Splashing around in theology.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Chef's Oven Overheats!

Not that I am a regular watcher of South Park or anything…. OK, so I watch it all the time!
I am just wondering if any of you have heard about Isaac Hayes’s throwing in of the spatula.
Hayes announced on Monday [yesterday] that he was quitting his job as the voice of the lusty character Jerome "Chef" McElroy because he found the show's attacks on religion to be inappropriate.

“The Chef” said:
"There is a place in this world for satire, but there is a time when satire ends and intolerance and bigotry toward religious beliefs of others begins.

As a civil rights activist of the past 40 years, I cannot support a show that disrespects those beliefs and practices."

In fact, it seems that Hayes was really upset with an episode aired in November, "Trapped in the Closet". This episode made fun of Scientology, including depictions of celebrities with known ties to the organization, like Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

Matt Stone, co-creator of South Park, is quoted as saying: “This has nothing to do with intolerance and bigotry and everything to do with the fact that Isaac Hayes is a Scientologist and that we recently featured Scientology in an episode of "South Park". In 10 years and over 150 episodes of 'South Park,' Isaac never had a problem with the show making fun of Christians, Muslims, Mormons and Jews. He got a sudden case of religious sensitivity when it was his religion featured on the show. To bring the civil-rights struggle into this is just a non sequiter. Of course, we will release Isaac from his contract and we wish him well.”

In a GQ interview earlier this year, Stone's partner, Trey Parker, said, "To be honest, what kept us from [parodying Scientology] before was Isaac Hayes. We knew he is a Scientologist and he's an awesome guy. We were like, 'Let's just avoid that for now.' ... Finally, we just had to tell Isaac, 'Dude, we totally love working with you and this is nothing personal, it's just we're "South Park," and if we don't do this, we're belittling everything else we've ripped on.' "

Any opinions?
Should "South Park" leave religion alone altogether?
Or continue to lay into it, as it does?
The reason I mention this news item here on godpuddle is not at all to ridicule Mr. Hayes in any way, but quite the opposite, just to provide an example of how devoted devoted religious followers are devoted to being devoted.
And stuff.

[In a related story, Ned Flanders is reported to have recently converted to Wicca!]


Anonymous Cleo said...

Nothing is sacred on South Park-it's who they are. The Passion of the Jew, Christian Rock Hard, the one about the Mormons, the Catholic priests and sex scandals...even starving Ethiopians...and he wigs out over Tom Cruise? It's admirable they held out so long in deference to Mr. Hayes and he certainly had the right to leave, but I do find it rather hypocritical. Besides, that episode was pretty darn funny. Comedy Central is airing it again tonight-4 times in a row-no statement there! I would say that if you're going to be indignant about what you perceive as an insult to your faith you should at least make a pretense of publicly living by its precepts. However, one of the (published) foundational ideals of Scientology is that it does not require or tell anyone to “believe” anything at all. They adhere to the idea that individuals should think for themselves and what is true for the individual is only what they have observed personally and "knows" is true for them, so perhaps it WAS okay to slam every other religion. Now he feels he must "disconnect" with Trey & Matt...Ciao, Chef...don't let the oven door hit you on the way out the kitchen...

3/15/2006 9:15 AM  
Blogger Isabella said...

A tangent comes to mind (perhaps to be addressed in a future post?): What's the difference between religion and cult? (and where does Scientology really qualify?)

3/15/2006 9:50 AM  
Blogger cipriano said...

Cleo, I don't even have cable TV! Much less satellite.
I am living in the Stone Ages here, or else I would watch that episode of South Park.
Speaking of all of this stuff here... have you seen the movie Team America?
I am actually surprised that Parker or Stone have not been killed yet, for making that movie, [which I found to be enormously hilarious.]

Isabella, that is definitely a tangent that ought to be tangentrified on here one day. A good question....
Religion + ? = Cult.

3/15/2006 7:08 PM  
Blogger RantandRoar said...

I have never watched the show, so I won't comment on it, however, there is a grey area (if you will) on satire of religion and religious intolerance. This grey area is different depending on whether you are the satirist or the satiree.

In my opinion, religion is fair game to make all the fun of that one wants, until that fun turns to the elimination of a people or their ideas.

3/16/2006 6:51 AM  
Blogger cipriano said...

A hearty "Amen" to your last point there ranter!

3/16/2006 7:37 PM  

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