Trey Parker was born and raised in Denver, Colorado.
Parker wasn’t raised particularly religious, but he seems to have absorbed it to the point that it’s a major, recurring topic in his satirical show, South Park.
The show is well-known as an equal-opportunity condemnation machine, with pointed critiques of every religion from Mormonism to Islam to Scientology to Judaism, and everything in between. But what about Parker himself?
Parker has said he can’t easily explain his true religious beliefs, but contrary to popular opinion, he’s not an atheist–he just thinks organized religion is “super funny.” Of Christianity, he said:
The story of Jesus makes no sense to me. God sent his only son. Why could God only have one son and why would he have to die? It’s just bad writing, really. And it’s really terrible in about the second act.1
But he holds a special contempt for the current scientific explanation of the existence of the universe, saying:
Out of all the ridiculous religion stories — which are greatly, wonderfully ridiculous — the silliest one I’ve ever heard is, ‘Yeah, there’s this big, giant universe and it’s expanding and it’s all going to collapse on itself and we’re all just here, just because… That to me, is the most ridiculous explanation ever.1
But in the end, it seems Parker takes the attitude that if religion floats your boat, go with it. He said:
At the end of the day, if the mass delusion of a religion makes you happy, makes your family work better, is that bad or good?2
No politics is good politics
To understand the political position of Trey Parker–and his cohort Matt Stone, you have to be familiar with South Park. Much like their take on religion, it appears that all politics is fodder for comedy. In fact, South Park has become a litmus test for how extreme and ridiculous a political position might be. They tend to skewer more extreme views–both on the left and the right.
When asked who he votes for, Parker only references one of his South Park episodes: “Douche and Turd.”3 The episode’s plot requires the kids in South Park to vote for a school mascot, and their choices are a giant douche and a turd sandwich. Obviously, this implies that Parker thinks having only two, equally-idiotic choices is not really much of a choice at all.
The question is, when everything is stupid, what can we or should we stand for? Is anything worth our time? What, if anything, could make the world a better place? Is everything just a big joke? Is everyone with an opinion or cause stupid?
Society certainly needs critics. If we are to ever improve, we must be able to take criticism. But it must be constructive criticism or it is simply mean and unhelpful.