Maggie Gallagher

Catholics are also the folks most likely to embody in their own family lives the idea of unity in diversity. We love folks on the other side of the aisle -- politically and morally -- because we are likely to be married to and/or closely related to such folks.

Maureen Dowd, another cradle Catholic journalist, once wrote: "People often wonder what our Thanksgiving is like. It's lovely -- if you enjoy hearing about ... how valiant the president is as he tries to stop America's slide into paganism."

None of us Americans are the political caricatures that get hacked to pieces right and left in the daily media. Colbert is no conservative, but you can tell that he knows and loves people who are.

That Catholics are particularly prone to mirroring mainstream opinions is not something that I think is a particularly good sign for the Catholic faith, by the way; it's a symptom of my church's failure to transmit a Catholic culture and identity under the onslaught of postmodern secularism.

But in the meantime it creates a distinctively Catholic moment in American culture in which Americans who look for some escape from the constant angry crossfire and long for the America of our dreams (where we really are one nation, really under God, committed to liberty and justice for all) seek their news from a journalist who is a decent family man of faith, who maybe happens to be a Democrat but doesn't hate his dad or his brother who aren't.

Stephen Colbert for "Meet the Press," anyone? (But only if we can keep "The Colbert Report" too.)


Maggie Gallagher

Maggie Gallagher is a nationally syndicated columnist, a leading voice in the new marriage movement and co-author of The Case for Marriage: Why Married People Are Happier, Healthier, and Better Off Financially.