Brazilian TV Host Rails Against Atheists

There’s so much wrong with this video, but let me set it up for you.

***Edit***: The video is from July of 2010. Still crazy, but it’s not something recent.

José Luiz Datena is the host of Brasil Urgente, a primetime show in Brazil. In the clip below, he reports on a crime in which a child was murdered… which makes him go on an anti-atheist rant, because surely an atheist committed the crime.

He also asks for a call-in poll on whether or not viewers believe in god — Datena hopes the results will show that atheists are outnumbered in the country (therefore, presumably, they should just adopt the majority stance).

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

(Thanks to Francisco for the link)

***Update***: According to a commenter, “the Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics filed suit against the TV station and Datena after this broadcast.”

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • RobertoTheChi

    What an asshole….

  • Annie

    Why is atheism always associated with satanism?  Do these people not know what the word “atheism” means?   What a pathetic call to have people take his little poll.  I wonder if there is any proof that the person who committed the crime he is talking about is even an atheist.  Is there proof of this?  Fine journalism going on there…

    • John

       To be fair, real Satanism is actually atheistic.  But then how many Christians know what real Satanism is actually about?

      • Annie

         How so, John?

        • 3lemenope

          By “real” satanism I assume John is referring to the religion created by Anton LaVey, which is, at the bottom, an atheistic philosophy.

          • Annie

             I think for sake of clarity, we should go by what most people presume satanism to be… and not get caught up in some vague interpretation. 

            • John

               You don’t think it’s more important to go by what most people who identify as Satanist actually believe?

              • Annie

                 Normally, I would.  But here we’re dealing with what Christians think about atheists.  Are most atheists satanists?  Absolutely not.  I think it’s important to make that distinction.  Also, when Christians call atheists “Satanists”, I really don’t think they are considering the group you write about.  It is their way of calling atheists evil… nothing more, nothing less. (I’m not saying actual satanists are evil… I don’t know any, so I am in no place to judge.)

                • Yoyomafan

                  Yeah, just so people know, and so they can hear it from someone else other than John; I met a “Satanist”. I don’t follow any of their practices, but just as John was trying to explain, here’s the lowdown (please try to have a mature mind in this explanation and this will make sense): Because of the word, “Satan” being in there, many of us quickly think of seventies scary movies like The Omen and The Exorcist and we think of frightening excerpts from the Bible. That’s not what it is. Satanists use the term “Satan” in their title (if you will) just as word, or an idea of being anti-Christian. Not to be  confused with “devil worshipers”, which is something completely different. The same way, for example, the Chicago Bears have nothing to do with the animal bear, the “bear” is just a mascot. The term “Satan” is kind of like a mascot for their idea. Satanists don’t worship or believe in Satan/the Devil as being real and they don’t believe in God, or that God exists. They believe that when you die, that’s it! Nothing happens. That you cease to exist and that there is no Heaven or Hell. In this part alone, Atheists and Satanists share a common ground, only Satanists go further in where, as I stated earlier, they are “Anti-Christian”, in that they believe in Not worshiping God, because they don’t believe in God’s existence for lack of scientific evidence, and instead of worshiping Him, they believe that each individual should take that same level of worship while here on earth, and instead place it on themselves. That each individual should worship themselves. That a person should do exactly what they want to, whenever they want to, no matter what it is they want to do, so as long as in the process the person is not wronging anyone else. With the only exception being that it is okay to wrong a person only if that person had wronged you first. Which seems like a form of revenge in that your high worship (yourself) had been offended, so it’s alright to correct the situation by wronging the perpetrator (an idea, of which no doubt, could get out of hand really quick if many people followed this ideology… ) However, it must be asked honestly, how many people really do seem to act in this way, only they don’t call it “Satanism”. It’s just a name. There are people of all walks of life who follow lots of different dominations and beliefs who have done horrible things. People just need to respect and show consideration and love to each other. That’s the one thing that I wish we all agreed on. And by the way, this particular guy, who follows that belief, “Satanism”, seems like an alright guy from what I know of him if you can keep from judging him. Especially by his appearance. And in a respectful way, he would never even mention the fact that he is a Satanist unless, for some reason, you bring it up in conversation and ask him about it. 

                • Annie

                   Thanks, Yoyomafan- very interesting.  When I have a bit more time I’ll have to look for some further reading.  I always assumed all satanists worshiped Satan. ;-)

      • JohnnieCanuck

        You need to explain to me the part where atheists believe in a supernatural being called Satan. Or as you seem to have it, real Satanists don’t believe in supernatural beings.

