South Park on RELIGION – Wisecrack Edition

South Park on RELIGION – Wisecrack Edition


Hey everyone, Jared here. If there’s one word we’ve come to associate
with South Park, it’s “irreverent.” In the world of South Park, nothing is sacred. Whether they love the show or hate it, almost every critic has called it irreverent at some time or another. Most people who call South Park irreverent
are using the word in a very general sense, but there’s something…special about the
way the show deals with religion, which is usually all about reverence. Whether the series is pitting baby Jesus in
mortal combat against Frosty the Snowman or exploring the question of whether Satan should
wear a Britney Spears costume to his sweet-sixteen birthday party, South Park forces us
to take a hard look at what religion really means to us. And in the process, the show raises some important
questions that other series wouldn’t have the nerve to ask. Welcome to this special Wisecrack Edition
on religion in South Park. Part 1: Are You There God (It’s Me: Jesus) Before South Park was even South Park, Matt
Stone and Trey Parker released two standalone holiday specials that pitted Jesus against
an evil snowman and Santa Claus over the soul of the holidays. And both specials ended with the same sentiment: In the world of South Park, things that seem
ordinary can be a really big deal, and things that sound mindblowingly important on paper
can be no big deal at all. The boys aren’t at all starstruck when they talk to Jesus, but they fight over who gets to play him in the
Easter play. The profound and the ordinary are all swimming
in the same soup. When the boys meet God in season three and
are given the opportunity to ask him any question Stan asks about periods. In season seven, they do find out what the
meaning of life: Earth is an intergalactic Truman Show-style reality series on the verge
of cancellation. Jesus can’t get anyone to watch his public-access
talk show. And Satan is a serial monogamist who keeps
going back to Saddam Hussein, even though he knows Saddam isn’t good for him. The only time religion does stand out as important
is when people are manipulating it for their own purposes. And while several town leaders try this over
the course of the series, Eric Cartman is the undisputed master. Stan: “You don’t even know anything about christianity.” Cartman: “I know enough to exploit it.” In season four he becomes
a tent revival preacher and gets rich off the donations. In season seven
he makes it big in Christian music by taking secular pop songs and making them almost sound almost religious. In season eight’s “The Passion of the
Jew,” he builds a fanclub around Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ because he sees
it as an opportunity to lead the Fourth Reich. In season 17, he paints a cow to resemble the biblically prophesied red heifer just to screw with Kyle’s head…and
accidentally brings about world peace. Is the message of South Park that religion is just plain ridiculous and makes people gullible? It’s easy to walk away with that impression and a lot of people have. But the actual series creators, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, largely disagree. Matt Stone: “Recently atheists and people who hate religion have really grabbed onto our show too, “because we make fun of a lot of religion, we’ve made fun of everything.” “But neither one of us is anti-religious at all. I mean I’m fascinated by religion.” So what’s really going on here? South Park may come across as antireligious
to some people because it doesn’t treat religion as a sacred subject, and in
Western spiritual traditions honoring the sacred is a big part of what it’s all about. As the French philosopher and
sociologist Émile Durkheim put it in The Elementary Forms of Religious Life, Western
religions primarily work by dividing the world into two categories: the sacred and the profane. You always take the sacred seriously, because
it deals with fundamental cosmic forces and determines the state of your soul. The profane- not so much. As he put it: “In the history of human thought
there exists no other example of two category of things so profoundly differentiated or
so radically opposed to one another.” South Park fundamentally denies the legitimacy
of the distinction between the sacred and the profane. In the season six episode “Red Hot Catholic
Love,” for example, Father Maxie travels to the Vatican to try to end the clergy molestation
scandal, only to find that the Catholic Church is an intergalactic coalition ruled
over by a sentient giant spider who has given the green light to pedophilia. Father Maxie bravely tears the sacred Vatican
Document in two, defying and invalidating the Queen Spider’s authority. It’s a metaphor for the molestation scandal
itself: As long as the church was too sacred to investigate, it was too sacred to evolve. The church could only be saved if
someone was willing to desecrate it, or the Boston Globe’s team of reporters for bringing
the scandal to light. This is a recurring theme in the series: That
sometimes the only way you can save something you’ve made sacred is by desecrating it. This is especially evident in the
South Park movie where Cartman and Kenny save the
world by cursing out Saddam Hussein and making a deal with the Devil, respectively. And in the season seven episode “Cancelled,”
the cosmic TV industry agrees not to destroy Earth for reasons that Gene Roddenberry probably
wouldn’t have found very inspiring. South Park also suggests that our concept
of the sacred is a little screwy to begin with. Jesus literally walks the Earth, but most
of the time nobody really pays much attention to him. It’s not even clear that they
recognize him. His public access talk show, Jesus and Pals,
routinely gets clobbered in the ratings by Jimbo and Ned’s series, Huntin’ and Killin’. But let him fight, something he usually has
no interest in doing, and suddenly he’s their Lord. He fights Frosty and Santa in the preseries
Christmas specials, Satan in season one, Iraqi soldiers in season six, right-wing activist Bill Donohue and a xenomorph in season eleven and a the Seussian villain in season sixteen. It’s a tall order for the Prince of Peace,
but it’s the only way he can keep his followers’ respect. South Park’s Jesus seems to be wellacquainted
with what the American theologian Walter Wink called the myth of redemptive violence. According to the myth,
