Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America

Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America

by Robert S. McElvaine
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Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America by Robert S. McElvaine

“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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307395801
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 04/07/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 5.15(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

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

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Grand Theft Jesus: The Hijacking of Religion in America 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Basically I agree that its about walking the walk. The author is very angry and tries to use humor as sarcasm and goes out of his way to castigate individual hypocritical ministers and their warped sense of The Word. It is ironic that he criticizes so vehemently that he loses any point he was trying to make by blasting these phony TV ministries over and over and over. Anger and hatred spew from the pages. He needs to get over it and have the life Christ wants all of us to have. I am definitely not a born again conservative crazy, but I feel like coming to defense of them because the author's as off base as they are.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Robert McElvaine says things that other people may be only thinking. This book is an example of the "Emperor's New Clothes." He unmasks the emperor. People on the extreme religious right would probably be offended, but his Biblical references are accurate as he points out inconsistencies in the "X-tians Lite" dogma and behavior. I gave this book to two pastors that I know.