things through him.  I appreciate them alot.

  5. In all the long, ugly road that this has been since the allegations first came to light, your words and your wisdom have blessed me profoundly.  The word spoken by the media-saturated world has NO wisdom to help me move forward – just salacious delighting in the fall of another human being.  You point me to the path between condoning and malicious hate – a narrow path for sure but the path of Christ.  I thank you for that

  6. I will to turn Jerry Sandusky over to GOD to Judge. GOD is the only true and perfectly just judge.    How about turning our concern and energy over to praying for healing for Bill O’brian’son Jack.Jesus paid the price.Lets pray for it to manifest NOW!