our sense of the sacred, going all the way back to ancient Babylonian mythology, comes
from the desire to see good fight evil and win. Wink writes: “This myth of redemptive violence
is the real myth of the modern world. It, and not Judaism or Christianity or Islam,
is the dominant religion in our society today.. Jesus fights, in other words, because he realizes
the myth his followers project on him is more important than anything
he can offer himself. It never comes naturally to him, but it’s
all people seem to care about. When Jesus and other religious figures turn
into superheroes, they’re just carrying the
idea through to its logical conclusion, conceding the power the myth of redemptive violence
seems to hold over every religion. As I said earlier, nothing is sacred in the world of South Park. And while they have faced right-wing boycotts
for their portrayal of Jesus and network censorship for their attempts to portray the Prophet
Muhammad, Stone and Parker don’t see themselves as heroes. After all, this is South Park. If they had a bigger point to make something
we might be inclined to treat with more, I don’t know, reverence they’d probably
never admit it. Part 2: A Scause For Applause Once you get past the casual attitude towards
the sacred, South Park isn’t really all that hard on religion. And one of its major recurring themes is that
you don’t have to actually be religious to act like a narrow-minded assh*le. Almost every episode of the series features
at least one character who’s self-righteous about something, but Stan’s season sixteen
character arc as a selfpromotional activist stands out as a particularly strong example. In “Butterballs” and “A Scause for Applause,”
Stan gets a taste of what it’s like to be treated with reverence. And he likes it a little bit too much. What holds Stan back is that every time he’s
seen as a hero, something happens to take him down a peg. As soon as he realizes his cause won’t make
him popular, he moves on. This is what distinguishes him from his on-again,
off-again girlfriend Wendy Testaburger: she doesn’t care if her opinions make her popular
or not. She has deeper motivations and a lot
more selfrespect. One of the points South Park makes is that
if a movement is run by people who are motivated by people just trying to
be taken seriously, it’s likely to go off the rails. This is as true of the New Atheism movement as it is
of any other movement. In the two-part episode “Go God
Go,” Cartman is trapped in the 26th century as three rival militant atheist factions kill
each other over branding disputes. The message is simple: Human beings are violent
and irrational, and getting rid of religion isn’t gonna change. The difference between Stone and Parker and
the New Atheist movement ultimately centers on a chicken-or egg question: Are people ridiculous
because religion is ridiculous, or is religion ridiculous because people are ridiculous? Stone and Parker take the second view. In Pythagoras’ Trousers, Australian
science historian Margaret Wertheim argues that in the West, scientific models of the
universe tend to look a lot like religious ones. This is, at least in part, because they both
labor under a hypermasculine drive for certainty and finality. Insisting that we have to be absolutely sure
about where the universe came from and why, even when we don’t have much evidence to
work from, is kind of like trying to navigate old country roads without asking anybody for
directions. Wertheim, like Stone and Parker, argues that
our refusal to accept ambiguity can make our answers to the big questions sound ridiculous. So if all of our worldviews are doomed to
be at least a little bit ridiculous, and all of our movements run the risk of becoming
at least a little bit fanatical, should we be religious or not? This isn’t a question Stone or Parker are
interested in answering for other people. As Matt Stone rhetorically asked Slate in
2011: “[I]f the mass delusion of a religion makes you happy, makes your family work better,
is that bad or good?” The series itself has explicitly made that
argument twice: once at the end of season six’s “Red Hot Catholic Love,” and again
in season seven’s “All About Mormons.” After the entire episode rips on new kid Gary’s
disconcertingly upbeat family life and unfamiliar religious beliefs, he finally stands up for
himself at end. Stone and Parker’s view, that being religious
is sensible and not being religious is also sensible, echoes the words of the American
philosopher William James. As he writes in Pragmatism (1907): ‘When a play is once over, and the curtain
drawn, you really make it no better by claiming” “an illustrious genius for its author, just
as you make it no worse by calling him a common hack.” Essentially, whether it or not it was created
by a divine figure, it’s still life. Most series that deal with religion as often
as South Park, give us an escape route, a religion or ideology we can accept to avoid
being ridiculous. What makes South Park unique is the show’s
underlying philosophy that being human is inevitably ridiculous, and that there’s
no way of avoiding this fate. No matter which religion or life philosophy
we adopt, South Park tells us we’ll look silly if we take ourselves too seriously. The question, in other words, isn’t whether
our belief system is a joke. It’s whether or not we know it. Hey everyone, thanks for watching, and for all the love your showing all things Wisecrack. Another great way you can support us is by supporting our sponsors. And this video is sponsored by Lootcrate. If you don’t already know, Lootcrate is an awesome monthly subscribed box service for epic geek and gamer items. The August Lootcrate is anti-heros if your a fan of Archer, Hellboy, Harley Quinn, or Kill Bill then you won’t wanna miss this crate sign up now at Lootcrate.com/wisecrack, and you’ll get exclusive items from these epic franchises. And when you enter the code Wisecrack you’ll get 10% off a new subscription. For less than 20$ a month, Lootcrate sends you neat collectibles, appeal, and more. You’ll only have till the 19th, 9pm pst to sign up and receive this month’s crate So go to Lootcrate.com/wisecrack to sign up and enter the code wisecrack to save 10% on any new subscription. And be sure to click on Mr. Hanky to go to our channel page and subscribe. we’ve got tons more great videos on the way and you won’t wanna miss it. I’ve gotta figure out whether Kanye likes fish sticks or not so I’ll see ya next time. Peace.

