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Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America Paperback – April 7, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
“Grand Theft Jesus will annoy a lot of the sanctimonious neo-Puritans of the Religious Right–and that’s good! For everyone else, especially those seeking a full-throttled Christianity that actually reflects what Jesus taught, Robert McElvaine offers one heck of a ride.”
—The Reverend Barry W. Lynn, executive director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and author of Piety and Politics
“Robert McElvaine reveals with startling clarity that much of the religious establishment in America has become like the religious establishment that betrayed Jesus: lusting for dollars and fame, obsessed with dubious doctrines and emotional slogans, all the while showing little of the concern for the poor or the oppressed that Jesus commanded. He powerfully argues that Christians must reverse the decline of their faith by re-embracing the biblical witness of Jesus in the gospels and actively rejecting the cheap grace being peddled in his name. Grand Theft Jesus is at times funny, at times infuriating, but always on target. It should be read by everyone who proclaims the name of Jesus.”
—Dr. Obery M. Hendricks, Jr., author of The Politics of Jesus
“Jesus never wrote a book, but I recognize his hand writing 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
“Where there is hypocrisy, McElvaine calls it hypocrisy, and where the self-advertised speakers for God are ‘ungodly,’ they get unmasked. And he does this with memorable turns of phrase, no little wit, and seriousness of purpose.”
—Martin E. Marty, author of Pilgrims in their Own Land
“Grand Theft Jesus vigorously and passionately attacks the pseudo-Christianity so prevalent today, but does so from a Christian perspective. It makes its powerful case with humor as well as serious argument.”
—Harvey Cox, author of The Secular City and When Jesus Came to Harvard
“Grand Theft Jesus is one of those rare books that might just make a huge difference in the world! It manages to combine a hilarious satiric voice with passionate, no-nonsense clarity about the lost gospels–of the actual Christian bible! There are few people on the planet who can mobilize such a voice of Christian conviction against right wing Christianity.”
—Catherine Keller, Professor of Theology, Drew University
From the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
McElvaine's litany of harsh, often acerbic, observations and comments covers every issue of importance to the Religious Right in recent years.Read more ›
How deeply does the humor of Grand Theft Jesus cut? On this one, I'll have to side with McElvaine-fan George Carlin (who knows a little something about wit). But readers attracted to wordplay and repartee will find themselves repeating aloud McElvaine's puns and paradoxes, and laughingly nodding their heads at his de(con)struction of the way the "Right Reverends" of evangelical "Fun-damentalism" engage in biblical "X-a-Jesus" in order to promote the painless "miracle cure" of "ChristianityLite," and the morally bankrupt (and bankrupting) ideology it so often supports.
If only 51% of Americans had read this book before going to the polls in '04. . . .
decision-making and his life in general--decides he will do the
opposite of what he thinks he should do. Turns out to be a good
decision. In reading Grand Theft Jesus I am reminded of that episode.
Historian Robert McElvaine explores hundreds of avenues where modern
"Christians" would be better suited to follow the example of George
Costanza in the Gospel According to Seinfeld. And would be well
advised to actually read the New Testament.
McElvaine presents in clear and passionate prose the prosecution's
case in the trials of the Religious Right in the Court of Public
Opinion. By defining their Christianity as "Christianity Lite",
McElvaine makes keen and simple observations that will leave the
reader dumbfounded. Then mad. Then energized. Then rejuvenated.
How on earth did we allow "Christianity Lite" to happen? The loudest
hollering Christians and lovers of Jeeeeesus are exposed as the
idol-worshipping reprobates they truly are.
Grand Theft Jesus also arms the reader to counteract the "voodoo
Christianity" of the "soul molesters" that dominate American media.
Though his observations are keen and simple, Grand Theft Jesus is
obviously the work of a man with an absolute command of world history.
McElvaine exhibits a rare gift of making history and politics
relevant and interesting outside the academy. His obvious passion for
the subject matter coupled with his ability to weave millennia of
world history into a modern discussion of religion leaves quite an
impression.Read more ›
That's in the Gospel by Luke, I think.
Having been introduced into the murky waters of American Christian Fascism by author Chris Hedges, Grand Theft Jesus immediately appealed to this reader. In an erudite, yet so easy to read and often hilarious way, in a book that seems purposefully written to reach and positively influence as huge a public as it possibly can reach (even a woman translator in Mexico), Robert McElvaine creates in his readers the immediate and cristal-clear sensation that they are no Christian anymore because they do not follow what is the core of Christianism; that they are permitting, enabling in fact, the (anti)Christian activities, officially protected by the George W. Bush-created "Office for the protection of the Faith", which serve as (im)moral justifications for those who spread this fake religion, to do all they want to do, permit them to foist any outrage on other people who, if we are to literally belief gospels and what Jesus' teaches in them, are our neighbors (yes, even if they live in the Middle East, even if they're gay, even if they're women who have had to abort), and they do this foisting by waging, not defensive, not pre-emptive, not even preventive wars, but "wars of choice", a fine term to define what the Bush administration has been doing. In the end, Grand Theft Jesus talks of the bid for disposition of Jesus' true acts and teachings unto the garbage can of history. As a once-Catholic who seeks the Truth, one is tempted to call an angst-filled request: "Can We Start Again Please?"
Ultimately, what do Fake Christians have to fear?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not bad, but it's very dated, and there are more recent books that deliver the same material.Published 5 months ago by Wendy
I read the first three pages, became disgusted with the author's sarcastic, annoying voice, skimmed the rest of the book, then threw it in the garbage. I am a conservative woman. Read morePublished on December 1, 2011 by C. Drumm
I picked this book up at a used book store and put it up on my shelf of books to read. It kept beckoning to me so I took this well-written book on a trip and since beginning to... Read morePublished on February 2, 2011 by Louise D. Somes
First of all, the premise of this book is that the right has stolen Christianity? The second question has to be from whom? The left? The center? Read morePublished on December 8, 2010 by David J. Spuria
While McElvaine is accurate in his criticism of the Christian Right, his rhetoric becomes overly bombastic. Read morePublished on December 28, 2009 by M. Brislen
Author McElvaine did a good job in exposing the works of the devil in the church that are brought on by the evil controlling spirits of nicolaitan, Balaam and Jezebel. Read morePublished on October 4, 2009 by David H. Thompson
. . . and some of them just happen to be Christians . . .
Here at your fingertips in printed and bound form is a nice collection of all the reasons why (and names are... Read more
Mr. Mcelvaine has a revelation for Evangelicals and devout Catholics everywhere. It's all been a mistake! Read morePublished on September 27, 2008 by Jeri
Well, I am one of the crazy right wingers that Mr. Mcelvaine thinks he has pegged.
I picked up the book because of the reference I saw to certain televangelist scam artists,... Read more