There’s a Catholic in the White House again! Well, not exactly. But in today’s media drenched culture, the news that Stephen Colbert, who is open about his Catholicism, will succeed David Letterman as host of the CBS late night show next year is a close equivalent to John F. Kennedy’s election as president.
Colbert’s faith is a regular part of his on air persona. Fr. Jim Martin, SJ, is often a guest on the show, answering questions about Catholicism and giving his perspective on current events in the Church. Several years ago, Colbert famously gave up being Catholic for Lent because as he said, during Lent we should give up something that means a lot to us, and his Catholic faith means a lot to him (a stretch, I know, but he does have a point). And the YouTube video of him dancing to the post-Vatican II classic hymn, “The King of Glory,” expressed what many of us felt when we sang this song at liturgy; it was parody, yes, but joyful.
It will be good to have a Catholic in a top position again (besides our numerous politicos like John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and six of the nine Supreme Court justices). Let’s face it, having practicing Catholics in government can be beneficial for policy and the greater good of the United States. But having a practicing Catholic in a top media position is priceless publicity.
You may argue with Colbert’s comedic depictions, but from many Catholics today his lighthearted yet serious approach says, “It’s cool, even fun, to be a practicing Catholic.” This is evangelization today.
Photo of Stephen Colbert and his wife shutterstock.com