        You wouldn’t be trying to make the case that real Satanists don’t believe in Yahweh therefore they are atheists? In the absence of his opponent, this fictional being would itself qualify as a god. Immortal, Omnipresent, miracle maker, what else does it need before it is that which atheists don’t believe in?

        • John

          Except Satanists *don’t* believe in a supernatural being called Satan.  The Satan they follow is a representation of humanity’s natural desires (in opposition to most religions’ teachings that those desires should be suppressed).  It’s a philosophy of self-interest, they basically worship themselves.

          • http://www.facebook.com/people/Mike-De-Fleuriot/611844223 Mike De Fleuriot

             Oh Bollocks, you just twisting the words, you follow the Devil!!

      • Ixoreus

         Sorry, but you are incorrect.  Satan is a construction of the Mediterranean monotheists – he’s your god, not mine.   Atheists have no gods and we have no devils.   Go troll somewhere else John.

        • John

           1. I’m not trolling.
          2. I never said I was a Satanist.
          3. Atheism is nothing more than a lack of belief in gods, and if you think Satanism doesn’t meet that requirement then you have no idea what you’re talking about.

          • michael both

            There’s no belief in gods within Buddhism either, demonstrating that equating non-belief in a god or gods with ‘bad’ (however you might define that) behaviour is a little ridiculous.

          • Michael

            To believe in satan, you must believe in god… ergo, theist.  Not atheist.

            • Caesar

              No no. Satanists don’t believe in Satan either.  They are very much atheists as well. From what I understand they took the name and hold fake religious ceremonies in order to mock Christians.  They do have a “moral” philosophy that is somewhat antithetical to Secular Humanism though.

            • Stev84

              Look up “LeVay Satanism”, which is what what the Church of Satan does. Satan is merely a representation of humanity’s dark impulses. They are essentially hedonists, but not at the expense of others

        • Artor

          The “real” Satanists John was referring to rarely actually believe in Satan. They tend to be Ayn Randists who still feel the need to be shocking to Xtians, or have a liking for transgressive ritual. Educate yourself before slinging accusations of trolling.

    • Deven Kale

       According to some Christians, there are only two options: Worship of God, or worship of Satan. Atheists are very clear in the fact that we don’t worship any god, therefore atheism is a form of Satan worship. It’s just that simple, and insane.

      • Annie

         I agree with you on this.  Several people have been kind enough to offer information about “true”? satanism, but I don’t think that’s what the Christians are thinking about when they say it.  “If you’re not with us, you’re against us” seems to be their mentality in many ways.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Dharmaworks David Benjamin Patton

    Either he’s woefully ignorant or worse he just wants to stir the pot with empty rhetoric to suit his own ends. If he’s just stupid then he at least has my sympathy but if he’s just using us for scapegoating then he’s beyond morally reprehensible. 

  • m6wg4bxw

    “because who does not believe in god has no limits”

    The limitations of theism are only what the theist believes god has defined. It isn’t that a theist can’t murder a child. It’s that a theist can’t murder a child unless god allows it. It’s a difficult task discerning the limits set by an inaccessible god. At least we can trust the theists to tell us what god wanted them to do.

    • Stev84

      I always have to laugh at that. At the same time they say “With god anything is impossible”. Which is true. If you claim divine justification, there is no act, crime and atrocity that people can’t convince themselves to commit.

    • http://annainca.blogspot.com/ Anna

      That’s very true. The whole point of their belief system is complete obedience and submission to their deity. So if their god commands them to kill a child, that’s perfectly moral. That’s why they defend biblical genocide and why they think of Abraham as a hero for being willing to murder Isaac. They don’t actually have a problem with killing at all.

  • CoboWowbo

    Isn’t Brazil 90% religious? The murderer was most likely religious…

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      Get out of here with your heathen logic! This is batshit stupid country! You can’t stop here!

    • JohnnieCanuck

      There you go confusing the issue with facts. Clearly he is searching for a scapegoat, which could only come from a powerless minority.

      I didn’t watch it past the 5:00 mark. Hopefully he never got around to suggesting what the good people should do to any atheists they came across.

