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Jewish Journal

Cartman the evil evangelist

by Brad A. Greenberg

October 6, 2008 | 2:15 pm

Wednesday is a huge day on my calendar. It’s been blocked off for about three months for the return of “South Park.” It’s also Yom Kippur. And this year I’m going to do Yom Kippur, fasting and all, and then I’m going to write a short essay about doing the holiest day in the Jewish year for the first time. I’m pretty sure that precludes my watching “South Park” until at least Thursday night.

Hopefully I’ll survive.

In the meantime, Cartman, who is the leading reason any country would move to ban the greatest show on Earth, is getting his own special edition DVD. It’s called “The Cult of Cartman,” and it features 12 great episodes—among them, “Awesom-O,” “The Death of Eric Cartman” and “Cartoon Wars Part I.”

Here he is making his pitch:

But, shockingly, the two DVD set, omits at least five of the greatest episodes centered around Cartman. Each of these episodes, four of which are two-part series pieces, have religion at that little sinner at their core.

In “Go God, Go,” Cartman freezes himself because he can’t wait for the Nintendo Wii to be released, but his plan goes awry and he is unfrozen 500 years in the future, a godless world where atheists are at war over what to call themselves—proving people, not religion, cause wars—and use expletives like “Science H. Logic.”

Probably my favorite is “Christian Rock Hard,” in which Cartman discovers that making bad Christian music is a surefire way to get rich quick.

“You don’t even know anything about Christianity,” Stan says to Cartman.

“I know enough to exploit it,” he responds.

Cartman, predictably, blows his achievement of selling a million records with an extravagant, self-indulgent festival—and then explodes when he learns he didn’t win his $10 bet that his band could go platinum because Christian albums don’t go platinum; they go myrrh.

In the clip after the jump, from the second of the two-parter “Do the Handicapped Go to Hell?” Cartman again shows that he doesn’t have a sincere bone in his body. His tent revivalism was all a ploy, a scam built on children’s fear of hellfire, just another way for him to get rich.

What makes Cartman so funny is how he embodies everything we hate. How then, in a series titled “The Cult of Cartman,” could some of the most relevant, memorable religious episodes with Cartman at their center be left out? For that matter, why wasn’t “The Passion of the Jew” included in this set?

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