A few years ago, Chuck Colson was trying to drum up support for a federal anti-equality marriage amendment with the usual doomsday scenario:

…If we don’t make the case for natural marriage-or fight attempts to shut us up or shut us down-sooner or later, we will all find our most sacred liberties sacrificed on the altar of the gay agenda.

Pam challenged Colson to examine the real threats to “natural marriage” which include divorce.

Colson, Maggie Gallagher and the like don’t have anything better to do than to lob ridiculous bombs out there about the institution of marriage being destroyed by The Homosexual Agenda. They spend no time talking about rampant divorce and adultery currently putting marriage in jeopardy over and over. Where are their stiff spine supporting a ban on divorce?

Here we are two years later and guess what?  Colson agrees.  Sort of.  
The January, 2011 issue of Christian Examiner reprinted one of Colson’s recent articles, bringing it to my attention:

Closer to home, the church has to ask itself if and how we’ve contributed to the trends documented in the Pew study. While few churches sanction cohabitation and some of the other new family forms Pew describes, our record on divorce and re-marriage leaves a lot to be desired. Advocates of these new family forms take delight in pointing out that divorce rates are higher in the Bible Belt than they are in more liberal parts of the country. They don’t hesitate to point to studies showing that Christians aren’t that much better at marriage and family than their non-religious neighbors.

Fair enough, they have a point. If we’re going to lead the fight to preserve traditional marriage, we need to start by creating a place where there is no question of its being “obsolete.” That is, our homes and our churches.

This is a stunning admission from someone who spouts hyperbolic claptrap about gay and lesbian families like “This vote on whether we stop the gay-marriage juggernaut in California is Armageddon”.

But is Colson really doing anything more here than neatly dodging a fair criticism by quietly agreeing with it and then moving on?  After all, Colson is still pimping the Manhattan Declaration against marriage equality.  

If we are to believe that Colson is admitting that heterosexuals are responsible for the health of the legal institution they’ve largely reserved for themselves, he needs to flesh out “our homes and our churches” by confessing his own complicity in the erosion of the institution and by calling on his radical-right “natural marriage” colleagues to do the same.  Jesus said, “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?”

You see, Chuck Colson is divorced and remarried.

Colson’s first marriage, with Nancy Billings in 1953 bore three children…before ending in divorce in 1964 after some years of separation.  He married Patricia Ann Hughes on April 4, 1964.

Colson is not alone in being a fly in the marriage ointment.  Many leaders of the anti-equality movement have ended their own “sacred” and “forever” marriages with divorce.  For example John McCain divorced his first wife Carol Shepp for Cindy after Shepp had a car accident and lost her looks; Rudy Giuliani is on his third wife.  His second wife learned of his plans to divorce her when he made a public announcement; Larry Stickney has had two no-fault divorces and is on his third wife; Newt Gingrich, famous for divorcing his first wife while she was in the hospital recovering from cancer surgery, has been married three times and divorced twice.  He was having an extra-marital affair even as he presided over the Clinton impeachment trials.

Colson has taken a positive baby step in admitting that heterosexuals are responsible for debasing marriage.  But a wink and a nod isn’t enough.  He must stop scapegoating gay and lesbian families.  Anything short of that and he only embarrasses himself by transparently resorting to diversionary tactics to avoid taking responsibility for his own messy human life.
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