chuck colson

Chuck Colson’s Memorial Steeped in Prison Themes

The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Prison Fellowship founder and former Nixon aide Chuck Colson was memorialized Wednesday (May 16) at Washington National Cathedral in a service steeped in Scripture and prayers about prison and redemption.

Colson, who died April 21 at the age of 80 after a brief illness, was known as Nixon's "hatchet man" and served seven months in prison on Watergate-related charges. But at the 90-minute service, he was recalled as a transformed "friend of sinners."

“Chuck was not perfect, but he was forgiven,” said the Rev. Timothy George, the homilist and dean of Samford University’s Beeson Divinity School.

Romney Learns How to Talk to Evangelicals

Mitt Romney speaking in Detroit, Feb. 2012. Photo via Wylio

It's no wonder that Mitt Romney won plaudits from evangelical bigwigs for his commencement speech at Liberty University on Saturday. It showed he's learned how to talk to them--or at least, learned to listen to the people who know how he's supposed to talk to them.

When he was running for president last time, Romney told the bigs that he was pretty much like them in considering Jesus his Lord and Savior. But if there's anything evangelicals don't like, it's Mormons claiming to be Christians like them. Then he gave a speech declaring that, like a presidential candidate half a century earlier, he did not "define my candidacy by my religion. A person should not be elected because of his faith nor should he be rejected because of his faith."  But evangelicals (these days) don't much believe in Kennedyesque separation of faith and public office.

Chuck Colson to Be Buried at Quantico

The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Prison Fellowship founder and Watergate figure Chuck Colson will be buried privately with full military honors at Quantico National Cemetery, with a public memorial service expected later at Washington National Cathedral.

Colson, who died Saturday (April 21) at age 80 after a brief illness, served as a captain in the Marines.

Michelle Farmer, a spokeswoman for Prison Fellowship, said Tuesday the family graveside service at the Virginia cemetery will occur “in the coming days.”

Remembering Charles Colson

The Washington Post/Getty Images

The Washington Post/Getty Images

Charles Colson, former aide to President Richard Nixon and founder of Prison Fellowship, passed away Saturday at the age of 80. His death came as a result of complications of a brain hemorrhage. 

Many news stories this weekend emphasized Colson’s role in the Watergate scandal of the mid-1970s, in which he led Nixon’s efforts to discredit Daniel Ellsberg following the release of the Pentagon Papers on U.S. decision making during the Vietnam war. As a result of those activities, he pled guilty to obstruction of justice and served seven months in prison. Shortly before going to prison, Colson had a religious conversion to Christianity. And that led to the more important part of his life.

The Top 10 Stories of April 23, 2012

Quote of the day.
"Most people were spanked when they were kids, and they think that's the proper way to discipline. They make the erroneous correlation that spanking equals good discipline and if a child isn't behaving, he must not have been spanked enough -- that's fallacious." George Holden, a Southern Methodist University psychology professor, is chairman of the 2011 Global Summit on Ending Corporal Punishment and Promoting Positive Discipline.
(USA Today)

News Analysis: 5 Reasons Why Obama is Losing the Contraception Fight

Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama listens at the National Prayer Breakfast 2/2/12. Photo by Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images

The White House has surprised observers and disappointed some liberal allies by signaling that it is willing to compromise and provide a broader religious exemption in its controversial regulations requiring all employers to provide free contraception coverage.

Given that birth control use is almost universal — even among Catholics — many wonder why the Obama administration could wind up retreating on its pledge.

Here are five reasons that may help explain the political dynamic the president is facing:

1. It's about religious freedom, not birth control

Woody Allen and His Evangelical Fan Base (Yes, Really.)

The author's basket of eggs and Mr. Allen.

The author's basket of eggs and Mr. Allen.

Both Colson and Land are such diehard fans that they can -- and did, during conversations with Boorstein -- quote lines from Allen's movies.

Can you imagine Land, with his low Texas drawl, reciting Allen's famous monologue from Annie Hall?:

"The other important joke for me is one that's usually attributed to Groucho Marx but I think it appears originally in Freud's Wit and Its Relation to the Unconscious - and it goes like this. I'm paraphrasing. I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member. That's the key joke of my adult life, in terms of my relationships with women."

Yeah, me neither.