Chuck Colson Is Dead… Let’s Remember Some of the Things He Said

Chuck Colson is dead. He was 80. He died of a brain hemorrhage (cue inevitable comments from people shocked that he had a brain in the first place).

A lot of the obituaries you’re going to see about him over the next day or two will focus on his connection to Richard Nixon and Watergate. Or the prison ministry he began. They’ll talk about how Colson redeemed himself after a fall from grace. How he made lemonade out of lemons. How he did something positive with his life.

Don’t accept any of it.

Because, even in his glory, he was spewing bullshit like you wouldn’t believe.

Here’s just a smattering of comments he made and wrote *after* he had been “redeemed” — comments that should be condemned no matter who says them.

Like the time he wrote about how everyone *knew* one little boy was gay:

A little boy I’ll call “Stevie” was a beautiful, healthy child. But by age five, his parents suspected something was wrong. Stevie loved Barbie dolls, the color pink, and dancing around like a ballerina.

Without intervention, [Dr. Joseph] Nicolosi said, Stevie had a 75-percent chance of growing up homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.

Yep. The color pink will do that to you…

Or the time Colson got mad at the Oxford Junior Dictionary for changes it made in a recent edition:

Gone were words like “coronation,” “willow,” and “goldfish.” In their place were words like “MP3 player,” “blog,” and “biodegradable.”

Not surprisingly, words reflecting Britain’s Christian heritage were especially hard hit: “abbey, altar, bishop, chapel, christen, disciple, monk, nun, pew, saint,” and “sin” were all axed. Even Christmas took a hit: “carol,” “holly,” and “mistletoe” were removed.

In their place, kids got “tolerant,” “interdependent,” and “bilingual.”

Nooooooo! NOT “TOLERANT”! *Cue end of the world*

And remember how Richard Dawkins wrote in The God Delusion of a 7-part “belief continuum” (7 was absolute certainty that God did not exist) and how he placed himself at a 6, leaning toward 7?

Here’s how Colson interpreted that passage:

Even atheist Richard Dawkins admits that there is a one-in-seven chance that God might exist. He simply chooses to take, as he sees it, the six-in-seven chances that God does not exist. That’s a bad bet.

Umm…. no. Not even close. But, you know, he said it with authority, so it just slipped through most Christians’ lie detector tests.

Anyway, it’s interesting Colson even called Dawkins an “atheist,” considering he didn’t even believe in our existence:

I have, in fact, never met an atheist. When a person professes to be one, I ask him to offer me the proof that God does not exist. I’ve never had anyone successfully respond to that question. Most retreat and say they’re really agnostics. I then ask them if they have examined every religion exhaustively. Their answer is usually no. I explain they cannot be agnostics unless they are sure that God can’t be known.

There are no atheists. There are simply people whose pride overwhelms their innate knowledge.

But wait! Atheists *do* exist! Colson considered us a threat to Christianity… along with Muslims… and other Christians:

Colson, 75, spoke at a conference that precedes the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which begins here Tuesday.

At one point, Colson said “Islam is a vicious, evil … ” and then before finishing the sentence, said, “Islamo-fascism is evil incarnate.”

The second threat, Colson said, was evident in the popularity of several best-selling books espousing atheism by Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris and others.

“This is a virulent strain of atheism which seeks to destroy our belief system,” Colson said.

Colson also dismissed a burgeoning movement known as “the emergent church,” popular among younger Baptists and other evangelicals, as “abandoning the search for truth” in favor of “conversations in coffee shops.”

Damn atheists and their book-learnin’!

Must. Keep. People. From. Getting. Educated.

To top it all off, Colson was awarded a Templeton Prize.

I’m sure if you looked even further into his writing, you’ll see more bigotry, more contempt for non-Christians, more attempts to make himself look better than the image he deserves.

People will say Colson remade himself after prison. He didn’t. He just transitioned from one form of despicability into another.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Ggsillars

    Colson once said that he would run over his grandmother for Richard Nixon.  Of course after his conversion, his attitude changed:  he was prepared to run over his grandmother for Jesus.

    • Reilly1102

      It turns out that he just wasn’t very fond of his grandmother.

  • Quentin Long

    If you remake yourself from one type of scum to a different type of scum, you’ve still remade yourself…

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Adam-Patrick/100000027906887 Adam Patrick

    I never understood the idea that men who like “feminine” things must be gay or secretly a woman. I thought men had to like other men sexually to be gay, but what do I know? I’m one of those evil atheists that eats babies and has no moral guidelines.

    • Pisk_A_Dausen

      I wonder if ideas like that are a combination of the “only straight men of a certain type are Real Men” attitude and selective memory.

      If my cousin, who once threw a fit in a shop because his parents wouldn’t buy him a dress, grows up to become a straight man with no interest in wearing dresses, that episode will be just one of those strange, funny things kids do, or it will be forgotten. If he grows up to be gay, transgendered, a transvestite or anything that puts him in the “not a Real Man” category mentioned above, that episode will be “evidence” that he was never a Real Man.

      It’s frustrating as hell. : Plus, pink as a “girl colour” is just a fashion. It’s been considered a “boy colour” before. Children aren’t born with an urge to prove their f***ing (wo)manliness! *frets*

      • Demonhype

         Yes, I love that almost desperate attempt to “prove” that simple cultural trends or fashions are inherent, absolute, written-in-biological stone TRUTHS that can never be changed and all those wishy-washy lib’ral types are wasting their time.

