The Best ‘South Park’ Episode to Watch With Your Christian Dad

The Best ‘South Park’ Episode to Watch With Your Christian Dad

According to fans, the best South Park episode to show an older religious person who is unfamiliar with the show would be any one where other religions are being mocked. Another acceptable alternative would be none of them.

Ever since its inception in 1997 by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, neither of whom could be characterized as particularly devout, South Park has been a thorn in the side of conservative Christians across the continent. Back in the early years of the iconoclastic comedy, Christian media advocacy groups like the Parents Television Council and Action for Children’s Television were among the first organizations to condemn South Park and demand its removal from the airwaves. Well, 26 seasons, countless crucifixion jokes and a billion dollars later, the answer is still, “No.”

Since South Park makes a point to parody, deride and mock every major political, ideological or religious movement in American culture, and since Christianity is still the dominant faith in the nation under God, the most consistent targets for sacrilegious satire on the show are Christians, priests, Popes, Jesus and his mother. As such, when a user in the South Park subreddit asked his fellow fans which South Park episodes he can watch with his “very religious” Christian dad, it’s no surprise that the first reply was, “You might just wanna find a different show my guy.”

However, if the original poster really wanted to press the issue with his pops despite the obvious obstacles to a hardcore Christian ever enjoying a single South Park episode, one fan had an interesting suggestion. Redditor DaGucka wrote, “Look for the ones mocking religions he is not a part of. Like the Scientology, Islam and Mormon ones. When he thinks they are funny, show him a Christian one. If he is offended, ask him why he laughed at the other episodes. Might make him think.”

This is a fascinating thought experiment. Religious groups have long raged about their own depictions on South Park, though to be fair, the Mormons have generally been good sports about Parker and Stone’s jokes at their expense, both taking the South Park episode “All About Mormons” and their hit Broadway musical The Book of Mormon in spectacular stride. The LDS church even took out a full page ad out in the playbill of the latter, reading, “The book is always better.” 

Other religious peoples have not responded to their respective parodies with such grace, however — multiple South Park episodes have been banned from broadcast and streaming for depictions (and even the implication of a depiction) of the Muslim prophet Muhammad. And, of course, Christians have always been opposed to South Park’s many representations of Jesus, God, Satan, the Pope and the Virgin Mary, the lattermost of which earned an unsuccessful censorship campaign from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights when South Park showed the mother of God gushing menstrual blood in the aptly titled episode “Bloody Mary.”

But we’ve never yet seen religious groups complain about jokes made at the expense of faiths besides their own for the obvious reason that, as is human nature, they are much more sensitive about their own beliefs than the beliefs of others. Still, if the OP’s dad can laugh at Scientology scams in “Trapped in the Closet,” he shouldn’t cramp some Virgin Mary period jokes.

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