In August, Anderson Cooper sat down with Stephen Colbert about God and grief, and I just now had the chance to see it.  I know some time has passed, but this was such a beautiful and honest grappling with God and problem of pain I wanted to share it.

Relevant Magazine described the pain that both of the men had suffered. “Colbert was 11 years old when he lost his father and brothers in a plane crash. Cooper was the same age when his own father died. His brother committed suicide a few years later, and his mother Gloria Vanderbilt passed away earlier this summer.”

That’s a lot of tragedy.  In this exchange, they ask the big questions.  Is God everywhere?  Is He in everything?  Have our tragedies hurt us?  Or have they made us the people we should be?  How can you be the “most human” you can be?  Is it possible to be thankful for the thing that you most wish didn’t happen to you?

These are the types of questions they dealt with on CNN, and – believe it or not – it’s one of the most beautiful exchanges about faith and God you’ll see.  

Colbert had once quoted J.R.R. Tolkien saying, “What punishments of God are not gifts?”

“Do you really believe that?” Cooper asked Colbert.

Relevant described the exchange:

“If you’re grateful for your life …not everybody is and I’m not always, but it’s the most positive thing to do, then you have to be grateful for all of it. You can’t pick and choose what you’re grateful for,” Colbert says.

Cooper relates by with some wisdom he received from his mother about how you can’t understand happiness without also having some sadness.

“That’s the great gift of the sacrifice of Christ, is that God does it too,” Colbert says. “That you’re really not alone.”

That’ll preach…. Watch that segment of the interview here:

Believe it or not, people with whom we disagree politically sometimes say amazing, God-inspired things.  I am generally not a fan of Anderson Cooper or Stephen Colbert, but this is a wonderful interview which reminds me that we’re all struggling to make sense of this sometimes tragic world. 

I still don’t like their politics, but I love the humanity.  We need more of these types of conversations.

Image Credit: Screen shot of CNN interview

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

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