        My mom did the same thing–that my brother and sister and I all had a “free” choice of cars or dolls to play with, and since he always chose cars and we always chose dolls that “proves” that it’s an inherent biological Truth that May Not Be Questioned and Can Not Be Altered.  I pointed out that when my brother played with cars it was just “vroom vroom”, whereas I never once had a fashion show or tea party with my dolls.  No, I had war, famine and pestilence.  I played GOD with my freaking dolls!  I have two dolls with red marker on their necks to this day–they were the generals of the losing army and we* built a scaffolding out of shoeboxes and executed them!  Yah, that is extremely “feminine” behavior, no doubt!

        Besides which, my brother would occasionally get his little fingernails painted–he insisted, because we were getting ours painted and he didn’t want to be left out–and my uncles were infuriated, certain that that would make him some kind of “queer”, as if gayness is transmitted through the chemicals in nail polish or something.  We even have a picture of him with me posing “pretty” in a long white robe.  Yet he grew up to  be as straight as they come, albeit not all that concerned about looking like a “Real Man” or anything, because he grew up without any of the usual programming that sexual orientation or gender or any of that is somehow contained in clothing or TV shows or any other place besides a person’s physical body and brain.

        *Well, mostly me.  I kind of took the lead and my sister just went along with my ideas.

        • I_Claudia

           A kindred spirit I see. Though I had no dolls (I was once given a Barbie, which my parents proudly note I beheaded in under 5 minutes) I did have a whole lot of stuffed toys. I would make epic tales with them, a recurring theme being that one of the toys becomes leader but then is corrupted to dictator, prompting the emergence of a rebel group led by his previously close friends (wife or best friend). Not utterly free of gender stereotypes (the dictator was invariably male) but not exactly pretty in pink, either.

          • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

             Barbies can be made into aliens and monsters with patient application of Elmer’s glue.  All you have to do is add a little red and green food coloring to the glue, then apply it in layers.  When dried, the glue has a similar color and consistency to Barbie flesh.

            You can also remold the bodies by softening them in near-boiling water, but I wouldn’t recommend that for kids.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       Misogyny is at the root of homophobia.  That’s where that nonsense comes from.   That’s why men who aren’t sufficiently macho are suspected of being gay, and the “ex-gay” programs recommend “manly” activities like football. 

      • Onamission5

        Because gawd knows, there’s no such thing as a gay athelete!

        Oh, wait…

      • Glasofruix

        Yeah, there’s nothing more manly than a bunch of naked dudes in a shower….

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

           Except when they’re slapping each other on their backsides….

          • Mark W.

             Or wearing tights, putting their hands between another players legs then piling on top of the guy with the ball.  That’s Village People manly right there.

    • JD929

      I like feminine things called women. Does that make me gay?

      • CanadaGoose

        Maker you very suspect at least. Real men don’t like women very much except as fuk-vessels.

    • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

      feminine
      adjective
      1. pertaining to a woman or girl.
      2. Having qualities or appearance traditionally associated with women.

      How can you seriously not understand the idea that men who like things traditionally associated with women are secretly women? It’s a very simple-minded concept. An insensitive, stereotyped, strictly gender-role oriented concept, but simple none the less.

      • Kevin_Of_Bangor

        It is very obvious you have never heard of Transvestic fetishism and most men that indulge in it are straight. There are a lot of straight men that enjoy wearing women’s panties.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transvestic_fetishism

        Some male transvestic fetishists collect women’s clothing, e.g. nightgowns, babydolls, bridal gowns, slips, brassieres, and other types of nightwear, lingerie, stockings, pantyhose, shoes, and boots, items of a distinct feminine look and feel. They may dress in these feminine garments and take photographs of themselves while living out their secret fantasies. According to the DSM-IV, this fetishism has been described only in heterosexual men.

        • Coyotenose

           Larry Meredith was pointing out where the association comes from in the minds of homophobes, not saying that it makes sense or himself insulting anyone with feminine leanings.

        • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

          The very fact that you acknowledged those things are feminine and pertaining to women admits that society has instilled that as the gender role specifically for women.

          I don’t agree with these gender roles, but it’s easy to understand them. Our culture has long established certain looks, attitudes, and behaviors that men and women have had. So although the gender roles at their core are unfair, it makes sense that some would find it weird to see people stepping out of that role.

        • Gage

          Uhm…call it by whatever name you want to. That’s not normal man. That’s weird.

          • Kevin_Of_Bangor

            You find it weird, not everyone does.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              Weirdness is subjective.

              • Kevin_Of_Bangor

                Everyone deep down has a weird fetish. While some will admit it, most will not be we all have them.

    • http://profiles.google.com/davydd.norris David Philip Norris

      Yup. I have way more straight guy friends who like “girly” things than I do gay friends. In fact, my gay friends like things like rugby, baseball, mountain biking and the like.

      • Gage

        Okay, so your man friends are pansies. What’s your point?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

    You said he made lemons out of lemonade…I’m going to assume that was awesomely on purpose.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      Ha — unfortunately, that’s a typo. I’ll fix it. Thanks.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

        NO, leave it!  It is awesome!

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Stephan-Goodwin/676660806 Stephan Goodwin

        Aw, shucks.

    • Pisk_A_Dausen

      That would have been way more impressive than turning water into wine. :D

    • http://twitter.com/InspFreethought Mike

      He made very acidic lemonade out of lemons and then threw it into the eyes of atheists.

  • I_Claudia

    Even atheist Richard Dawkins admits that there is a one-in-seven chance that God might exist

    I guess I’ll be left to forever wonder whether this was some particularly ham-handed misrepresentation of Dawkins’ position or whether he was actually so awesomely stupid as to have actually interpreted the Dawkins scale in that manner. Either way, it doesn’t look like today was very much of a loss for rationalism or tolerance.

    • Tinker

      Perhaps when he was young, a friend set him up on a blind date with someone that was referred to as a ’9′. Then when ‘she’ showed up, it was a guy in drag. So he figured that what was meant by a ’9′ is that there was a 1 in 10 chance that she would be good-looking.

