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She's at her best when recounting modern-day "miracles" such as the apparition of the Virgin Mary's face in a waffle at a Fresno diner; or when she describes how she started rubbing a stuffed penguin whenever she had the urge to pray, and got the same results. But there are also poignant stories about believing friends and acquaintances whose struggles with irrational beliefs in the face of perplexing dilemmas and personal tragedies are in many cases heartrending.

She also devotes a chapter to explaining in clear, concise, layperson's terms exactly what humanism is and stands for, in particular extolling its tolerance. I try to nudge people into thinking about things they might otherwise never give a passing thought to. I try to make it easier for them to do so by using satire, vivid imagery, and a sprinkling of merry nonsense.

Hardcover , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about The Happy Heretic , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Jan 17, Melissa rated it really liked it Shelves: One of the funniest books discussing religion I ever read. Judith Hayes honesty and humorous look at the popes, the Bible, and so much more is refresing and make this an enjoyable read.

Mar 17, MelMel rated it really liked it Shelves: A somewhat lighter read than a lot of books on atheism makes this an excellent book for the new atheist, and enjoyable even for the seasoned unbeliever. Judith's wit and perspective is a breath of fresh air. Jan 09, Mimi rated it really liked it. Fun and fresh air! This was one of the first books I read by a skeptic, so I was blown away by Judith Hayes' pull-no-punches style of biblical criticism.

The book is not intellectual by any means, but she succeeds in shining the cold, hard light of common sense on beliefs that, amazingly, many in our culture still hold sacred. She seems to have a pretty good grasp of scripture, and she includes hundreds of biblical quotes as she points out one absurdity after the other. Christianity is not her on Fun and fresh air! Christianity is not her only target, but since I assume she was raised in that environment, that's where she finds most of her material. My only complaint is the same complaint I have about many other modern books, namely that they dumb down the language to the seventh-grade level, using short sentences and simple vocabulary.

Since this book is clearly not intended for intellectuals, I forgive the author, or editor, or whoever was responsible for the simple language, and only deduct one star. The book is very funny, irreverant, insightful and blunt.


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Aside from the annoyingly simple language, it was a joy to read! Paula Frantz rated it it was amazing Jul 12, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Jan 21, Wwwendysb rated it really liked it Mar 14, Kira rated it really liked it Aug 25, Jessika rated it it was amazing Apr 11, Austin rated it it was amazing Oct 27, Robert rated it it was amazing Feb 20, Amanda rated it really liked it Oct 17, Paul Wallis rated it it was amazing Jul 12, Jean rated it really liked it Aug 03, Yvonne rated it liked it Jan 31, If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?

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Editorial Reviews

This irreverent romp over the sacred cows of religion is a humorous and refreshingly down-to-earth call for common sense. Judith Hayes, the Erma Bombeck of the secular humanist community, has the unique ability to raise serious points while making us laugh as she throws buckets of cold water on the irrational beliefs and maddening inconsistencies that often characterize popular religion.

She's at her best when recounting modern-day "miracles" such as the apparition of the Virgin Mary's face in a waffle at a Fresno diner; or when she describes how she started rubbing a stuffed penguin whenever she had the urge to pray, and got the same results. But there are also poignant stories about believing friends and acquaintances whose struggles with irrational beliefs in the face of perplexing dilemmas and personal tragedies are in many cases heartrending.

She also devotes a chapter to explaining in clear, concise, layperson's terms exactly what humanism is and stands for, in particular extolling its tolerance.

The-Happy-Heretic

I try to nudge people into thinking about things they might otherwise never give a passing thought to. I try to make it easier for them to do so by using satire, vivid imagery, and a sprinkling of merry nonsense. Read more Read less. From Library Journal Haynes, who runs a web site with the same name as this book, attempts to route out the inconsistencies she finds in religious belief and practice. Prometheus Books June 1, Language: Related Video Shorts 0 Upload your video. Try the Kindle edition and experience these great reading features: Share your thoughts with other customers.

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The Happy Heretic

Read reviews that mention happy heretic judith hayes religion faith religious funny humor atheism atheist main philosophy website. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. I like her slow going though. One person found this helpful. On the darker side, the author submits personal accounts of people in her own life that have sacrificed their freedoms, intellect, and even the safety of their own children in order to be a part of a religious system that offers to do the thinking for them.

One does not need to be an atheist to get something out of this book. Hayes' attack isn't on God; but rather on the crimes perpetuated by people who claim a form of "divine right" to force their beliefs on others. If you are tired as I am of all the angry, disgruntled, griping folks who spout their non-convictions to any and all then this is the book for you. We're talking fun - or at least a version of it! There is an inherent conflict between humor and personal faith.


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For both sides of the aisle it is no laughing matter. The author sets out to battle the stereotypical view of atheists see first sentence noting that some of her fondest memories are the hymns, stained glass and organ music of the church she once attended. There are many common sense things here: Why praise God for the 1 who survived a disaster while forgetting the 99 who perished?


  1. The Happy Heretic is back.
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  6. Why cling to patently absurd ideas about science that are demonstrably false? Why the violence and hatred against those of other or no religions when their own religion preaches love, tolerance and acceptance? The main problem is the humor.

    It's too slapstick, a case of trying too hard. At first it was funny, then mildly humorous, then annoying. And this includes all those "fake" stories that were soon revealed to have an element of truth. The political part again comes in for heavy criticism. There is absolutely zero evidence that non-faith folks would treat citizens differently that those with faith. I know, I know, they were "just" bad people - but many of the Popes were also "just" bad people.

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    Two can play that game. My only wish is that the website had not been taken down. It was a great place for catching up on the latest culture war news and one without the rancor and excessive preachiness of so many others. One person found this helpful 2 people found this helpful.