On last night’s episode of the Comedy Central show “South Park,” Catholic League president Bill Donohue appeared as one of the cartoon characters, along with a figure of Pope Benedict XVI. The Easter script depicted Donohue chastising the pope for being “too soft.” Donohue then takes over as pope. When a Jesus figure appears, he has both the pope and Jesus arrested. After Jesus is killed by Kyle, he resurrects and kills Donohue.
Donohue commented on this today:
“I have no idea why ‘South Park’ creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker caricature me as a heartless thug. In any event, I stand convicted and have no defense. Now I have to get back to business—I hear someone just took some liberties with the Easter Bunny.”
His response could not have been better.
The show was really more a parody of the Davinci Code than anything else. I actually chueckled a little at the portyal of Donohue.
Part of me really loves South Park for lampooning everyone, even if it is a bit base and crass. But it raises my ire when they lampoon the Church, they simply become all the other idiots in the world who misunderstand her mission entirely.
i thought they portrayed him perfectly.
I noticed something oddly peculiar about South Park.
First, I must state my opinion of the thing as a whole so that my position may be understood objectively. South Park, while externally crass, vile, and containing all sorts of petty vulgarity, makes some rather appropriate and excellent social commentary. If one can look past the rather rude exterior, it possesses a sort of comedic wisdom.
That being said, has anyone else ever noticed that when other religions or groups are lampooned, they needn’t overplay them (i.e. the Mormons and Scientologists are the first that come to mind) but merely state what is intrinsic to the group itself (a sort of res ipsa loquitur) while Catholicism is nearly always done in an over-the-top style? The South Park episodes about Mormonism and Scientology didn’t have to poke fun at the things themselves, they just stated what they actually believe (the Scientology episode even says “this is what Scientologists actually believe”) but with Catholicism it is over-the-top, rude humor. Perhaps this is due to the fact that the thing cannot speak for itself in such a way–if Catholicism were left to speak for itself, the result would be an unlampoonable (if that’s a word)thing.
In short, other groups are depicted as is and the thing speaks for itself. Catholicism has to be caricatured to be lampooned.
Of course I had to go and watch this episode to see what all the hubbub was about. I think I lost some brain cells in the process. It was bizarre, random, and pointless– making it a perfect satire of the DaVinci Code. XD The “moral” I suppose to the real-life Catholic Church was that no one should tell people what they should and shouldn’t do? How very sophomoric of them.
As a satire of ‘Da Vinci Code’ and, incidentally, certain men’s clubs, it was hilarious. I agree with the posts that contend that Catholicism is exploited as an easy target rather than satirized. Brought up Presbyterian, I suspect that this church’s foibles provide better fodder for South Park’s cannons.
Now that they’ve parodied Pope Benedict and Jesus, will they do Mohammed? Oh, sorry, that was intolerant…
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