After Brazilian TV Host’s Anti-Atheist Rant, Court Orders Network to Play Religious Freedom PSA 72 Times June 1, 2015

After Brazilian TV Host’s Anti-Atheist Rant, Court Orders Network to Play Religious Freedom PSA 72 Times

In July of 2010, José Luiz Datena, the host of Brasil Urgente, a primetime show in Brazil, reported on a crime in which a child was murdered… which made him go on an anti-atheist rant, because surely an atheist committed the evil act.

At one point, he even asked his producers to run a call-in poll on whether or not viewers believed in god, presumably hoping the pro-God results would convince atheists to adopt the majority stance. He then made up excuses when atheists crashed the poll.

Make sure the subtitles are on when you watch the video. A few screenshots are below:

Anyway, after that aired, the Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics filed a lawsuit against the TV station and Datena. They wanted him to retract his statements. (I’m unclear on what happened with their suit.)

The government’s Federal Public Ministry (FPM) filed another lawsuit in 2013. They argued that the nation’s Constitution guaranteed religious freedom, and promoting religious intolerance on public television was forbidden. This outburst by Datena, then, violated the law.

A Brazilian court has finally settled the matter.

The network, Rede Bandeirantes, won’t have to pay a fine… but they will have to air this public service announcement promoting religious freedom 72 times between now and November:

I’d call that a victory for atheists. Not bad in a country that’s nearly 90% Christian.

No word yet on whether Datena plans to apologize to viewers for his ignorance and bigotry.

(Thanks to Scott for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)

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