Charles Colson: Still repeating a lie he knows is a lie

Charles Colson remains one of the most cynically dishonest creatures in American politics.

Evangelical Christians love the guy for his prison-conversion story, but he is not an honest man and should not be trusted.

Charles Colson says things that aren’t true. On purpose. With intent to deceive.

This is a matter of public record.

Colson says things that he knows are not true. Colson says things that he knows are not true in order to mislead others into supporting his partisan political agenda.

So, yes, Charles Colson is a liar.

Last week Charles Colson appeared on James Dobson’s radio show and warmed up with a lie about President Obama that seems to be one of Colson’s favorites, despite being easily disproved. Colson said:

Obama is trying to replace the freedom of religion with the more narrow “freedom of worship,” telling Dobson, “I have not seen ‘freedom of religion’ mentioned by an official in the Obama administration.” Colson also claimed that President Obama “used ‘freedom of religion’ only once, and that was when he was talking about the mosque in Ground Zero.”

This is a lie. Charles Colson knows this is a lie.

But despite knowing it is a lie, Colson repeated it yet again because Charles Colson is a liar.

Chuck Colson: Not to be trusted.

Here’s the thing about lying about what the president has and has not said: The president is a public figure. Stuff he says gets recorded, filmed and broadcast. There’s a record.

And we can check the record. Obama and many of his officials have spoken of “freedom of religion” hundreds of times. Just as many previous presidents have also spoken of “freedom of worship” without drawing any criticism from Charles Colson for using the phrase.

What Colson claims is not true. This has been pointed out to him, repeatedly and publicly. He knows this is not true.

But showing Charles Colson the correct, truthful and accurate information will not keep him from repeating incorrect, untruthful and inaccurate accusations because he was not misinformed.

He was lying. On purpose.

That’s what he does.

In the interview with Dobson, Colson went on to pretend that a nationwide mandate for contraception coverage in health insurance was something new and menacing

“This is the most important issue — I really think the most important I’ve faced in my ministry,” Colson said, “and the greatest threat to America, the greatest threat to us as Christians.”

Colson’s ministry is based in Virginia. Once Obama’s nationwide mandate goes into effect, religious employers in Virginia will for the first time have a conscience clause allowing them to opt out of directly providing this coverage. They have to offer this coverage now — with no conscience clause exempting religious employers.

Chuck Colson, an employer in the state of Virginia, has been operating under this mandate since 1996, when Republican Gov. George Allen signed the state’s mandate into law.

So here’s a timeline:

1996

Context: Republican governor signs into law a mandate requiring employers to offer contraceptive coverage, with no exemptions recognizing the “religious liberty” of religious employers such as Charles Colson.

Colson: No complaints.

1997

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

1998

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

1999

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2000

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2001

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2002

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2003

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2004

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2005

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2006

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2007

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2008

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2009

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2010

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2011

Context: Religious employers not exempt from Virginia’s mandate requiring them to offer contraceptive coverage.

Colson: No complaints.

2012

Context: President Barack Obama announces that under the Affordable Care Act a contraceptive coverage mandate will apply to every state. Unlike Virginia’s 1996 statute, the ACA allows religious employers to opt out.

Colson: “This is … the greatest threat to America, the greatest threat to us as Christians!”

What a ridiculous man. His past is despicable. His present is catching up to it.

 

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Left Behind Classic Fridays, No. 95: 'Faith vs. Reason'
Here's what you do when an erratic bigot hijacks your party nomination
Sunday favorites
'You're better than this' vs. 'You should be ashamed of yourself'
  • zootsanchez

    In 1982 there was the incident with the pigeon

  • Tomkatsumi

    Genius show

  • walden

    so, how is Chuck’s grandmother these days?…

  • CQAussie

    Check and mate.

  • Anonymous

    I feel so sad reading this. I feel like Fred and his lone band of Slacktivists are voices howling in the wilderness and no one hears or cares. Like we’re all screaming into the wind. Please reassure me that our freedoms are not as precarious as lately they’ve seemed to be.

  • Anonymous

    Actually, now that I think about it I bet I feel like the Tribulation Saints from Left Behind would have felt if they were actually interested in fighting the Antichrist and not just trading smug looks and knowing glances with each other while reveling in their own superiority.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

     On my bad days, I feel the same way.

    On my good days I’m reminded that history has shown a stead expansion of rights and a steady increase of justice in the world.  I know that  may seem absurd when you can easily list off all the things terribly wrong with the world we live in – but go back 50 years, 100 years, 1000 years… you’ll find worse; much worse.

