has been debased in our Tilt-a-Whirl media culture that can't distinguish between notoriety and fame. In contemporary America, redemption begins sometime between the first check-in into rehab and the first cable-TV interview, and reaches completion when everyone gets distracted by someone else's attention-grabbing disgrace.
Colson left government after Nixon's reelection, feeling exhausted and empty. As the furor over Watergate grew, he visited a friend one night, a successful businessman who had converted to Christianity. The friend read a passage from C. S. Lewis: "Pride always means enmity -- it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God." Later, Colson sat in his car outside the house weeping alone in the darkness, not tears of sadness nor of joy, but "of relief."
When he realized that the exigencies of his legal defense were inconsistent with the forthrightness entailed by his new faith, he pleaded guilty and became Prisoner 23226 at Maxwell Federal Prison Camp in Alabama.
Today, Good Friday, might be the time to recall that, although claims of redemption are often hogwash and should be treated as such, "often" is not "always."