I enjoy the (relative) transparency of politics in this country, and I love to laugh. A show that takes shots at politicians and highlights the ridiculousness of (mostly) Republicans while cracking me up? Sign me up, I thought. This was in 2007/2008. The Colbert Report, The Daily Show and I started going steady. It was a threesome that made sense.
We had some good times. We got through the 2008 primaries and presidential elections, the health care policy debates, the mid term elections, the numerous Republican filibusters, the 2012 campaigns... it was quite fun.
But then, over the years, Jon Stewart morphed into a perpetually angry man, constantly yelling at the screen in disgust. Eventually, I started spending more time with Stephen Colbert, who may have been on the same page with him but managed to mix in more wit and less anger. I would listen to him while I worked and crack up, and together we got through the 2012 elections and even the inauguration. But then Stephen Colbert started to go too far.
He started by gently mocking the Catholic Church- I'm not Catholic, but it was still offensive. Even us Christians should be able to laugh at ourselves, I rationalized. Then he took it a few steps further. A couple of weeks ago, during a segment called "The Word", he was talking about people taking fictional things out of a book and pretending it's the truth. "Seems to work for the Bible" was the joke's punch line. I was irritated, and shut the program off. A few days later, I tried again. This time, he was mocking Pat Robertson's response to a question about demons and familiar spirits possibly clinging to used clothing in thrift stores. I don't think Pat Robertson is a paragon of virtue, but it felt like Colbert was beginning to make a pattern of mocking people's religious beliefs. Don't mock things you have no idea about, Colbert, I thought.
I shut the program off again, deleted the rest of his videos off my Hulu queue, and unsubscribed from his show as well as Jon Stewart's, even though I had been ignoring those videos for weeks. It was the equivalent of officially deleting someone's number off your phone. The break-up was final.
I don't know why this country has to be so polarized. Democratic-leaning Christians exist. But the more the Democratic party runs to the extreme left and makes all matters of faith something to be laughed and sneered at, the more likely we are to shrug and leave and coalesce with moderate Republicans. That's all.