June 6th, 2007

“The Bible says ‘Rule over the birds of the air and the fish of the sea and every living creature that crawls on the earth.’ So I do. Otherwise animals would never go to church on their own. I take them every Sunday. You cannot believe how squirmy pelicans get during the Eucharist.”

Oh the sheer silliness of it! This was the introduction last night to “When Animals Attack Our Morals,” a story about two “dude” flamingoes raising a chick from an abandoned egg, apparently the latest in a series of young these birds have raised.

Perhaps it’s just a coincidence that Stephen and his writers chose a pelican. And perhaps not….. From Wikipedia:

In medieval Europe, the pelican was thought to be particularly attentive to her young, to the point of providing her own blood when no other food was available. As a result, the pelican became a symbol of the Passion of Jesus and of the Eucharist. It also became a symbol in bestiaries for self-sacrifice, and was used in heraldry (”a pelican in her piety” or “a pelican vulning (wounding) herself”). Another version of this is that the pelican used to kill its young and then resurrect them with its blood, this being analogous to the sacrifice of Jesus.

I admit it. These are among the moments I revel in when I’m watching The Colbert Report, subtle little analogies whose meaning isn’t essential but which add a depth to the humor for those who get it.

Here’s the clip:

We also had a cameo appearance by The God Machine for fans of Stephen’s work on The Daily Show and his regular segment This Week in God.

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