Ethics Daily: Behind Colbert’s Right-wing Funny Man, a Quiet Faith
... It was a different kind of religious message than Colbert typically delivers on Comedy Central’s “The Colbert Report,” where he often pokes fun at religion—even his own Catholic Church—in pursuit of a laugh.
Yet it was the kind of serious faith that some of his fellow Catholics say makes him a serious, covert and potent evangelist for their 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.” ...
... 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.”
His on-air persona is a bloviating holier-than-thou conservative whose orthodox Catholicism is part of what makes him funny. On air, Colbert has chided the pope as an “ecu-menace” for his outreach to other faiths, referred to non-Catholics as “heathens and the excommunicated” and calls those who believe in evolution “monkey men.”
Diane Houdek has tracked Colbert’s on-air references to Catholicism on her blog, Catholic Colbert. When he recites the Nicene Creed or Bible verses from memory, as he did in 2006, it shows how foundational his faith is, she said.
“He is moving in an extremely secular world—it is hard to get a lot more secular than Comedy Central,” Houdek said. “Yet I feel he is able to witness to his faith in a very subtle way, a very quiet way to an audience that has maybe never encountered this before.” ...
And of course it is Colbert who gave us the wonderful term "truthiness."