Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Charles Wendell "Chuck" Colson was the chief counsel for President Richard Nixon from 1969 to 1973. His later life has been spent working with his nonprofit organization devoted to prison ministry called Prison Fellowship. Colson is also a noted speaker and author expressing his own personal faith.
Known as President Nixon's hatchet man, Colson could be counted on to break the china - do whatever was necessary - to achieve the desired political ends of his boss. The saying at the time was that he would be willing to run over his own grandmother if the President ordered it to be done. (Colson never did so.) Such a reputation showed him as an administration loyalist.
Colson was involved in the Watergate Scandal, and in 1974 voluntarily agreed to a plea of nolo contendere (no contest) to obstruction of justice in the Watergate affair. Some months before this plea, Colson became an evangelical Christian. Editorial comics in several U. S. newspapers, as well as magazines such as Newsweek and Time, ridiculed the decision, claiming that it was cynical. He spent much of his prison sentence at Maxwell Correctional Facility in Alabama.
In 1976, following his release from prison for his part in the Watergate Scandal, Colson founded Prison Fellowship. Colson is an active Evangelical Christian and author of over twenty books. The royalties from those books are donated to that fellowship.
Colson also speaks for a five minute radio broadcast he began called Breakpoint which discusses contemporary issues from an Evangelical Protestant worldview. Project Angel Tree, another Colson-led activity, is a Christmas gift giving project from participating churches to prisoners' family members with consent from participating inmates.
Since his release from prison, Colson has worked to promote prisoner rehabilitation and reform of the prison system in the United States. Colson disdains the "lock 'em and leave 'em" warehousing approach to criminal justice. He has worked to begin faith-based prisons whose populations come from inmates who choose to participate in them. One of these was begun recently in Texas.
In October 2002, Colson, along with several other prominent American evangelical leaders, was a co-signer of the Land letter to President Bush which outlined a "just war" endorsement of the pre-emptive invasion of Iraq.
- Charles W. Colson, Born Again, New Jersey: Chosen Books, Inc., 1976, ISBN 9060672836.
- Charles W. Colson, Loving God, New York: HarperPaperbacks, 1983, ISBN 0061040037.
- William A. Dembski, Charles W. Colson, The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design, Inter Varsity Press, 2004, ISBN 0830823751.
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