Idol Chatter

Idol Chatter

Colbert and Campolo

After reading about “The Colbert Report” and its penchant for luring distinguished public figures into making complete fools of themselves, I tuned in last night, and who was the guest? None other than a Beliefnet favorite, Tony Campolo, a nationally known Christian author and speaker.

What a delight to watch a seasoned pro (Colbert) try to stump and trap an evangelical (Campolo)–and instead be left speechless himself. And, in the process, I think he opened the door for a whole new audience to discover the radical words of Jesus. Here were Colbert’s best attempts at leading Dr. Campolo toward putting a foot in his mouth:

COLBERT: “You claim to be a member of the ‘Evangelical Left.’ Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?”

CAMPOLO: “There are people who care about the poor, who take the words of Jesus literally, and if one would do both, then I think the two words belong together.”

COLBERT: “But you’re saying that Jesus hates America. Sean Hannity’s book said ‘deliver us from evil.’ Do you watch Hannity & Colmes?”

CAMPOLO. “Jesus loves the United States. Jesus loves Iraq. Jesus loves Afghanistan. He calls all people to love each other, get along with each other. He loved Afghanistan before the U.S. went there… before it was even Afghanistan.”

COLBERT: “You make Jesus sound like the U.N.”

CAMPOLO: “If the U.N. would listen to Jesus, the whole world would be in good shape.”

COLBERT: (speechless)

CAMPOLO: “Jesus transcends partisan politics.”

COLBERT: “So you’re saying Jesus doesn’t care who is President?”

CAMPOLO: “I’ve got a feeling that if Jesus went into the voting box, he’d be very confused, because there’s stuff on both sides to like and not to like. They’ve made Jesus into a Republican, and he’s not.”

COLBERT: “Do you get a frosty reception from the evangelical pancake breakfast?”

CAMPOLO: “I don’t get invited anymore.”

And finally…

COLBERT: “Has religion changed politics, or has politics changed religion?”

CAMPOLO: “It’s like mixing ice cream and horse manure. It doesn’t hurt the horse manure, but it hurts the ice cream. Politics has hurt religion, more than the opposite.”

COLBERT: (pause)

COLBERT: “Would you come back another time to sift the turds from the cream?!”

And then they shook hands, laughed, and shared a moment that—to this viewer—looked like an authentic connection. Campolo won this round, in my opinion, but the real winner was the audience. This frank and funny dialogue was one of the more civil, humorous, honest and challenging discussions two people could have about authentic spiritual searching and its connection to real-life decision-making–all while keeping us laughing. All in all, time well spent.

  • senlin

    I’m not a BIG fan of Tony Campolo (although I agree with his politics) but I thought this segment was really great, too. Clever and weirdly reverent in its irreverence — just what you’d expect from the Colbert Report, or anything the makers of the Daily Show put out. It’s definitely intelligent, interesting television.>

  • stephen

    It was a great segment, but I think you’re giving Colbert too much credit as a “seasoned pro.” The man’s a comedian, not a journalist. Tony did not “win” because Colbert was lobbing him softballs intended so that Tony could knock them out of the park, and he did well. Colbert is a member of the religous left–any attempts to try to really dig at Tony where lighthearted.>

  • johnny

    i haven’t read the other comments, so i don’t know if this has been mentioned. colbert is playing a character on his show, so he has no actual hostility toward his guests and he was not trying to make a fool of campolo. he was simply acting in character. it is always up to the colbert guest to rise to the challenge. stephen colbert the person is a churchgoer and a man of faith and probably actually would be congenial with campolo. it was a great segment and made me think campolo, rather than jim wallis, should be the “face” of the evangelical left/red-letter christian movement. wallis is well-meaning, but bores me to tears>

Previous Posts

We Bid Farewell to Leonard Nimoy
Friday, February 27th Leonard Nimoy, famously known for his role as Spock in the infamous Star Trek series, passed away at the age of 83. His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, stating that the cause was the end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Nimoy publicly announced last

posted 2:25:26pm Feb. 27, 2015 | read full post »

Watch This Exclusive Video Feature from National Geographic's 'Killing Jesus'
[jwvideo vid='2epXRLlI' pid='GvkPWNBE'] National Geographic’s ‘Killing Jesus’ is set to premiere on March 29, Palm Sunday, breathing new life into the story of Jesus’ life and resurrection. Don’t miss your opportunity to watch this must-see video feature, providing an exclusive look into

posted 5:46:42pm Feb. 25, 2015 | read full post »

The Official Trailer and Movie Art for National Geographic's ‘Killing Jesus’ Is Here, And It's Powerful
Here’s a first look at the movie poster art from National Geographic’s ‘Killing Jesus,’ the upcoming film adaptation of the New York Times bestselling book about the life and crucifixion of Jesus. The highly-anticipated film will premiere on National Geographic Sunday, March 29, just one

posted 1:17:01pm Feb. 19, 2015 | read full post »

Get a First Look at A.D. The Bible Continues
This Easter Sunday, April 5th, 2015, join millions of viewers for the premiere of A.D. The Bible Continues and continue on a 12-week journey through what would become the most powerful global movement in history – the rise of the Church. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-6U-BteVyQ&

posted 4:29:18pm Feb. 18, 2015 | read full post »

‘Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!’
Faster than you can say: ‘Hey! Ho! Let’s go!,’ self-taught drummer Marky Ramone continues to rock out his legacy as the last member of the most iconic punk bands in history.  In his book, Punk Rock Blitzkrieg: My Life as a Ramone, Marky gives an account of the punk scene in the 1970s, a look

posted 1:09:59pm Feb. 12, 2015 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.