Testimony and Faith

Everyone on the news has made a fuss of Stephen Colbert testifying in front on congress regarding immigration reform. Some pundits loved it, some could only complain about the tax dollars spent. Two congressmen from both sides of the aisle were, in my opinion, fairly rude to him and invited him to leave.

It seems that most of the press left out this part of his testimony, when he left character and testified from the heart:

I like talking about people who don't have any power, and this seemed like one of the least powerful people in the United States are migrant workers who come and do our work but don't have any rights as a result. And yet we still invite them to come here and at the same time ask them to leave. That's an interesting contradiction to me. And, you know, "whatsoever you do for the least of my brothers" - and these seem like the least of our brothers right now. A lot of people are least brothers right now because the economy is so hard. And I don't want to take anyone's hardship away from them or diminish anything like that, but migrant workers suffer and have no rights.
- Stephen Colbert, Congressional Testimony, Sept 24, 2010
Colbert is a practicing Roman Catholic, and teaches catechism/Sunday School classes to young children preparing for First Communion. He quoted from Matthew 25. Of course, none of the pundits would want to talk about what Jesus said. That's not good enough for politics or the media. It probably galled liberals that Colbert would quote scripture. And it probably galled conservatives that the guy they've labeled a "left-wing comedian" quoted scripture, too.

I personally think Colbert was sharp enough to know that he wasn't being asked to testify from his heart, but to testify in character. But I also think he was sharp enough to work in what he REALLY thought - in the manner that Jesus was alluding to in the Parable of the Dishonest Steward, where Jesus hopes his disciples will be shrewd disciples - at LEAST as shrewd as the rest of the world - in being faithful. Colbert's closing remarks were not in character or part of his schtick, but rather, his faithful testimony as a Christian and citizen.

And for that I say: spot on, Mr. Colbert. You can claim to be an entertainer and satirist. But some of us see your faith, too.