‘Blasphemy’ in Brazil: Netflix faces lawsuits and an official probe

‘Blasphemy’ in Brazil: Netflix faces lawsuits and an official probe December 22, 2019
Image via YouTube/Netflix

FOLLOWING our piece earlier this month about the outrage sparked by Netfix’s Christmas comedy depicting Jesus as gay it’s now being reported the company is being summoned by Brazilian authorities to explain its decision to screen a parody that’s upset Catholics all over the planet.

The First Temptation of Christ has, according to LifeSiteNews, been described as a “vilification of religious worship” and an “assault on Christian values”  by the Science, Technology, Communication, and Technology Committee of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies, the lower house of Congress.

On Tuesday, the committee voted to summon Netflix executives and demand a response in a hearing before Congress. So far, a date for a hearing has not been set.

Image via YouTube

The summons came after least seven lawsuits were filed against Netflix over the video. One complaint was filed by Mayor Eduardo Tuma of São Paulo, above, and another was filed by the Don Bosco Association Center for Faith and Culture. Tuma is asking for nearly $245,000  in damages.

Yet another was filed by Robson Rodovalho, who founded the Sara Nossa Terra evangelical community. Attorney Ricardo Hasson Saye told Folha de São Paulo that he hopes each Christian offended by the film will demand at least the equivalent of $245 in compensation, which could mean that Netflix could face a possible loss of $1.2 billion.

National Deputy Eduardo Bolsonaro, son of President Jair Bolsonaro, declared on social media that the film is “trash,” whose creators “don’t represent Brazilian society.”

On Twitter, he wrote:

We are in favor of freedom of expression, but is it worth it an assault on the faith of 86% of the people?

President Bolsonaro himself has been a critic of the LGBTQ “agenda”, and has been forthright in defending his Christian faith.

Netflix released the 46-minute video on December 3 as a Christmas special. Produced by the Porta das Fundos (“Backdoor”) comedy troupe, it depicts Jesus Christ as a homosexual who returns home for his 30th birthday party to introduce his male lover to his parents. The video portrays the Virgin Mary as a prostitute and Joseph as a cuckold. The apostles are portrayed as drunkards.

The Portuguese-language production is subtitled in English, French, German, and Spanish. Porta dos Fundos received an International Emmy award for last year’s “equally offensive” Christmas special.

Image via YouTube

Brazilian Bishop Henrique Soares da Costa, above, is calling on Christians to cancel their subscription to the online streaming service.

I strongly urge Christians this Christmas to proclaim your love, your faith, your respect for Our Lord Jesus Christ; show that your love for Him is real and active: unsubscribe from Netflix and, in the appropriate menu, explain the reason: ‘disrespect for Jesus Christ, ‘disrespect for Christianity,’ etc. If you really believe and love the Lord, there is no other action to take …

Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas, deplored the film and canceled his Netflix subscription. In a Twitter post, Strickland wrote:

Respect is the last thing they are thinking about, every Christian should denounce this film, it is blasphemy against the Son of God who suffered and died even for all who deny that He is Lord of the Universe …

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  • larry parker

    We are in favor of freedom of expression, but is it worth it an assault on the faith of 86% of the people?


  • Sassafras

    Damn69 snowflakes, Jesus ain’t real!

  • Jim Jones

    The current president of Brazil is an abomination to end all abominations. But they make this fuss over a long dead fictional Jew?

  • Peter Packiam

    Hat’s off to NETFLIXS, CHEERS.

  • anxionnat

    If anybody remembers “Jesus Christ Superstar” from the 1970s, my recollection is that (1) King Herod is depicted as a flaming queen, and (2) the apostles are depicted as, umm, indulging in alcohol a bit much. And this movie is different how?

  • Ronald Guentzler

    Since I don’t stream I will never be able to to watch a Christmas Day double feature of Life of Brian and the new Netflix Jesus flick. Sad, sad, sad.

  • Arjan Stam

    “I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt, and I claim that right.” … “I say this is evil…and though I DO some nights stay home, I enjoy more the nights when I go out and fight against this ultimate wickedness and ultimate stupidity. Thank You.” -Christopher Hitchens.

  • Arjan Stam

    Faith is the excuse people give for believing something for which they have no sound evidence. Aka gullibility.
    And an assault on the belief in X is not an assault on the people who believe in X.

  • Matt G

    “Ridicule is the only weapon we have against unintelligible propositions.” -Thomas Jefferson

  • flangflang

    to criticize a person for their race is manifestly irrational and ridiculous. but to criticize their religion, that is a right. that is FREEDOM. the freedom to criticize ideas, any ideas even if they are sincerely held beliefs is one of the fundamental freedoms of society.

