Monday, June 06, 2005

One of the President's Men—Update

In his BreakPoint Commentary today, Chuck Colson sums up his thoughts on why he thinks it's wrong to consider Mark Felt a hero for what he did more than 30 years ago as "Deep Throat."

Colson writes: . . .

Today, I'm not concerned about how Mark Felt, or those of us involved in Watergate, or the press is judged by history. All of us have to be responsible for what we did ourselves. What I am concerned about is how, in the eyes of many people, Mark Felt's end justified his means.

I've watched some of the classroom discussions on TV, and, almost to a person, students say he did the right thing because his end was good. This is terribly wrong.

I know we live in an era of moral relativism—everybody chooses what is "right" for them. But this is a path to chaos and a lawless, ungovernable nation.

Let Mark Felt live his remaining years in peace, but please, don't make him a role model for our kids. The lasting legacy of this sad era in American life ought to be a sober reminder that the ends do not justify the means. Integrity means doing the right thing in every area of your life, and it's the real mark of a true hero.

Earlier in his commentary, Colson points out that, in hindsight, he should have tried to stop President Nixon, but Colson, at the time, felt the end (Nixon getting re-elected) justified the means (staging the Watergate break-ins). Colson writes, "What I now realize today, of course, is that we humans all have an infinite capacity for self-justification. Jeremiah was right: 'The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: Who can know it?' [Jeremiah 17:9]"

In his latest book, The Good Life, Colson writes about this period in his life and how it eventually led him to follow Christ.

1 Comments:

At Monday, June 06, 2005 7:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Chuck. He did the wrong thing because he thought the ends were justified, and got caught on the wrong side of history.

Perhaps there's a lesson those students have learned that he hasn't: Felt's actions, though illegal, exposed far more serious acts of criminality. Ones, by the way, that Colson abetted. Thirty-plus years removed from Watergate, he would have us believe that Felt should have simply called Nixon, and if that failed, called a press conference. For anyone who remembers the details of Watergate that notion is laughable.

The legacy of Watergate should be "that the ends do not justify the means"? I can think of several possible legacies and this one doesn't rise to the top 10 unless I channel the wishes of those who aided and abetted the abhorent acts of a corrupt and contemptible administration.

Colson is deserving of forgiveness, but he doesn't deserve a pulpit to judge the integrity of those who opposed him during the Watergate years.

 

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