After posting about the Roger Ebert article about religion, guest-blogger Jesse Galef reminded me of an old video with Ebert and the late Gene Siskel that turned up on YouTube a few years ago.
In it, Siskel (a Jew) and Ebert (raised Catholic) joke around (with blunt and NSFW language) about Protestants and president at the time, Ronald Reagan. Siskel says Protestants run the country and their ought to be a rebellion. Only half-jokingly, it seems.
Here’s a brief and edited transcript:
Ebert: Protestants… people who sort of want a religion. Let’s stick together… the Catholics and the fucking Jews, we go back a few years together.
Siskel: C’mon, we’re real! We’re real. We get down and get dirty.
Ebert: We were burning each other when Martin Luther was only a gleam in his mother’s eye.
Siskel: I’ll take a Baptist… I’ll take a Baptist. I go back… 6000 years… I want… somebody that has some goddamned passion, some blood coursing through their veins.Ebert: Case closed.
Ebert: Right. Goddamned Protestants. Biggest thing that happens for them on Sunday is a bakesale.
Siskel: No, they gotta decide what color yellow tie to fucking buy… gee, which should it be, lime green or dark green, today, honey?
Ebert: Right. The only fucking religion that has a Reader’s Digest as a prayer book.
Siskel: They don’t get enough shit; they have all the money… They have all the money.
Ebert: The only time Protestants get on their knees is to adjust the fucking TV set.
Siskel: … They have all the goddamned insurance companies… they run the government, they run everything.
Ebert: You’re right.”
The entire video is entertaining if you don’t take them too seriously — which you shouldn’t. You get a good sense of the camaraderie between the two men… and how much they despised/loved each other.