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Chuck Colson Dead, Has No Right To Glowing Obituary

April 21, 2012

There is no way to pick a mud ball up by the clean end.

That may seem like a harsh way to start a blog post concerning the news that someone has died.  But let us be honest about the matter.

Chuck Colson was not the type of man you would have wanted your daughter to marry, and not the type of person that should have had any influence or connection to the man elected to lead the free world.

Readers to this blog may know I have a long-time interest in Richard Nixon, and find him to be one of the most interesting and complicated men to ever sit in the Oval Office.  Even though I respect Nixon’s intellect I have never let him off the hook for his conduct that can never be abided. 

Nixon had some truly low-down and scandalous men around him who played to his darker instincts.  At a real level Nixon knew who he was hiring, and what they were capable of doing.

Chuck Colson was one of them, and today he died at the age of 80.  That the convicted Watergate figure turned all evangelist and righteous has no impact on me in regards to how he acted when given a chance to play near the largest stage in the nation. 

Known as an “evil genius” in the White House is not something to be proud of, and yet that is the label Colson chose to wear.  There is no way of squaring Colson’s past actions away by his finding religion.  

I fully understand that Richard Nixon allowed the mess to start and fester in his administration, and accepted the ultimate responsibility for what happened by resigning.  But I also know there was no follow-up to the opening of China and the move to détente with Russia in the first term of the Nixon years .  Due to nut-cases such as Gordon Liddy and Chuck Colson playing to the dark side of “the old man” we will never know what might have happened.

I would have loved to seen what foreign policy moves and outcomes could have happened in a full second term of a  Nixon White House.  I think the Cold War with the USSR would have looked much different had Nixon been allowed to continue his policy goals.

While one needs to hold Nixon accountable, there is no way not to also hold Colson also up to the light of history.

Many will try to spin Colson into a redeemed man.

Perhaps I read too much history but Chuck Colson will always be the man who pleaded guilty to efforts to discredit Pentagon analyst Daniel Ellsberg.   It should be noted that Ellsberg stated in an interview that Colson never apologized to him.  That statement alone speaks volumes about Colson the Christian..

Perhaps more than any other idea of Colson’s that should never be forgotten was his plan to firebomb the Brookings Institution and steal documents while firefighters put out the blaze.  There was also the idea that Colson had to hire Teamsters to beat up war protestors.

When someone has a chance to get near the process of effecting change in the nation they had better plan to do right by the people. When they chose to undermine and cajole and manipulate, or in the case of Colson play a whole series of dirty tricks, then they lose all rights to have a glowing obituary.

9 Comments
  1. Mikeowave permalink
    January 29, 2013 11:23 PM

    I read the biography of Nixon, Haldeman, Ehrlichman, and Colson. A great group of guys that had absolute power that the folks on these blogs only dream of. Especially Colson who had all that, a worldwide prison ministry, and then went to heaven to hear Jesus say, “Well done.” Man, what a way to go!!

  2. Sue permalink
    April 23, 2012 6:33 AM

    Jesus has forgiven Chuck. So it does not matter what you think. Chuck knew what he was that is why he saw his need for Jesus. He died a forgiven justified Believer in Jesus and is with God in heaven today. Where are you going? Have you trusted in Jesus for the forgiveness of your sins?

  3. April 22, 2012 1:34 PM

    Don,

    The criminal defense lawyers that have been hired by Walker can tell you more. The fact he hired them before most were aware is the clearest sign yet of what we all know is coming down the track. Stay tuned in.

  4. donlafferty permalink
    April 22, 2012 12:18 PM

    I’m unsure how a governor on a recall ballot has anything to do with doing illegal things like Colson and Clinton did? Perhaps you can enlighten me.

  5. skip1930 permalink
    April 21, 2012 10:00 PM

    Neither did this guy; But first…
    Realize that all these men were the ‘right’ guys then.
    They were a good fit for the times.
    Maybe not ‘these’ times and maybe not the right fit for today.

    My first ‘Boss’ was Mr. Dan Rostenkowski who spent 13 years as chairman of a powerful House committee before serving prison time for fraud. Afterword Danny boy returned from prison to Chicago, given his old job back. He recently passed away. Like Mr. Colson, Mr. Rostenkowski was equally ‘dirty’.

    My buddy and I went down to his office in Chicago, waited for an inordinate amount of time one morning in his outer office with his secretary.

    Finally Mr. Rostenkowski walked in, walked through, and disappeared into his office. Moments later the secretary’s phone rang. When she had rung off she said, “Congratulations boys, you have the jobs at Lincoln Park Zoo.” We were to pick up paper and trash. “Mr Rostenkowski just wanted to make sure your were white. If you were black, you’d have to work at Brookfield Zoo in the South side.”

    The cold war died simply because the United States out spent Russia as they tried to out do the U.S. militarily. They had not the economy to support such efforts.

    skip.

  6. April 21, 2012 8:59 PM

    A.J. Muste, the radical pacifist, once said: “If I can’t love Hitler, I can’t love anyone.”

    I try to remember these words when reading the news of some puke like Colson and other anti-human people dying.

    No answers from me, just thoughts.

  7. April 21, 2012 6:47 PM

    I kind of understand. Sort of the way I felt when Ted Kennedy died.

  8. April 21, 2012 5:42 PM

    Or a Wisconsin Republican governor about to be recalled.

  9. donlafferty permalink
    April 21, 2012 5:38 PM

    You mean kind of like if a sitting president lied to a Grand Jury?

    Yeah, I have no respect for that kind of person either.

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