Stealing Jesus

By Bruce Bawer
Catching up on a backlog here.
This is an awesome book. Some will argue that it’s too angry, but I don’t blame Bawer for being angry at fundamentalists. He’s a gay Christian, and fundies are not only railing at him that his basic nature is an abomination at odds with the religion he so dearly loves, but (to his mind) perverting the underlying message of that religion.
Bawer does an excellent job of showing folks who don’t really get the idea of fundamentalism what the movement is all about. He draws a distinction between the “Church of Law,” Christianity with a strong emphasis on rules and punishment for breaking those rules, and the “Church of Love,” Christianity with a strong emphasis on Jesus’ message that God loves us all and the idea of God’s grace. Sure, there is really a broad spectrum of Christian churches with Love and Law as the extremes, but the book is about fundamentalist extremists, so it makes sense to focus on the extremes. Bawer dissects the tenets of Christian fundamentalism and lays out how at odds and incompatible they are with the teachings of Jesus. Good stuff.
I found this a fascinating read and highly recommend it to anybody interested in religion and the impact of religion on culture and politics in America today.
Book 13 in 2007.

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