The WB Television Network features an animated show for children, “Histeria!”, that “gives viewers a fast-paced look at well-known and not-so-well-known events and people of the past via quick comedy sketches, hilarious informational bits and clever original songs.” It also teaches kids to reject Catholicism.
Over this past weekend, “Histeria!” offered a portrayal of the Inquisition, “Convert or Die,” that depicted a game show where the contestants are tied to a wheel and tortured for every wrong answer. The host of the show, a bishop, is called “Torquemada” by the prisoner-contestants. The bishop gives the contestant 20 seconds to confess “the single most terrible heresy you’ve committed.” We get answers like, “I ate meat on the day of abstinence,” etc. The bishop informs him that the correct answer is “I have read books forbidden by the Catholic Church and am a big stinky heretic.” He adds, “the next time you commit a mortal sin against the Church, don’t be surprised if someone comes up to you and says….[interruption]—‘Convert or Die.’”
William Donohue of the Catholic League expressed the organization’s concerns:
“Only someone terribly naïve would think that this is harmless fun. Warner Bros. explicitly set out to teach an amusing history lesson for children, and in doing so it found it amusing to lead them in Catholic-baiting. Upcoming shows supposedly deal with Confucius and Abraham Lincoln, and no one will be surprised to learn that both men are treated fairly. But when it comes to Catholics, WB wants to make sure that what it believes in its heart of hearts about Catholicism gets taught to kids.
“According to WB, ‘Histeria!’ is an ‘original and hysterically amusing way’ of ‘fulfilling the FCC educational programming requirement.’ Really? Now that I know that, I won’t hesitate to contact the FCC myself.”