  • Marco Conti

    So, the guys was a world class asshole. However, one quote intrigued me:
    A little boy I’ll call “Stevie” was a beautiful, healthy child. But by age five, his parents suspected something was wrong. Stevie loved Barbie dolls, the color pink, and dancing around like a ballerina.…Without intervention, [Dr. Joseph] Nicolosi said, Stevie had a 75-percent chance of growing up homosexual, bisexual, or transgender.

    Does this mean that god actually created this little boy homosexual? I thought these guys believed that the gay was a choice.  Since even a jerk like this guy cannot possibly believe that a 5yo boy can make conscious decisions about his own sexual lifestyle, the only logical conclusion is that homosexuality is indeed a “gift from god”, or at the very least a genetic trait.

    • Demonhype

       Maybe some horrible evil atheist muslim type painted his nails at daycare or at a party, or let him try on lipstick, like my brother (see above) was allowed to do if he wanted.  Surely that is how it happens, which is why girlie-type things should be kept far far away from our precious man-children!  If you don’t keep your makeup, hair care products, and feminine attire locked up at all times in a special anti-poofter safe, you are a bad mother who doesn’t protect her children and will give Teh Ghey to your precious little boy!!!!!!

      Of course, my brother grew up to be very not-gay, so….well, maybe….NO! That proves NOTHING!!!  Clearly Satan is just trying to dupe us!  Be ever vigilant!

    • I_Claudia

      This is actually an interesting little detail about the minds of homophobes. If you really delve into what the hell they mean by “it’s a choice” you realize that they say this because they believe you can choose to “go back” to being straight. The attitude I see from most homophobes is that homosexuality is like a treatable infection; you don’t choose to get it but you can choose to treat it and get healthy again. Hence the language they use of people “falling victim” to homosexuality, their insistence that they don’t hate gays but feel that they are sick and need to get better, and their disgusting insinuations about how gay people will try to victimize and “convert” straight children.

    • DG

      What I
      got from it was a little different.  I
      actually saw a local news story about parents who were basically saying the
      same thing: by the age of six, their boy liked pink, didn’t like sports, and enjoyed
      playing with dolls.  Ergo, he must be a
      girl, or at least homosexual. Medical professionals and experts interviewed seemed to agree.  And yet, according to feminism, identifying
      such things with masculinity is a purely social phenomenon.  There is nothing physiological at all that
      suggests a boy should like soldiers vs. dolls, or like sports vs. not like
      sports.  It’s all the result of patriarchal influence throughout society’s history.  So it struck me that this boy’s reaction to such things was then attributed to, well, anything.  I mean, if these things really mean nothing at all but the result of male dominated society through the ages, why would
      rejecting these things or liking these other things mean anything at all?  I’m still trying to get my head around that one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

    I’m not one for grave dancing but I will say there’s less hate in the world today.  

    • Gage

      Because that’s classy.

  • http://www.facebook.com/AnonymousBoy Larry Meredith

    Chuck Colson Is Dead… He died of a brain hemorrhage. Let’s Remember Some of the Things He Said.

    like “HNNNNNNNG” ?

  • Glasofruix

    ” I ask him to offer me the proof that God does not exist”

    When somebody tells you that he has an apple, you expect him to show it to you, not to ask that you provide a proof that he hasn’t one….

    Good riddance, we’ll make sure this guy’s existence will not be remembered.

  • Bob Denham

    Hement, how come you didn’t mention how his work with prisoners has greatly reduced the recidivism rate amongst those in his program.  Also, what atheist groups are reaching out to prisoners?  I see your groups being more involved these days in compassionate work, but why are you so late to the party?  I would agree with you that he has said some pretty dumb things for being as educated as he is, but is it fair in his death to only mention those?

    • http://twitter.com/butterflyfish_ Heidi McClure

      That’s a little like asking why there are no 500 year old castles in Kentucky.

      Also, I’m wondering what you expect an atheist group to actually do for prisoners? Convert them? Leave copies of *The God Delusion* and *Why Evolution Is True* in the visiting room and the prison library?

      • Bob Denham

        I don’t understand your reasoning.  Atheists can’t help prisoners transition back into society??? What does helping inmates have to do with whether you are a theist or a non-theist? 

        But the main point I was trying to make was, why bash a guy when he dies for maybe some mistakes he made with his tongue, when he reached back to a group of forgotten and societal outcasts and earnestly tried to help them through their failures to return to living a productive life.  Whatever downside there was to Chuck Colson, there was a tremendous upside.  It just seems “fair” if you are going to attack one you need to mention the other.

        • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

          I looked all over the Innocence Project’s website 
          http://www.innocenceproject.org and I could find no mention of any religious affiliation.  I would call that ‘Secular’.  In addition, their frequent reliance on DNA would make them antithetical to any anti-evolution religious doctrines.

        • Coyotenose

           “There are no 500 year-old castles in Kentucky” = “Atheist groups are new and lack resources and infrastructure to tackle many problems, let alone the specific one that you have arbitrarily deemed necessary that atheists groups in general address in order for one person to be qualified to criticize another.”

          Or to put it another way, you just argued that no one should be allowed to criticize a politician unless they’ve first successfully filled a politician’s campaign warchest.

          As to your second point, this is not a man who “maybe made some mistakes with his tongue.” This is a man with a lengthy history of distorting issues, committing slander, and encouraging homophobia. You either did not actually read the blog entry above before commenting, or are deliberately mischaracterizing both Colson and Hemant.

          I don’t recall seeing you note that Mussolini made the trains run on
          time, or that Ted Kaczynski helped improve FBI forensics techniques. I take it that in the interests of being fair, you will make sure in the future to note all the good points of anyone or anything?

