Christianity in America has become almost synonymous with right-wing fanaticism, conservative politics and courtousy of Mel Gibson a brutally sadistic version of the religious experience. Millions of devout Christians, like Dan Wakefield, are appalled by this distortion of their faith, which only three decades ago stood for peace, equality, healing, and compassion for society's outcasts the issues that made up the Ministry of Jesus.
How did it come to pass that the Jesus of the New Testament, the Jesus who preached the Sermon on the Mount, has in effect been hijacked by right-wingers and the Republican Party? How is it that mainline Christian denominations and leadership, both Catholic and Prostestant, have remained remarkably silent on the issues of the war in Iraq, the civil rights erosion of the Patriot Act, the growth of poverty and the fact of over 40 million people without health insurance? The Hijacking of Jesus tells the whole sorry tale, from the Goldwater campaign of 1964 to George Bush's stunning re-election in 2004.
"Dan Wakefield has had a long career of fair-minded, important, and meticulously researched journalism. And he crowns that career with as complete an account and analysis as one could wish of the capturing of Jesus Christ as a totem for a few powerful Americans, intent on becoming powerful all over the world, and by violent and corrupt means which are anything but Christ-like. The very last words in this fine book are not by Dan Wakefield but Jesus, his Sermon on the Mount, not what you would want to call Pat Robertson or Dick Cheney stuff." -- Kurt Vonnegut