Stephen Colbert: “The deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain…”

“I’m not bitter about what happened to me as a child, and my mother was instrumental in keeping me from being so. She taught me to be grateful for my life regardless of what that entailed, and that’s directly related to the image of Christ on the cross and the example of sacrifice that he gave us. What she taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain — it’s that the pain is actually a gift. What’s the option? God doesn’t really give you another choice.”

– Stephen Colbert, Catholic, discussing his father’s death.

Read it all.


  1. naturgesetz says:

    I was thinking he’s off-beat but okay until I got to this:

    “The show also enables a Walter Mitty side of Colbert, which is why he says he will never get tired of it. “As executive producer of this show, I get to ask my character to do whatever I want,” he said. Among other things, the character has so far visited troops in Baghdad; bottled and branded his own sperm; dueled light sabers with George Lucas; sung with Barry Manilow; sung as a trio with Willie Nelson and Richard Holbrooke; appeared on the Jimmy Fallon show, along with Taylor Hicks and the Abominable Snowman, in a big production of the hit song “Friday”; harmonized on the national anthem with Toby Keith; and danced a passage from “The Nutcracker,” in suit jacket, tights and codpiece, with David Hallberg.” (Emphasis added.)

    I gather everything else in the list is factual. Is there anybody who knows for a fact whether the bit about the sperm is also fact or whether that’s just a very bad joke he slipped in. If it’s true, he’s a pervert. On the one hand, the apparent truth of the rest of the list suggests that this is equally true. OTOH, it is of such a different nature from the other items as to suggest it’s made up.

  2. deaconnecessary says:

    Can you please explain how your response to Colbert’s rather insightful reflection is in any way relevant?

  3. naturgesetz says:

    As suggested, I followed the link that Deacon Greg provided. There I read “the rest of the story,” and seeing the whole thing went a long way to dissipate the warm fuzzies one might get from the snippet taken out of context.

    It’s not to say that Colbert’s insight is invalid, only that I’m not putting him on a pedestal for it, given the other info.

  4. Joe Cleary says:

    Colbert has a running storyline on his show of promoting his own sperm bank. He then makes outrageous claims on how it can help increase the population of the US, his is far better and will create more perfect children then other ” brands” etc etc

    I do not watch him regularly but it is clear that part of his humor is to seamlessly mix into his discussions that which is outrageous but true and that which is simply outrageous and leave you at times pausing – wait #1, #3 and #4 are crazy but true– # 2 can not possibly be true too or is it a joke?

    The author of the NYT Mag story really focuses on how hard it can be at times to separate what his on screen character does and says and the “real” him. Like him or not- don’t base it on him actually marketing his sperm on tv

  5. What she taught me is that the deliverance God offers you from pain is not no pain — it’s that the pain is actually a gift.

    Despite Cobert’s whole package, it’s pretty hard to deny that this line (deep Catholic Theology rarely understood)is something few if any could get away with
    without the MSM having a field day.

    Even Mother Theresa became the punching bag (and a book) of Christopher Hitchens for such “nonsense.”

    Who knows how God is using Cobert, or to whom the seeds might be planted, but for sure he gives him lines none us could easily get away with to a national and secular audience.

  6. You are of course assuming that God is using Cobert in any way. It could be somone else using him very effectively.

    I agree with naturgesetz on what he says after also reading the rest of the story left out above.

  7. Elaine Krewer says:

    I suspect the “sperm bank” shtick is simply part of his on-air persona like his short-lived “presidential campaign” in ’08. Remember, his JOB, what he does for a living, is to poke fun at the way talking heads like O’Reilly, Hannity, Limbaugh, etc. present themselves as all knowing and having all the answers for what is wrong with this country. The “sperm bank” joke just takes that a step further — “My very DNA is so wonderful that I have to share it with you!”

  8. Perhaps it’s best not to put anyone up on a pedestal just for an insightful quote. We’re all sinners here.

  9. a spring does not give forth fresh water and salty. a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. you will know them by their fruits.