  • Shin Bet

    Prove what you preach. J. Christ is a soft t a r g e t. Try a hard one. Publish a gross insult of prophet Mohammed and also make public your name and address. So that we can see how strong is your conviction about the so-called “freedom of expression”.
    And another question – seeing how powerful the Jewish communities are around the World and how powerful Israel is – why isn’t there any entertainment grossly denigrating and grossly insulting for instance Moses, or king David or most revered rabbi Maimonides or Elie Wiesel, around holy days of Judaism ? Please answer the previous and this question : why is it always only Christ and his mother who are spat upon and kicked ?

  • Shin Bet

    Have you EVER seen the ideas of Judaism being criticized on TV ??????????
    NO ??
    That means we DO NOT live in a society with fundamental freedoms.
    What are you going to do about it ? Are you going to, for instance, organize a petition which would ask the Jewish owners, Jewish CEO’s, and Jewish editors of major TV networks to produce and show programs ridiculing and insulting Jewish religion ?
    Please answer and tell us what you will do to help bring freedom to America.

  • Shin Bet

    That means, when H i t l e r said that the religion of the J e w s is d*e*g*e*n*e*r*a*t*e then he was not anti-Semitic. Right ?

  • Shin Bet

    Were you in an accident which damaged your brain ? Or, were you born this way ?
    You can’t add 2 and 2 together.
    How can a FICTIONAL Jew be LONG DEAD ?

  • Jim Jones

    Why do you care? Anyway, it’s a short cut for “A fictional Jew who, had he existed, would be long dead”.

    You don’t English.

  • Jim Jones

    Some have suggested that this was the son of Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

    The fictional son of the fictional father.

  • Pretty sure they don’t even have grounds for a lawsuit, blasphemy isn’t a crime.

  • Aloha 2

    I don’t even believe that 86% figure. Brazil is religiously diverse. Even if most people identify as Christian, they’re not all offended by the show.

  • zenlike

    That is not what atheism is (nor the theory of evolution for that matter). But sure, keep on attack the strawman version, instead of the real thing. Because you got literally nothing else.

  • zenlike

    It *shouldn’t* be a crime, but sadly, in too many countries it is. Don’t know about the situation in Brasil, of course, but seeing how they now have a theo-fascist government, I am none too optimistic.

  • Tedd Ludd

    As if your sorry uneducated ass is the abattoir of what is and isn’t a logical fallacy. Bottom line is that if you are not an atheist then you can not claim to know what atheists “believe” or don’t believe because there is no doctrine of what an atheist is other than one who doesn’t believe in any so called “god(s)” you have. Everything else is just pure speculation Furthermore, atheism or science are not religions by any definition given by legitimate sources. So with just those two simple facts you stupid little memes have been logically destroyed. Don’t try again because you are out of your league. Now piss off you sniveling little cunt, your mother is calling for you

  • They still have no grounds — Brazilian law doesn’t apply in America.

  • Franciscan

    Why is a committee of Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies investigating a claim of blasphemy? And why is it called the “Science, Technology, Communication, and Technology Committee,” unless that is a mistake in the original article in Life Site News? Mind you, I’m familiar with the notion of Department of Redundancy Department as an essential element of every government.

  • Milo C

    What ideas of Judaism need criticizing, in your opinion?
    I think we have seen criticism where it is warranted; in the poor quality of education for the ultra-orthodox community of New York, for example.

  • Lauren Greene

    Show me the dipshidiot who tries to define atheism and force their own idea of what it is during debates and you’ll see someone with a crisis of faith.

  • Hermes Brookover

    This used to be a fun forum to come into and talk stuff about the nonsense spewed by religiophiles all over the world. My last comment is awaiting to be approved by the freethinker, i think because i used the word !diot in a complete sentence. What freethinking is allowed to go on in here now. the freethinker can kiss my hairy buttocks. I am tired of the restricted “freethought” that is practiced here.

  • al kimeea

    Can I have $245 for being offended by the centuries long tradition of raping children by VatiCorp?

  • There is plenty of “scandal” in the Biblical accounts of the Jesus story without having to take cheap shots and flights of ribald fantasy. Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl, Jesus grew up to be a man who was criticized for socializing with the poor, prostitutes and hated tax collectors. He was accused of being a drunkard. The irony of it all is that it was the “religious” who accused him. While this “comedy” group seems to be taking a jab at religion in ridiculing Jesus, they are actually collaborating with religion which has always tried to bring Jesus down to their level.

  • C.T. (A.K.A- That Lurker)

    It’s Patheos Net Nanny. Not the Frreethinkers Blog itself. Every Frakin Blog on this site Has fallen victim to this Whitewashed filter B.S.

