i-09f7f5bd56ab8e9058f9a5e369b406ce-_graphics_onair_shows_shots_inthe_dark_disteye_03.jpgChuck Colson has had an interesting life.
During his years as a Nixon goon/lawyer, he wrote the infamous Enemies List, proposed firebombing the Brookings Institution and stealing documents while firefighters put out the fire, and headed up the plan to steal psychiatric files about the Pentagon Papers’ leaker. He is on tape joining in Nixon’s anti-Semitic tirades. For his role in covering up the Watergate scandal, he did 7 months in federal prison. Shortly before being indicted, he found God, and how runs a prison ministry.
Given his experience with the depths to which humanity can sink, I’m intrigued by this comment in a review of The Edge of Evolution by Michael J. Behe.

The New York Times showed Behe’s book the ultimate disrespect by assigning someone who had publicly disagreed with and denounced him to review it: the vehement “anti-theist” Richard Dawkins, of all people.

I could understand if other folks incarcerated in Colson’s minimum security prison thought a bad Times review was the ultimate dis. But Colson’s prison ministry has to take him to harder places than Club Fed, places where the ultimate disrespect involves sharpened toothbrush handles, not to mention other unsavory acts. Heck, you don’t get to prison in the first place for being polite, as Colson’s actions in the Nixon administration make clear.

When a connoisseur of contempt like Colson places you below shanking, prison rape, and blackmail with stolen psychiatric records, you know you’ve arrived. Congratulations to Richard Dawkins.


  1. #1 James McGrath
    October 20, 2007

    Although Colson is presumably an outsider to the ID movement in some respects, he nevertheless illustrates the double-standard in statements by key proponents of ID. They say “we’re just doing science” and that the fact that all but a few of them are Christians has no relevance, yet they accuse the supporters of evolution of being ideologically motivated (even though the supporters of evolution include a vast range of people from some conservative Christians through almost all mainline Christians to agnostics and atheists). If Michael Behe were really doing ‘just science’, it wouldn’t matter that an atheist reviewed his book.

    I find other authors like Philip Kitcher offer more of a challenge to Christians. At least he doesn’t try to demonize all forms of religion or dismiss theology as a non-subject, which may be fine if you’re preaching to the choir, but doesn’t help if you’re hoping that those you are criticizing will learn something from what you write.

    Here is one of several recent posts from my own blog that was a result of reading Kitcher’s book:


  2. #2 Caledonian
    October 21, 2007

    If Michael Behe were really doing ‘just science’, it wouldn’t matter that an atheist reviewed his book.

    But having a vehement critic review the book, no matter how reasonable or polite the criticism was, is more of a concern.

  3. #3 fyreflye
    October 21, 2007

    But didn’t the New York Times show equal disrespect to Dawkins by assigning its review of TGD to an angry theist with no qualifications for the task? And in fact didn’t almost every non science publication in the US that reviewed it do the same?

  4. #4 Patrick Quigley
    October 21, 2007

    Did Colson complain when Time Magazine let Behe write Dawkins’ mini-profile for the Time 100 list? Turnabout is fair play.

  5. #5 gerald spezio
    October 21, 2007

    There were 23 Watergate conspirators.

    21 of them were trained lawyers sworn to the rule of law.

    Nixon, Colson, and AG John Mitchell were just three of them

  6. #6 Richard W. Crews
    October 23, 2007

    colson said he’d run over his grandmother to get nixon (re-)elected.

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