Monday, October 22, 2007

Stephen Colbert and the religious blogosphere

I came across this blog yesterday: The WORD: A Colbert Blog for Catholic It-Getters. It basically collects and discusses Stephen Colbert's references to his Catholicism on the Colbert Report. For those who don't know, Stephen Colbert is a practicing Catholic who teaches Sunday School and raises his kids Catholic. He talks about it in an interview with Teri Gross here.

Here is an awesome YouTube clip of Colbert singing (and dancing to) one of my favorite hymns from childhood. I also recommend this clip of the Colbert Report.

Some exploration of the links from The WORD revealed a couple of things:
1. Catholic bloggers LOVE that Stephen Colbert is Catholic. I sort of do too. I think there's a real lack of cool, smart, funny, and sincerely religious role models in the media, especially for the sort of people who enjoy things like the Colbert Report.

2. The Catholic blogosphere is very lame. As I looked for Catholic blogs, I saw page after page doing nothing but rehashing the same issue--can you be pro-choice and Catholic? Yes you can! No you can't! Boring. In my travels in the religious internet, I also came across the quite amazing and large Mormon blogosphere, a.k.a. the Bloggernacle (I especially liked By Common Consent, the first one I saw). I have no idea about the religious value or accuracy of the material on the Mormon sites, but they appear to contain the kind of thoughtful and diverse commentary on issues theological, historical, and social that I wish existed for Catholics.


arfanser said...

On a kind of similar note, there is a mormon character on the show House right now.

For those that don't watch house, house is the main character who is cynical and brilliant. He is notorious for hating religion in general, and this season in particular is going off on mormonism, because of the character. While there are some things that I don't agree with (it is obviously written by someone who is not a mormon, but has done a lot of research trying to get it right) for the most part it is interesting to see this character respond to house (mostly) like an actual mormon would.

I have often thought that for one of the largest religions in the country, well represented in politics and industry, there are not a lot of character that are mormon, and this aspect of our society is ignored. (let's face it most of us know one)

I think it is cool that religious aspects of our society are being explored on television. Regardless of how each of us feel about religion, it is a major force in our society.

Scarlet Panda said...

Interesting comment. As much as religion impacts our politics and culture, it's surprising how few depictions of religion exist on television--even large religions--aside from having characters be nominally Jewish or Catholic. Minority religions have virtually no presence.

What shows actually treat religion (I mean specific religions, not vague spirituality) as an important part of people's lives? I can think of The Simpsons and South Park (the latter did have a Mormon family in at least one episode). The Colbert Report discusses religion a lot, though most of it is mocking people's misuses of religion.

Any others?