Charles Colson says he’s always been civil toward ‘the lavender shirt mob’

Charles Colson says he’s always been civil toward ‘the lavender shirt mob’ March 20, 2012

Faith in Public Life’s Nick Sementelli says “Chuck Colson Doesn’t Like the Truth About His Homophobic Record.”

GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) listed Colson in their recently launched “Commentator Accountability Project” which “aims to put critical information about frequent anti-gay interviewees into the hands of newsrooms, editors, hosts and reporters.”

As Sementelli reports, Colson says he doesn’t belong on that list, protesting that GLAAD’s definition of anti-gay speech “is skewed,” mischaracterizing any disagreement as “gay-bashing.”

GLAAD’s doesn’t use that term — “gay-bashing,” but here’s how they describe the kinds of speech that earn anti-gay commentators a spot on their list:

These voices are comparing LGBT people to Nazi Germany, predicting that equal treatment of LGBT people will lead to the total collapse of society, and even making accusations of satanic influence.

Colson protests that he’s never been guilty of doing that:

Over the years I have been very careful not to involve in gay-bashing. I can’t think of a single time I have. I seek to honestly discuss the issues. So if any reporter has evidence of gay-bashing on my part, I’d like to hear it.

Well, OK. Happy to oblige.

Here’s a transcription of a recording made on the eve of Nixon’s second inauguration in 1973. The tape was made public in 2009:

COLSON: Republican intellectuals [inaud]. And as Dick [Scammon] says, the lavender shirt mob, the, what he calls the New Left, the homos and queers. And he says that’s the bunch that now make up the Democratic Party, and he said the more they, Democrats, have to cater to the blacks and to the poor, and the New Left, the more [they] are driving large numbers of the middle class [away].

Colson, I would guess, would say that doesn’t count because it was before his “born-again” experience, the religious conversion in which he became a new man. Perhaps, although I’ve never heard Colson repent or apologize for those slurs or the sentiments behind them. Nor have I heard from him anything like the sort of humility, caution and magnanimity that ought to characterize the statements of someone who truly regrets that he used to talk like that while acting as a public servant in the Oval Office.

But for the sake of argument, let’s pretend Colson really did have a change of heart. What is the new, redeemed and sanctified, born-again Colson saying about “the lavender shirt mob” these days?

Well, the born-again Colson has a history of comparing “LGBT people to Nazi Germany, predicting that equal treatment of LGBT people will lead to the total collapse of society, and even making accusations of satanic influence.” GLAAD has citations for all of these quotes, and more:

“If any of this reminds you of the tactics of Nazi Germany, it ought to” Colson said of the APA’s condemnation of so-called “ex-gay” therapies.

Colson compared demonstrators opposed to Proposition 8 to: “Bull Conner, who, with the help of brutal cops, used violence and intimidation to chase African Americans out of the public square. Or roving gangs of Nazi brownshirts who ruled the streets of Germany during Hitler’s rise to power.”

Colson predicted that if Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed, “men will die.”

And on the subject of marriage equality, Colson said: “Gays and lesbians don’t want marriage. … Gays are actively trying to destroy marriage and will take away our freedom of speech and religion in order to do it.”

I think I preferred the unvarnished bigotry of the pre-conversion Colson. At least back then he had the honesty to admit what he was saying.

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