Watergate felon Charles Colson: converted Christian, but pretty much the same

Don’t you love it when jailbirds lecture you about right and wrong? Tell me more, Watergate felon Charles Colson. Remind me how people should do the right thing or bad things will happen.

Perversion of Democracy
Gay ‘Marriage’ and The Law
Chuck Colson | May 12, 2011

. . I think I may have underestimated the threat, because now I fear the democratic process and the rule of law are endangered as well . .

That is pathetic. And funny.

An Unexpected Totalitarianism
The Tyranny of Tolerance
By Chuck Colson | June 27, 2011

. . I’ve thought of another way democracy can slide into totalitarianism—the moral foundations of society erode so badly that the people become malleable. They embrace relativism, as we have in America today; they no longer believe in right and wrong.

Is Chuck really any different than he used to be back in the 1970s? He supposedly underwent a whopping religious conversion, so he’s no longer the criminal he used to be.

Chuck was one of the Watergate Seven, the guys who covered up the Watergate break-in. He was so rotten a Nixon operative, he was known as the ‘hatchet man.’ He admits he was “valuable to the President … because I was willing … to be ruthless in getting things done.” The Colson most Americans remember never gave a rat’s ass about right and wrong.

So I find it brain-bending he’s obsessed with morality now. It makes me wonder if the Christian Colson isn’t just the old slash-and-burner with a coat of Jesus paint. Y’know, this guy, just grown older and more Biblical: “Colson also proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and stealing politically damaging documents while firefighters put the fire out.”

The more I dig up on Colson, the more I question. He converted to evangelical Christianity while he was being prosecuted for the Watergate cover-up. So, given the perfect opportunity, did the new Christian Chuck decide to come clean? Did he relieve the nation of their considerable pains and confusion about the administration’s deep criminality? Did his penitent honesty shock America into remaking the government?

Hardly. The new Colson only offered the prosecutor a plea to, until then, a non-crime. He admitted that he’d obtained Daniel Ellsberg’s FBI file and leaked it in order to destroy him (the information never saw the light of day). Amazingly, the judge accepted the confession, and any further prosecution of Colson ceased. He did 7 months time in Maxwell prison.

To his credit, after experiencing the penitentiary system first hand, he decided to do something about it. Read David Plotz’ coverage of Colson’s subsequent good works here. But let’s pay notice to the writer’s question:

Through decades of service to the needy, Colson has made himself one of America’s greatest Christian leaders. Why would he tarnish that by becoming just another Gary Bauer?

So, I wonder. Maybe he’s the same angry right-winger bent on picking and choosing what’s right depending upon who his current enemies are. Six years ago, commenting on the revelation that the FBI’s second in command, Mark Felt, was Deep Throat — the man who brought down Nixon’s administration, and Colson, too — Colson reacted this way:

Colson expressed disapproval in Felt’s role in the Watergate scandal, first in the context of Felt being an FBI employee who should have known better than to disclose the results of a government investigation to the press (violating a fundamental tenet of FBI culture), and second in the context of the trust placed in him (which demanded a more active response, such as a face-to-face confrontation with the FBI director or Nixon or, had that failed, public resignation).

Wow. It’s as if Charles Colson couldn’t appreciate that, if Felt had blithely tried to bring the jaw-dropping corruption to light by internal means, the effort would have necessitated the appearance of Nixon’s hatchet man — Charles Colson — to destroy Felt personally and professionally. Lord, Chuck.

And if you buy Colson’s ‘I implore others to do the right thing’ schtick, try this on for size. In 2009, he declared he would no longer abide a whole slew of your laws:

Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages . .

BTW, after admitting he did his best to destroy Daniel Ellsberg by releasing his trumped-up, fully-appointed with geh sex FBI file to a reporter, did Chuck ever apologize to Ellsberg? That would be the Christian thing to do. For the life of me, I can’t find an apology.