...Wake up before it's too late!
First, politics, and now late night television!
//Certain events, small in themselves, can serve as cultural bellwethers, pointing to the direction that the culture is going as a whole. Two years ago, we saw one of these in the replacement of the Supreme Court's last Protestant, Justice David Souter (an Episcopalian), with Justice Sonia Sotomayor (a Catholic). Since that time, the Supreme Court has been made up of six Catholics and three Jews, with no Protestants. At the time, I asked whether this signalled the twilight of Protestant America.
Support for that theory was not slow in coming. Over the course of 2012,Mitt Romney, a Mormon, won the GOP primary, beating out Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, both Catholics. Romney then chose Paul Ryan, a Catholic, as his vice president. He then lost to Obama, a Protestant with a Catholic vice president. Perhaps most remarkable about all of this was that it was almost unremarked-upon.
Today, I think that we're seeing another of these bellwethers. Late-night host David Letterman recently announced his retirement: his ratings have not been faring well in the face of two new rivals, Jimmy Kimmel and now Jimmy Fallon. Today, CBS announced his replacement: Stephen Colbert. Deacon Greg Kandra was quick to point out one reason that this was significant, with the headline: “The Catholic takeover of late night TV is complete.” Letterman was the Protestant hold-out in late night. Once Colbert replaces him, networks will be hosted by Catholics.
What we're seeing is not necessarily a resurgence of Catholicism, at least in any meaningful sense. Not all of the people we're talking about here are model (or even practicing) Catholics, by any stretch. Rather, we're witnessing the collapse of Protestantism