Chef Gets Chicken
It seems Chef won’t be making any more ‘chocolate salty balls.’ Isaac Hayes, who plays the often-hilarious voice of reason on South Park, now says he’s offended by the show’s satire on religion.
Show creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone agreed to let Hayes out of his contract, but responded, "We feel that it’s a bit disingenuous (for Hayes) to cite religious intolerance as a reason for him pulling out of the show" because the series has lampooned religion since the start, dating back to the short film, "The Spirit of Christmas," on which the series is based.
Hayes is a Scientologist, and South Park has long mocked that religion. But it seems the recent cartoon flap may have played a role in Hayes’ decision. His statement said the show’s parody of religion is part of what Hayes sees as a "growing insensitivity toward personal spiritual beliefs" in the media generally, including the recent controversy over a Danish cartoon depiction of the Muslim Prophet Mohammad.
Shame on Hayes. The role of satire is to discuss through comedy what people can’t bring themselves to face in a serious manner. South Park has brought some important truths to children and adults alike. My kids have grown up on it–all 10 seasons. Which means my youngest began watching the show, with my permission, at around age 5. Squeamish parents, take note: the show did not turn my kids (now 19, 16, and 15) into juvenile delinquents. On the contrary, it helped inoculate them early against the insanity of the religious meme.
Bible thumpers love to quote St. Thomas More, when he said "The Devil, that proud spirit, cannot endure to be mocked." But it seems the reverse is true as well. Religionists, above all, cannot stand to have their beliefs made fun of. Why? Because comedy reveals truth like nothing else. And the truth of religion is that by taking itself so seriously, it has made itself an easy target. Among thinking individuals, religion’s divisiveness, silly rituals and cultural atavism are a laughingstock the world over.
So why take offense now? Hayes is obviously is being swept away by the new fervor for political correctness that’s been unleashed by the Muslim temper tantrums. "Don’t mock religion (or you might get murdered, or blown up)" is the new mantra. Well, isn’t that just a variation on "might makes right"–applied to our most cherished freedom of speech, expression, and conscience?
Shame on you, Chef. People’s religious beliefs are PERSONAL, and don’t deserve any more protection than opinions about politics, or what flavor of ice cream you like. Beliefs should really just be called opinions. They are not sacred by any definition. They need to be up for discussion, and yes, ridicule. Hold your beliefs all you want, that’s your right. Be prepared to defend them, if they’re worth defending, but don’t insist that it’s anyone else’s job to RESPECT them. If they are true, and you get your reward in heaven, isn’t that enough?? Why worry about what other people think–if they are going to hell in any case?
Chef: You did a lot of good and helped a lot of people for 10 years on South Park. Now you undo it all by throwing your hat in the ring with the wretched curse of so-called belief. Thanks for nothing.
Your last meal shouldn’t have been chicken–it should have been Goose!