    The point is:  Progress always wins in the end.  That doesn’t make it any less of a heart wrenching, bitter, sometimes bloody struggle, it doesn’t mean there aren’t setbacks; but in the end we will not merely hold onto the rights we already have, we will expand those rights for future generations to enjoy.

    It helps me anyway.

  • http://twitter.com/FearlessSon FearlessSon

    On my good days I’m reminded that history has shown a stead expansion of rights and a steady increase of justice in the world.

    You pretty much paraphrased Martin Luther King Jr. there:

    Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.

  • Don Gisselbeck

    We can always dream. Right now it looks like the only way that is true is if “justice” means “Whatever the powerful want”.

  • Tricksterson

    Pretty much what it’s always meant and always will “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and those who control them (although once upon a time it was “Priests, Swords and (the unchanging constant) Money”) rule the universe.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    I sometimes forget about that quote, which is a shame because it’s a really good one and succinctly explains one of my core beliefs pretty darn well m

  • noyatin

    I agree with you about Colson, Fred, but I’m not sure you’re right on the law.  The distinction, I believe, is that while Virginia mandates insurers to offer contraception (perhaps with a co-pay?) it does not mandate coverage.  The ACA mandates both coverage and contraception with no co-pay. 

    Va. Code § 38.2-3407.5:1 (1997) requires insurers that provide coverage for prescription drugs to offer and make available coverage for FDA-approved contraceptive drugs or devices, at the option of the purchaser. This law is not a mandate for coverage.

  • Daughter

    Is there any way to make sure Colson sees this?

    I read this excellent comment on Balloon Juice today:

    The rights enumerated in the constitution are the rights of an individual person. The rights of non-governmental institutions are derived from the rights of the individuals. Individuals who join those institutions may restrict their own rights voluntarily. When they decide to join a church and abstain from the use of contraceptives, or joint a gated com…munity and not paint their house green, it is voluntary.The exception to that is law, which we are compelled to follow.To say that restricting the rules the Catholic Church may enforce on people non-voluntarily is an infringement on religious freedom is exactly backwards. Religious freedom belongs first to the individual, and the impingement of an individual’s freedom by the church is as antithetical to religious freedom as a gated community forbidding green paint outside of its own voluntary community.

  • Ursula L

    How is this for a health insurance mandate law that allows employers to not cover birth control.

    All employers must provide health insurance for all employees.If you buy a plan that does not cover birth control, you must provide it, without premiums, to all your employees, and their families.  It may not have any copays or out of pocket expenses.  The insurance company may price the plan with the assumption that each covered person will experience a high-risk pregnancy, c-section with complications, and give birth to an infant that will need neonatal care, every year. In addition, you must provide a cash sum of money, to each covered person as an individual, equivalent to the cost of a high-risk pregnancy, c-section with complications and extended hospital stay, one full year of neonatal ICU, and lost wages for the employee if they were to be unable to work for a year, every year. The spouse of an employee is paid the money directly, not the employee spouse.  So abusers do not get access to money of their victims.  The money for covered minors must be in a trust, which they will gain control over when they age out of eligiblety for coverage under their parents, or the parents will gain control over should they become unemployed and not have access to employer provided insurance and also no access to other insurance for the child. In this way, no person would have to be concerned about the increased costs of not having access to birth control due do you being a prejudiced and evil idiot.(As a bonus, the cash payout to employees would actually allow them to get birth control if they wanted.)

  • http://twitter.com/Rhysdux Rhysdux

    Why anyone would believe one of the Watergate Seven baffles me. He’s already proven that he’s a liar and a conspirator who was willing to smear another man to further the political aspirations of himself and others. He may claim to have converted, but his behavior says that he has merely found another field in which he can lie, conspire and smear others. I don’t know why so many people view him as a leader–or why no one seems to call him on his bullshit.

  • Anonymous

    Like Fred said, nothing hooks ’em like prison-conversion. Of course you’d need to skirt your eyes away from the fact that the person did something pretty bad to have ended up in prison in the first place. Still, “I was blind, but now I see” does sound better than “First, I poked out my eyes, but now I see!”

  • http://twitter.com/Rhysdux Rhysdux

    Now, see, I tend to be skeptical of prison conversion because it tends to convince parole boards that you’re repentant and rehabilitated.  It can get you good jobs in prison. It can even get you early release. In a situation like this, I agree with Winston Zeddmore from Ghostbusters:

    Janine Melnitz: Do you believe in UFOs, astral projections, mental telepathy, ESP, clairvoyance, spirit photography, telekinetic movement, full trance mediums, the Loch Ness monster and the theory of Atlantis? 

    Winston Zeddemore: Ah, if there’s a steady paycheck in it, I’ll believe anything you say.

