Take Back America 2008

Session: GRAND THEFT JESUS - How the Right Kidnapped Jesus & Progressives Can Win Back Religious Voters
Join Rev. Ray Dubuque and Robert McElvaine for this session to discuss themes common to Bob's new book, Grand Theft Jesus and Ray's web site Liberals Like Christ: how the wolves in sheep's clothing of our day--James Dobson, Pat Robertson, Joel Osteen, Tim LaHaye, Ann Coulter, et. al.--have kidnapped Jesus and how progressives can free him to be again the champion of our causes.

The Jesus Thieves continue to be taken by most of the media as actual spokesmen for Christianity. Yet what they preach is precisely the opposite of what Jesus taught. They sell an "Easy Jesus," which is similar to plans that tell us we can "lose weight without diet or exercise." This one, "ChristianityLite," tells us that we can "be saved without sacrifice or good works." By their current test of authentic Christian faith, i.e. opposition to abortion and gay marriage, Jesus wasn't a genuine "Christian," because he didn't condemn either practice, though both were common in his day. What he did talk about, constantly, was helping the poor and nonviolence.

Former Republican African American Congressman J.C. Watts' father used to say, "A black man voting for a Republican is like a chicken voting for Col. Sander's." The same is true of "Christians." Conservative Republicans are going to rue the day that they turned Christians on to politics, as more and more of the 75% of American voters who identify themselves as "Christians" come to the conclusion that the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. was right when he said that "Jesus Christ was one of the greatest liberal leaders of all time." Progressives need to enlist Jesus Followers in the war for justice and equality and against oppression of the poor and the weak, against immoral government policies at home and immoral wars abroad.

Among the subtopics to be explored in this session is how biblical literalism (which actually takes literally almost nothing Jesus said--what it reduces to the "Suggestions on the Mount") is a legacy of slavery. However, there is in a South a very different form of Christianity, one that inspired slaves, abolitionists, and the Civil Rights Movement. It is those progressive Christians who can be won--and are being won--back to progressive causes.
Session Details
Speakers: Robert McElvaine

Date: Monday, March 17, 2008
2:45 PM - 3:45 PM
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Track: Self-Organizing Session
Location: Room One
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