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Meet the new breed of Christians shaping our culture. Alisa Harris grew up in a family that actively fought injustice and moral decay in America. She spent much of her childhood picketing abortion clinics and being home-schooled in the ways of conservative-Republican Christianity. As a teen she firmly believed that putting the right people in power would save the nation. But Meet the new breed of Christians shaping our culture. Alisa Harris grew up in a family that actively fought injustice and moral decay in America. She spent much of her childhood picketing abortion clinics and being home-schooled in the ways of conservative-Republican Christianity. As a teen she firmly believed that putting the right people in power would save the nation. But as she moved into adulthood, Alisa confronted unexpected complexities on issues that used to seem clear-cut. So, she set about evaluating the strident partisanship she had grown up with, considering other perspectives while staying true to the deep respect she held for her parents and for the Christian principles that had always motivated her. Raised Right is not only an intriguing chronicle of Alisa’s personal journey; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the worldview of a younger generation of faith––followers of Christ who believe that the term “Christian” is not synonymous with a single political party or cultural issue. Whether you are moderate, conservative, or progressive, Raised Right will prompt you to consider more deeply what it means to affirm Christ-like justice, mercy, and righteousness in the current cultural landscape. And it will give you a deeper understanding of how the new generation of Christians approaches the intersection of faith and politics.


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Meet the new breed of Christians shaping our culture. Alisa Harris grew up in a family that actively fought injustice and moral decay in America. She spent much of her childhood picketing abortion clinics and being home-schooled in the ways of conservative-Republican Christianity. As a teen she firmly believed that putting the right people in power would save the nation. But Meet the new breed of Christians shaping our culture. Alisa Harris grew up in a family that actively fought injustice and moral decay in America. She spent much of her childhood picketing abortion clinics and being home-schooled in the ways of conservative-Republican Christianity. As a teen she firmly believed that putting the right people in power would save the nation. But as she moved into adulthood, Alisa confronted unexpected complexities on issues that used to seem clear-cut. So, she set about evaluating the strident partisanship she had grown up with, considering other perspectives while staying true to the deep respect she held for her parents and for the Christian principles that had always motivated her. Raised Right is not only an intriguing chronicle of Alisa’s personal journey; it also provides a fascinating glimpse into the worldview of a younger generation of faith––followers of Christ who believe that the term “Christian” is not synonymous with a single political party or cultural issue. Whether you are moderate, conservative, or progressive, Raised Right will prompt you to consider more deeply what it means to affirm Christ-like justice, mercy, and righteousness in the current cultural landscape. And it will give you a deeper understanding of how the new generation of Christians approaches the intersection of faith and politics.

30 review for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics

  1. 5 out of 5

    Katy

    If you are a Reagan baby, raised on Rush Limbaugh and spent Sunday morning/afternoon at church but now find yourself looking at the world and wondering if the worldview presented in childhood fits what you are seeing out in the real world, than this book is for you. "Unless you are smuggling soup to Jews in your attic, I think that a political act can't be an act of love." P.25 When I read this I knew that there could be hope for those like me who are trying to sort out what it truly means to be If you are a Reagan baby, raised on Rush Limbaugh and spent Sunday morning/afternoon at church but now find yourself looking at the world and wondering if the worldview presented in childhood fits what you are seeing out in the real world, than this book is for you. "Unless you are smuggling soup to Jews in your attic, I think that a political act can't be an act of love." P.25 When I read this I knew that there could be hope for those like me who are trying to sort out what it truly means to be a Christian, not a Christian conservative Republican, and Harris nails it, I would have bought this book if thus was the only statement in it. Jesus is our example to live by and His political strength was considered a weakness by the world, sacrificing Himself to save the world, and this is what he requires of His followers, not screaming at women entering abortion clinics or telling homosexuals that they will burn in hell for their sins; a sacrificial love not a political debate. This book took me all of a few hours to finish, once I read the first page I was hooked and pulled out the pen to mark it up, which I never do. As I was reading about the authors own upbringing I was shaking my head in disbelief, not in the fact that she was raised this way but that SOMEONE else shared my childhood experiences. From my own experience at the age of 9 or 10 with the "Chain of Life" to listening to Rush Limbaugh while studying American History at the kitchen table Harris' childhood was much like mine. "I had never had a serious conversation with the dammed because, in my safe world where everyone thought like I did, I never met them." P. 52 This quote pretty much summed up my childhood, everyone I knew thought and acted like I did and why shouldn't they, it was right, but God has a way of breaking down our defenses and when faced with things like; war, poverty and human rights issues the Bible Jesus looks NOTHING like the Republican Jesus and that is a tough pill to shallow. Harris does not shy away from her struggles with what being Christian and being political should look like, one that I continue to struggle with on a daily basis. I think one of my favorite moments in the books is when she is talking with a friend about how she would vote Democrat except their stand on the abortion, only to find out after research that low and behold there are pro-life Democrats. It was comforting to see her come to the realization that things don't have to fall into a two party political system. And that being honest with yourself about what Jesus says will shape your belief system far more than any politician can or will. I hope that others, like myself, will read these words and take comfort in fact that we are not turning our backs on the belief system we were raised in but that asking questions about how our Christian faith should look and how it fits with politics. Reading this gave me courage that one day I may be able to tell my parents that I no longer consider myself a Republican and that I did vote for Obama, but until that day I will continue to as Harris puts it "side with the poor and powerless since - as we've seen - they have far less ability to destroy all our lives." P. 205