100 Replies to “South Park on RELIGION – Wisecrack Edition”

  1. I disagree with them on their view of the scientific model for the Universe and it's origins. We don't have much to work on before the Big Bang but the Big Bang itself is very substantiated. We aren't just driving with no directions with science, most scientists don't claim to know for sure about anything before the Big Bang.

    On the other hand, zealous theists tend to do just that. Assert an absolute model of the origins of the Universe based off of virtually nothing.

    Also just to note, no one is stupid for being religious, but the church is not the exclusive source of good values in society. So no, it's not really a good reason to believe in it.

  2. 10:55 Certainty and finality isn't a hyper-masculine drive, it is something can be found amongst everyone. What the hell was she smoking?

  3. Wow the dumbest comment of all was the one from the creators and that writer… this really makes me think what it's pretty ckear on south oark: it's just about ratings

  4. Way to go! You didnt puss out and you actually showed Muhammad. And you started the video with some nice Jew on Jew violence. (Kyle killing Jesus). Thats why I like your vids. You cant pull any punches if you want to be taken seriously, especially critiquing South Park.

  5. Wow, much respect to Matt and Trey. Truth is, I agree. all the religions sounds ridiculous but the belief we are here just cause is definitely the most ridiculous. IDK why everybody is trashing God I mean yeh religion can be weaponized and evil but I really hope there is a God.

  6. Just one question. When and how SP will mock Islam and Mohammed?
    I think SP has no balls to mock those who can kill them or call them islamophobes.

  7. 10:53

    There's nothing masculine about the drive for certainty and finality. In fact, this drive is as feminine as it gets.

  8. 3:34 so wold Peace can be achieved by painting a cow with red spots and then a van Helen and pace will reign.

  9. 'the myth of redemptive violence". It seems all the 'revenge' stories and all tv detective stories conform to that, and of course the Christian myth is founded on it, an ironic killing of the oppressive god, in the form of his reformist Son.

