So it looks like Ross Douthat - the NYT's resident GOP apologist (because there are some things even David Brooks won't touch) - has taken on the Paterno sex abuse scandal. He draws the apt comparison between it and the Church sex abuse scandal, but quickly goes off the deep end. So as to not bury the lede, here is the money quote:
It was precisely because Castrillón had served his church heroically, I suspect, that he was so easily blinded to the reality of priestly sex abuse. It was precisely because Joe Paterno had done so much good for so long that he could do the unthinkable, and let an alleged child rapist continue to walk free in Penn State’s Happy Valley...
I believe that Joe Paterno is a good man. I believe Joe Posnanski of Sports Illustrated, the brilliant sportswriter who is working on a Paterno biography, when he writes that Paterno has “lived a profoundly decent life” and “improved the lives of countless people” with his efforts and example.
I also believe that most of the clerics who covered up abuse in my own Catholic Church were in many ways good men... They believed in their church. They believed in their mission. And out of the temptation that comes only to the virtuous, they somehow persuaded themselves that protecting their institution’s various good works mattered more than justice for the children they were supposed to shepherd and protect.
It really takes a special kind of idiot to make these assholes into tragic heroes, let alone call them "virtuous." Douthat has fabricated some kind of deluded fantasy world in which Paterno and the Catholic leadership are really good souls unwittingly made to overlook the most heinous and nauseating of crimes - raping and torturing small children - because they were such good people.
Hate to break it to you Douthat, but protecting a corrupt institution is not an endearing quality - in fact it is actually a rather damning quality for someone to have. And when you put it in context of covering up pedophilia, well lets just say the context certainly doesn't improve the situation.
There is only one question that remains: Does Douthat have a soul?