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Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death
Chuck Colson, 80, underwent surgery this month to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.
April 18th, 2012
12:25 PM ET

Watergate figure Chuck Colson reportedly near death

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

Washington (CNN) - Chuck Colson, the convicted Watergate figure turned evangelist, is near death after suffering a brain hemorrhage earlier this month, his media representatives said Wednesday.

“It is with a heavy, but hopeful heart that I share with you that it appears our friend, brother and founder will soon be home with the Lord,” Jim Liske, CEO of Prison Fellowship Ministries, which Colson founded, said in a statement.

“Chuck's condition took a decided turn yesterday, and the doctors advised Patty and the family to gather by his bedside,” Liske said, referring to Colson’s wife.

Colson, 80, underwent surgery this month to remove a pool of clotted blood on the surface of his brain.

Colson was special counsel to President Richard Nixon and the first member of the Nixon administration to serve prison time for charges stemming from the 1972 Watergate scandal.

“He admits he was guilty of political ‘dirty tricks’’ and willing to do almost anything for the cause of his president and his party,” according to Colson’s official biography.

In 1974, Colson served seven months of a one- to three-year sentence. Not long after his release, he founded Prison Fellowship, which calls itself “the world's largest outreach to prisoners, ex-prisoners and their families,” with a presence in 113 countries.

Colson also hosts a daily radio commentary called BreakPoint that airs on stations nationwide.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Christianity • Leaders

soundoff (369 Responses)
  1. Reilleyfam

    Everyone "FINDS GOD" in prison.

    No one finds God on prom night.

    April 18, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • nuntukamen

      Not, but I did discover a little bit of heaven.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
  2. David Crosby

    Good..The World will be better with people like him dead..Evangelist my a**...Amazing how weak minded people can forget what treachery and anti democratic evil is in a man...he was never contrite I'll bet on that..

    April 18, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • Gary Mannies

      No, David, the world would be better off without people like you. Chuck Colson admitted what he did was illegal and harmed many people. But, he redeemed his life and helped thousands of others to do the same. Bitter people such as yourself help no one and feel the need to "cast the first stone" to boost your own poor little egos.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • ????

      Your post is just wrong. You should be ashamed. If "not being weak" means being a jerk then you can keep your strength all to yourself.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • gotalive

      have you seen the scope and impact of his various ministries that he has started ever since his conversion? you might not be Christian, but please at least offer a shred of respect, he at least deserves that.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  3. prisondoeswonders

    I understand he tried to turn his life around and atone for his misdeeds while in the lockup. I suppose it is never too late but what damage was caused in the first place is still reverberating and empowering the latest generation of self appointed haters. God help us all.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
  4. Dan Bednarik

    Time to join dicky!

    April 18, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  5. Nomad

    Hello! We will all come to the end of the road no matter how long or how short that road will be. We are all sinners and unless we ask for forgiveness for our sinns, we go to hell. You have two choices. You either go for teh six foot under option and let your body be rott by the worms or you chose the fire option, yes the oven. So far so good. Whatr is happening to your soul in your body? yes it will either be united with the spirit of God or with teh spirt of evil, the devil. Your choice, God does not push you either way but he invites you to his table by offering the sacraments to all who seek him. It is a no brainer really.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Assuming heaven is filled with drivel like yours, I vote for hell.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • GodPot

      "By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return." Gen 3:19

      Notice how it doesn't say "for dust you are and to dust your body will return, leaving your spirit to go reside somewhere else..."

      April 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • momoya

      Eccl 9:5:

      For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Jim

      William, if you drink, I'd like to buy you a beer for that comment ! You're not the only one.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Jim

      Make it a Fosters!

      April 18, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      Nomad: It is awfully pompous purporting to speak for god, whether you are a 21st century man on a blog, or a 1st century sheep herder

      April 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  6. rob

    Awesome news!!! One more bigot on his way to hell.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
    • GodPot

      How do you get to, or even avoid getting to, a place that doesn't exist?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • DJ

      Stay class, Rob. While you're at it, get help for your anger management issues, emotional trauma, or whatever else that's holding you back.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • nuntukamen

      Believe me Hell exists; look around, you can't miss seeing it. If anything you can imagine happens in hell to a person's spirit is happening to a person somewhere now at this very second, that ought to be a clue. If I know that the Empire State Building is in New York, and I see it, and I know the Statue of Liberty is in New York, and I see it, and I know there is the Lincoln Tunnel in New York, and I see it, I can pretty much be certain that I know where I am. I see lots of hellish things all day everyday right here on earth.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
    • nuntukamen

      GodPot; the difference being that here we can choose to do something that changes it for the better, even if most often, we don't.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
  7. tom

    "God gave doctors great gifts to heal. And God answers prayers and heals using the skills of these doctors."