  10. I believe that yes we do need to just live our lives religion or not but even if you’re spewing nonsense it can make families work better and that is good. Now if you push this nonsense aggressively onto another family and they dislike it you are in the wrong

  11. "Just Cause.." maybe it would be less ridiculous if they say "For No reason". I admit saying "Just Cause" is a bit juvenile.

  12. In south park there no sacred cows nothing Is off limits besides when the network made then not show Mohammad even tho they did earlier and notbinf happened and he's seen in the crowd in the start song

  13. Bro, **bro**, BRO… Kanye. LOVES. Fish dicks. He's a motherf#€%ing gay fish, bro.

    No really though, great vid. Very insightful… I like how in depth it gets on the subject of religion, because South Park doesn't exactly have the kind of run time that allows for this kind of analysis. They manage to say a LOT without actually saying it, if that makes any sense. It's good to see that a lot of viewers do actually get what they're trying to say enough to do a little research after watching and then make the smarter, real-world connections for themselves.

    I've told people for AGES that this show can tell you a lot about life if you're paying attention, it's actually pretty damn deep.

  14. The concept that atheism is ridiculous because we're too important to exist by accident is the height of hubris. Congratulations for having no concept of how the universe works, let alone the insignificance of this planet when weighed against all the rest

  15. Nothing on islam huh? Lmao the creators of south park can’t be edgy and afraid of offending a specific religion at the same time. They pussied out hard with muhammad

  16. Interesting conclusion. If you look at it from the point of you of a hierarchy, the issue comes from those who are playing the “how literal do you believe” game.

    The more you believe the “holier than thou” sort of people vs those who don’t believe as strictly.

  17. I’m a cartoonistic, I’m a believer that cartoons are a gift to humanity and make the world a better place.

  18. I think you’re views are extremely intelligent, I guess that rules out most Americans understanding them then!!

  19. I'm disappointed in how poor their reasoning skills are. Science is based off of observation and inference. It's not a holy text that you're not supposed to question.

    Newtonian physics and Einsteinien relativistic physics have both been overturned by new observations and inference.

    Feel free to not understand it, but to dismiss it as equal or worse than religious explanations is ridiculous.

  20. Most people you meet who call themselves religious don’t know shit about their own religion.
    Especially Christianity. If you actually read any version of the Bible you would laugh your ass off and also be dumbfounded how someone can believe a single word.

    It’s like believing in the Easter bunny and Santa.
    JUST like every other 1000+ religion ever invented they all use fear, ignorance and children brainwashing to create a following.

  21. Since people seem to be confused about this, allow me to clarify something. Neither Wisecrack, nor South Park take the position that science posits itself as absolute truth, rather that science is the search for absolute truth. And in this case, they are absolutely right. The entire point of science, whether it admits it or not, is to find definitive answers by continually improving itself. Constantly creating theories, proving them, then disproving them to be replaced with a 'more correct' theory.

    Science is often said to be a 'standard of proof' needed to accept something as true, however this is not the true motivation behind it's creation. After all, why create a ruler if you don't intend on measuring anything? Rather, science was created because people saw flaws in their current way of understanding, and sought a more 'right' method, which eventually became the self-evolving thing you see today.

  22. Oh and another thing, this whole 'I don't have a problem with non-violent religious people' stuff is the atheist/agnostic version of passively aggressively saying 'I don't have a problem with your beliefs as long as they conform to the standards I set for them'. You think you can state things like 'don't hurt other people' as absolute moral truths, because you are certain that few people will disagree with you, and the ones that do are 'evil' enough to be dismissed. It's the exact same shit that everyone else is doing.

    The South Park argument is not that any one thing is the wrong answer, even when those things involve fanaticism and violence. The point is that those things are inherent to any beliefs you create, regardless of how correct, neutral, or pacifistic you think it is. It does not matter what you believe, even if you don't take one side or the other, even if you agree one hundred percent with South Park, it will end in a self-righteous prick trying to force their beliefs on another person, it's inevitable. Despite my knowledge of this, I"m currently doing it with this comment. The rest of you are doing it either in your heads or with your own comments. It's inescapable.

  23. I don't think that you know that there were many many Jesus because people didn't shave back then and they all died the same way.

  24. I think it seems needlessly rude to portray science as "hypermasculine search for certainty". Science is simply a systematic way of sorting evidence and drawing conclusions. I don't see how that has any sort of gender relation.

