Stephen Colbert doesn’t want to talk about ISIS. Or ISIL. Or Daesh. “Or P. Diddy, or whatever the hell they’re going by this week.” But after the brutal attacks in Paris, the Late Show host is happy to talk about this country’s hottest new political issue: Whether or not to let Syrian refugees into the U.S.
“It’s all anybody in Washington, on the campaign trail, or on the TV box is talking about,” Colbert said on Thursday night’s show. “So let’s wander blindly onto the news tarmac and get sucked into one of the fear turbines.”
House Republicans passed a bill this week that would make it nearly impossible for refugees from Iraq and Syria to settle in the United States. But according to Donald Trump—“a man whose hair is a refugee from his scalp”—they may not want to come here in the first place. After all, Minnesota is so much colder than the Middle East.
And now that candidates like Ted Cruz and Jeb Bush have said they are fine with Syrian Christians immigrating here, Colbert presented an alternative Statue of Liberty slogan that reads: “Give us your tired, your poor, mostly Christians, and maybe one or two Indian guys with engineering degrees.”
Up until this point in the segment, Colbert could just as well have been playing his Colbert Report alter ego, facetiously defending the most outrageous anti-refugee rhetoric from GOP candidates. But then he got to Jeb Bush’s baseless suggestion that Syrians should have to “prove” they are Christian before they are allowed to enter the U.S.
“If you want to know if somebody is Christian, just ask them to complete this sentence: Jesus said, ‘I was hungry, you gave me something to eat; I was thirsty, you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you...’” he said. “And if they don’t say ‘welcomed me in,’ they are either a terrorist, or they are running for president.”
And with that, the host left all traces of “Stephen Colbert” behind, calling out the supposedly pious candidates for their decidedly un-Christian attitudes toward the people who are suffering the most at the hands of ISIS.