Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Convert or Die!

Does laughing at this make me a bad Catholic? Ah, screw it. It's hilarious!

Excerpt on YouTube from Warner Bros' short-lived Histeria! [Wipipedia].

Does anyone remember this show Histeria? I only ever caught a couple episodes of it when it was originally on TV, and I thought it was brilliant. For example, among the Legion of Super Writers, Emily Dickinson subdued the bad guys by rendering them emo with her verses. Brilliant! What better way to reinforce history and literature than with an intelligent cartoon? If I Histeria had been on TV just a couple years earlier, I might have gotten better grades in my history and government classes and AP tests.

The above clip "Convert or Die" captures a lot of the shameful aspects of the Spanish Inquisition: the unfairness to those who simply didn't understand, the coerced confessions, the torture, the danger of being declared a heretic for reading books critical of the Church.

Of course, this didn't go down well with the Catholic higher-ups. According to the YouTube video's description:
After this episode's initial airing, Warner Bros. received complaints from the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, claiming that the Spanish Inquisition game show sketch at the beginning, "Convert or Die!", was teaching children to reject Catholicism. Because of this, in reruns, that sketch was replaced with a newly-made one in which the kids think General Custer is running a custard stand, but restored when the episode was featured on In2TV.
Huh. It sounds like the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights doesn't really know how to own up to past wrongdoings and make up for them. If only there was some precedent for that process, outlined in the Gospel or something. Oh, wait.

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