Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
January 5th, 2011

Seeking Sanity

Encounters at the Jon Stewart - Stephen Colbert rally


Ask most any twentysomething in the United States where they get their news from these days, and one of their answers, if not the only one, will undoubtedly be The Daily Show or The Colbert Report. The two hit satirical news programs from Comedy Central attempt to weed through the inundation of far right and far left, always opinionated, and often extreme cable news shows. Replaying one-sided and frequently ridiculous clips from Fox News, MSNBC, CNN and the big three networks, these shows attempt to bring to their viewers a filtered bit of truth (or truthiness, as Colbert would say) about politics and the media.

The goal each night for both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert is to shine a half-hour’s light of sanity on the habitually insane 24-hour news cycle, where the media outlets continuously attempt to trump one another by being the loudest voice in what are consistently becoming more and more one-sided conversations. At Busted Halo, our mission is to keep religion involved in those conversations and maintain that faith can be a smart, relevant and vital part of the dialogue. So this past Saturday, when Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert threw their “Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear” on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., we decided to be a part of it, interview the attendees and talk with them about the sanity and fear they see involved in religion and faith. We spoke with a lot of different voices from a variety of regions and religious affiliations — Catholics, Protestants, Jews, Muslims, Baha’is, Quakers, agnostics and atheists — all of whom shared their fears and hopes about religion.

We introduced ourselves to a diverse mix of truth-seekers, discussed important topics and generally just had a lot of fun experiencing the rally, but in the end the best thing we did or could have done was just being there, to keep asking questions, seeking answers and continuing the dialogue. Watch the video here and be a part of what we discovered.

Want more of the Busted Halo experience of the Rally? Our blogger, Tom Gibbons, CSP, live blogged from the rally. Check it out, as well as his reflections going into it.

Originally published November 1, 2010.

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  • http://www.rafatee.com RafaTee

    I missed mass about 4 times in 2010. I consider myself somewhat religious but I do think even though religion is supposed to lead us to spirituality, it can also hinder our process to spiritual growth by placing many rules that we follow because we “must” instead of allowing us to go deep inside of ourselves and find the appropriate answer. What is sin? In my opinion, it is distancing yourself from God. I don’t personally think I need someone telling me what is right and wrong for me to know that any little unconscious decision I make to hurt another being in this world is a sin. I don’t even think it should be called sin, it’s something more like unconsciousness. In the words of Jesus “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they are doing.” – Namaste

  • Fr. Bruce Nieli, CSP

    Terrific work–right where we as Church should be–connecting the Gospel with American culture!

  • shannon

    Great video! I liked it when you talked to the robot.

  • Daniel

    Great video and inspiring to hear what people think about this issue.

  • Deacon Tom Evrard

    This was just a terrific event and Fr. Tom was a great interviewer. The people were up front and honest in their answers. They weren’t afraid to express opinions and back up their viewpoints. Fr. Tom was excellent in the way he was accepting of every person!
    Oh, yes, isn’t this the way we’re supposed to dialogue?
    Let’s show this to our Congressional Representatives!!!
    Tom Evrard

  • Dolores Conners

    darest tom’
    Wow! I am so proud to be a part of your life.
    The “Seeking Sanity” piece was insightul and thought provoking. Thne fact that so many seople seek tolerance,understanding and support of each other amazes me. I am starting to feel the country has gone insane..with fear,hate and anger being what drives people.
    Thanks you again forbring the better side of humanity into focus.
    Love and God bless you,
    Dolores Conners

  • Father James DiLuzio C.S.P.

    A truly inspired project and very inspiring! There’s nothing greater than simply, freely engaging people in spiritual thoughts and questions. What a wonderful way to get folks to give faith a “second thought.” I loved the new generations focus on people of religions getting along. Wow! ONce again, Congratulations BUSTED HALO crew!

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