          Or are you just tone trolling?

    • Erp

       Couple of points, apparently the Colson program cherry picked by comparing the data  on those who completed their program (ignoring dropped out or kicked out) to those who started other programs.  http://www.fsu.edu/news/2006/10/04/prison.programs/

      Second atheists aren’t generally organized; however, the UUs which include many atheists do have a prison outreach http://clf.uua.org/penpals.html
      Liberal Quakers who also have a fair number of atheists are notoriously involved in prison reform (you might also want to look up Margery Fry [if read her biography she was raised as a Quaker but she was also a non-theist])

      • Bob Denham

        Thanks for your comment.  But even if his results were just normal, the fact is he gave the last half of his life to reaching out to a group of people most of us never think about. I just don’t understand what is accomplished by bashing a dead man.  If there is something gained, then be intellectual honest to mention what he was “all” about and not just what one didn’t appreciate.

        • Patterrssonn

          Do we know if the results were even normal? Did he do this for free or did his group get government funding?

          • Patterrssonn

            Just read the article, the results were below normal, so basically because of his interference the excons were actually worse off than if they’d received secular councelling.

        • Erp

           
          He also gave a lot of condemnation to others such as gays and lesbians and non-Christians; should we forget this?  Yes he reached out to [Christian] prisoners  but heaven help the prisoner who was Muslim  or atheist or Wiccan and didn’t want to convert.

          “I  see no reason why Wiccans or pagans generally should have the services of taxpayer-paid chaplains.” (Christian prisoners are another matter)
          http://onfaith.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/panelists/charles_colson/2007/07/paganism_may_not_pass_religiou.html
          Officially taxpayer paid chaplains are suppose to ensure that all prisoners can practice their religions without discrimination (except when practices conflict with reasonable prison regulations or the law)

          Personally I neither rejoice nor mourn.  His family and friends are mourning, and, I hope they find comfort.

    • CanadaGoose

      Citation please?

    • Godless Sodomite

       I have to wonder, do you also post at Christian sites that do nothing but extoll his virtues and remind them how Colson had a very bad side that shouldn’t be ignored? Or do you tone-troll only atheists?

  • Justin Miyundees

    Sounds like he’d qualify for Hitchens’ advice when Falwell shuffled off the mortal coil – give him an enema and you could bury him in a matchbox.

  • newavocation

    “Stevie loved Barbie dolls,”

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t a gay boy be more attracted to GI Joe?

  • Paul Sunstone

    Colson worked hard to put together the Religious Right coalition in this country, which in turn, has striven to break down the separation of church and state. Both before and after Nixon, he was a threat to the Constitution.

  • ReasonableQuest

    Look up on YouTube his conversation with Rick Warren about Darwin and Evolution. Total lies and BS.

  • Lucilius

    Let’s not forget his close association with the Family, a network of corruption and lust for power masked as “Christian fellowship,” which is partially responsible for the wave of fanatical fundamentalism sweeping Africa such as Uganda’s “kill-the-gays” bill.

  • Smorg Smorg

    Understand and agree that he was far from a decent man… but dude, this is so unnecessary.

    I have no wish to defend Colson. He would have stoned me if he could. But you are supposed to represent decency compared to him (at least). His corpse’s still warm. Surely this post could have waited a day or two at least.  Just because he wouldn’t have returned the courtesy doesn’t mean that you should lower yourself to his level, you know?

    • http://www.facebook.com/maik.both Maik Both

      I don’t see that making accurate remarks – sure, some with morbid humour – is the same as what Colson was doing. It isn’t ‘the same level’.

    • Coyotenose

       I’ve never been a fan of pussyfooting around someone’s awful behavior because something bad happened to them. We can feel empathy for him and/or his family, but he was still a lying asshole. His survivors and supporters also do not rate any time to whitewash his legacy without opposition.

      For my part, I feel no empathy for him, because he’s in no pain and never will be again. I feel sorry for his family, and at the same time a bit of joy in the knowledge that he’s no longer harming people.

    • CanadaGoose

      No.
      He was scum when alive — I have no problem saying it.  Death changes nothing. 
      De mortuis nihil nisi bonum is bullshit when you’re talking about a disgusting creep like CC.

    • Smorg Smorg

       I never said anything about not calling a spade a spade, but posting things like this on the day he died was distasteful. So what if Colson was a despicable human being? What does that have to do with how other decent people should behave? If you want to claim a high ground, then don’t act the way the people you want to condemn would.

  • Bob Denham

    Is the answer to bigoted, prejudging, insensitive theists, bigoted, prejuding, insensitive non-theists?  What does the “friendly” part of “friendly atheist” actually mean?

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       Sorry if we’re not tolerant enough of the intolerant, but we’re humans, not doormats.

      • Bob Denham

        I am new to this blog.  One week to be exact. I was drawn to it by Hement’s book, “I Sold My Soul…” His honesty and what appeared to be humility in the book was attractive to me because that is so rare when differences are present.  I am just not finding much of that same spirit and attitude in the blog.  Jesus was very intolerant of the intolerant but it was within his own people; i.e. Jew to Jewish religious leaders. Please understand, I am not defending Colson’s unkind and misguided ideas and comments.  But do you not realize that he is being attacked with the very same ugliness that he is being accused of having himself.  All I am saying is that looks like intellectual dishonesty to me, and within minutes of his death? 

        • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

          I’m all for extending the proverbial “olive branch” where it’s warranted and for finding the good in others.  I’m glad to forgive when people change for the better.

           Colson doesn’t warrant an olive branch or forgiveness. He was an ugly, cruel, hateful man who worked overtime to harm others.  He had no redeeming qualities of any kind.  The man preached that tolerance was a bad thing.   He’s reaping as he sowed and I don’t see why waiting a few days, a week or whatever to let him have it would serve any purpose. 