  25. Lootcrate is a total waste of money. Its about time you take that ad off the video. Or be like Lootcrate and promise you'll take it down for 5 months and then, after everyone stops caring, just not take it down still. What a sham company.

  26. Abandon all hopes and yadey yadey yaaaaha!😂😂😂🤣🤣🤣🤣 you following me!🤨?????

  27. For the 2 or 3% of us out there that actually have a brain that thinks for itself usually we have researched and found that 100% of holidays actually are a celebration of Witchcraft holidays. That's right everybody knows that Christ was born in the springtime because back then that is when the Romans had everyone in to settle their taxes in their hometowns or the town they were born

  28. The bit about the Mormons being correct about faith was a total rip off from a obscure Monty Python sketch. Still very funny

  29. yeah we should never try to find the truth. i've never starved so i don't know if it will kill me. might as well not eat. trying to make sense of the world is inherently human not masculine. also humans want to survive and the more we know the easier it is to survive

  30. The whimpy human needs his religion to keep from blowing his brains out. Only the strongest human don't need some bull shit to survive. Jungle rules apply here.

  31. 11:00 You compare religion and science here like they both "Must know the Truth"
    But that's very inaccurate, religions aren't about the search of truth like science is a process to uncover truth, religion is an answer.
    It doesn't matter which religion is which answer, God has a certain name, did certain things and his universe is a certain way.
    Science is about understanding that an answer isn't enough, it has to be correct

  32. I always knew there was at least ONE thing you could do with a philosophy degree…make Youtube videos.

    Oh you don't need a degree for that? Damn….

  33. 10:10– Steve Shives and PZ Meyers in a nutshell.
    Except replace "believing in god" with "not lumping fanatical Islam with Muslims in general" and "inclusive with Feminism and Racial Harmony".

  34. So, 3 years later, you showed images of the prophet muhammed from the south park episodes which are now notoriously hard to find. I was absolutely stunned to see an image of him again. I guess we're post muhammageddon at this point.

  35. Funny how you keep talking about the right wing but breeae over the left and there bullshit censorship typical biast libtard

  36. I guess they are just retarded because there is mathematical poof of the expanding universe there is 0 proof of a floating spaghetti monster

  37. I'm an Atheist and anti religion. It's the biggest joke in human history. Humans created all religions and those stories to divide people and did a great job of it. So many people have died in the name of religion so many wars and violence. But South Park does a great job at making fun of it all even us Atheists.

  38. The Mormon kid is ethically mormon and follows it regardless if what the belief says about origin of the world or god. This is similar to what is called "Christian Atheism".

  39. That's one reason why I'm not a huge fan of South Park. They paint 2 viewpoints as being equally bad but completely ignore the evil how one side silenced the masses, also they are very anti-science

  40. I think the difference is that atheists admit we dont know all the answers, but not knowing doesnt mean we need to create an answer

  41. There's nothing edgy or irreverent about this stupid show. When was the last time South Park made fun of Islam or Muhammed……………….I'll wait………………EXACTLY

  42. 11:05

    Thats strawman. Science, while is trying to get as close to truth and understeanding reality as possible does not, and never did claimed absolute certainty, nor even need for one. Thats exactly how science does not work. If we would insist on that we would not be giving prizes to people who shatters our understeanding of universe with new facts, information and data…

  43. Your friend is religious, but that's no big deal. When they go and support lunacy like locking up children, limiting women's rights and rallying themselves with genocidal right wingers, then there's a problem.

  44. "Do not become unevenly yoked with unbelievers. For what fellowship do righteousness and lawlessness have? Or what sharing does light have with darkness? Further, what harmony is there between Christ and Beʹli·al? Or what does a believer share in common with an unbeliever? And what agreement does God’s temple have with idols? For we are a temple of a living God; just as God said: “I will reside among them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore, get out from among them, and separate yourselves,’ says Jehovah, ‘and quit touching the unclean thing”; “and I will take you in. And I will become a father to you, and you will become sons and daughters to me,’ says Jehovah, the Almighty.”(2 Corinthians 6:14-18) "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God, for it is written: 'He catches the wise in their own cunning.' And again: 'Jehovah knows that the reasonings of the wise men are futile.”( 1 Corinthians 3:19,20) Enough said because in a way, I'm quite thankful that South Park hasn't done a complete satire of Jehovah's Witnesses.

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