The Quiet Faith Behind Stephen Colbert

Stephen Colbert recently gave testimony before a US House committee which poked fun at the congressional process and the Republican position on immigrants. But his funny parody … which was a bit uncomfortable to watch … turned serious at the end when he revealed that the real reason he came to testify was because of the plight of undocumented and migrant farm workers in America. He described his motivation as the instruction of Jesus about “the least of these.”

A careful attention to Colbert’s regular late night show demonstrates a similar respect for his Catholic faith, but it is a respect that often is expressed through self-critical humor. The HuffingtonPost writes this today about Colbert’s quiet faith:

“Anytime you talk about Jesus or Christianity respectfully the way he does, it is evangelization,” said Jim Martin, the associate editor of the Jesuit magazine America, who has appeared on Colbert’s show four times.

“He is preaching the gospel, but I think he is doing it in a very post-modern way.”

It’s a contrast to Glenn Beck, the kind of right-wing media icon Colbert loves to skewer. While Beck’s recent Restoring Honor rally in Washington was headed by a conservative broadcaster who embraces theological patriotism, Colbert’s March to Keep Fear Alive on Oct. 30 will be helmed by a man of more private faith who leaves his God-and-country religion on the set.

Colbert has said that he attends church, observes Lent and teaches Sunday school. “I love my church, and I’m a Catholic who was raised by intellectuals, who were very devout,” he told Time Out magazine. “I was raised to believe that you could question the church and still be a Catholic.”

via The Quiet Faith Behind Colbert’s Right-Wing Funnyman.


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