Charles W. Colson, the Watergate-era figure turned Religious Right activist, is becoming increasingly incoherent as his views become more and more extreme.
In June, Colson gave a speech at a pastors meeting in San Antonio sponsored by the Southern Baptist Convention, during which he lambasted hard-line Islamic countries where religion and government are merged. Colson rightly pointed out that true religious liberty cannot prosper under such a system.
But a moment later, Colson insisted that fundamentalist Christians of his stripe should take over the government and run all aspects of life in America!
“What is our purpose in life?” Colson asked. “It is to restore the fallen culture to the glory of God. It’s to take command and dominion over every aspect of life, whether it’s music, science, law, politics, communities, families – to bring Christianity to bear in every single area of life.”
Colson, it seems, isn’t opposed to the concept of theocracy. He just wants to live under one that reflects his personal religious views. He cannot understand that the ayatollahs in Iran and the former Taliban leaders who took Afghanistan back to the Stone Age believed the same thing.
It’s also alarming to read that Colson has joined forced with the Rev. Rick Warren, author of the best-selling book The Purpose-Driven Life, to hawk a six-week DVD series based on Colson’s ideas. Called “Wide Angle: Framing Your Worldview,” the set is being advertised on Web sites run by both Warren and Colson.
Warren used to have a reputation as something of a moderate. His partnership with Colson is an unfortunate sign that he is being dragged down into the same Religious Right swamp that has engulfed so many others over the years.
Colson’s “worldview” is exactly that – Colson’s. He would have you believe that he and his fellow believers have perfected Christianity and thus have some kind of right, or even duty, to impose it on everyone else through government power.
Colson makes the same mistake that has tripped up every theocrat in history: He refuses to admit the possibility that he might be completely and utterly wrong. His faith is obviously strong, but that does not mean it’s necessarily right. After all, millions of Christians all over the world disagree with the way Colson interprets the Bible and what it means to be a follower of Jesus.
Christians, Jews, atheists and others living in fundamentalist Muslim states seek to be free from an oppressive union of mosque and state. Likewise, the millions of people who disagree with Colson’s brand of Christianity would rather not have the government impose his “worldview” on them either.