Monday, April 09, 2007

Oh that South Park

I am moved to post again because I recently view an episode of South Park that had particularly interesting social/political overtones. The recent episode entitled Cartman Sucks had in it, among other crude attempts at humor, a rather interesting social dynamic involving the naive character Butters. After being tricked by Cartman, Butter's father catches him performing what appears to be a homosexual act and immediately questions Butters. Not knowing what is going on, Butters admits that he is confused as to his gender preference referred to in the episode as "bicurious." Butter's parents’ solution is to send him to a camp to "Pray the Gay Away" but unfortunately for the camp administration, the "confused" campers continually commit suicide. Butters, who is not actually gay, eventually saves the life of a fellow camper about to commit suicide by standing up and declaring that it is ok to be "bicurious" because essentially God made them that way. Though he has no idea what is really going on, Butters and South Park, in their crude yet humorous way that we have all grown to love, have hit upon an important point that has long gone un-recognized in society.

Homosexuality is not a choice. People do not choose to face the ridiculing scorn of an un-accepting public. They do not choose to be ostracized, told they are wrong, and forced to either pretend to be something they are not or worse yet, kill themselves. In one instance in the episode the campers are exposed to a clergyman who has been supposedly "cured" of his gayness. Yet he is the most gay of all of them. Homosexuality is not a disease, it is not a choice, and it is not evil. God (editor's note: notice this is GreatScott! and not me who wrote this. I promise I haven't radically changed my worldview in the last few hours--J-Bar) makes everyone; God loves his children. The God I worship does not love conditionally. He does not punish his children for being different. All that should matter is how you treat other people and the world around you, for God has made everyone in his imagine, not just the select few of fundamentalist Christians who see fight to oppress those who disagree with them. I would have thought we Christians of this world to have learned the lesson the Romans taught us so very long ago. That is violence and hatred will not snuff out people. Trying to destroy what you do not understand will sooner destroy you. We treat homosexuals as the ancient Romans treated us and we should be ashamed.

We could all stand to learn a thing or two from the naive idealism encapsulated in the character Butters.

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