    • Thin-ice

      And as a Christian, Bob, didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 7, “by their fruits you shall know them?” That’s all we’re doing here, is describing the fruit that came off the Chuck Colson tree.

      Better go get some sleep, so you can be fresh and cheery in church tomorrow!

      • Bob Denham

        Some of the fruit of his tree was very unpleasant and distasteful to me as well.  But some of it was pretty darn delicious.  And that is the truth about most of our lives.  Sometimes we get it right and sometimes we don’t. 

        • http://twitter.com/enuma enuma

           There’s fruit that leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and then there’s fruit that’s flat-out poisonous.  Colson’s “bad fruit” was in the latter category.  The bad far outweighs any good.

    • MichaelD

      I don’t know that hemet was in any way prejudging as he had all his sources cited. I also don’t think its bigoted to say person X said bigoted things. If I take some of someones quotes in context and say that this was bigoted and wrong that doesn’t make me a bigot. The only thing that might be insensitive is that this was posted the day of his death.  To finish there’s a no reas0n you can’t be friendly and criticize someone for the things they said.

    • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

       Where is the bigotry? Where is the prejudice? Please point out every instance of those two things in Hemant’s post.

  • CanadaGoose

    A year in which Breitbart and Colson both die cannot be a total loss. No matter what happens inm the rest of 2012.

  • SJH

    I don’t think you know his heart and mind well enough to make judgements about his character. You seem to be judging him and doing exactly what you claim Christians do. Is it possible that he is a person that has a particular set of beliefs and simply wants what he thinks is best for the country?

    • Thin-ice

      Sorry SJH, you really missed the whole point of this. So what if Colson wanted what he thought was best for the country? What he thought was best, and what in reality is best, are poles apart. I’m sure Hitler wanted what was best for Germany, too.

      Colson was a judgemental, sanctimonious bastard. We CAN know him (and his heart and mind) from his collected written and spoken words. And his own published work tells us all we need to know: this country is a slightly better place without him in it.

      • SJH

        The Hitler analogies don’t quite work since he is not calling for genocide. This is not some radical fringe political leader. He simply has a different interpretation of what he believes is healthy for our country and his views are not out of the ordinary and in many places are very normal.  Perhaps we should try and discuss these issues rather than resorting to slinging mud. It seems that, as I look at the postings for this blog, there is so much hate regarding this individual. I do agree that Atheists can be “good without God” to a certain degree but this hate is not helping you prove that statement.

    • Donalbain

      I don’t really care about his heart or his mind. I care about his actions. He acted in a way that made the world a worse place to live. The fact that he thought it was for the best that gay or atheist or Muslim people should be denied basic rights tells me that the world is now better off without him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       He put his heart and mind on full display.  He said and did truly vile, hateful things.  I’m sure Saddam Hussein was doing what he thought was best for his country but that doesn’t mean we have to respect him. 

      • Rwlawoffice

        What did he do that you consider truly vile and hateful?

    • DG

      Yeah, that’s probably the case. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/bpuharic Bob Puharic

    Glad someone is telling it like it is about Coulson. Reminds me of Hitchen’s observation about the people who discovered Falwell’s ‘carcass’ in his office after HE died. Coulson was a Professional Christian who discovered how useful religion was for controlling people. He didn’t change a damn thing about himself. Any death is a tragedy but it’s good when people’s ideas die with them, when they’re so evil. Good riddance to Coulsonism.

  • DG

    I’m always amazed when I read fundamentalist blogs, even
    when the fundamentalists are of the atheistic variety

    • MichaelD

      I’ve never understood that term. What fundamentals of atheism are we ad hearing to? 

      • DG

        I’m not
        using the term as it should technically be applied.  I’m using the term as it is so often
        idiomatically used: zealous and judgmental disregard for those who don’t conform
        to the infallible and exclusive truth claims upon with I unfailingly stand.   

        • Piet Puk

           You forgot ´Untill proven otherwise´, which only aplies to atheists.

          • DG

            Proven how?  Plus, you’re saying that it’s wonderful to unleash the hate, but if we later realize we were wrong, then ah shucks?  Yeah, that approach nowadays seems to be the domain of atheists.

            • Thin-ice

              And you know what DG? You and your fellow christians like Bob Denham are freely allowed to come here, troll and express your theist opinions, as you are on almost all humanist/non-theist websites. 

              You know how many christian websites allow our rational and reasonable (though contrary) comments to be seen on their websites? I would guess about 10%, if that.

              I wish I didn’t have to wade through your crap here, but we believe in freedom more than censorship, as opposed to your kind.

              • DG

                Funny, I’ve seen atheists on many a religious blog commenting away, never really pulled in the ones I read. A few times when the atheist in question began going where nobody should go, then they got yanked. But I’ve seen many a religious comment pulled on progressive/atheist blogs just the same. My guess is, it happens across the board about as often in religious and non-religious blogs. We might notice it more when it’s us, but I doubt, despite feeling to the contrary, the content of the blog makes a big difference in terms of who gets it and who doesn’t.

              • Smorg Smorg

                Why is it that appeals for decency get labeled and attacked just because it benefits someone you hate? All people like DG (apparently a religious person) or me (a gay atheist, for Dog’s sake) are asking for here is a simple display of decency (what’s wrong with waiting a few days after a man dies before rejoicing in his demise??? That’s the least any decent human being could do – one would wish that there is enough decency around for people to refrain from even rejoicing in another person’s death at all, regardless of how indecent that person was in life).

                It especially appalls me, as an atheist, to see this sort of behavior from other atheists, especially from the author of this post. What a way to undermine a blog’s own name. Friendly Atheist??? What sort of friendliness and humanity excuses this blatant and very ill-timed display of hatred???

