Chuck Colson

I was in Grand Rapids last week for a celebration, as Calvin Seminary established a chair in my name. I agreed because of my respect for the man who will hold it, Dr. Neal Plantinga?one of the keenest thinkers in the Christian world and a wonderful, godly man.

But while there, I was confronted by the ad in the Grand Rapids Press challenging President Bush?s Christianity. Before the president spoke at the commencement at Calvin College (which is affiliated with the seminary, but a different institution), nearly eight hundred students, professors, and alumni signed the ad.

Now, I believe, of course, that Christians are free to protest. And though the majority of evangelicals support this president, some do not. And that?s okay. In my book Kingdoms in Conflict, I wrote that Christians should never get enmeshed in a partisan agenda.

But there?s a time and place to do it. And a college commencement that the president is gracious enough to attend is not the place. Calvin ought to make a course on civility and manners mandatory.

The ad said, ?Your deeds, Mr. President?neglecting the needy to coddle the rich, desecrating the environment and misleading the country into war?do not exemplify the faith we live by.?

Ironically, right before the president appeared at Calvin, he announced that he would veto any stem-cell bill that destroyed life, despite huge pressures to sign it. No president in my lifetime has been more consistently pro-life.

What about the sanctity of marriage? The president strongly supports a constitutional amendment to protect marriage.

Human rights? When I told the president one day of the uncontrolled state of sexual trafficking, he was horrified. He spoke to the United Nations about it. And at home, he got a bill passed in Congress to stop women from being kidnapped into the sex trade.

When a number of us urged the White House to get involved in Sudan, this president ended the killing of southern Sudanese Christians.

Chuck Colson

Chuck Colson was the Chief Counsel for Richard Nixon and served time in prison for Watergate-related charges. In 1976, Colson founded Prison Fellowship Ministries, which, in collaboration with churches of all confessions and denominations, has become the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners, crime victims, and their families.
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