Today I’m going to let one of my favorite Wise Men, Stephen Colbert, do the speaking on the Church of the Churchless. Below you’ll find a transcription of the “Word” segment on Tuesday’s The Colbert Report.
I enjoyed it so much, this afternoon I hauled my laptop up to a TV table and diligently playbacked my way through Colbert’s profoundly humorous religious observations. I even managed to spell Manuel Paleologus correctly. I hope.
If you’d prefer to see and hear Colbert rather than read him, broadband your way over to the Comedy Central MotherLoad site (have patience, the clip takes a while to load). That way you’ll be able to appreciate the non-verbal aspects of Colbert’s Bill O’Reilly-ish “Word” monologue.
Since religion is so laughable, it’s fitting for a comedian to point out its absurdities with such admirable dry wit. I give you…Stephen Colbert:
…which brings us to tonight’s word: Ecu-Menace.
The ecumenical movement seeks to bring people of different faiths together on the common ground that all religions yearn for answers to the same eternal questions. Now, the Pope’s visit is designed to bridge the gap between Christians and Muslims.
The Muslims for now are still a tad miffed…all right, homicidally enraged…that this summer the Pope gave a speech in which Islam was described as evil and inhuman. They didn’t realize he was just quoting the 14th century Byzantine emperor Manuel Paleologus.
But the damage unfortunately was done, and the Pope is trying to make amends. That is a big mistake. Let me be clear. Islam is a great world religion, started by the prophet Muhammad, praise and blessings be upon him. I have the utmost respect for it.
It just happens to be wrong.
Hear me out. I’m a Roman Catholic, the one true faith. And I know Roman Catholicism is the one true faith because Roman Catholicism tells me it is the one true faith, and if you remember from earlier in this sentence, “Roman Catholicism is the one true faith,” so how can it be mistaken?
I’m sorry, Islam. Inherent in my belief is your wrongness. I mean, you’d better be wrong. I’d hate to think that all those people in the Spanish Inquisition were tortured for nothing.
Now, the seventy-two virgin huggers out there are going to say, “But the Muslims do believe in Jesus.” Yeah, they believe that Jesus was just God’s friend. Hey, I hate to break it to you but anybody can be God’s friend.
You know why? God’s a friendly guy. He’s what you’d call a people person. The truth is, Jesus is the only son of God.
“God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten not made, one in Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.”
Now what I just said is either the complete truth or the Muslims are right and I’m an infidel, what they call a kafir. And I’ll tell you one thing I respect about fundamentalist Muslims: at least they have the balls to say I’m wrong, even though they believe Muhammad ascended to heaven on a horse.
Which is ridiculous. Horses can’t fly. Jesus flies. He flew up to heaven.
Now, when Christians try to be ecumenical, we just look weak in our faith. If different religions have to agree, let’s agree on the one thing we both believe: that the other guy is going to hell.
So, sorry. Sorry, Pope Benedict, I know you’re infallible but on this one you’re wrong. Even worse, you’re an ecu-menace. And that’s the Word.