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Liars For Jesus: The Religious Right's Alternate Version of American History, Vol. 1 Paperback – August 10, 2006

4.4 out of 5 stars 87 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 532 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing (August 10, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419644386
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419644382
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (87 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,694 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Ramelle Macoy on September 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
"Liars" seems a harsh term to apply to professed Christians and until lately I had--admittedly without paying too much attention--assumed that Christian fundamentalists were engaged in wishful thinking and selective quotations when they complained about activist judges subverting both the Constitution and the clear intent of the Founding Fathers to establish a Christian government. But after reading Ms. Rodda's book I realize that there is something going on far beyond taking words out of context. When she digs out the words and records that clearly demolish the assertion that no "wall of separation" between church and state was ever intended, "liars" does seem the appropriate word. Those of us who fear that the intrusion of "faith based" activities into our government and the flow of subsidies, in the guise of "contracts", to favored churches, is a step toward a theocracy, will find much useful and carefully documented information in "Liars for Jesus".
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Liars for Jesus by Chris Rodda is one of the best written and most important books about contemporary American politics that I have read in years. The only problem with this book is that it was apparently published with the author's own money, making its availability somewhat limited. This book should be widely read and discussed, because it helps explain why the Christian Right seems so incomprehensibly loony to most of us who are not part of that movement, and, conversely, why they attack the rest of us with such unfettered zeal.

There has been a series of revisionist "history" books published since the end of WWII which give a "Christian" version of American history that attempts to paint the Founding Fathers and subsequent American culture in a way that is in agreement with contemporary Fundamentalism. We have now had a couple of generations of conservative Christians who have been buying into this version of history and reacting angrily to an America that assumes fundamental principals like the separation of church and state to be at the core of what America stands for.

Author Rodda systematically lists and then busts a series of myths that these spurious history books have generated. She leaves no stone unturned in doing so.

Things get really scary when she starts quoting Supreme Court opinions written by Rennquist, Thomas and Burger, and it becomes apparent that members of our highest court do not know the difference between real history and Fundamentalist wishful thinking.

The book is a fascinating study in how the desire for a different set of facts can, over time, morph into an alternative if deluded "reality".
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As a blogger at Talk to Action (a pro-faith, pro-religious freedom site) and key employee at the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which defends the religious freedom rights of our soldiers, author Chris Rodda frequently comes into contact with Christianists. These people by definition, with the exception of some Reconstructionists, attempt to unconstitutionally leverage the power of government in spite of the Constitution's establishment clause. They desire and work vigorously to promote their faith and their understanding of "God's laws" through government means while simultaneously and unconstitutionally compromising the religious freedom and other liberty rights of people. People that do not share their religious and political beliefs and objectives, including millions of devout American Christians.

Anyone who has even casually studied Christianists can easily come up with a list of defining attributes, one being they all in some combination develop, promote, or believe in a false history of our nation's founding and the character of our founding framers, again with the exception of a few Christian reconstructionists, who advocate we peacefully overturn our Constitution and install a fascist, theocratic state. This revisionist effort is so pervasive within this movement many even home-school their children to deprive them of an accurate rendering of American history; along with the promotion of religious notions as superior explanations describing nature at the expense of scientific understandings.

Why? With the exception of a tiny percentage of far-left fringe groups, most Americans look to our founding as a great moment in history where principles and ideals worthy of defense were ratified in our beloved U.S. Constitution.
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Lies for Jesus abound. This is not a new phenomenon, as Ms. Rodda points out in her book, but the lies have greatly proliferated in the age of the Internet. It is sometimes difficult for concerned citizens and concerned Christians to refute the lies which appear to come from authority. Ms. Rodda takes the words of those so-called authorities and shows them for what they are. Her sources are impeccable.

As an Episcopalian, I was quite shocked to learn that the Liars for Jesus have stolen words out of my own Book of Common Prayer to further their questionable agenda.

Those liars do great damage to our religious freedom, a freedom that generations upon generations have fought and died to protect.
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