Those familiar with Chuck Colson's daily BreakPoint commentaries on faith and society might not recognize the work as being that of an ex-con. But then again, Colson is no typical ex-con.
From 1969-1973, Colson acted as then-President Nixon's special counsel. In an administration already known for its tough guys, Colson was the toughest. He was known as the White House "hatchet man," and the media once referred to him as "incapable of humanitarian thought."
Then Colson found himself caught up in the Watergate scandal. He had helped to organize the illegal wiretapping of Democratic headquarters, and in 1973 Colson realized he was in big trouble. After some hesitation, Colson took a friend's counsel and turned to God in his moment of distress. He found something in Christianity that changed his life. Of course, outsiders had a hard time believing that the "hatchet man's" faith was genuine. When news of Colson's conversion to Christianity reached the press, the Boston Globe wrily commented, "If Mr. Colson can repent of his sins, there just has to be hope for everybody."
Colson entered Alabama's Maxwell Prison in 1974 as a new Christian, and gained the vision there that led him to found Prison Fellowship Ministries in 1976 after his release. While an inmate, he promised his fellow prisoners that he would "never forget those behind bars." He fulfilled his promise by investing the royalties from his book Born Again to begin Prison Fellowship.
Today there is no larger outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families in the world than Prison Fellowship Ministries. The Christian nonprofit has more than 50,000 prison ministry volunteers in 88 nations. Its programs range from various programs for prisoners and ex-prisoners; to Justice Fellowship, aimed at reforming the criminal justice system; to Angel Tree, which annually provides more than 500,000 children of inmates with Christmas presents on behalf of their incarcerated parents. In 1991, Colson also launched a daily radio commentary called "BreakPoint," which aims to provide a Christian worldview on everyday issues. BreakPoint, which is aired daily on over 1000 radio outlets nationwide, is a Silver partner of Townhall.com.
Colson has received many awards in recognition of his contributions to society. These awards include the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion (1993), Dominos Pizza Corporation's Humanitarian Award (1991), The Salvation Army's Others Award (1990), and several honorary doctorates from various colleges and universities. Colson donated the $1 million Templeton Prize to Prison Fellowship, and he consistently gives all of his speaking honoraria and book royalties to the organization as well.
Today, the efforts of Nixon's former hatchet man have made a huge dent in the lives of countless prisoners and prisoners' children, and have even influenced federal criminal justice legislation. President Bush referred often to Prison Fellowship's InnerChange Freedom Initiative Program when calling for support for faith-based initiatives. The prolific conservative has also published 38 books which have captured the hearts of millions of Americans over the last 25 years.
Before the Johnson Amendment, churches had a strong and vibrant voice in our political and cultural discourse. Their speech was not muzzled.
To the surprise of some political commentators and observers, abortion has emerged as an important issue in this year’s elections.
Last week, 40 million TV viewers watched Barack Obama become the first African-American nominee of a major political party.
Steven Mosher's new book analyzes the inhumane practices of China's "population control" policies.
If you have been watching the Olympics, you cannot help but be awed by the strength, speed, and skill of Olympic athletes.
A lot of people have asked me what I think about when I remember back to that hot, humid August night in 1973 when Tom Phillips, then the president of the Raytheon Company, witnessed to me in his home.
Presidents can say the strangest things in front of an open microphone, especially if he thinks the mic is not on.
How is this for irony? Recent actions by Canadian human rights groups have observers alarmed for the state of human rights in Canada.
According to a recent Reuters report, a leading Senate Democrat “would consider supporting opening up new areas for offshore oil and gas drilling.”
A few years ago, a good friend of mine decided to buy an old country campground, enlarge it, restore it, and invite inner-city children to use it.
It is easy to grow weary over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. As for me, a former Marine, I ache for the families of the men and women who have paid the ultimate price.
This week, America celebrates another birthday. Americans are hoisting their flags, marching in parades, and setting off fireworks. I get a thrill every time I hear the band strike up “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Alice Walker, best known as the author of the novel The Color Purple, is one of the most renowned feminist authors and activists of her generation. She is also a mother, and that fact brought her public and private lives into direct conflict.
In early June, the German television network ARD aired a film called “God and the World: The Persecuted Children of God.”
If you follow the financial news, you have probably heard the phrase, “Stocks were up (or down) on news that . . .”
Some years ago, in a Firing Line interview with Bill Buckley, I argued for criminal justice reform. The moderator, Mort Kondracke—who then considered himself a liberal—was astonished.
Where is God amidst the horrors of war? How do soldiers keep their faith in God’s goodness amidst the suffering and slaughter of battle?
In a recent issue of the New York Times, respected columnist David Brooks described how what he calls a “revolution in neuroscience” is shaping “how people see the world.”
A decision by the California Supreme Court to declare unconstitutional any ban on gay “marriage” is sending shock waves across the nation.
With each passing day, the news from Myanmar—that is, Burma—gets worse.
Healthcare Solutions Begin with Innovators in Tennessee, Not Bureaucrats in Washington, DC | Congressman Marsha Blackburn