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Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in Americaby Robert S. McElvaine
Synopses & Reviews
“Jesus never wrote a book, but I recognize his handwriting in Grand Theft Jesus. Like Jesus, McElvaine uses lively illustrations and a serious sense of humor to cleanse the temple of exclusive and exploitative religion.”
–The Reverend Alan Storey,Calvary Methodist Church, South Africa
“We’re mad as Heaven, and we’re not going to take it anymore!” declares historian Robert McElvaine in this passionate and often hilarious rallying cry for sincere Jesus Followers. He lets the rest of society know that the extreme right wing won’t be allowed to speak for all Christians any longer. His whip-smart, take-no-prisoners polemic lays bare the Christian Right’s “Easy Jesus” creed, in which people who claim to accept Jesus get a free pass to lie in his name. Grand Theft Jesus exposes the televangelists and the leaders of megachurches as the people Jesus warned us about–the wolves in sheep’s clothing of our day.
The religion that McElvaine calls ChristianityLite resembles schemes that promise “Lose weight without diet or exercise!” Its leaders say, “Be saved without sacrifice or good works!” Run by a crew of politicians, megachurch preachers, televangelists, hypocrites, and snake-oil salesmen, it has hijacked true Christianity and distorted it into something Jesus wouldn’t recognize. Its leaders have taken the generous and loving ideals of Christ and twisted them into a religion that advocates war and intolerance, values money above charity, preaches hatred instead of brotherhood, and promises “true” believers the keys to the gates of the kingdom of God–and to the bank vault.
Jesus’ radical message of love and peace has been drowned out by the bluster, the hate, and the selfishness that often passes for Christianity in America. McElvaine names names in his list of “Leading Lites” who have earned spots on Jesus’ Ten Most Unwanted List and exposes the hypocritical (Ted Haggard), the disgraceful (Pat Robertson), and the shocking (Ann Coulter). Grand Theft Jesus blends outrage and humor in a compelling argument that will help to resurrect the real Jesus, who has been crucified and interred by the “Right Reverends” who recite the Apostles’ Greed, are pro-choice on wars of choice, and preach the Greater Gory of Christ.
A critique of televangelists and the leaders of mega-churches who preach a Christianity that ignores the actual doctrine of Jesus offers an expos of the Religious Right's pro-war, anti-gay, and pro-greed creed, which runs counter to Jesus's actual teachings, with specific criticism of such figures as Ted Haggard, Pat Robertson, Ann Coulter, and others. 35,000 first printing.
ROBERT S. McELVAINE is Elizabeth Chisholm Professor of Arts and Letters and chair of the Department of History at Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of nine previous books and dozens of articles in such publications as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and Newsweek. Visit his website at www.GrandTheftJesus.com.
Table of Contents
Genesis: the second going of Christ — "Easy Jesus" : be a "Christian" without sacrifice or good works! — Amazing disgrace : blinded by the lite — For Christ's sake! : we've got to stop these guys — The greed creed : the Jesusless church of mammon — Religion is the worst thing that happened to Christianity : Christianity morphs into Constantinianism — "Well, then Jesus was wrong!" : X-a-Jesus : biblical inerrancy (except for what Jesus said) — These are the people Jesus warned us about : the right reverends — Jesus W. Christ! : the rise of the Xian right to political power — Waiting for righty : the "divine" politics of division — War is heaven? : backward pseudo-Christian soldiers — Unintelligent design : the war against science — All about Eve : some people claim that there's a woman to blame — Revelation : let's put Christ back into Christianity : saving Xian's from the Jesus thieves
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