Daily Archives: August 22, 2007

Not Now, Voyager!

No surprise that the decision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America to allow pastors in “faithful committed same-gender relationships” has proven to be, (ahem), “controversial.”

But one objector is most noteworthy: Charles Colson. The former chief counsel for President Richard Nixon (from 1969 to 1973) who served time in prison for his very important role in the “Watergate” scandal (The Mother of All “Gates”) has been for many years a well-known figure in “Christian” power circles, thanks to “Prison Fellowship” — his non-profit organization devoted to ministring to the damned. “Prison Fellowship,” an organization which we’re solemnly informed emerged in the wake of his “Born Again” experience while ever-so-briefly incarcerated, has given him a new career.

As David Plotz noted in a Slate profile of Colson published in 2000 :

“Colson’s sanctification caps one of the most extraordinary redemptions in recent history. Colson doesn’t like to talk about his Watergate villainy. He calls himself a “sinner” and demurs, “I was a part of Watergate.” He has good reason to be cagey. As special counsel to the president, he was Richard Nixon’s hard man, the “evil genius” of an evil administration. According to Watergate historian Stanley Kutler, Colson sought to hire Teamsters thugs to beat up anti-war demonstrators, and he plotted to raid or firebomb the Brookings Institution. He eventually pleaded guilty to scheming to defame Daniel Ellsberg and interfering with his trial. In 1974, Colson served seven months in federal prison.”

Well no wonder he wants to, uh change the subject.

But wait — there’s more!

“Colson may be the inspiration of the joke, “A liberal is a conservative who’s been to prison.” On prison issues, he is a darling of the left. He insists that nonviolent criminals should not be jailed, that more convicts should be paroled, and that drug offenders should be treated rather than incarcerated. He works desperately to convince conservative lawmakers to reconsider their lock-‘em-up views. Colson lobbies for better prison conditions.”

Well that may have been the case. But to judge from his remarks on the ELCA decision in the Religion section of today’s Pravda, his “liberalism” has hit the wall.

“The decision by the ELCA to ignore biblical standards of moral behavior is, given the history of modern mainline Christianity, not surprising, but it is deeply distressing.
Who wants to belong to a church that doesn’t treat biblical teachings as truth? Would I sacrifice my life for something I didn’t believe to be true? Of course not. But martyrs from the first century on have.

This kind of decision dishonors our Lord, dishonors the Church, and dishonors those who have kept the faith for two millennia.

This is why Jay Gresham Machen said, almost a century ago, that liberal Christianity is not a brand of Christianity: it is simply another religion altogether — liberalism.”

Obviously he forgot the “Harumpf!!!”

He also forgot that he entrusted the direction of the film version of his apologia pro vita sua Born Again to one Irving Rapper.

Rapper (1898-1999) was one of the most successful Big Ol’ Gay Homosexuals of the Golden Age of Hollywood. A dialogue director who graduated to director tout courte, his most famous credit was the peerless Bette Davis weepie Now Voyager whose classic last scene (cigarettes, Max Steiner and gobs of studio “moonlight”) was paid copious hommage recently in The History Boys

Personally I prefer Deception where Bette plugs the saucy Claude Rains with a handy 45.

But then there’s the downside of Rapper’s oeuvre. That’s where you’ll find Born Again (whose star, a deSondheimed Dean Jones is no Bette Davis, though not for want of trying on his part) and The Christine Jorgensen Story — the “true life drama” of someone who REALLY WAS Born AgaIn..

The Christine Jorgensen Story was Rapper’s penultimate film.

Born Again his very last.

Obviously there are striking similarities, but I’ll leave that to a semiotics graduate to contemplate.

Oh to have been a fly on the wall when Chuck met Irving!

But then one also wonders what Mr. Born Again has to say to those ex-convicts who’ve formed a “faithful committed same-gender relationships” with others of their kind. Would “Prison Fellowship” send them back to the slammer?

“Oh Knuckles, why ask for the Moon when Chuck says we can have the Stars!”

a suivre