                Do this, and you negate any moral high ground for calling nasty religious people out for having and being proud of tribal mentality, the ‘us against them’ attitude that destroy civil discourse and does nothing to serve one’s own cause. If it is okay for you to act indecently just because other persons do it, too, then your brand of morality is really no improvement from theirs.

                • Patterrssonn

                  While Hennant does say some unpleasant things about Colson, his post seems to be addressed to fallacies to be expected in the inevitable whitewashed obituaries.

                  Personally I don’t buy into this don’t speak ill of the dead business myself. It seems to be used mostly in response to criticism of the once powerful. As often when some rich and powerful villain dies there’s an attempt at hagiography. There were a few attempts to rehabilitate Nixon.

                  For me if you caused suffering because of your bigotry and greed while alive your death doesn’t suddenly wash that away. If you didn’t treat others with decency when alive then why should you expect decency when your dead?

                  We’re also talking about a man who believed in the execution of adulterers, the criminalization of gay sex, that gays should be exiled, he was a supporter of the reconstructionist movement which preaches that non-christians should be killed. He started and organization that takes government money to promote  his brand of extremist christianity, reducing opportunities for more effective secular counseling.

                  How can you not speak ill of this man, when there are living who will suffer from his words and actions long after he’s dead?

                • Smorg Smorg

                  Please read my comments again and point me to where exactly have I advocated ‘not speaking ill of the dead.’

                  I NEVER SAID  one shouldn’t call a spade a spade. I objected to DOING SO ON THE DAY THE SPADE DIED. 

                  Quit beating up a strawman already. The strawman was put up by atheists here who are refusing to address the real complaint because they are more interested in ranting and in winning an argument than they are in actual discourse and in living up to own standard….

                  Frankly, a whole lot of hateful atheists here are reminding me of what I detest about the religious tribal mentality. When you would excuse any behavior just because it strikes at the same people you hate, what is there left of your integrity? 

                • Patterrssonn

                  What’s wrong wih talking about him “ON THE DAY HE DIED” especially since he’s being praised In hundreds if not thousands of blogs. What’s wrong with making a counterpoint to that, which was the point of Hennants post. After all his words and actions didn’t disappear when he did.
                  And speaking of strawmen, when did I “excuse any behaviour”? How does speaking truth to power become excusing any behaviour? Is there something that I’ve missed? Are we organizing to disrupt his funeral?

                • Smorg Smorg

                   Oh, excuse me. You aren’t excusing any behavior. You’re just defending it… I’m afraid my man isn’t made of straw, my friend.

                  When atheists act indecently out of emotion rather than reason, they are every bit as detestable to me as theists are who do the same things.

                • Patterrssonn

                  -Part two of my post as my phone posted before I was finished-

                  For me I don’t care about “tribal mentality” haven’t noticed it much among atheists since we seem to argue with each other as much as anyone else, a very healthy sign in my books.  You attack those of us criticizing Colson, because you have a particular perspective that it’s indecent to speak ill of the dead on the day they died.  I don’t, we can’t hurt him, we couldn’t when he was alive, we certainly can’t now he’s dead.

                  The only thing we can do is to hurt his ideas, his legacy of hate. And one way to do that is to attack his reputation, point out the lies, the corruption, the
                  theft, the way his institutions exploit the vulnerable.  If by pointing out the truth about him on the day he died helps to erode his legacy then then good. Thanks to this post I’ve learned a lot about him and the corruption and pain that he’s spread through his preaching and the Prison Fellowship.
                  And its been great to be able to talk about them with others.

                • Smorg Smorg

                  What you and others here aren’t getting is that you aren’t hurting his (Colson’s) idea any by dancing on his grave on the day he died. You are only hurting your own message.

                  It’s the same thing as how name-calling has the effect of shutting down those who may be amiable to listening to you otherwise. In doing this, you aren’t hurting Colson’s hideous legacy anywhere nearly as much as you are building a hideous legacy for ‘atheists’ to compete with Colson’s.

              • SJH

                 10% really? I think that you are mistaken on that but I guess I have not counted.

            • Piet Puk

               I am not saying that. I am saying that most atheist  will accept evidence for other viewpoint, were the religous often will ignore evidence.

              • DG

                You may
                not be saying it, but others sure seem to be! 
                Nonetheless, point taken, and I apologize if I judged too quickly your
                meaning.  As for evidence, of course
                religious people accept evidence, about as well as non-religious do. Sometimes it’s easier to accept than
                others. Sometimes our own beliefs or
                non-beliefs put up walls that require more than a science lab to overcome.  But it’s a tricky thing assuming that ‘evidence’ generally defined is the end all to everything.  Just discussing what is meant and implied by
                evidence, and within what parameters it is accepted, could occupy an entire
                library! Nonetheless, again sorry if I
                jumped to conclusions regarding your meaning. 
                But far too many on this site (and I’m sad to say, other similar sites) are
                displaying a hatred and contempt for Mr. Colson (and by extension, those who
                loved him and are mourning at this time), that is typically reserved for the
                most zealous, callous, and fanatical of any religious sect in our popular narrative.

                • Piet Puk

                   I think many people had good reasons to hate this man.

                • DG

                  Sadly, those who hate have seldom been at a loss to insist they have good reasons to do so. 

                • Piet Puk

                   Sadly a lot of hate is spewed in the name of “Love”.

                • SJH

                   Good reason to hate? So we can hate others if we think they hate us even if we have not actually spoken to the person to see if they actually hate us? So we should first judge others, then, based on that judgement, hate them?

                • Piet Puk

                   I am not telling other people who or if they can hate or not. I can however understand others when they hate, even if I do not.