  • Matri

    I don’t know why so many people view him as a leader–or why no one seems to call him on his bullshit.

    He’s a rich, white, right-wing male. That’s apparently enough for the right-wing these days.

  • Jared Bascomb

    John Dean has a special, personal loathing for Chuck Colson, and even calls Colson out on his alleged Christianity. See Dean’s introductory chapter of his book, “Conservatives Without Conscience”.

  • Anonymous

    You know, at least Lee Atwater had the decency to essentially admit he was a sociopath. Chuck Colsen: Worse than Lee Atwater.

  • http://hummingwolf.livejournal.com/ Hummingwolf

    So I was reading the post and I came to the sentence that begins with “Evangelical Christians love the guy…” and I thought it would be best to finish that by following Biblical principles, just as you’d expect of those Bible-believing evangelicals.  The full sentence should, of course, read something like the following:

    Evangelical Christians love the guy because that’s what following Jesus Christ is about:  Loving people.

    And thinking about it, I realized that there was no way that anyone familiar with American-style Evangelicalism could possibly take that rewritten sentence seriously.  This isn’t a new revelation, but it still saddens me to realize that “Bible-believing Christians” can’t be trusted to follow Jesus’ actual, clear commandments, and they absolutely will not know we are Christians by our love.

    Happy St. Valentine’s Day, everyone.

  • pharoute

    Isn’t this a bit more than just lying? Something more like “bearing false witness”? I thought there was a rule or something … commandy against that.

  • http://www.facebook.com/j.alex.harman John Alexander Harman

    One shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, of course, but it is convenient when someone’s outward appearance does turn out to be an accurate reflection of their inner nature.  And what a hideous little goblin Chuck Colson is, inside and out.

    I think a Youtube video of Colson telling this baldfaced lie, followed by a quick trip through all of Obama’s public utterances of the phrase “freedom of religion” that can quickly be found would be cool. Unfortunately, video editing is not my thing; any takers?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Apocalypse Review

    @facebook-1558536493:disqus : I’ve fiddled around with Windows Movie Maker. I’d just need some links, and I can send you back the completed video to toss up on YouTube. :)

  • WingedBeast

    Similarly, can you *prove* that Newt Gingrich doesn’t believe that he’s changed from his philandering ways?

    Can we prove that Ken Ham is making statements he knows to be untrue when he talks about the circular logic of carbon dating?

    How about the “Wall Builders”, is it clear that they know that they’re presenting false statements when they say that Jefferson wanted a “one way wall of seperation between church and state”?

    At least for a signifigant to majority percentage of cases, we’re looking at people who aren’t lieing to us.  They choose their conclusions accordering to the preference to their pre-existing beliefs/self-images.  It’s like the gambler who knows, just knows, that this system will work at the Roulette table.  The addict who knows, just knows, that this is going to be the last time indulging.  The Creationist that, despite being told again and again about specific identifiable pieces of evidence that support evolution, knows, just knows, that (s)he has never been presented with any such thing.  To bring an example from another topic, it’s how someone, despite having the statistics at hand can know, just know that 95% of what Planned Parenthood does is abortion.

    “That statement was not meant to be taken as factual.”  “I don’t have the facts to back this up.”  These are the things you have to say when you know you’re going to be factchecked.  But, we’re talking about a group known for choosing their reality by means that have little to nothing to do with observing reality*.  Once you’ve started down that road, how do you tell the deliberate liars from those who are just not talking about actual reality?

    *Not religious people in general, despite my disagreements.  But, specifically those who insist that their holy scriptures be the literal reality.

  • Anonymous

     Well, if they don’t believe they are lying, they are either delusional or incredibly stupid, and so would be as untrustworthy as if they were knowingly lying.

    Of course, being delusional or stupid might be forgiven, because to engage in this level of deceit knowingly betrays a level of evil that is difficult to contemplate.

  • Anonymous

    Newt didn’t change. He just wants us to know that NOW that he says the same crap he always said he really REALLY means it. 

  • Aaronp01

    You need to read your history. You think you’re part of such a caring and loving party, but do you know the original intent behind abortion? It was instated, and I quote, “to weed out the inferior and undesirables.” In other words, minorities, and especially black people. While Planned Parenthood also has cancer services, its abortion services can’t be whitewashed.

    Conservative and proud of it!

  • Aaronp01

    That was the founder of Planned Parenthood’s words, by the way. She wanted to stop the breeding of undesirable people and inferior races. Sounds pretty elitist, not to mention eugenic. Her name is Margaret Sanger, and you can look it up if you don’t believe me.

