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20 March 2006

Chocolate Salty Balls

So last week there was apparently a big controversy over an episode of South Park. For those who slept through the row, Comedy Central pulled from its schedule an episode which featured “a literally closeted Tom Cruise and a primer on Scientology.” Rumors circulated that the reason Comedy Central pulled the episode was because Tom Cruise threatened to sit out the publicity cycle for Mission: Impossible 3 (the film is being released by Paramount, which is owned by Viacom, as is Comedy Central).

The episode, which first aired back in November, also resulted in voice actor/singer/Scientologist Isaac Hayes quitting the show. No one is quite sure why it took him four months to become offended.

The whole incident is interesting to me because it illustrates the complete opposite of something that Christians in the United States often say: that you can make fun of Christianity all you like, but you can’t make fun of any other religion or cultural group.

Admittedly, Christianity is often mocked in the public square. But, statistically, 75-80 percent of people in the United States are also Christians (followed by 15 percent who practise no religion at all). In that context, it makes perfect sense that Christianity would be the butt of a lot of jokes. After all, it’s the only religion that a large percentage of the people in the United States know anything about. (I can also think of quite a few reasons why we Christians deserve to be made fun of. But that’s probably beside the point.)

That said, however, if you really think that Christianity is the only religion getting ribbed, you really haven’t been paying attention. There are quite a few shows that pick on religions other than Christianity. Family Guy. American Dad. The Daily Show. The Colbert Report. And, of course, South Park.

As South Park co-creator Matt Stone noted in his response to Isaac quitting the show, he said, “In 10 years and over 150 episodes of South Park, Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslim, Mormons or Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show."

Realistically, it’s not all that surprising that a lot of Christians in the States think they’re the only ones being picked on. Often these are the same Christians who, despite having control of the White House, Senate, House of Representatives, and Supreme Court, think themselves to be a persecuted minority.

Update: If you want to see what all the fuss is about regarding the episode of South Park, you can find the entire thing online at YouTube.

Comments on "Chocolate Salty Balls"


Blogger jasdye said ... (3/20/2006 10:16:00 PM) : 

that hayes is a complicated man, only his woman can understand.

and he's also a baaaaaaaad mother-...


Blogger Christine said ... (3/23/2006 07:03:00 PM) : 

a bit off topic, but I can only come to you for this:
I hear through the grapevine (grapevine meaning through my friend who sat next to ptl's manager on a plane from sxsw) that there is an entire pedro the lion album recorded that will never see the light of day because the band 'broke up.' do you know anything about this elusive record? (but of course you do. you probably have the thing mixed and perfectly filed in your itunes)


Blogger RC said ... (3/24/2006 03:47:00 PM) : 

good post...

i think it's funny b/c stone and parker really are the cutting edge of mockery (plus w/ the low production times they can make fun of things the quickest of anyone out there...months before family guy or simpsons could even touch it).

i think the whole incident makes scientology look goofier, and I never knew that it was associated w/ MI-III at all...thanks for the info.

--RC of strangeculture.blogspot.com


Blogger Bonita said ... (3/28/2006 11:32:00 PM) : 

hey i watched and it was hilarious. poor R Kelly, its a shame he got brought into the closet mix:) i laughed, thanks for the link.


Blogger dorsey said ... (3/31/2006 11:10:00 PM) : 

I recently read a quote from Trey Parker regarding Isaac Hayes' charges of religious bigotry:

"He sure did cash a lot of our checks while we were making fun of Jews and Christians."


Blogger dorsey said ... (3/31/2006 11:11:00 PM) : 

and jasdye:

Watch yo' mouth!


Blogger jasdye said ... (4/01/2006 12:29:00 PM) : 

i'm just talking about the shaft!


Blogger Bonita said ... (4/03/2006 10:58:00 PM) : 

r u alive?


Blogger jasdye said ... (4/04/2006 06:59:00 PM) : 

oh, "Why Should the Devil...?" was kinda meh (maybe if i was an outsider or a modern-day ccm fan, it'd be more enlightening) and "donnie darko"... i never got more than 15 mins into it. something about me abhors suburban psycho-dramas. it goes in the "american beauty" bin.


Blogger Wasp Jerky said ... (4/05/2006 08:12:00 AM) : 


I just want you to know that I hate your friend. :) But Dave's manager does live in my state, so I guess I have the benefit of getting a lot of shows. I hadn't heard about the mysterious record. Maybe some of the songs will show up on Dave's solo EP. BTW, I have some interesting Pedro stuff I'll be posting here soon, including a certain Undertow concert you went to.


Still alive. Dick Cheney shoots to wound, not to kill.


You just compared 5 pounds of ice cream with 5 pounds of shit. :P


Blogger jasdye said ... (4/07/2006 07:41:00 PM) : 

if donnie darko's five pounds of ice cream (and maybe the middle is fun, i didn't make it to any of the hallucinations), then call me lactose-intolerant-boy. (Da-da'-dah!)


Blogger Bonita said ... (4/11/2006 12:13:00 AM) : 

yes PLEASE new Pedro goods!!! since pedro's other friend in this state & i aren't really friends anymore (and he was my source of pedro music) maybe you can give me some. my only mix CD is scratchy and right when Bad Diary Days comes on it skips and spits out of my player. Damn it!
So um. . . break the law for me would ya?

And tell me you've seen V??? I've got to know what you think Jerky Man.

Let's sneak into the movies soon, you and the Mrs. and I?????


Blogger Bonita said ... (4/11/2006 12:15:00 AM) : 

oh and as for Dick (no pun intended-or was it?) seems his poor aim may keep him off the radar and out of action for a bit.


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