One of the many things I admire about Stephen Colbert is that in spite of the anti-religion and vocally anti-Catholic leanings of a large portion of his audience, he owns his Catholicism. He owns the fact that he’s a person of faith.
What makes it work for Colbert is that while being proud of his faith, he also recognizes the Church’s flaws and isn’t afraid to jab Catholicism when it deserves to be jabbed. That said, I’ve also found that nearly all of the Catholics I’ve known over the years understand and accept the notion that the Church isn’t always in step with societal evolution, nor has it been without its own sins. Interestingly enough, in the following video for the Catholic magazine America, Colbert discusses his choice of Simon (Peter) as his confirmation name (coincidentally, mine, too) and describes why Peter is his favorite saint, chiefly due to his flaws.
Colbert also talks about the one thing he’d ask the Pope. Watch:
As I’ve repeatedly said here and elsewhere, it’s possible to be critical of religion without suggesting that most religious people are stupid or childish. This is clearly Colbert’s approach to his own faith. There are many terrible deeds performed in the name of religion, but not all religions are equally guilty and neither are the people who subscribe to them. If critics, who are too often heavy-handed, insulting and, yes, evangelical in their approach, spent a little more time granting respect and deference to religious people, the left in general might be a little more hospitable to people of faith.