Famous Catholic Stephen Colbert gave the keynote at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner last night, a notorious white-tie charity dinner hosted by the Archbishop of New York, currently Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Colbert is the first comedian to give the keynote since Bob Newhart in 1999, and he was well-prepared. Here are a couple of the choicest quotes:
"I am proud to be America's most famous Catholic. And I'm sure the cardinal is thinking, 'Stephen, pride is a sin.' Well, cardinal, so is envy, so we're even."
On Al Smith, who ran for president in 1928 and is how honored by the annual dinner:
Al Smith was "the first [...]
"The brilliance of The Colbert Report is its refusal to dismiss or denigrate the religion with jokes that equate faith with idiocy or churchgoing with bovine surrender. Instead Colbert attempts to extricate what he sees as the essential message of Christianity from the piles of intellectual rot and political carpet bags that have been piled on and around it in the last 10 years." – The LA Times on Stephen Colbert's brilliant walking of the tightrope that is religion.
Big week for NBC late night hosts getting sued for unexpected reasons! The Bol Punjabi All Regions Community Organization is suing Jay Leno and NBC after Leno showed a slide show in which he joked that Mitt Romney's summer home was the Sikh holy shrine Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. The suit claims the joke "exposed Sikhs and their religion to hatred, contempt and ridicule because it portrayed the holiest place in the Sikh religion as a vacation resort owned by a non-Sikh." India's foreign ministry has also lodged a formal complaint with the State Department. I guess it's possible that Jay Leno really has it in [...]
In this weekend's Wall Street Journal, Ricky Gervais wrote a long, non-comedic piece on why he's an atheist. You're not going to get many laughs out of it, but it's a really interesting and well-reasoned read. Anyways, not everything needs to be funny, you animals. Why don't you try not hiding behind humor for once??
In any case, here's a taste: As an atheist, I see nothing “wrong” in believing in a god. I don’t think there is a god, but belief in him does no harm. If it helps you in any way, then that’s fine with me. It’s when belief starts infringing on other people’s rights [...]