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Monday, March 20, 2006

News Flash

Scientologists were angered by a controversial South Park episode the other day. This episode made fun of scientology, and tried to make light of their sacred ideas. Strangely enough, much of the mockery consisted of simply repeating many of their stated beliefs, contained in the writings of noted "thinker" and writer of poorly thought out fantasies made into even crappier movies. The entire South Park episode was considered very offensive to members of the cult, and so they took action. But in a shocking, man bites dog, twist, the scientologists did not resort to violence. They tried to get the episode taken off the air, and a scientologist on the show quit. But no violence? Strange. Let's review. One religion (let's call it, the "religion of peace") sees a few cartoons that simply depict their prophet, with a couple that could be read as vaguely offensive. Denizens of this religion (and not just a lunatic fringe of crazed fundamentalists) proceeded to threaten, bomb, burn and generally act the fool. Anyone who tried to reason with them was "inconsiderate" of their "great religion". The second religion (let's call it the crazy Scientologists, to mask their identity) had a large cartoon seen all over America and the world that was specifically tailored to beard them. The cartoon would be very offensive to anyone of that faith, and every action was taken to anger the religion's followers. And the followers of the religion did nothing but try to take the cartoon off the air, perhaps quit watching the show, maybe protested a little bit (though I didn't hear about it), and quit the show if they were working on it. But no embassies were bombed. Interesting. Also interesting was the lack of outcry about the episode. Where were the people decrying the "irresponsible speech" "needlessly upsetting" a "great religion"? Seems to me that there's absolutely no equivilence here. Strange that one religion gets more slack. Surely it's not because some people are afraid that if they don't appease the one religion rather than the other, they might be threatened with violence?


Maybe the Scientologists aren;t moved to violence because they know deep down that their "religion" is just really bad science fiction. I can see it now, so don't bother, someone is going to respond to tell me that more mainstream religions are just fairy tales. Save it.
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