  • Anonymous

    Oh, sweetheart, women have been inducing abortion since…ever. Because as a rule, when a woman doesn’t want to be pregnant? She doesn’t want to be pregnant. Margaret Sanger being a racist doesn’t make abortion a bad thing.

    Forced abortion, yeah, that’s a bad thing no question, and I’m fairly certain that one can’t “stop the breeding of undesirable people” without forcing abortion or contraception upon them. Which nobody, you’ll note, is actually doing: if a good Catholic woman is of the belief that taking contraception means she is no longer a good Catholic, she is perfectly free not to take advantage of the contraception paid for by her medical coverage. But it’s a violation of several of her freedoms not to have that option available to her should she desire to exercise it. Hence compelling all medical coverage providers to cover contraception.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    To bring an example from another topic, it’s how someone, despite having
    the statistics at hand can know, just know that 95% of what Planned
    Parenthood does is abortion.

    I think after a certain point, especially in the age of the Internet, if you repeat a false statement over and over despite having it disproven in its every detail every single time you open your mouth, you’re either lying or deliberately shutting yourself off from information, which is just about the same thing as lying. (That last thing is kind of like the Mafia boss who is shocked (shocked!) to hear that some mysterious person has bumped off his biggest rival. Carefully insulating yourself from the facts so you can make an assertion something you know would be disproven if you didn’t is dishonest.)

  • P J Evans

     That careful insulation is like wrapping your homework in cheese and baloney slices and feeding it to your dog, then telling the teacher that the dog ate your homework. It may be true, but it’s certainly not the whole story: it lies by omission.

  • Apocalypse Review

    And just in case anyone needs a good reminder of what Chuck Colson was up to in the 1970s…

    Check the mug shot in this blog.

  • bobbcm

    if the post above is correct, (which listed this VA  code below), and thus a mandate for coverage was never in place until recently by Obamacare   ……….  then where does that put this whole accusation of ‘anti-Obama lies’ by Colson? 
    ‘at the option of the purchaser’ seems key ……
    ……..    Va. Code § 38.2-3407.5:1 (1997) requires insurers that provide coverage for prescription drugs to offer and make available coverage for FDA-approved contraceptive drugs or devices, at the option of the purchaser. This law is not a mandate for coverage.

    someone please clarify  …………………..  

  • bobbcm

    to further clarify ……..  noyatin said ……. ‘I agree with you about Colson, Fred, but I’m not sure you’re right on the law.  The distinction, I believe, is that while Virginia mandates insurers to offer contraception (perhaps with a co-pay?) it does not mandate coverage.  The ACA mandates both coverage and contraception with no co-pay. ‘

    what say you, Fred?  is noyatin correct?

  • Aaronp01

    It’s not even so much the issue of contraception. It’s the fact that the Obama administration (the State) is trying to tell organized religion what to do. It’s a clear violation of our 1st Amendment rights, a violation of separation of Church and State. Yes, he put in the opt-out clause AFTER the fact. The damage, especially to the Catholic church, has already been done.

  • P J Evans

     So it’s all right for churches to tell non-members how to run their lives, but it isn’t all right for the government to expect churches to run businesses according to the laws?
    How is that right, legal, or moral?

  • Lunch Meat

    For the thousandth time, this is NOT about separation of church and state or religious freedom. This is about whether a religious-affiliated institution acting in a secular function has to obey the law in the carrying out of that function. The state is not trying to tell the bishops they have to start believing contraception is okay or handing out condoms after services. They ARE telling people that when they hire people for secular jobs, they have to compensate them according to the law–minimum wage, regular breaks, payment for overtime, and COMPREHENSIVE health insurance.

  • Dirigible

    ^^^Get a load of this douche.

  • Bobbcm

    Dirigible …. Read the history … I just googled m Sanger and I was shocked …… it seems Aaronp01 is not far off.

  • Lori

    Aaronp01 is “far off” in the sense that, in spite of the best efforts of the anti-choice Right wing to say differently, Sanger’s connection to eugenics is not some deep dark secret and has nothing to do with Planned Parenthood now. 

    Aaronp01 is also totally wrong about this issue in this situation being about religious freedom. At least in his/her case “Conservative and proud of it” appears to equal “Ignorant repeater of weak talking points and proud of it”. That’s probably not a train you want to jump on.

  • Anonymous

    Slacktivist, 

    You accuse Chuck of lying, but YOU ARE NOT TELLING THE TRUTH. The Virginia law, as well as the laws in MOST other state laws that apply, ALREADY contain a B-R-O-A-D conscience provision that allow the EXEMPTION of Catholic Schools & Hospitals, as well as other organizations.  The HHS mandate has a very narrow exemption and the ACA DOES NOT allow religious employers, (other than the very narrow few), to opt out.
    Also, Ellie: Any women can have an abortion if she chooses. But, an employer should not be forced to have to pay for it, if they think it is wrong to murder an unborn child. The same goes for the pill. She can take it…but if the employer thinks that it is wrong, they should not be forced to pay for it.

