The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

Colbert on faith

For various people who have wondered about the man’s religious devotion — especially in light of his recent testimony before Congress — I found this snip from an interview in 2009:

Would your family all sing carols on Christmas Eve?

Sure, we’d process through the house, and we still do it. My family is 50 people now — nieces and nephews and that sort of thing — and we process from the youngest to the oldest. The youngest puts the baby Jesus in the manger on Christmas Eve and we sing “Silent Night.” It’s very traditional.


Does faith still play a big part in your life?

Very much. I am highly variable in my devotion. From a doctrinal point of view or a dogmatic point of view or a strictly Catholic adherent point of view, I’m first to say that I talk a good game, but I don’t know how good I am about it in practice. I saw how my mother’s faith was very valuable to her and valuable to my brothers and sisters, and I’m moved by the words of Christ, and I’ll leave it at that.

But you do teach Sunday school?

I teach the seven year olds. I’m the catechist for their first communion.

He sounds like a lot of Catholics I know, actually …

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posted September 27, 2010 at 9:38 am

Wow…who would have thought? Very interesting..Thank you.:)

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posted September 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

Firstly I want to say that I’m a personal fan of the very talented Stephen Cobert, as well as using comedy when possible to make/teach important issues. I also am a big fan of LEGAL immigration, and always treating those who are here illegally with respect and dignity.
When it comes to the spiritual journey, all of us are on a different place on the road, some with much to learn, others with much to teach.
It’s been well known that Colbert was/is a Catholic, taught/teaches Catechism, etc.
That’s all well and good. The problem comes in when celebrity Catholics “misrepresent” Catholic teachings, usually to sell books, or promote an agenda, even if that “misrepresentation” is in ommissions.
So many times I’ve watched Cobert where he had a choice between the “joke” or the “teaching moment”, and he almost always goes for the joke. I’m not implying that all Catholic TV personalities have to teach the faith on their shows, however, IF they choose to bring out their Catholicsim (almost always for a self-serving purpose), they then DO have an obligation to teach what the church teachings.
The 3 Catholics with the biggest audiences, reaching MILLIONS of Americans, are O’Reilly, Hannity, and Cobert. Cobert has an obligation to his faith to vote Catholic, meaning, Obama wasn’t an option. I honestly don’t know how he voted, only that I have never heard him give a Catholic pro life point of view, even in comedy.
I could give countless examples between O’Reilly, Hannity, and Cobert who play up their Catholicism when it fits their agendas, but never have the guts to take a real stand, regardless of how unpopular, when it comes to defending the faith.
The reality is, to whom much is given, much is expected. I believe, even more than the radical left, it will be the Colberts, the O’Reillys, and the Hannity’s of the country who will have contributed more to the demise of America than the Main Steam Media, as none, at least to my knowledge, have EVERY put God, or the teachings of the faith first.
Anyone of faith could see the perils of Obama, and now we suffer the consequences. Had the “celebity 3″ used their powerful voices in true Catholic Conviction, if only to promote the Catholic voting guidelines, it’s almost a given they would have influenced the Catholic Vote, which dreadfully, went for Obama and put him into office.
Consequently, I believe God sent Glenn Beck, the self described rodeo clown, Mormon, former drunk, to send the message they didn’t/don’t have the guts or Catholic conviction to stand behind. And for the record, I don’t buy everything Glenn Beck teaches, but do believe he has the overall message, and priority, of God first, country second exactly right.
There are only a handful of people in this country who are afforded the priviledge of having a voice to all of America. To be Catholic and squander it, is at the very least, no laughing matter.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 11:49 am

Klaire- do you even watch O’Reilly? I watch his show almost every night. He is very faithful to Catholic teachings! Have you not heard him defend life, that he is against the death penalty, against abortion, that he constantly supports the ‘preferential option for the poor’, among other things? All of the proceeds from his website sales go directly to charity!
The other point I want to make is that his show offers analysis. Very much unlike Hannity or Beck. You say you support Glenn Beck, but you ‘don’t buy everything he teaches’. Perhaps if you watched O’Reilly on a regular basis, read his books and thoughtfully considered what his analysis offers, you would not be so quick to condemn him. I don’t think he’s squandering his opportunity- I think he injects his Catholic faith in them every opportunity he gets…and if he was strictly a Catholic show, he would not have the opportunity.We all know how popular religious shows are in America.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I really don’t follow any of those Catholic celebrities so I do not know if they publicly dissent or whatever. BUT if a guy goes to Mass, prays, observes holiday religious devotions, teaches CCD…unless he is publicly denying doctrine WHY would be be upset with calling him a good Catholic? Is anyone of us perfect in our living observance of the Gospel?