    I wonder why God ignores the prayers of the parents of cancer-stricken children? Oh, wait, I know the answer: "we can't always understand his plans." There is always a self-serving answer no matter what happens. How convenient.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • jay

      @Tom

      Snide, reductive and ignorant. And clearly, you've done steady reflection on your own heart and conscience to rant about such outrage on justice matters. So, how is it that you come to criteria of justice? Is it your own self-serving morality and enlightenment? Why would you even care about such matters: if I were a secularist, I'd certainly wouldnt.

      "God gave doctors great gifts to heal. And God answers prayers and heals using the skills of these doctors."

      I wonder why God ignores the prayers of the parents of cancer-stricken children? Oh, wait, I know the answer: "we can't always understand his plans." There is always a self-serving answer no matter what happens. How convenient.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • momoya

      @jay

      Why won't god heal amputees and cancer ridden children of god-believing parents?. Why pray to a being that can't be proven to exist and who doesn't answer prayer any more, better, or clearly than prayer to a milk jug?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Jay

      Please spare the arrogance.

      I suggest Epicurus. He shredded the argument for your savior centuries before the Palestinians even made him up.

      If you want to worship an imaginary being, at least try to invent a cool one.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Jim

      Jay, don't persecute Tom for refusing to believe in fairy tales, congratulate him for being able to think independently.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
  8. just sayin

    Prayer changes things, he just needs to pray REALLY REALLY REALLY hard. God Bless!

    April 18, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • just sayin

      There is a joy in a life that has honored God. Mr Colson has been a blessing to thousands, reaching out and seeing lives transformed through Prison Fellowship. 113 countries have an effective prayerful ministry that did not exist before Chuck Colson. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • just sayin

      We will see if prayer works perhaps????

      April 18, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is evidence of psychosis

      April 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  9. carlyjanew6

    http://www.Hear-The-Truth.com

    April 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
  10. Reality Sucks

    Wow, you atheists are actually worse than the religious right. If you don't want to believe in anything that's fine with me, but while you're busy not believing why don't you also shut the hell up.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Because we are ascending, and we want a little payback.

      Tax the church, imprison the men who bugger boys and defraud little old ladies!

      April 18, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
  11. 111Dave111

    May he rest in Peace, he admitted guilt and moved forward with dignity. As an Atheist and Democrat, I forgive him.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      I never condemned him in the first place.

      But rest assured, if a hell ever exists, it shall have a special cellar for corrupt politicians

      April 18, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Brad

      More importantly, God has forgiven in Christ Jesus.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Brad?

      So he forgives himself?

      God is quite forgiving, but considering he is omnipotent, he shouldn't really have too? Circular idiodicy is a Christian trade mark, but your skills amaze!

      Must make your head hurt, trying to keep all the dogmatic absurdities straight!

      April 18, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
  12. Boohincus

    Bill, you're simply an American citizen inculcated with Christianity. Religion is about tribe, not truth.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm |
  13. cnnlicksit

    Well if he was that corrupt, the only lord he's gonna meet is the lord of the underworld.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:16 pm |
    • just sayin

      Heaven is gained by grace through faith not by good deeds. Heaven is not lost by failings, all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Heaven is gained by turning from our sin and accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as God accepted Him. Mr Colson by all reports will never see the underworld. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      just sayin

      So if Hitler and Manson profess the glory of Jeebus they get to go to heaven but Ghandi burns because he refutes your cult?

      That is why folks like you need to be sterilized, so your mental illness shall not scourge future generations.

      You are indeed one sick puppy.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • mrspansas

      @just saying...So true..

      April 18, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is a possibility, but we know Hitler was an atheist and committed suicide, so he is probably not in heaven. Manson by all accounts is still a false god in his own mind and not a likely candidate either. Gandi ? We do not know the state of his mind, did he have a personal relationship with Christ? God alone knows but you seem to be in the know. Please tell us. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      just sayin

      Such a coward.

      Ghandi loathed Christianity.

      You're just afraid to admit you think he burns.

      You hate ANYONE who rejects Christ, and coddle anyone who cow tows to him.

      You are pathetic.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      just sayin

      Furthermore, you still can't accept Hitler Christianity.