  • Sgt. Pepper’s Bleeding Heart

    Cool. So how do people opt out of paying for America’s Forever Wars? What about judicial murder?

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    You do realize that if her insurance won’t cover it, the money she’ll be using to pay out of pocket will *also* have come from him, right?

    Insurance isn’t some kind of favor the employer does. It’s the employee”s compensation for the work they do.

  • Lunch Meat

    Citation showing the religious exception in the Virginia law, please?

    So if I think blood transfusions are wrong, can I refuse to pay for insurance for my employees that covers that? What if I think that treatment for certain mental conditions is evil because they’re caused by demons that should be exorcised? Can I refused to pay for insurance that covers that treatment?

    The answer, of course, is NO. The purpose of this law is to provide COMPREHENSIVE health insurance to every American. That means insurance that covers every aspect of health. The decision for what a person needs to be healthy is made by a person and their doctor; the employer does not get ANY say in it, for ANY reason…religious or not.

  • Anonymous

    Ellie: Any women can have an abortion if she chooses. But, an employer
    should not be forced to have to pay for it, if they think it is wrong to
    murder an unborn child. The same goes for the pill. She can take
    it…but if the employer thinks that it is wrong, they should not be
    forced to pay for it.

    Suppose I’m an employer and I’m opposed to Social Security, as I’m of the opinion that it should all be individual retirement accounts, and I don’t care what my employees think. How do I opt out of (1) my paying Social Security tax and (2) my employees paying Social Security tax?

    Answer: I don’t. Because not being poverty-stricken when too old to work is something we have collectively decided we deserve. Same for contraception. Not being poverty-stricken by the burden of bearing and raising more kids than we can afford is something that we women have collectively decided we deserve. This is about poverty reduction, not about religious freedom. (In fact, the sooner the Catholic Church figures out it’s about poverty reduction, the better, because the Catholic Church is supposed to be big on poverty reduction.) The employer’s views are irrelevant.

  • Tonio

    Too many opponents don’t seem to understand that the female employees aren’t getting “free” contraception. And they don’t understand that employers aren’t covering 100% of the cost. Or else they don’t care. That suggests to me that this issue is a proxy for public assistance just like the myths about health care reform. The terms used also suggest an attempt to make the contraception issue look, sound, and feel like the abortion issue.

    Would it be arrogant to say that one doesn’t have a moral right to deem either contraception use or refusal to use contraception by others as a moral imperative? To me, the moral position would be deciding for one’s self whether to use contraception and taking a neutral stance on its use by others, since either course of action by an individual harms no one in and of itself. If one deems contraception use by everyone as morally wrong, one is essentially saying that it’s moral to limit women’s freedom and subject them to unnecessary suffering.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    It’d be an ass move, and I don’t think any good could actually come of it, but does anyone else think we could end the whole issue by having someone praise the GOP for supporting legislation that would allow for “sharia healthcare”?

  • Matri

    Dunno. Everything they’re demanding the public follow is sharia in all but name. Cognitive dissonance just blocks them from seeing it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Patrick-McGraw/100001988854074 Patrick McGraw

    Dunno. Everything they’re demanding the public follow is sharia in all
    but name. Cognitive dissonance just blocks them from seeing it.

    I don’t think there is any cognitive dissonance here. They are not opposed to sharia because it is religious law forced on people who do not share that religion. They are opposed to sharia because it is someone else’s religious law being forced on them. It all about power and control, not principles.

  • Kish

     Charles, is that you?

  • Dishops

    This is the first time I have visited this website, and I am shocked at the liberal flinging around of the word “liar” as it relates to anyone, much less a man known for being brought down from the highest rungs of American politics and turning his life around in order to do good works. Chuck colson humbled himself before God, and an angry nation, repented and took on wholeheartedly the work he believed the lord put him on this earth to do. He has done incredible work with love and dedication in the decades since his christian conversion. The cynicism and hate here is so thick I had to recheck to make sure this was a faith website. We should all be more like Chuck Colson.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    You know, I have pictures from when he was arrested and booked and a rather thick book detailing all the crap he got up to when he was Richard Nixon’s hatchet man.

    Why is it that some old white guy can do a jailhouse conversion and be believed, but the average Joe prisoner who converts is sneered at and told he’s being a liar to try and get early parole?

  • Lunch Meat

    Why is it worse to call someone a liar than to lie?


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