Myrna Pérez of the Brennan Center has written a touching eulogy for the late Chuck Colson.
Yes, the same Chuck Colson whose zealotry was so extreme that it was said that he would walk over his own grandmother to re-elect Nixon. Colson, Nixon’s hatchet man. Colson, who worked for decades to destroy John Kerry. Colson, who wanted to hire thugs to beat up anti-war demonstrators. Colson, organizer of the burglary of a doctor’s office. Colson, who went to jail for obstruction of justice.
While in prison, Colson found God. But did that temper his self-righteousness or cool his zealotry? No. It caused him to redirect it.
He again hobnobbed with presidents, but this time it was to score taxpayer funds for his Christian ministry. He fought against homosexuality, premarital sex and masturbation. He called gay marriage the “greatest threat to religious liberty we’ve ever faced” (while saying we should have a “civil discussion and to disagree without calling one another names . . .“). He claimed that gay marriage would lead to a destruction of private property rights. He railed against Darwinism, claimed that “Christians have been the vanguard of securing women’s rights” and worked to get the Bible into the public school curriculum.
Lastly, Colson portrayed himself as the successful leader of Prison Fellowship, the ministry that claims to have reduced recidivism rates in prisons. But there are claims that their numbers were cooked.
I’m sure that Colson believed he was doing the right thing, but he made the world worse not better. And for that, he can Bite Me. And for being gullible, Myrna Pérez can Bite Me, too.