Chuck Colson died today at the age of 80. I owe him thanks, and so does anyone else who holds dear religious freedom and the right to life.
When I first heard of him, he was a villain of the Watergate scandal. I was a teenager at that time, in the early stages of political activism, and Watergate’s figures were clearly divided in my view between the Good Guys & the Bad Guys. Colson was decidedly and unapologetically one of the Bad Guys, seeming to deserve the media characterization of him as a “hatchet man” for Nixon. He wound up in prison for a brief time, where he experienced deep and fundamental conversion of heart. Like many people, I was skeptical that a “Bad Guy” could change.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. I was humbled to realize how mistaken I could be. He wore himself out in life-affirming ministries, most famously prison ministry. He was instrumental in publishing the 2009 Manhattan Declaration, “a call to Christian conscience.” He was a champion of ecumenical progress.
May he rest in peace.