                • Patterrssonn

                  A lot of people hated Stalin without having actually meeting him in person as well. It’s amazing how unreasonable people can be.

                • Patterrssonn

                  No, the beauty of religion is you get to hate people for who they are while us atheists are limited to judging  a person only by their actions.

  • Rwlawoffice

    I have not studied Colson’s life enough to respond intelligently on his results.  All I do  know is that following his conversion, which people believed at the time was a publicity  stunt or not sincere was just the opposite proven over time. 

    What I can comment on is the tone of this blog and the comments.  It is a classic example of hypocrisy among some atheists. Over the past few days we have had discussions about how atheists attack beliefs and not the person.  That the attacks go to the ideas and that makes it ok because the person is not being attacked.

    This blog and the comments dancing on this man’s grave show the true nature. Next will come the rationalizations as to why it is okay to attack this person and not just his ideas.  Happens everytime, while at the same time you complain about some Christians doing the same thing.  No wonder you can’t see that there is sincerity in the the Christian comment “love the sinner but hate the sin”- it is not something you do or can comprehend.
      

    • Piet Puk

       I see a blog post where a dead man’s desctructive actions are being highlighted.

    • Godless Sodomite

       You misunderstand. Yes, its important to hate the beliefs, but not necessarily the believer. However, they are not mutually exclusive. Because of his hideous beliefs, he preached many hateful things that made life a lot worse for people who acted on his homophobia. It isn’t in any way hypocritical to hate both him and his beliefs. There are plenty of religious people who believe all sorts of nonsense, but are excellent individuals about whom I can’t speak against. Colson was not one of those people.

      I’ve asked this of someone else on this thread, but I have to ask you as well: Do you tone-troll Christian sites, too, or is it just the atheists who have to be careful what we say?

      • Rwlawoffice

        I would like to see the evidence of how people acted in horrible ways on his homophobia. Would the same hold true for an atheist who says horrible things and people act on them?  Would you hate that atheist as well? Like for example when Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens tell atheists to openly mock and belittle people of faith and people do that, would you hate them as well, or would give them a pass because you happen to agree with their message?

        I don’t view my posts as trolling at all but I am sure you do. But I do visit Christian sites as well and comment.   Do you view all who post here and say something you don’t agree with a troll?

        • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

           People are DYING because of the homophobia that people like Chuck spread. When Christians are killing themselves because of relentless atheist bullying, get back to us.

          http://jezebel.com/5661177/oklahoma-teen-commits-suicide-after-homophobic-meeting

          • Rwlawoffice

            If you have evidence of Colson telling people to bully others or do any violence to others I would like to see it. 

            • Piet Puk

              I get so amuzed when you ask for evidence. How suddenly it IS important to you.

              • Rwlawoffice

                What I find amusing is when I ask for it , it rarely if ever comes. 

                • Piet Puk

                   That’s what I find when dealing with religious folks. Than suddenly I should look at ‘other kinds’ of evidence.  Then suddenly I should not be so close minded. Of course this only counts for ‘evidence’  in favor of that specific brand of religion.

                • Patterrssonn

                  Do you have evidence for that?

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Sure,  look at all of the requests for evidence in this thread with none forthcoming.

            • Patterrssonn

              I realize that as a Christian it’s hard to see hate speech as a form of or an encouragement to bullying, since shitting on others is what god wants you to do. But just this once try and stretch your mind outside it’s usual tiny confines and try to imagine how it would feel to be one of the object of Colsons bile and hate filled diatribes.

              • Rwlawoffice

                I understand when that happens.  I see it all the time when atheists such as yourself  and others insult me and my faith.

                What I asked for was evidence that Colson’s words led others to violence.  That is what he is being accused of. That what he said caused people to die.  If that happened I want to know about it.

                • Patterrssonn

                  Are you saying there’s no such thing as verbal bullying? Or that active persecution isn’t bullying?

                  Insult your faith? How can a faith be insulted? When you prick it does it bleed? When you call it names does it cry? I realize you guys make a fetish of seeing your beliefs as having objective reality but even for a Christian ascribing an emotional life to a faith seems a little outré.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Verbal bullying is not the point that was made.  It was that Colson’s words led to violence where people are getting killed.  If that happened I would like to see the evidence of it. 

                   

                • Patterrssonn

                  The post you responded to when you asked for evidence of Colson,s words leading to violence didn’t make any such claim. What she stated was that homophobic tirades like Colson’s contribute to the suicide rates of gays. And if you don’t think that homophobic bullying is a cause of the epidemic of suicides among gay teens then you need to do a little research of your own

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EULJSGCOKLISJJZU44IZ52RBLM john

        homophobia; an irrational fear of Homosexuals.
        Stop misusing the english language. Disagrement on what constitutes a perversion of Gods will is not an irrational fear.

    • Onamission5

      When Bin Laden and Sadam Hussein died, did you mourn them and treat their memories respecfully? Or were you pragmatic about the damage they caused in their lifetimes?

      What about Hitchens? Did you mourn his passing, or did you use it as fodder for your agenda?

      Something about taking care of the log in your own eye before the mote in your neighbor’s comes to mind here.

      • Rwlawoffice

        That doesn’t answer any of the questions that I asked. Simply asking different questions is really no way to have a discussion.

        • Onamission5

          You mean asking questions you don’t like and don’t want to answer is no way to have a discussion you can feel like you’re in control of.

          I speak fundie, you know.

          • Rwlawoffice

            No, I asked specific questions and you are changing the subject in an effort to avoid them.  I will answer your questions after you answer mine and then we can have a discussion. 

            • Onamission5

              Actually, I reread your comment above, and within it is not a single question but a rather lengthy statement of personal opinions. My questions were intended to be thought provoking, but if you don’t want to think, I understand.