    • http://www.SketchSepahi.com/ SketchSepahi

      Saying that since 90% of Brazil is religious, the murderer was also most likely religious is technically an example of a base-rate fallacy since we don’t know the respective crime-rates of theists and atheists.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Base_rate_fallacy

      That being said; yeah, I agree with you. Of course the murderer was probably religious. (Even if we’re charitable in our crime-rate assumptions.)

  • CoboWowbo

    Hemant, the Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics filed suit against the TV station and Datena after this broadcast. (Maybe add this into the post?) http://www.conjur.com.br/2010-dez-03/mpf-retratacao-band-comentarios-datena-ateus

    • http://friendlyatheist.com Richard Wade

      The article you provided is in Portuguese. Can you tell us what was the outcome? 

      • CoboWowbo

        I’ve been digging further into it. As of August 2012, the suit is still on-going. 

      • JohnnieCanuck

        This is the result of using Google translate:

        ACCUSATION OF BIASMPF wants apology from TV offending atheistsThe Federal Prosecutor’s Office has filed civil action, a preliminary injunction, that the Rede Bandeirantes Television retract publicly for offenses disclosed by the presenter José Luiz Datena on “Brazil Urgent” against atheists.Datena is a major customer of the judiciary in the world of entertainment and popular journalism. Only in São Paulo he is a defendant in at least 41 cases. According to one of his lawyers, he runs calculated risk. How convictions revolve around 25 thousand dollars, which he earns causing material damage to people is well below what it loses by paying compensation. “He plays the wacky but knows very well what he is doing,” said the lawyer.If the court grants the injunction, in the case of failure to respect freedom of belief, the station is required to view during the program, a framework with retraction and clarification to the public about religious diversity and freedom of conscience and religion in Brazil, with duration of at least twice the time used for display of offensive messages.In the program aired on July 27, said Datena for more than 50 minutes in the company of a crime reporter Marcio Campos. According to the MPF, the presenter made biased associations between crime and religious disbelief, pointing people who do not believe in God as responsible for the deterioration of society. “That’s why the world is this crap. War, plague, famine and everything, you know? They are the bad guys. Although it is the atheist who is not evil, but it is … the guy who does not respect the boundaries of God, it is because I do not know, does not respect any limits, “said the presenter.Datena also said that the crime in question was the work of people without limits. “This is the boy who was shot. Then, Marcio Campos, is inadmissible, you too which is very Catholic, you can not, it is the absence of God, because nothing can justify a crime like this, not Rudy? “.In September, the Brazilian Association of Atheists and Agnostics (Atea) filed suit against the Band and Datena by prejudice. The shares were sent to the Forum Taubaté (SP) and the Court of Paraiba.Disservice to communication 
        For the regional attorney for Citizens’ Rights, Jefferson Aparecido Dias, plaintiff, the Band has done a disservice to the media to convey the presenter’s statements against people who do not have the same opinion as him. He highlighted, in action, that broadcast TV is a public concession and can not be used to spread prejudice. However, the statements of Datena contribute to increased intolerance.Days or even the EU, through the Department of Electronic Communications of the Ministry of Communications, oversee the “Brazil Urgent”, especially the view of the program in which the presenter will recant. That’s because the understanding of the promoter, the Band corroborated the statements Datena by allowing him to do a survey on the interactive view of its viewers about the subject.”Obviously, there was extremely prejudiced attitudes since the statements of the presenter and reporter offended the honor and image of persons atheist. The presenter and reporter ironizaram, inferiorizaram, imputed crimes, ‘blamed’ atheists for all ‘misfortunes in the world’, “said the prosecutor. A Public Civil Action was distributed to the 5th Federal Civil Court of São Paulo. With information from the Office of Press the Federal Public Ministry of São Paulo.Click here to read the full Public Civil Action.Public Civil Action 0023966-54.2010.4.03.6100

  • Octoberfurst

     He’s following the idiotic meme that atheists are totally immoral just because we don’t believe in God.  I like how he says that only believers are “good” people & that anyone calling in saying  that they did not believe in God was obviously calling from a prison!  What a total douche!

  • http://v1car.wordpress.com/ The Vicar

    You know, whenever you see a male who is a permanent figure on TV and who is clearly — even just looking at his face — two or three times his optimum weight, you know it’s an authoritarian bigot who hates at least one unpopular minority. This guy could be Rush Limbaugh wearing a rubber suit.

