The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

“On ‘The View,’ Stephen Colbert presented the Cross…”

Stephen Colbert’s Catholicism continues to grab attention. The latest, from Kathryn Jean Lopez:

“I hope that applause is for my mother’s womb.”

I certainly enjoyed when Stephen Colbert slipped that in during a recent appearance on ABC’s The View.

The Comedy Central star’s appearance got attention because the comedian walked off the set, as a joke. He was mimicking the much-talked-about recent appearance by Fox News man Bill O’Reilly on the show, where Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed out because they disagreed with comments he made about the Ground Zero mosque controversy. I was grateful for the whole controversy and comedic follow-up because I probably would have never heard Colbert talk about his mother otherwise.


After the spoof of the O’Reilly incident, show co-host and den mother Barbara Walters got Colbert to be serious. She asked him about his childhood. He’s one of eleven. The womb line was in response to audience applause after he rattled off the names of his ten siblings, quickly and without hesitation. His father and two of the eleven died in a plane crash in 1974 when Stephen was ten years old. Walters asked: How did your amazing mother do it?

And with that, Colbert dropped the shtick and focused on something anyone who watches his show regularly has seen glimpses of: his faith. He’s a Catholic who unmistakably believes that should mean something. That there should be something different about you if you are. The one who has hope lives differently, after all.


And, so, on “The View,” he presented the Cross. He told Walters and the women around the interview couch about his mother and her “very strong faith.” “She taught us to still love life and not be bitter,” he said “And to realize that everybody suffers and if you can accept your suffering then you’ll just understand other people better. And, strangely enough, you have to be grateful for pain.”

It was a beautiful, faithful use of an opportunity given to him.

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Comments read comments(6)
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Dana MacKenzie

posted October 25, 2010 at 9:15 pm

I’m very grateful to Kathryn Lopez for writing this. I’d been very put-off by the piece in the Washington Post, which she references, and which truncated Colbert’s comments, making him sound like an “elite intellectual” Catholic snob. Had the Post been generous enough to include the rest of his statement, I’d have been much more impressed.
Serves me right. I should know better than to believe what I read in the mainstream.

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Thomas Collins

posted October 25, 2010 at 9:21 pm

My esteem for Stephen Colbert has just grown immeasurably. Thank you for this piece.

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posted October 25, 2010 at 9:31 pm

I usually watch or record The View, but due to a very busy day, totally forgot to record it today. Am sorry I missed seeing Colbert today!

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Deacon Greg Kandra

posted October 25, 2010 at 9:42 pm

Ironically, that piece wasn’t put together by the Washington Post.
It was from the syndicated Religion News Service and appeared in several other papers, as well. (Still, you’d have thought RNS would have gotten a story like that right…)
Dcn. G.

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posted October 26, 2010 at 3:57 am

i love Steven Colbert.He’s brilliant and can quote scripture like nobody.He goes head to head with guests on his show regarding religion all the time.Good for him.

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Anne Blake

posted October 26, 2010 at 10:47 am

Stephen Colbert…….way to go!!! Romans 1:16

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