US Baptists warned about Islam, atheism

Southern Baptist ConventionSAN ANTONIO – Watergate figure Chuck Colson warned a gathering of Southern Baptist pastors Sunday night against what he described as two dire threats: the deadly marriage of Islam and fascism and a new, militant atheism growing in popularity in the West.

Colson, a former Nixon “hatchet man” who became a born-again Christian and founded an evangelical ministry to prisoners, called on Christians to do a better job of explaining their religion’s worldview.

Colson, 75, spoke at a conference that precedes the annual meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention, which begins here Tuesday. At one point, Colson said “Islam is a vicious, evil …” and then before finishing the sentence, said, “Islamo-fascism is evil incarnate.” “Islamists,” Colson said, “are very different. We will die for what we believe. They will kill for what they believe.”

Comments about Islam have generated controversy at past Southern Baptist meetings. In 2002, a former Southern Baptist Convention president, the Rev. Jerry Vines, called Muhammad, the Muslim prophet, a “demon-possessed pedophile.”

Associated Press, 11 June 2007