Friend of the Blog Fr. Jim Martin is “chaplain” to Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. Despite my admiration of Fr. Jim and appreciation for Stephen Colbert, I’ve long been troubled that Colbert didn’t even consider a Franciscan as his show’s spiritual advisor. (If you’re reading, Mr. Colbert, the only truly American way to settle this is by letting one of our brownrobes go toe-to-toe with Fr. Jim— “Stephen Colbert presents: Catholic Throwdown: Steel-cage After-death Match Edition: May the best charism win!”)
Until that great day, I try not to miss a Jim Martin appearance. On Wednesday, he was in rare form. I was delighted by his deft handling of some tough questions. Here’s a taste:
Q: Can we judge God?
Full marks to you, noble Jesuit!
But the lead-in to Fr. Jim’s appearance was a stunner. The first bit of bad news is that we Catholics could learn a thing or two from the Mormons when it comes to promoting our “optics.” Just let that sink in for a moment: The Mormons make us look boring. The worse news is that even a slick ad campaign might not do the trick: We Americans are apparently quite demanding.
For example, a recent poll concluded that just 52% of Americans approve of the job God is doing. While that scorches Congress’s current 14% approval rating, it’s still pretty dismal, even by public school standards. Take a gander:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|
|Yahweh or No Way? – Mormons & God’s Poll Numbers|
[Strong language warning: If you are an observant Orthodox Jew, this is NSFS (not safe for the synagogue)]
What do you think? Is the Almighty truly a “gaffe machine”? Is it OK to bring our fears, failings, and even criticism to prayer? And, of what percentage of Americans do you think God approves?
Photo by Christopher Hall, stockfreeimages.net.