The Colbert Report

Season 4 Episode 115

Peter Gomes

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Aired Weekdays 11:30 PM Sep 15, 2008 on Comedy Central
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Tonight Stephen welcomes religion professor at Harvard and author of The Scandalous Gospel of Jesus: What's So Good About the Good News, Peter Gomes.
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      • Stephen: Why do you say, why do you say Jesus' messages are scandalous? What is it about it that threatens our morals in some way?
        Gomes: Not necessarily threatens our morals. But threatens our sense of well being since Jesus is opposed to the status quo and most Christians are in favor of the status quo.
        Stephen: What do you mean he opposes the status quo?
        Gomes: He likes to turn things upside down.
        Stephen: He did but then he put Christians on top and now it is 'Nothing change! Okay?
        Gomes: So much for the missionary position!

      • Stephen Colbert: Alright, alright, now, you are also a baptist minister, right?
        Gomes: Yeah, I am.
        Stephen Colbert: You are a member of the baptist elite..
        Gomes: (laughs) That's an oxymoron.

      • Stephen Colbert: Is it page after page of "Son of God, born without sin"?
        Gomes: No. (Shakes his head)
        Stephen Colbert: No?
        Gomes: No, that would never sell!

      • Stephen: Tonight: The press is treating John McCain unfairly. They're showing pictures of him without Sarah Palin. And: I present Colbert Platinum, my segment for viewers with high income. Don't worry, government bailouts count as income. Then my guest Peter J. Gomes teaches religion at Harvard. I hope he teaches: You are Going to Hell 101. By the power vested in me I now pronounce us host and audience. You may kiss the screen. This is the Colbert Report.

      • Stephen: John McCain and Sarah Palin are bringing the best possible kind of change, they're not only saying they won't give answers, they're saying you can't ask questions. Which brings us to tonight's Word: How Dare You? Ladies and gentleman, John McCain was a prisoner of war. While serving his country he was shot down, captured and spent five and half years in a Vietnamese prison camp. It was an experience more harrowing than most of us can imagine, which is why McCain's campaign team has had to remind us about it…a lot. (Fred Thompson doing off-Broadway show about it) For instance, at last month's Saddleback Forum, the Obama camp questioned whether John McCain respected a "cone of silence" rule. Well as McCain spokeswoman Nicole Wallace explained: "The insinuation from the Obama campaign that John McCain, a former prisoner of war, cheated is outrageous." Exactly! Prisoners of war never cheat, except that time Hogan convinced Colonel Klink that the camp's water supply was a fountain of youth. And don't say John McCain did cheat, he was a member of the Keating 5 savings and loan scandal. That was not cheating! That was just helping Charles Keating cheat. Totally different. (The "Fundamentals" of his morals are sound) Now McCain himself is famously reticent about his Vietnam experience. He only mentions it when people ask unrelated questions.

        [Video Clips: Jay Leno: Senator John McCain, for one million dollars, how many houses do you have? (Jay laughs)
        John McCain: Could I just mention to you Jay, in a moment of seriousness. I spent five and half years in a prison cell without…I didn't have a house, didn't have a kitchen table, I didn't have a table, I didn't have a chair…
        Katie Couric: You were roundly criticized for not being able to remember the number of homes you own. How is that possible?
        John McCain: I spent some years without a kitchen table, without a chair…]

        Stephen: Powerful stuff. Nation, if McCain is elected, his first appointment to the bench may be a chair. (Would ask more questions than Clarence Thomas) And I think if there is any lingering confusion about what questions are off limits, just consult this helpful pamphlet from the McCain campaign: How dare you question John McCain on ---noun that's bothering you---when he was a P.O.W. he didn't have---same noun. Boobies. Now the McCain campaign now is even more unquestionable thanks to Sarah Palin.

        [Video clips: Dick Morris: The Democrats piled all over her in vicious, personal, sexist attacks.
        Sean Hannity: I find the attacks unprecedented, insulting, degrading, sexist….Do you find some of the comments about her demeaning, because I do…
        Bill O'Reilly: The big deal is now morphing into a sexist situation…]

        Stephen: It is sexist! And we should know, we've been feminists for over two weeks now! (Longer than Palin) And who among us, who can ever forget Obama's sexist description of the Republican mantle of change.

        [Video: Barack Obama: You can put lipstick on a pig, it's still a big.]

        Stephen: You bastard! Might I remind you Senator Obama is that McCain's running mate is Sarah Palin. Palin is from Alaska, Alaska's second largest city if Fairbanks, Douglas Fairbanks was a silent movie star, stars burn hydrogen into helium, breathing helium makes your voice high, high voices belong to women, women wear lipstick, ergo you called Sarah Palin a pig! You sir, are sexist! (By the transitive power of bulls**t) Now I know what you women hating liberals are going to say: Hey, McCain said the same thing about Hillary's health care policy.

        [Video: John McCain: I think they put some lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.]

        Stephen: How dare you question McCain's use of a common aphorism!? That man spent five and a half years as a P.O.W. He didn't have lipstick or a pig! (Though used to have a conscience) Now if the press wants access to Sarah Palin, they have to play by the new rules. McCain campaign manager Rick Davis laid down the law.

        [Video: Rick Davis: Until at which point in time we feel like the news media is going to treat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out with that kind of…]

        Stephen: Yes! It would be foolhardy to put a candidate clearly ready to become Commander in Chief in a room with a prickly reporter from the Kansas City Star. (Bridge to no comment) So, nation, if you have an interest in being outraged, than you have a great ticket. But if you want to question your leaders: how dare you! (How dare you?

        And that's the Word.

      • Stephen: The book is called, as I said before: the scandalous gospel of Jesus: what's so good about the good news. It's right there in the name, that's what makes it good.
        Peter Gomes: Right.
        Stephen: Alright, what's so scandalous about it.
        Peter: Well, I wanted to sell books.
        Stephen: Well, you're an honest man.

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