When you look at the South Park situation, the reaction of comedy central and the sudden concern at offending religion that seems to pop up as long as that religion isn’t Christianity in general or Catholicism in particular, it tends to make the average Christian sick.
You have seen the Lord berated, your forms of worship mocked. You find yourself called every name in the book in movies and film, you endure the wrath of the mainstream media for your willingness to stand against sin and when like all men, you succumb to sin of any sort they pounce with glee.
For Catholics in particular, the religion that brought you hospitals, education of the non-noble classes, the preservation of some of the greatest knowledge of antiquity, t religion that feeds, clothes, and shelters more people worldwide than any other and has done so for centuries. The religion whose dedication to educating the poor is so great that even atheists donate to our schools. To see comedy central happily insult Christ and the Pope while bleeping out even the name of Islam’s prophet, its gotta be another twist of the knife.
But worse than that, it is a temptation. It comes from jealousy. It is a little voice that is saying: “Hey you know that Christ is worth defending, you see how the media and almost everyone in Hollywood cringe and bow all it takes is an ambiguous phase.” Just one little suggestion, you don’t even have to do anything, that sort of a “me too” thing, than maybe just maybe they will decide to leave you alone too. It’s not so bad, after all it will keep them from violating the second commandment, it will keep kids from getting the idea they can make fun of the Lord. Maybe even save a soul or two.”
It’s the same kind of voice that the kid who works at the local grocery store for minimum wage hears when he sees a neighbor who is dealing with a $500 iPhone. It’s the voice the girl working two jobs to pay student loan hears when she sees another working three days at the strip club or maybe turning a trick, with money in the bank.
But most important of all it’s the same kind of voice that whispered to Scott Roeder, telling him it was alright to murder.
That voice should not be unfamiliar to us. it whispered to Herod to remove the children who might be a threat to their rule, it told Peter that it was ok to deny Jesus to save his skin, that told Pilate that it was better to kill an innocent man than to risk rebellion and told Judas that he was doing the right thing to deliver Jesus to the High Priest.
For a Christian that is the real significance of the South Park incident. Not what has actually been done, Christ and the Church has been the subject of ridicule as long as there have been Christians, it is the attempt to tempt away from our church, our faith and our very identity.
What should our response be? Prayer for Parker and Stone, Prayer for the Islamic barbarians who want to kill them, and prayer for that same media that scorns us.
It is through that prayer that we will not only save ourselves and others because in the end that is the bottom line. It’s what’s at stake, if we look at it otherwise, then we commit the sin of pride. There is a reason why it leads the list of deadly sins. As Christ said:
“If the world hates you, realize that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, the world would love its own; but because you do not belong to the world, and I have chosen you out of the world, the world hates you. Remember the word I spoke to you, ‘No slave is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. And they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin; but as it is they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me also hates my Father. John 15:18-23
This is the way things are, and we’d best act like it.