    I don’t know that there’s any other correlation between appearance and opinion on TV — men who aren’t fat in the face can be any political stripe, and as far as I know there’s no particular correlation between female build and politics whatsoever, but fat guys can’t get a job in TV unless they make Ronald Reagan look like Karl Marx.

  • MegaZeusThor

    “Can’t you see: if we all believed the exact same thing, there’d be less problems!”

  • Mandocommando23

    That’s right, because it is the godless people flying planes into buildings.

    • Yoyomafan

      On the contrary; it was people who believed that they had God on their side and who were going to be rewarded with a bunch of virgins in Heaven, who flew planes into those buildings. 

      Some Atheists believe that had God been taken out of the equation, those idiots wouldn’t have believed in having an incentive to do the terrible acts they performed. 

      • Deven Kale

         The sarchasm here is nearly as wide as the Grand Canyon.

        • Yoyomafan

          I could be sarcastic dealing with the way that you choose to spell sometimes, but that would be too easy. And you would be insulted and too grumpy to realize the real point I’m trying to make.

          No, I wasn’t being sarcastic at all. For the sake of true discourse, I’m trying to challenge otherwise self-righteous thinkers to consider another point of view. 

          I may have misunderstood mandocommando’s comment, but even if I did, I would still be illustrating his point through my comment.

          He wrote: “That’s right, because it is the godless people flying planes into buildings.”

          If he’s sarcastically stating that, it’s not atheists who go around suicide bombing and crashing planes into the World Trade Center, then he’s making a point, though it may be taken harshly. The point is (from certain atheists’ point of view, which I do understand), through some interpretations of the Holy Word, perhaps misinterpretation, but none the less, due to religion, people do some terrible and destructive things with the belief that God is on their side. 

          Those atheists also believe that with religion out of the equation, there would be no incentive to justify certain peoples reasons for performing such heinous acts. 

          When you want to argue, “What about all the good Christians”, which there are good people who do good things through Christianity. No doubt. But do those people do good by their inert, human instincts and knowledge of what is right and wrong, or do they do good deeds in order to get into Heaven? I chose to believe the prior. That “Good Christians” do good things, just because it’s right to do. But I’m aware that there are some people out there who are trying to do things for the sake of a reward at the end of their time, which I think is bullshit. It’s much more gracious to do good selflessly, than do do it and be seen doing it, for a prize at any point. I’m also aware that I am opening myself up for a witty person who just likes to argue to throw in that: “no good acts are selfless, because the good feeling that one receives when doing a so called selfless act, is in fact self pleasing…” so that makes it somehow selfish in itself. Wouldn’t even want to hear that. 

          Holy Wars have been fought by people throughout the years who truly believe that they have God on their side. Each of them. And it’s honest. They really believe in their God and that their interpretation of His Word, is true. If religion were not part of the equation, some atheists believe things would be different and that a whole lot less people would be killed and harmed. 

          Those awful people who crashed planes into the World Trade Center were not atheists. In the minds of those terrorists, they were not Godless, or without God, they believed that God was on their side, in committing the acts which they did. 9/11 was a terrible day that each of us will always remember. Absolutely horrible.  

          • Deven Kale

            I always think it’s funny when people assume that a word they’ve never seen before, especially if it’s something with a similar spelling to a common word, is automatically misspelled.

            sarhasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit, and the person who doesn’t get it.

            Does that help you understand our meaning? Otherwise, I think we pretty much all agree with the rest of your comment.

  • Reasongal

    He really is an asshole, but I laughed out loud when he was shocked at the 10% (at that point) who voted “no” and said they must be letting prisoners call in! WTF?

  • Guest

    You do realize that EVERY post on your blog attacks Christians and theists, and then you get all self righteous and upset when someone says something bad about atheists.   Do you see the hypocrisy here?

    • TheBlackCat

      There is a difference between saying true things about a group and saying lies about a group.  This post is complaining about lies.

    • Bad_homonym

      Is it hypocrisy when un-cited statements are rebuffed in kind?
      You are a troll, you get your jollys hangin around blogs of like minded individuals you don’t like! Why not find a group of people who share your system of beliefs and have honest discourse. It’s a bully mentality you display every time you post and for what reason?

  • Waltz707

    My favorite part is when he said, “…let the poll keep going, why am I being asked to turn it off?” Even the supervisors wanted that thing off the screen– they knew that he could be trouble :p

  • NonCompassionateLiberal

    Can’t get the subtitles to come on even after clicking the bubble.


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