The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.
Are the holidays over yet? No? One more to go? Ugh.
Special for Christmas day, Point of Inquiry producer Nora Hurley put together a short bonus episode of the show to talk to Tom Flynn about his 30th year of being a yule-free Anti-Claus. It’s great! Tom also fires another anti-Christmas volley, responding to David Koepsell’s claim that he’s the one Kirk Cameron should fear most.
Cheryl Eddy at io9 rounds up some of the biggest paranormal hoaxes ever, including the Salem “witches,” “alien autopsies,” and Uri Geller.
Mauritania hands down its first death sentence for apostasy, to a man who wrote an article questioning some of the decisions made by Mohammed.
Our friends at CFI-Canada (who operate independently of us) meet with Canada’s religious freedom ambassador Andrew Bennett.
Joseph Laycock says 2014 was the Year of Satanism.
According to Gallup, “Nones” hold steady at 16% of the U.S. population.
Health experts in Australia look to end public funding of courses on homeopathy.
An Indiana state court rejects the idea that the length of one’s lawn counts as free expression.
Newsweek’s cover story (remember, it’s back in print now) is by Kurt Eichenwald on how no one really gets the Bible right:
If Christians truly want to treat the New Testament as the foundation of the religion, they have to know it. Too many of them seem to read John Grisham novels with greater care than they apply to the book they consider to be the most important document in the world. But the history, complexities and actual words of the Bible can’t be ignored just to line it up with what people want to believe, based simply on what friends and family and ministers tell them.
Kara Loewentheil rounds up the “silliest religious exemption cases” of 2014. She doesn’t list it, but I thought that Hobby Lobby one was pretty silly, too.
Stars and Stripes reports on how the rules on religious expression in the military are for many still troublingly unclear.
Dublin’s High Court rules that a brain-dead woman’s life support may be switched off, despite the fact that she was also pregnant.
Neil deGrasse Tyson celebrates the birth of Isaac Newton on December 25, and people get mad of course.
WSJ runs an op-ed by Eric Metaxas making the old argument-from-design case for God — but Skeptical Inquirer gets a mention!
“In God We Trust” will be adorning committee rooms in Kentucky’s Capitol.
NYT’s T. M. Luhrmann muses on “God-neutral” faith.
Everyone poops, even Santa.
Runner-up Quote of the Day, by Phil Zuckerman:
I don’t honestly think that Dennis Prager might kill you.
Quote of the Day
Former pastor Ryan Bell, after a year of behaving like an atheist, more or less becomes one:
I’ve looked at the majority of the arguments that I’ve been able to find for the existence of God and on the question of God’s existence or not, I have to say I don’t find there to be a convincing case in my view. … I don’t think that God exists. I think that makes the most sense of the evidence that I have and my experience. But I don’t think that’s necessarily the most interesting thing about me.
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. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.
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