Bulletin for the Study of Religion, Vol 42, No 3 (2013)

Cowards, Critics, and Catholics: The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, South Park and the Politics of Religious Humor in the United States

David Feltmate
Issued Date: 27 Sep 2013


Throughout its history South Park has had a contentious relationship with Catholicism, frequently using Catholic doctrine, rituals, and popular practices as a foil for humor. This article examines the way that a Catholic parachurch organization, the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, has criticized South Park and its creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone as cowardly and not the satirical mavericks they are frequently portrayed as in popular media. Using the sociologies of religion, humor, and culture, this article demonstrates that this conflict reflects deeper conflicts over the limits of free speech, the place of Catholics in American culture, and the importance of humor in criticizing and controlling religious traditions in the United States.

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DOI: 10.1558/bsor.v42i3.2


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