Remembering the late Charles Colson, David Klinghoffer notes (Evolution News & Views, April 24, 2012),
In an appreciation published in the Wall Street Journal, political scientist John J. Dilulio Jr. writes a lovely tribute to Colson’s influence on Dilulio’s own thoughts, how “in the late 1990s Colson was among those who softened and spiritualized my views on crime.”
Promoting the concept of “restorative justice,” Colson godfathered into being several conservative coalitions that are now making real headway in reducing prison populations and changing penal codes in many states. For example, as documented by the Texas-based Right on Crime organization, in recent years the Lone Star State has cut crime rates while reducing its adult prison population by thousands, and the number of juveniles behind bars by more than 50%, by repealing draconian sentencing laws and increasing support for community-based corrections.
Disappointingly, Dilulio gives it as an aside that Colson’s advocacy of ID slightly mars the record of his life: “He insisted that hard science supported ‘intelligent design’ even when leading evangelical Christian scientists, like Francis Collins, former head of the international human genome project, counseled otherwise.”
Dilulio was among the writers I edited and admired when I worked with him as an editor at National Review. I truly cannot understand how a thoughtful and independent guy like that, at the mention of ID, can write a sentence that thoughtless. He seems to be saying that because Francis Collins is an evangelical Christian and a famous scientist, Colson ought to have let Collins do his thinking for him.
Perhaps one reason Colson was not overly impressed by Francis Collins is that he knew Collins to be a leading government exponent of embryonic stem-cell research. Maybe another reason is that Colson had read enough of the actual content of ID proponents, and written on the subject himself, to know that Collins spoke on the subject in a misinformed and therefore misleading way.
Has Francis Collins ever taken a position because it is a clear outcome of being a Christian, even if it hampered his career? Information warmly welcomed.
Colson knew enough not to care what tenure bores say. Only what authentic people say. You learn that in prison.