      I have over 1200 direct quotes indicating his EXACT beliefs, yet you still deny.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • CosmicC

      "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ." – Ghandi.

      That pretty much sums it all up.

      April 18, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      William, I deny facts and feed constant misinformation. Deal with it. God Bless!

      April 18, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • just sayin

      Hitler was one of histories biggest liars. You cannot use Hitler quotes to represent Truth. Look at the evidences of his private life and testimonies of those who knew him best. Hitler was an atheist.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  14. Harleyrider

    You all can slander Jesus, slander and deny prayer, say there is no God, etc/. but, I wonder how brave and slanderous you will be when you stand face to face with the one you say does not exist and a liar. In case you don't know, the Bible, in Jesus words said "Pray for one another". Them, we will see how brave you are.

    April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bill

      Amen bro.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:11 pm |
    • Cheezus Krystoh

      Fiction.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • momoya

      God does not exist, so I will not ever stand before him for any reason.. If god can't communicate his nature and desires as clearly and convincingly as math or chemistry than he's a fvcking idiot.. Math and chemistry provide within the process a way to test assumptions to see if they are accurate or not, but god believers can and do believe anything at all that they want to about god..

      When you guys turn up some verifiable evidence, let us know.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • downriverdem

      Don't know about Chuck, but he was a very bad man way back.

      Current repubs are another story. If there is a hell all current repubs will rotting therel. They are repub Christians. They are not true Christians. They do not follow the Prince of Peace. They do not follow the Sermon on the Mount. I don't care what the posters say here. They have no clue about the hate the repubs are foisting on us. You are all blind to reality. Jesus would never support the current repubs and how hateful they are to others. You folks will get it one day and you will all be ashamed of who you support now.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Harley

      Take a bath dude, the road grime has left your brain starved of oxygen.

      As for Jeebus, he is duly convicted and sentenced to die.

      If I see him, I take him out.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      @Harleyrider
      Are you worried about how you'll feel when you die and Ma'at measures the weight of your heart against a Shu feather?
      Do you lose sleep worrying about how to die gloriously in battle so you can get to Valhalla?
      Have you learned the secret names and handshakes necessary to face Joseph Smith and get to the Celestial Kingdom?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Reilleyfam

      I believe in God I just dont believe he interacts in this world at all. When I die and go to judgment it will be based on my deeds and no last minute appeal will work anyway. I stand ready to be judged on my merits = no fear.

      Prayer is useless. Life is a test. God created the world (with injustice & pain) and the test is to see how well do in spite of it. When we die, we are judged and go from there. The whole point is for God to NOT help us and see how we do on our own with free will.

      April 18, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • just sayin

      Harley,

      Perhaps you have too eat'n too many bugs while riding. Some of us don't put our faith in man. Apparently you do and have certain fears about dying. Pu ss y. God Bless!

      April 18, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      Reilleyfam

      I believe in God I just dont believe he interacts in this world at all. When I die and go to judgment it will be based on my deeds and no last minute appeal will work anyway. I stand ready to be judged on my merits = no fear.

      Prayer is useless. Life is a test. God created the world (with injustice & pain) and the test is to see how well do in spite of it. When we die, we are judged and go from there. The whole point is for God to NOT help us and see how we do on our own with free will.
      >
      Your view is probably the most realistic out when it comes to believing in a potential God. You don't let men dictate your view or faith, like some relying upon ancient writings and biases.

      April 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      It is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgement. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is the act of talking with God, an essential life changing experience. For it is in God we live and move and have our being. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is evidence of psychosis. God Bless!

      April 18, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer has opened the floodgates of heaven and allowed God to share wisdom with mankind. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • just sayin

      Insanity is defined as someone who would deny God in spite of overwhelming evidences. The fool has told itself there is no God. God Is. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • just sayin

      Nope, prayer is evidence of psychosis. God Bless

      April 18, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
  15. Retired3

    Now he will go to his just reward (jail wasn't enough)

    April 18, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Bill

      Retired 3 .... yes he will. He will go to his place in the heavenly kingdom ... to a home built for him by Jesus Christ. Was he a sinful man? Yes. Are you a sinful man? Yes. Did Colson need a Savior to redeem his soul? Yes? Do you need that same Saviour to redeem your soul? Yes. Or do you think being a "good guy" is enough to get you into heaven?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
    • Woody

      "He will go to his place in the heavenly kingdom ... to a home built for him by Jesus Christ" – Bill

