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Chuck Colson, Anti-Gay Manhattan Declaration Author, Watergate Felon, Dies

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Chuck Colson, the virulently anti-gay theocrat, Evangelical Christian Prison Fellowship founder, Watergate felon, and Manhattan Declaration co-author, died today at the age of 80, after a brain hemorrhage earlier this month. President Richard M. Nixon’s self-described “hatchet man,” Colson — who turned to religion just before he began serving a prison sentence as one of the Watergate Seven — had the reputation of a “dirty tricks” man, but later became highly-regarded within the ranks of the radical religious right. Colson in recent years was a chief religious flag waver falsely claiming the rights of Christians are being compromised.

Charles Wendell “Chuck” Colson, born October 16, 1931, who wrote dozens of books, was also a co-author of the 2009 “Manhattan Declaration: A Call of Christian Conscience,” an anarchistic manifesto demanding signatories — more than 525,000 to date — break the law should they perceive the law not squaring with the Bible. The Declaration attacks same-sex marriage, abortion, laments both society’s decoupling of marriage from childbearing and its growing acceptance of infidelity.

Colson co-authored the Manhattan Declaration with National Organization For Marriage (NOM) founder Robert P. George, whom Colson routinely praised.

The Los Angeles Times described Colson’s Manhattan Declaration as incautious, “apocalyptic,” “disingenuous,” “irresponsible and dangerous,” and chastised its “Christian religious leaders who, even as they insist on their right to shape the nation’s laws, are reserving the right to violate them.” The Times also labeled the Declaration’s attack on same-sex marriage as a “canard,” “as is the declaration’s complaint that Christian leaders are being prevented from expressing their ‘religious and moral commitments to the sanctity of life and to the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife’.”

Colson repeatedly attacked same-sex marriage and homosexuality. He wrongly stated “homosexual behavior” is more “dangerous than smoking, it lowers the life expectancy dramatically.” Colson also falsely stated that legalizing same-sex marriage was “sanctioning behavior known to be dangerous.” And, again falsely, stated that gays and lesbians “don’t want marriage; they want their sexual choices affirmed as normal and moral.”

And as late as last year, despite years of research to the contrary, Colson was publicly advocating that homosexuality was both a choice and avoidable if parents “properly” raised their children. Colson pointed to the book “A Parent’s Guide to Preventing Homosexuality,” as the way to “learn more about what parents can do to lessen the chances their children will grow up homosexual.”

GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation included Colson in its recent premiere launch of the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (CAP), which tracks the statements of several dozen anti-gay pundits. The GLAAD CAP notes:

When the APA passed a resolution declaring so-called “ex-gay” treatment unethical, [Colson] said: “If any of this reminds you of the tactics of Nazi Germany, it ought to. In Hitler’s Germany the term for what the [American Psychological Association] is doing was Gleichgeschaltung, which means ‘forced conformity.’ If you didn’t conform to the government’s point of view, you risked losing your job. That is what’s happening in the world of psychology today.”

Lamenting his inclusion in GLAAD’s CAP, Colson himself ludicrously wrote, “Over the years I have been very careful not to engage in gay-bashing. I can’t think of a single time I have.”

In “Chuck Colson, Watergate scandal figure, dies at 80,” The Washington Post’s first sentence reads:

Charles W. Colson, the Republican political operative who boasted he would “walk over my own grandmother” to ensure the reelection of President Richard M. Nixon and went on to found a worldwide prison fellowship ministry after his conversion to evangelical Christianity, died April 21 Inova Fairfax Hospital.

and notes:

Mr. Colson’s reputation as a “dirty tricks artist” overshadowed his achievements as a darkly brilliant political strategist. He had helped lay the groundwork for the Nixon landslide of November 1972 by appealing to disgruntled Democrats and blue-collar minority voters.

Focus On The Family head Jim Daly lamented Colson’s passing today:

America has lost a gentleman and statesman of the highest integrity and character. I’ve lost a dear friend and mentor who, most importantly, modeled for me how to stand for God’s Truth with Christ’s heart. Chuck was an endlessly selfless man, whose love for and ministry to those in prison made him one of the great modern-day lions of the faith.

Author Jeff Sharlet, who has researched and written extensively on the radical religious right, upon learning of Colson’s passing, today wrote via Twitter:

Chuck Colson was a cruel, vain, and arrogant man in all phases of his life, a dissembler & a hater to the end. RIP.

