In case you missed the news, Chuck Colson died over the weekend. I first found out by reading a tweet about his life, then searched and found out about his death.
I need to start by saying I didn't (and still don't) know much about Colson. I know he was involved in Watergate, but couldn't tell you how. I know he had a religious experience in prison and started Prison Fellowship Ministries.
I listened to some of Colson's radio commentaries, and while I agreed with them most of the time, I didn't care for his style and can really only recall one (see below). He's just never been that interesting to me.
That said, I was amazed at some of the vitriol that I saw in some of the commentary this weekend. They pointed out his crimes, his attitudes, and his strong, conservative Biblical views, all in a very negative way. This made me think: What would Chuck Colson say about Chuck Colson?
Which brings me to the one commentary of Colson's I remember, or at least remember partly. The premise was based on a sign that he saw that said "don't help a good boy go bad." The sign was promoting a Boy's Club of some sort and asking for donations.
Colson's comment was that they weren't good boys, they were bad boys - born to sin just like the rest of us. A better goal would be to help a bad boy go good.
Anyone who doubts this, needs to work with kids. You don't have to teach a kid how to lie or how to steal. You don't have to teach them how to be conniving. Just this past weekend, I saw a kid who was told not to step onto a soccer field, step one foot across the line and look back at the adults as if to dare them to punish him (they did). This behavior is ingrained into boys (and girls).
Which is what I think Colson would say about Colson. That he was a sinner. Not a good person at all. And in many ways, those who have only vitriol to share are right. And they can boast that they are simply saying what Colson would say about himself.