Today is the day when Bill Cosby is sentenced to served 3-10 years in prison for sexual assault. The crime is almost unthinkable, that a man with Cosby’s gifts and graces would drug women and then have sex with them, rape them. I can’t even get to the question of why a married man would act this way. I can’t get passed the question about sex and our culture. We are so mixed up sexually. For many, sex seems to be this dirty thing, rather than the creative gift of God that it is. So much of our violence and pain and shame are acted out in sex crimes.
But, even more than all that today is the stunning realization that Bill Cosby was/is a predator and will go to prision. Many of us remember Bill Cosby as the great mentor and leader. He was a commedian of the highest order. We still own an album (vinyl) on which is Cosby’s retelling of the story of Noah. It’s absolutely hilarious and brilliant. It deals with a difficult scriptual passage and brings it to life.
Or, maybe you remember Cosby on the TV show “I spy”. Or, maybe you remember the TV show that my family and me never missed in which Cosby is Dr. Huxtable. He appears on screen as this loveable, wise, father and husband who is faithful. His humor comes through everything.
Cosby was a PHD. He promoted education and supported teachers. He chided those who did not take their role in family and community seriously enough. He was a example to be followed.
One of my favorite snippets from his book “Fatherhood” is one about sibling fighting. Cosby said that when two sibling are fighting they come to their father to settle it. They make their case and the father tells them to go to their room. Cosby says that the children think the father is interested in justcie, but the father is interested in peace and quiet.
Today, Cosby has fallen from grace. It’s almost too much to take in. He has done so much good, but left behind so much pain and suffering that he caused. It’s never right to take advantage of another human being. It’s never right for a man to rape or abuse or assault a woman. Never.
Sure, we’ll get over this just as we have absorbed the failures of others in the past. We will get over it just as we have gotten passed the sins of other men against women, other sinners. But, how much more grateful we should be for those men who treat women with the respect they deserve, as they gift that they are. How blessed are those men who are faithful to family and friends and church and God. May these be the men that we follow and emulate.
We have this treasure in earthen vessels to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us. In human flesh is the treasure of God’s love, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I pray for Bill Cosby today and for all the victims of his recklessness. Where sin abounds, grace may much more abound.