  10. I like Colbert and he’s a near national treasure (esp because of his open practice of his Catholic faith) BUT I don’t like his character’s often backhanded promotion of gay marriage. I find it odd to see a person who has a well above average grasp of his faith in the value of suffering–but would let his character be a vehicle for supporting activities which are “intrinsically evil” and contrary to the natural law and a scandal to those in the Church he clearly loves and values. He had plenty of material without promoting gay marriage. There is a fine line between Christian tolerance of those with same sex attractions–but his Character is way on the other side of it.

  11. The sperm branding is clearly an activity of his “fictional” character rather than the man himself.

  12. The thing with Stephen Colbert is, whether or not he actually did bottle and “brand” his own sperm, something I’m skeptical of actually being true, though I have little doubt he doesn’t (like most Catholics (unfortunately)) agree with Church teaching on birth control/masturbation/similar matters, he has probably recited the Creed to more people than any other human being in history. There’s something impressive about that fact…

    One poster was skeptical that God was working through him, and I don’t think that’s a judgment they are entitled to make, because in actual fact He has to be, because that is what God does when a person publicly professes their faith weekly to millions of people there must be some Grace there, Colbert has the option of becoming a powerful evangelist and that very option is itself God’s gift.

  13. naturgesetz,

    The branded bottle was a prop for a joke. It is part of his schtick to act like a self-deluded ego-maniacle neo-con who thinks he is so important and lusted after that people would go as far as to even buy his seed.

  14. Jon Winterburn says:

    Folks, don’t be surprised that the same man who promotes “gay marriage” and jokes about bottling his sperm also recites the Creed and believes himself to be a true Catholic. Look more deeply into the heresies of the past (which are actually also present) and realize that deeply faithful people are also very badly led astray. Pray for them. Pray for me. Pray for us.

  15. Are you suggesting that Stephen Colbert is a fruit?

  16. Keep in mind that he was talking about his fathers passing – I watch the show often and I’ve seen him go from funny to serious in a split second. His comment was not only from the heart it was from his mother. If you want to watch the News – watch the Colbert Reporte – if you can filter the humor you will find the truth. If you take the sperm thing, ego or humor literally your missing a talent who is using his talents wisely.

  17. After watching a few of his shows, I got bored. For all his supposed spontaneity, he is often predictable. I am so glad he did not challenge Harry Belafonte for his “lefty” views as stated in the article. Challenging lefty views would have been,um, gauche, and we don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, do we?
    Also, his “theology” is of the schoolyard variety. Every negative stereotype about his religion is amplified and lampooned. From what I have seen on the show, he really doesn’t know much about it.

  18. How sad to see this level of misunderstanding here. You fools argue the minutiae of theology, while Stephen works in the trenches. You convert no one, he many.

  19. Elizabeth Scalia says:

    I think Colbert is very clever but honestly, the show mostly bores me. I do like his exchanges with Fr. James Martin, though.

  20. As near as I can tell, the sperm part is not for real. It’s a “bit” he created for a 2010 episode in which he claimed he’d single-handedly resolve a sperm shortage in Australia’s sperm banks by providing his own. The “ads” state that his branded sperm is available on, and to the best of my knowledge, it is illegal to sell bodily fluids through the internet. Not to mention functionally impossible to obtain a viable sperm sample for AI under such conditions. (I breed horses. I know these things.)

  21. The only person you need to be putting on a pedestal is Jesus.

  22. You know what Jesus said about homosexuals, right?

  23. Newageluddite says:


  24. I really don’t care what Stephen Colbert has to say about God and pain or the faith especially when his mother’s wise advice resulted in such an insipid conclusion: “What’s the option? God doesn’t really give you another choice.”

  25. Deacon Greg Kandra says:

    Joanc57: I never cease to be amazed at the number of people I encounter who insist that God does give us another choice. And they spend the rest of their lives fruitlessly trying to prove that.

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