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posted September 27, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Michele I stopped watching O’Reilly after he attacked JPII in addition to the church’s teaching on birth control, again, O’ Reilly being the cafeteria catholic. Any pro life Catholic understands that the genesis of abortion starts with artificial contraception and it’s really not a ‘good idea” to attack the Vicar of Christ, especially to a multi million audience. (FYI, soon after JPII, and O”Reilly wasted no time being the “All things JPII” while ratings were soring for all things JPII during the days following his death.
The only thing I WILL give O’Reilly credit for Michele is allowing Laura Ingraham, a Catholic Convert, to host for him at times. Unlike the rest, Laura IS a devout FULL MENU Catholic who is NOT afraid to speak ALL the truths of her faith when need be (and it hasn’t hurt her ratings in the least). Not too long ago I saw her take a Chicago congressman to task for claiming to be catholic yet supporting anti-Catholic views.
As for Hannity, I doubt most have seen his on air screed with Father Eutanaur AGAINST the church’s teaching on birth control. It’s easily found on You tube. Despite that, Hannity still tries to convince his audience that he was “in the seminary”, which I think equates to Latin 101.
All said Michelle, I think you are missing the bigger point. First, I am not suggesting that any of these guys turn their shows into a “catholic show”, only that when they bring out the Catholicism, they have an obligation to get it right. These men have HUGE influence, and to some degree, cult like followings. For Hannity and O’Reilly to diss the CC’s teaching on birth control is more than periolous, especially when as your preceive, they are such good and charitable guys. Well, so is Oprah, and she teaches/promoites new age anti-Christian books and gurus (again, nicely “disguised”). The most dangerous evils are always nicely packaged, that’s how it works.
As for Colbert, with his great talent, he could have easily, for examply, made a comedy routine on why he can’t vote for Obama. It could have not only been brilliant but highly effective.
The bottom line, any descent is the kiss of death, and the potential loss of souls, as all Catholic Teachings are in some way or another dependent upon each other. I can almost assure you that both Hannity and O’Reilly aren’t educated beyond their 3rd grade catechism, despite Bill having a Harvard degree. Colbert I suspect is the most informed of the faith of the 3, albeit stuggles with his leftism, consequently, compromises, which becomes everyones loss. That said, I don’t think any of the 3 set out to be “anti-Catholics” as Oprah does, but none the less, their cowardace or ignorance, has serious consequences.
p.s Ironically, when Oprah finally lost her number one spot, she put the Catholic nuns on, (sort of like Obama getting a church photo op). Never mind that it was in combo with the Geisha Girls, the nuns were pretty powerful. Had it not been for her largely Christian audience starting to question and ratings falling, it’s highly doubtful that Oprah would have done anything so Christian. Likewise, if Catholics would back off from Hannity and O’Reilly and Colbert when they “go cafeteria”, it would matter, making the point that we ALL have an obligation to live our faith in the public square, especially in a time when catechesis is so poor, that more, including Catholics, are more grounded in political correctness than their Catholic faith.

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posted September 27, 2010 at 5:41 pm

No way Jose, is this true? I thought he was just another comedian,
but after what he said, WTG the Colbert Report! (EMMY from JohnStewart)
Read more:

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posted September 28, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I believe it is a matter of opinion on whether or not O’Reilly ‘attacked’ JPII or not- I don’t think he ‘attacked’ him at all. His discussion on birth control was that it is a personal choice, not a medical condition- and he does not want to pay for someone’s personal choice through taxes. O’Reilly has always been consistent on the issue of pro-life teachings.
The other comments he made on JPII correctly stated that JPII was the Pope while predator priests continued to sexually abuse children & youth. That is not an attack, it is a fact.
JPII did move forward with starting to clean up the predator priesthood, but he continued to move around predator priests until early 2003, when the ‘scandal’ broke.
I also disagree with you that it is the job of a TV Commentator to teach Catholic Doctrine, although after having watched O’Reilly since the late 90’s I have yet to hear him express something specifically Catholic that is not in line with the teachings of the Church. He very rarely gives his personal opinion.
And I also think that making claims about he and Hannity having a 3rd grade catechism class are also very unfair, unless you know that as s fact. You can toss out complaints and insults, but why? Is that in line with the teachings of the Church?
My comments were specifically about Bill O’Reilly…I don’t watch Hannity, and I certainly don’t watch Oprah.

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