              • Rwlawoffice

                Here are the questions from my earlier post that I was referring to:
                 
                 Would the same hold true for an atheist who says horrible things and
                people act on them?  Would you hate that atheist as well? Like for
                example when Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens tell atheists to
                openly mock and belittle people of faith and people do that, would you
                hate them as well, or would give them a pass because you happen to agree
                with their message?

                • Patterrssonn

                  Yes, most of my arguments on his site are with atheists for racist or misogynist posts. As far as Hitchens I’ve also criticized him for his stance on the Iraq war. Christianity is a incredibly massive and powerful institution that cries persecution every time something threatens its secular/political power especially it’s ability to control other people’s lives. There is no comparison with the attacks on the lives and identities of the weak and disenfranchised perpetrated by Christian institutions.

                • Rwlawoffice

                  Thank you for answering the question. So if I understand it, Hitchens said things that you disagreed with including support for a war that literally killed thousands of people and you criticized him, but you didn’t hate him.  Christianity does or says things that you disagree with and you think its so much worse that you hate people like Colson? Do I have that right?  That is a sincere question, not trying to be sarcastic.

  • http://twitter.com/reasonablequest Reasonable Quest

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmsaIEI2MAs

    Here is the video of Colson talking with RickWarren where is equates acceptance of evolution with advocating Social Darwinism, immorality, and wanting to be our own gods.  Just because you accept evidence about how we got here says nothing about how we should live together in society.  Colson and Warren are the lowest life dishonest scum who have made a lot of money selling their lies to the incredulous.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EULJSGCOKLISJJZU44IZ52RBLM john

      You are right. Teaching two generations of kids that they are descended from animals and there is no God will certainly have a positive outcome for the most vulnerable in the population.

      • TBP

        Whether the impact of a given idea is positive or not has nothing to do with what is true or false, and it is simply true that we are animals descended from other animals, and that there is absolutely no evidence for the existence of a god or gods. Personally I think knowing the truth is always good, though.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Right.  Because thousands of years of fairy tales has been working so well for the most vulnerable in the population. 

  • Phil

    Can’t wait till Billy Graham dies. You’ll have a great time. You are a complete idiot. Is nothing sacred? Oh I forgot you have an unrealistic World View.

    God Bless

    • Thin-ice

      No one who is in the public arena, and has the power to change society through his influence, is exempt from people judging his life’s body of work. As far as I know, Billy Graham did not put much energy into publicly condemning gays and being intolerant of those who disagreed with his worldview. (Though he did do that by getting millions of people to “repent of your sins and accept Jesus”.) So he will be judged, in spite of the fact that to you he is a hero and a saint.

      But right now I’m going to judge you and your hypocritical christian troller friends who come here, call us “idiots”, and then sign off saying “God Bless”, as if that shows you’re a nice person after calling us idiots. You are the most repulsive kind of christians, and even if someone held a gun to my head, “accepting Jesus” and becoming like you would be worse than death to me. 

    • Onamission5

      What is it exactly that you think needs to be held as sacred here? Also, since when does the word “sacred” mean “not being realistic or pragamatic about the damage someone caused during their lifetime?” That must be the definition you wrote, ’cause I didn’t find it in the dictionary.

    • TheExpatriate700

      If you find criticism of Colson so offensive, why are you reading an atheist site about him.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Margaret-Whitestone/100001682409207 Margaret Whitestone

       So we’re supposed to be all sunshine and puppies about a man who said nothing but vile, hateful things to and about countless people–just because the man is dead?  You ask “is nothing sacred”?  How about treating people decently while they’re alive, which is something Colson couldn’t be bothered to do.  He deserves zero respect in death because that’s what he gave in life. 

    • Patterrssonn

      Sorry Phil those of us who don’t dwell in make believe land tend to value the lives of living over the reputations of he dead. And thank Allahjehovah the mad evil spite filled fucker is dead. Too bad his religion of hate didn’t die with him.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Colson was a Cerationist.
    Verdict that Demands Evidence

    Charles Colson with Anne Morse | posted 3/28/2005
    It is Darwinists, not Christians, who are stonewalling the facts.

  • HitchsApprentice

    I thought I caught a whiff of fresh air,  today…………

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/FDGYHBEWVNGUG763L5X4TON3JQ Nazani14

    On the dictionary changes, it looks to me like Oxford lexicographers chose to update their book  with modern terms that kids might hear frequently, but might be confusing.  Junior dictionaries are by necessity, short.  No sense including all the nouns  a parent can simply point to and say “that’s a goldfish.”

  • Arachne646

    It really doesn’t sound to me like he stayed an a-hole after he became a Christian. Those sound to me more like ignorant statements. His “Prison Fellowship” doesn’t seem so bad, either, other than its creepy, different-from-my-Jesus religion. It’s better than the Warden’s program at Angola or Parchman where the Warden personally does the conversions.

  • Tolerant?

    Wow, you folks don’t sound any better than the guy you’re slamming here!

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_EULJSGCOKLISJJZU44IZ52RBLM john

      Do not see how the author has any credibility here. The author cannot understand redemption or transformation.

  • Mwemmaus

    “Friendly Atheist?”  You dismiss 40 years of work to improve the lives of some truly forgotten people.  Oh, and many of theses were homosexual, atheist etc. Chuck Colson worked in the prisons all over the world. Other than criticize and show your lack of forgiveness, and perhaps your joy at his death, what do YOU do for “the least”?

  • johnmpls

    I love how you identify yourself as a “Friendly Atheist”. Friendly, of oourse, to all those who believe like you. The others are to be rightly despised since they are obviously inferior creatures.
    Only when the likes of you and your readers grow up will we be able to engage in civil discourse and start working on the problems of the world.


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