  • Flint8ball

    I thought this was a joke at first. Oh wait, it is. Sorry Brazil. Get over yourself.

  • Cadfael

    It’s funny you mentioned that. I actually Did watch the double feature of ‘The First Temptation of Christ’ and “Life of Brian” the weekend before christmas day. Both were freaking hilarious.

  • Biased Lemmings

    No, no, you don’t get logic. If you compose a syllogism with flawed premises or an invalid conclusion, you have committed a fallacy. The NTS fallacy is when you define your OPPONENT or her views as a a certain representation that is too broad and not representative of the claim. If I claim all Scotsmen are humans, that’s not a fallacious claim. Similarly, if someone claims you are using the wrong definition for something, that’s not a fallacy. It’s just a statement that is true or not true. There is no argument. In this case, you are wrong. You do not define atheism correctly. Atheism is the position that there is no god or gods. That’s it. There are different reasons for doing this, but that’s the entire definition. As for Big Bang cosmology and evolution, you know shit about them. Literally zero. And that’s not an ad hom, it’s a fact, and if you are representing your knowledge accurately, you have no knowledge to try again. Just stop.

  • Biased Lemmings

    THAT is the definition of a strawman fallacy, Alitheia.

  • Biased Lemmings

    What ideas of Judaism need criticism? Are you joking? How about all of it, starting with the Old Testament? Same with Christianity and Islam. Oh, and Hinduism, Mormonism, Scientology, Buddhism, alien abductions, homeopathy, chiropractic. Any other type of belief without evidence.

  • Biased Lemmings

    As a fiction, he is not dead. As a reality, he never was, so can’t have died. The fuss is over an imaginary superhero friend. My Invisible Pink Unicorn trumps your Jesus any day. But hey, you were on the right track, Jim!!!

  • Lauren Greene
  • Lauren Greene

    If you are referring to my comment, it is not a strawman but rather a rational observation.

  • Freethinker


    And always remember to observe the 11th commandment: “Take thy meds”

  • robert Carter

    So much time is wasted on discussions about the fairy tales we call religion, It is all false hope that there may be life after death , well believe me there is nothing ,just cold hard ground ,so make the most of your time here and enjoy it!!

  • Freethinker

    The “official probe’s” officials’ official instrument.

    On second thought it might be orificeal.

  • Roberta Joan Anderson

    Forget the TV satire. I’m gobsmacked to discover that Brazilians are being chained to walls in front of their tellys. Is the government using the standard Clockwork Orange eyelid restrictor? And, what, pray tell, are these newfangled devices manufactured sans ON/OFF switch and sans channel-changer?

  • Bob Pattinson

    People have a right to believe whatever garbage they want to but what they believe must always be open to ridicule, something Christians do all the time.

  • Hermes Brookover

    Atheism does not ask, nor does it attempt to answer those questions. All an atheist is saying is that I/ we do not believe in any gods. Can we prove that they do not exist, no we cannot. In much the same way that you cannot prove that they do exist. The only difference between us is that I believe in one less god than you do.

  • James

    HAHA! It’s just a kid trolling.

  • zenlike

    Eh no? Look up what a fallacy means before trying and failing to employ it in a debate.

  • Arjan Stam

    Atheism = A-theism = Not theism = Not believing that a god exists. Why? Because that is the only rational position wrt the statement “(a) god(s) exist(s)”, in view of the complete lack of sound evidence for the claim that (a) god(s) exist(s).
    *The texts on the images are factually incorrect.* Belief in (a) god(s) is irrational.
    So I’ll repeat here what I was saying elsewhere: “I think religion should be treated with ridicule, hatred, and contempt, and I claim that right.” … “I say this is evil…and though I DO some nights stay home, I enjoy more the nights when I go out and fight against this ultimate wickedness and ultimate stupidity. Thank You.” -Christopher Hitchens.

  • Arjan Stam
  • Freethinker

    Rumor is he rejected God’s toaster and ended up losing his head as a result.

  • Arjan Stam

    Just for the heck of it: The NTS fallacy comes from: Person 1 says “All Scotsmen have a beard”. Person 2 remarks: “Well, I have a Scottish friend, but he has NO beard. You must be wrong then” to which Person 1 then replies: “No. If he has no beard, then he is no true Scotsman”. Likewise, a Christian sometimes says: “Person X is not a true Christian”, typically when person X, who also claims to be a Christian, shows behavior that the other finds un-Christian, whereas person X has no problem reconciling that behavior with his Christianity. Unsurprisingly, “real Christians” tend to have the same ideas about what is right and what is wrong as the person who ascertains the authenticity of the other Christian. (or, rather, “not-true Christians” tend to have irreconciliably different ideas).

  • Arjan Stam