      So all that carpentry training is paying off. I'm curious as to what materials were used in the construction of this new home. It would not only have to be invisible, but also lighter than air so it wouldn't come crashing down to the Earth. You seem to know a lot about Heaven, how about some insider technical info.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
  16. kansas slim

    Colson was a real bad guy when he was a true believer in the Nixon cause. He was also a hired gun lawyer who often represented the wrong side. So, it's hard to know how much credence one can put in the authenticity of his late in life conversion to Jesus. One must always beware the true believer. He did not do a good job with his time on the earthwalk. Still, his race has run and even a scoundrel like Colson probably deserves to rest in peace.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • nuntukamen

      Meanest man in the Nixon White House, although G. Gordon Liddy was the craziest, truly mentally unbalanced, and still is. Colson had the most amazing conversion from his prison experience, similar to Jeb Magruder, except Magruder wasn't the hatchet heart that Colson was.

      Too bad he couldn't lay out his own version in a bedside confession. Won't miss him, but he really turned his personality, life, and dedication to Spirit around.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:06 pm |
    • Bill

      Kansas Slim .... Colson acepted Jesus more than 30 years ago .... not exactly late in life. and his prison outreach ministry has been helping convicts of every race and background for more than three decades. Sounds like a pretty good earthwalk to me.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Bill

      Making a living off exploiting the mentaly ill by selling them a non-existant salvation is a good earthwalk?

      Preaching to a captive audience of failed humans, manipulating the simple?

      I guess you need to work on your standards, cause this yahoo is a charlatan.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  17. Voice of Reason

    EARS (Eradicate All Religions Simultaneously)

    April 18, 2012 at 12:56 pm |
    • JGEE

      Signed, a minion of C. Hitchens. Oh, wait, he's dead.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  18. Jack 63

    Wow, and I thought the trolls commenting on the Trayvon case were heartless crackpots, you guys take the prize though.

    April 18, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • tct

      They're exercising the only power they have in their lives, they think being punjs makes them look big.

      April 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      tct

      Who you callin a punj?

      You kiss your momma with that mouth?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
  19. William Demuth

    YOU SEE!

    Prayer DOES work!

    ANother Jeebus freak about to take a dirt nap!

    April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • just sayin

      Mr. Colson went through a lifetime twice. He has done more as a Christian to help people in need than any dozen of his detractors combined. When entering into eternal bliss I fully expect Charles Colson to receive from God the warmest welcome of well done good and faithful servant. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
    • God hates everyone

      God hates everyone

      April 18, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Bill

      William .... it must be very difficult to go through life with such Venom for all mankind. And @ "God hates everyone" - God does not hate ANYONE. God loves everyone and everything He created.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • WIlliam Demuth

      Bill

      I am not the same commenter!

      Irregardless, God only exists in your imagination.

      Try reality sometime, it's good for the mental health.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • MNTaxpayer

      Bill,

      Then why is there a Hell?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
  20. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things

    April 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Jesus

      Prayer doesn’t not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.

      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!

      April 18, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • just sayin

      fake Jesus has long been exposed as an ignorant ne'er do well. Avoid any posts offered by fake Jesus. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Sid Airfoil

      Nonsense. If you pray and things change you cite that as evidence that prayer works. If you pray and things DON'T change, you say "God answers all prayers, and sometimes the answer is 'no'". In science that's called cherry picking your data. You accept positive evidence and ignore negative evidence.

      Very convenient...but irrational.

      Sid

      April 18, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Bill

      "Fake Jesus" - God is not a heavenly vending machine. Prayers are not magic incantations that grant you anything you want. Prayer is communication with the Creator of the Universe. Prayer is a relationship with God. And a relationship with God changes lives and heart. And yes, sometimes God performs miracles. All the time? No. Everytime we want Him to? No. But since this is His universe, the plan for everything is His. For the record, I don't believe people should forgo medicine and simply ask God for healing. Why? Because Luke was a doctor. God gave doctors great gifts to heal. And God answers prayers and heals using the skills of these doctors.

      April 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • jimbo

      It's amazing how long believers have been praying for world peace yet their god has not brought it. How long does their god have to be pestered before he coughs up ?

      April 18, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      World peace will return with Christ and His Kingdom, look for things to be really bad before then. God bless

      April 18, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Jesus

      "fake Jesus has long been exposed as an ignorant ne'er do well. Avoid any posts offered by fake Jesus."

      More lies and desperation by Christians proving my post is correct. LOL!

      April 18, 2012 at 2:33 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.