Unless you've been living under a rock, then you've probably heard about all the commotion surrounding the crudely-animated South Park premier. In the premier, long-running character 'Chef' was turned into a pedophile and killed off after the voice of Chef, Isaac Hayes, quit the show a week before the premier over "negative portrayal of (his) religion".
Now, let's just take a quick look at this hippocracy. Clearly, Hays was not offended enough to take a stance as South Park has repeatedly mocked Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Nor was he all that offended when the show completely shredded the foundings of the Mormon faith. However, when they attacked his "religion" of Scientology (dealing with alien spirits and other mumbo jumbo, but basically allowing people to pay for a clear conscience), he got in a tizzy! Awww…poor baby!
So in retaliation, Trey Parker and Matt Stone probably went a bit too far. There have been some complaints rising up about their glorification of pedophilia. Heck, there's even been some question if the Scientololgy hullabaloo is the reason Hayes left the show. However, due to the severity of the retalliation from Parker and Stone, it's hard to see how that could have not been the reason.
So, while I'm not much of a fan of the show (geez, it's been years since I last watched an episode), the latest buzz does bring up a lot of different issues which are rearing their heads both politically and spiritually. It's often easy to write off as 'just a joke', but we do have to watch how we deal with these sensitive subjects. We can't promote disgraceful activities, even in a cartoon, just because someone's involved in a cult because it can lead to other consequences. As Christians, we are taught to turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-15), so this kind of retalliation is not acceptable. Maybe it would have been best for Chef to have just never appeared in South Park again…but Parker and Stone have proven themselves to be boys who refuse to mature into responsible men.
I'm sure there will be another chapter to this saga though…