Saturday, October 17, 2009

Colbert - Cross Not About Jesus

The Word - Symbol-Minded
The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorMichael Moore

H/T to The Lead.


  1. I'm sorry a difficult subject but I found the humour offensive.

  2. Brian, I'm sorry. I meant no offense, nor, I believe, did Colbert, who is a practicing Roman Catholic.

    Justice Scalia's reasoning is what I find offensive.

  3. I posted it over on my FB page. I think what the piece does it it points out "you can't have it both ways." The cross is not a generic cemetery symbol, despite what Justice Scalia claims. It is in the cemetery because Christians place their hope in the Resurrection. To me, it's offensive to expect Jews, Hindus, Muslims, etc. to buy into that. Trying to sell the cross as a "generic symbol" is the equivalent of the British Army smearing pork grease on their rifle loads, which had to be bitten open, by the Hindu troops in India, and going, "Ha, ha, you're one of US now!"

  4. Ooops. I meant beef tallow. Of course the pork would have worked on the Muslims that would later become part of Pakistan!

  5. It's Scalia, also a Roman Catholic, who diminishes the significance of the cross as a Christian symbol. In the US military cemeteries, the cross is most certainly not the generic symbol. The Star of David and the Crescent and Star are also present. Scalia speaks offensive nonsense.

  6. Colbert is extremely satirical and he has found his subject here. Scalia is whacked - the cross has nothing to do with Christianity?

    Scalia is Roman Catholic and from what I understand, worships at a very conservative parish. Quelle suprise.

    It just pokes holes in this idiotic case that tries to make the cross a secular symbol - that is offensive! And for what point would that be done?

    (Colbert is actually a catechist at his own parish. How cool would that be to be a kid and have Stephen Colbert as your faith formation teacher?)

  7. Colbert a chatechist? I did not know that. Nevermind the kids. I'll take his catechism class any day.

  8. I wonder how many people watching Colbert recognized the Nicene creed?

    Some background info on the case.

  9. Erp, I don't know how many recognized the Nicene Creed, but I surely did.

    The background on the case is interesting. It seems to me that either way the court rules will open up a can of worms. It would have been better if the Congress had not passed silly laws and the Supremes had decided not to take the case.

  10. I would expect any regular on this blog (even atheists like myself and IT) to recognize the creed. I just wonder about the television audience.

    Now if he had gone for the Athanasian Creed....

  11. I love this man! [Y'know, the guy who plays the caricature 4 nights a week. ;-)]

    He's really an Official Catechist? I would think NYC's (latest loony) RCC Archbishop would put a stop to that, if he found out...

  12. I simply wonder what Justice Scalia had been smoking, as the saying goes...

  13. All over Australian highways you can see crosses by the side of the road put there by relatives and friends of those killed in unfortunate accidents. I bet most of these people rarely, if ever, went to church but they think (rightly or wrongly) the cross is a symbol of death. And if we are to remove crosses from war memorials built 75 years ago then nearly every town in Australia will have its war memorial removed resulting in uproar. It would be different if the memorial was being built today, This type of PC makes me sick.
    And to recite the creed for the sake of humour angers me immensely.

  14. Catherine in JapanOctober 18, 2009 at 3:26 AM

    Thank you for this Colbert clip.
    The hypocrisy of Scalia is so effectively skewered.
    Oh, and I am a practicing Catholic...

  15. Brian, we have the people's memorials in the form of crosses on the roadside here, too. I assume that the persons who died were at least nominally Christian, whether they attended church or not. I'm fairly sure that none of the crosses honor Jews or Muslims.

    I don't know how the justices will rule in the case, but the result will be messy either way. However, Colbert is right to ridicule Scalia's comments.

    As to the creed, of course you have a right to your opinion, Brian. As you see here, I and many others, of various religious persuasions enjoy Stephen Colbert's humor. I value your opinion, even if we disagree, and I thank you for your comments.

  16. Brian, I wanted to wait until Mimi said something - and as it happens, she said what I would have said.

    Colbert is actually pretty religious - and I don't think that is in a sanctimonious way. Clearly, otherwise he would not be able to play this character. This is irreverent humor that pokes fun at the heart of the sanctimonious among us - a very common theme in American religion these days.

    To JCF, that wascally wabbit new Archbishop in NY is not from the heavy handed. He would absolutely not make sure that Colbert got let go as a catechist. Oh he gets subtlety and that is why so many people love him and think he is great. Even the right wing Catholics of NYC were sick to death of the last A'bshp.

    Watch that Tim Dolan, he will woo and charm like nobody's business and no one does "regular guy" like him. Frankly that always scares me.

  17. As Grandma pointed out, non-Christians as opposed to nominal Christians are unlikely to put up crosses. Also the current Mojave cross is only about 10 years old, the original has been replaced several times. Perhaps one suggestion is to replace it by a column.

  18. I think what is offensive in this parody is exactly what Colbert is trying to get across. Colbert takes the role of one of the crazies who twist things like the Creeds (and Bible) to the point where their application is, indeed, offensive and destructive.

    Can one possible play a conservative doppelganger without being offensive? I think that is the point.

  19. Can one possible play a conservative doppelganger without being offensive? I think that is the point.

    That is the point, Brian, and what Colbert does is not offensive to me. One would hope that seeing themselves represented in the extreme would cause at least a few conservatives who are not extremists to think a little and have a care about the company they keep. Barring that, I think Colbert is funny. I don't know quite how he manages to remain in character. I could not do it. In the end, it's a matter of taste and what some folks find humorous, others may find offensive.

  20. To our international friends; a lot of our military these days is made up of immigrants (the wars of this new Gilded Age are fought with a largely immigrant military, like the Spanish American War of the last Gilded Age). Many of them are not Christians or from Christian countries or cultures. I've had some of these veterans in my classes. I seriously doubt a Thai Buddhist or a Senegalese Muslim, or their families, would appreciate being interred under the sign of the cross, or memorialized by such.
    Fortunately, the US military is much more sensitive to the families of fallen soldiers than are certain Supreme Court Justices. Buddhist and Muslim funerals are provided together with appropriate burial markers. Similar appropriate arrangements are made for every other kind of faith. War memorials in this country (as opposed to individual military grave markers) usually avoid sectarian symbols. That's true going back to the Civil War. The war memorial cross in the Mojave desert is very unusual.

    Antonin Scalia richly deserved that tweak.
    The public cross prohibitions are emerging awareness that we are (and always have been) a secular cosmopolitan country, and not a Christian republic (a non-Christian Chinese labor force built the western half of the transcontinental railroad in the mid 19th century).

    I've seen the Nicene Creed recited faster. You should see them race through it at Our Lady of Mount Carmel here in Williamsburg Brooklyn.

  21. I suggest Brian watch Bill O'Reilly's show or Sean Hannity's show on the Fox News Network to see where Stephen Colbert gets his inspiration.
    If Colbert is exaggerating, it's only slightly.

  22. If Colbert is exaggerating, it's only slightly.

    How very true. It's hard to believe that Hannity and O'Reilly are not themselves parodies.

  23. Brian, not here.

    Brian R, I don't mean you, luv.


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