Stephen Colbert on Jesus and Our Christian Nation

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn’t help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus is just as selfish as we are or we’ve got to acknowledge that he commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition. And then admit that we just don’t want to do it.”

Stephen Colbert

26 thoughts on “Stephen Colbert on Jesus and Our Christian Nation

  1. The United States is NOT a Christian nation and it has NEVER been. The United States is a Democracy that “officially” respects no religion and does not prohibit the free exercise af ANY religion. Atheism is a ‘religion’ and is protected by the First Amendment exactly like Mormons, Catholics, Methodists, etc are protected.

    The Puritans or others fled being persecuted and burned witches to demonstrate their zeal and lack of compassion. Jesus, also known as Christ, would not call the United States a Christian nation today.

    The countries where clerics often rule, like in Iran, are the type country the United States would be if it were a ‘Christian’ nation. The United States is as much a ‘Muslim’ nation as it is a ‘Christian’ nation. The United States is an atheist nation just as fundamentally as it is a ‘Christian nation’. It was not until 1994 that David Souter, of the Supreme Court, stated, “government should not prefer one religion to another, or religion to irreligion”, and finally ruled that the United States is not a ‘Christian’ nation.

    That is a long way from early Puritans burning witches and only took the United States about two centuries. Please remember that the United States is NOT a nation following the teachings of Jesus any more than the United States or even Iran follows the teachings of Muhammed. The United States is close to getting goverment correct but the word ‘Christian’ no longer consistently has anything to do with following Jesus.

    Is Turkey a ‘Muslim’ nation? Would Iran consider them Muslim enough? Is Great Britain a ‘Christian’ nation or is Italy? Does Jesus consider them ‘Christian’ enough?

    Our nation should have absolutely no use for the term ‘Christain nation’ because the term Christian has never fit and Jesus submitted himself to the nation that was leading Jerusalem at the time or Rome.

    Rome was NOT a Christian nation but was one of the first to encourage monotheism. It took until recently for humans to discover that theism and government should not be related. This BLOG helps illustrate that free-will has always been required by God. God only desires that we chose to accept him and requires the choice to be freely made or be invalidated. …

    • My Dear, not only would Jesus not consider this a “Christian” nation, he wouldn’t even consider it a “Jewish” one.

    • You missed the point. He isn’t trying to say America is a Christian nation, he is pointing out the hypocrisy of conservatives to claim to follow, and try to selectively base legislation, on the teachings of Christianity.

      • I was being snotty. I got your point. I was simply referring to the fact that Jesus wouldn’t consider this country a satisfactory example of adherence to Mosaic law, let alone to his own teachings which described as being in support of that law.

    • This country isn’t a Democracy, either – at least it wasn’t originally set up as one. It was set up as a Republic because as a Democracy it is all too easy for people to be lynched or be stolen from by the mob of majority.

  2. The United States is a nation that after the Supreme Court ruling written by David Sutter in 1994 has NOT been a ‘radical’ Christian nation any more than Turkey is a ‘radical’ Muslim nation.

    Jesus submitted himself to a nation that was not even Jewish and sacrificed Himself so we could chose Jesus’ gift OR reject it. No democratic nation can require obedience to a religion and the United States realized this after almost two centuries.

    Turkey is struggling with democracy but compared to Iran is very democratic. Please keep in mind that the United States is a free country saturated with radical Christians who are less viiolent than radical Muslims but who are much more hypocritical.

  3. That was one of the better bits from Colbert’s recent shows. He’s very wise in his satire, although some of the suggestions (replacing baby Jesus with a honey baked ham) probably drove away those who most need to get the overall point. It’s all fine and good to remind people like you and I of the hypocrisy of the right-wing leadership; it’s the Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck crowds who really need to see the inherent conflict in refusing to help the poor in order to take Christmas off.

      • Paul, Even if people like Stephen Colbert do not change anyone’s ideas, they are still doing something valuable. The Colbert’s of this world reassure those of us who still want to be compassionate and decent that we are not alone. We seem to be in the minority. Perhaps we have been in the minority throughout human history. Certainly, we are the less heard from constituency these days. Whenever someone like Colbert (or like you) articulates what the rest of us are noticing, we are reassured of the sanity of our perceptions. That is always a valuable thing. It is abusive to shower people with denials of the very things they are seeing. We know that small children can be lead to revise their memories from this type of abuse. Anyone who hands us back our sanity is helping to end the abuse and making the rest of us stronger so that we can go about the business of decency.

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  5. Paul, As long as you are willing to throw us such trenchant quotes, you should feel free to joke about farts to your heart’s content. Best, Audrey

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  7. You mean there’s nothing in the New Testament that says Jesus wants us all to be rich and self-serving? Well, I’m fairly sure he did suggest building big fancy churches and voting against public health care. I wonder what his stance on gun control would be?

    • You mean that a man who healed the sick without recompense was against public health care for those who couldn’t afford it? Also, he didn’t say anyone needed to build a big, fancy church, although he did behoove those who followed him to gather together. It wasn’t a matter of “You should spend millions of dollars on a place to do that in.” Considering he was against killing (you know, that whole “Thou shalt not kill” bit), I’m pretty sure he’d have been pro-gun control as well, mostly because he’d have been anti-gun related death, or anti-violent death in general.

  8. Has anyone noticed the Supreme Court just ruled that the selection by Congress of the Berne Compact in 1994 was the controlling regime for copy[rites] in the United States for Articles 1-21 since 1994? The Supreme Court also just ruled that the First Amendment was not breached whatsoever by radical contraction of the “Public Domain”. Two branches of government have selected the international Berne Compact as the controlling laws of the United States to control copy[rite].

    Do you believe that the Supreme Court will invalidate the Communications Act of 1934 and forbid the FCC from regulating indecency on broadcast television in FCC v Fox, (10-1293)? Not if you read the oral arguments. Will the Supreme Court instead require regulation of ALL wire communications by the FCC as statutorily directed to do in the Communications Act of 1934 and then also require internet wire communications of image searches to not display nudity created by an artist to the anonymous potentially minors or Muslims in searches for the artist’s name if demanded by the artist?

    While trying to imagine Jesus’ views on gun control, you might wish to consider what it will be like to not be able to see nude photos by internet wire communications unless you disclose an authenticated identity.

    This is likely to happen by next year.

  9. THANK YOU, for this quotation!!! As a social studies teacher who teaches government and economics, I am constantly amazed by my conservative, Christian students’ attitudes (i.e. their parents’ attitudes) toward the poor. “They’re just lazy.” “They’re just living off of my tax dollars — why don’t they just get a job?” “It shouldn’t be MY problem if somebody can’t get their life together.” “My family worked hard to get where they are, if the poor really wanted to succeed, they would try harder.”

    It us unfathomable the intensity of the hatred, condemnation, judgementalism, and the lack of compassion of these so-called “Christians.” Unsurprisingly, those same attitudes carry over into the debate over health care (i.e. whether or not access to health care is a right or a privilege) and blaming President Obama, government regulations, and illegal immigrants for everything that’s wrong with our country right now.

    I absolutely love this quotation and am so glad that you posted it. I only wish I could post it in my classroom.

  10. Paul, I just Googled “Stephen Colbert christian nation” so I could get this quote and, lo and behold, this blog entry was the first hit on the list!

  11. I sure would love to know what percent of your income you Christian bashing liberals give to the poor. You talk a lot but let me see the numbers!

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