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.