The Benefit of the Doubt Chuck Colson

In his latest pious article published at Townhall, Colson decries all things Michael Schiavo. In Michael's world:

...the "survival of the fittest" is taken to a whole new level - [it is] a place where a badly brain-damaged woman should have her food and water taken away simply because she is badly brain-damaged and her husband says she would not want to live that way.

...he, and so many of his partisans in the media and the public, do not want to give the benefit of the doubt to a comatose person. Now, I admit that many people today think well of Michael and less of those of us who defended Terri Schiavo since the autopsy showed that she had been brain-dead when she was in a comatose state. But thatÂ’s beside the point. Our concern was with safeguarding the process and giving her the benefit of the doubt. After all, you canÂ’t do an autopsy until the person is dead, and then it is too late to correct mistakes.
Mr. Colson, Terri Schiavo was not a brain-damaged person. Doctor after doctor diagnosed her as suffering from a permanent vegetative state. The autopsy confirmed this diagnosis - her brain was not damaged, it was atrophied. Terri Schiavo was gone. She had checked out of her mortal body years before.

There was no benefit of the doubt to give Mrs. Schiavo, because there was no doubt.

Michael has now written a book, and this is what has gotten Colson's dander up. Michael is making the book rounds, and any reservation he had for calling his critics out is now over. Colson sniffs at Michael's "lucrative business", even though Colson himself used his own book tour to lob a few choice comments Mark Felt's way. Judge not, Mr. Colson?

This is just more flag-waving to keep the faithful aroused and voting. Terri became a great fetus substitute for their cause, one that didn't involve shoving bloody pictures and jars into the faces of frightened women. Why, Terri could moan and move her head from side to side. And the wicked Michael just wanted the insurance money and to make an honest woman out of the skank ho he was living with, while he was still married to Terri. This, for Chuck, is social Darwinism writ large (yes, Colson's big on intelligent design). In Michael's world, you best not slow down to catch your breath, because some enterprising member of your family might knock you in the head, leave you to die, and spend all your money.

Wouldn't it be better in Chuck Colson's world?

Colson is a backbone in the Religious Right's grip on secular power in America, and the Schiavo case was one of many examples of how effective this religio-political movement is. Colson's present power has been the result of a long way back for him. He started in prison, and organized a prison ministry after he got out. This ministry grew, and it helped bind together church and state so naturally. After all, they had to hit the churches for funds on one hand, while working with and helping out the state officials running the prisons on the other.

Whenever you see a group of the big Christian political theocrats, Colson's name is on the list. He was a founding board member of the extremely conservative American Alliance of Jews and Christians. He was a co-signer of the Land Letter, the multimedia evangelical's dispensation for Bush to invade Iraq. His prison ministry is the model for Bush's "faith-based" initiatives. And when the Arlington Group was hogtied on how best to get gay marriage banned in the Constitution, "Colson played a key role in hammering out a compromise."
It's no wonder that he was the one of the few felons whom Jeb Bush made sure was able to vote in the Florida 2000 presidential elections.

You really should spend some time over at his organizations' websites. The Wilberforce Forum is the place to start. It calls itself a division of Prison Fellowship (Colson's original group), but links through the pages to "Prison Fellowship" go straight to, so which is the umbrella organization now is easy to see. Under Wilberforce are two other interesting organizations. Breakpoint helps get the word out about Jesus, sorta - it's the media arm. Justice Fellowship is the lobbying arm - their mission is "to reform the criminal justice system to reflect biblically based principles of restorative justice for America's criminal justice system." That means, turn the prisons into Christian factories. Republican Christian factories, that is.

Chuck sure has done well for himself since he got out of prison for his illegal actions to put and keep Republicans in power. Jesus is the Way - he's the one that said to visit people in prison. Is he a wolf in sheep's clothing?

Is there any doubt?