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BREAKING NEWS

‘Planned for Weeks’: Highland Park Massacre Suspect Purchased Weapons Legally, Walked to Mother’s House After Shooting

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The 21-year-old man suspected of being the shooter in Monday’s Highland Park, Illinois massacre planned the attack for weeks, purchased his weapons legally, disguised himself by wearing women’s attire to “conceal his facial tattoos and  his identity,” and to “help him during the escape.” He then walked to his mother’s house after the shooting, police said in a Tuesday press conference.

Six people died and over thirty others were wounded.

The “high-powered rifle” Robert Crimo used is “similar to an AR-15,” Christopher Covelli, a spokesperson for the Lake County major crimes task force told reporters. He used it to “fire more than 70 rounds into the crowd.”

RELATED: Who Is the Highland Park July 4th Mass Shooting Person of Interest? ‘Obsession With Mass Death and Nihilism’

Crimo later borrowed his mother’s car.

Police say there was no one else involved. They add they were aware of him through previous interactions but those were not violent.


 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Putin’s ‘Iron Doll’ Says Russia ‘Will Have to Think Whether to Re-Install’ Trump ‘Again’: Report

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A political commentator and television host on Russian state TV appears to have suggested Russia installed Donald Trump as president in 2016, attempted to do so in 2020, and has yet to decide whether or not to do so again.

Russia “will have to think whether to re-install him again as the American president. We haven’t decided yet,” declared Olga Skabeyeva, known as the “Iron Doll of Putin TV” due to her criticism of the Russian president’s opponents.

The Daily Beast’s Julia Davis, who is the creator of the Russian Media Monitor, posted the video to Twitter, as Mediaite reported.

RELATED: Five Years Ago Trump Secretly Celebrated Firing FBI Director, Gave Russians Classified Intel Inside the Oval Office

“The other day, Trump promised to destroy the Russian Federation,” Skabeyeva says, according to subtitles in the video Davis posted. “To destroy Putin’s hegemony, as he put it.” Skabeyeva suggested Trump might lose Putin’s support as a result.

Citing her “recent remarks about the onset of ‘World War III,'” that “raised eyebrows across the world,” Insider in April called Skabeyeva “one of Russian state media’s most prominent propagandists.”

A 158-page bipartisan and unanimous report published by the Republican majority Senate Intelligence Committee in 2020 revealed that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

 

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RIGHT WING EXTREMISM

Trump Endorsed Pro-Gun GOP Nominee Apologizes After Urging People to ‘Move On’ Hours After July 4 Mass Shooting

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The far-right pro-gun Republican nominee for governor of Illinois has apologized “if” his remarks, telling people to “move on” from the Highland Park Independence Day massacre that left six people dead and dozens wounded, “diminished the pain being felt across our state.”

Darren Bailey, a GOP state lawmaker who won his party’s nomination and is endorsed by Donald Trump, turned the horrific July 4 shooting into a campaign event.

Surrounded by supporters holding signs featuring his logo and others that said, “Fire Pritzker” – the current governor and his Democratic opponent – Bailey posted a Facebook live video saying, “we’re just going to take a moment and pray for the families [inaudible] pray for the law enforcement and even the organizers of this parade.”

“The shooter is still at large so let’s pray for justice to prevail, and then let’s move on and let’s celebrate the independence of this nation. We know the mission,” he said. “We have got to get corruption and evil out of our government.”

Insider adds that in Bailey’s video he also linked the Highland Park mass shooting to the “tough weekend in Chicago.” Highland Park is about 30 miles from Chicago. Fox News and right-wing media often focus on gun violence in that city, despite the fact that less than half the illegal guns used in crimes in Chicago come from Illinois.

“My intent was to pray for the victims and those affected by today’s tragedy and for the shooter to be caught and prosecuted without further loss,” Bailey said in a statement, Insider reports. “I apologize if in any way we diminished the pain being felt across our state today.”

In April Bailey held a fundraiser to “win one of these great guns” and “help fuel our movement to reform Springfield and restore Illinois.”

In December Bailey, who has called “guns and hunting” a “family tradition,” tweeted out an article in which he is quoted saying, “I will die on my porch before I give up my guns.”

 

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