Westboro Church calls Joe Paterno, the 'Pope of Happy Valley'
Members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church say they will be traveling to Penn State to picket the football stadium on Saturday, prior to a game between the Nittany Lions and Nebraska.
The Westboro Baptist Church's announcement came care of its website. The organization, known for picketing at military funerals just to make grieving families feel even worse seems to be on the popular side of this story, about sexual abuse of young children.
The church's website has a separate tab that calendars its picketing plans and along with Penn State, this week's schedule includes showing up on Friday November 11 at a performance of the "Laramie Project" in Krehbiel Auditorium at Bethel College.
The "Laramie Project" is a theater production that chronicles the reaction to the 1998 death of Matthew Shephard, in Laramie Wyoming. Shephard's death was considered a hate crime and brought attention to the issue of violence directed at homosexuals.
On Saturday November 12, the Westboro Church intends to be on the scene at Beaver Stadium. There they intend to add their two cents or more to the growing outrage at Penn State administrators and coaches, over what many are calling the callous inaction of those that were aware of more than one incident of inappropriate behavior between a former coach and a minor child.
Westboro calls head football coach Joe Paterno the "Pope of Happy Valley", just to compare him to the Catholic popes that supposedly sat idly by while priests preyed on young boys in their parishes and schools.
"Now, Penn State has the wrath of God raining down on them in righteous judgement! They have taken from the playbook of the Catholics. Let's diddle the little kiddies and hide it from top to bottom! Fitting that the head cover-up artist is called the Pope of Happy Valley," Westboro posted on its website.
Jerry Sandusky, the Nittany Lions former defensive coordinator and trusted colleague of coach Joe Paterno was indicted last weekend on 40 counts of child endangerment and molestation for activities that span the 15 years between 1994 and 2009. Read: Jerry Sandusky's unfortunate title for an autobiography, "Touched: The Jerry Sandusky Story"
The indictment goes into a fair amount of detail about a football program grad assistant who in 2002 witnessed Sandusky and what appeared to be a 10 year-old boy in the football locker room showers. Read: "New Sandusky accuser and mothers of victims speak out to media"
The student's account of what he saw, as taken from the grand jury finding of facts is unspeakable. The incident was reported to head coach Joe Paterno who sent the information up the chain of command to his Athletic Director Tim Curley.
Curley and school VP Gary Schultz met with the witness and from there, no one heard about the incident again until last weekend's indictment. Curley and Schultz were not credible on the stand during their testimony in front of the grand jury and were also indicted on charges of felony perjury. The grad assistant's testimony seemed more believable to the jury members.
After the on-campus incident in 2002, Sandusky is accused of criminal acts with other young boys, all of whom were part of a charitable organization he founded for at-risk youths. It was a 2009 incident at a local school that got the ball rolling on an almost three-year investigation by law enforcement.
Jerry Sandusky allegedly went on to hurt other boys after the Penn State shower episode and it is precisely that fact that has had many calling for Joe Paterno's resignation and the dismissal of any culpable university personnel.