  2. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Kramer

    I opened the pages of Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics (a complimentary copy from Waterbrook Multnomah), wondering whether I'd find author and journalist Alisa Harris to be a kindred spirit. Harris's childhood years were exactly what you'd envision for a girl raised by conservative parents. She was home-schooled, attended a very traditional church, and spent many days picketing abortion clinics. Her parents' cause became hers. She was firmly entrenched with Republican beliefs I opened the pages of Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics (a complimentary copy from Waterbrook Multnomah), wondering whether I'd find author and journalist Alisa Harris to be a kindred spirit. Harris's childhood years were exactly what you'd envision for a girl raised by conservative parents. She was home-schooled, attended a very traditional church, and spent many days picketing abortion clinics. Her parents' cause became hers. She was firmly entrenched with Republican beliefs and passionate about them. She became an activist in her own right and an idealist as well. If Republicans took control, she believed, our country would be saved. College forced her to interact with people who believed differently than she did, while also opening her eyes to the state of politics. Asking these questions led to disillusionment and exploration. Suddenly, the issues were not as black and white as they seemed. Now there were topics left unspoken with her family. Harris respectfully shows her parents' strengths while revealing their differences of opinion today. It is because of the way that her parents raised her that she is able to approach the subject matter so well. Harris uses stories from her childhood to illustrate the contrasting beliefs and, in this, attempts to move the discussion forward. It's possible to go beyond Roe vs. Wade and talk about a pro-life ethic across the spectrum. It's possible to vote for a candidate that may differ on some issues but agree on larger ones. Harris shows that it's not business as usual when it comes to Christians and politics anymore. She asks the same questions I asked back in college. But the point is not whether we came to the same conclusions but how to move the current conversation deeper. It's not us vs. them. That may be what I've learned most the past several years. When we keep politics partisan, nothing gets accomplished. I've realized, as did Harris, that neither side is right, nor have they gotten it "right." We all have reasons for believing the way we do. And most of us can point to the way our faith informs our voting- as well it should. That we come down on opposite sides at times should not divide us completely. It's possible to have civil conversations that explore these issues. If we're all seeking after Christ, can't we maintain Christlike character while discussing politics? I may be an idealist in this matter but I choose to believe we're capable. It's an uneasy tension sorting out faith from politics but it's important that we try. I echo Harris's words to that end: "Instead of claiming ground and seeking power to dominate and exert my will, I want to live with the kind of love and optimism that is only possible when I hold a vision of the world's ultimate redemption from injustice and suffering." Jesus redeemed the world by grace. May we all carry that model forward.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Emery Rachelle

    Honestly, when I picked this book out a couple months ago, I didn't expect what I ended up with. I made the same assumption as most of the readers/buyers/bloggers, that "Raised Right" meant "Raised Correctly." But no ma'am, that is not what this author means. "Raised Right" means what it says: namely, right-wing conservative. Another assumption most of us made was that "Harris" referred to Josh Harris (author of Boy Meets Girl, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and many other books famous in my circles) a Honestly, when I picked this book out a couple months ago, I didn't expect what I ended up with. I made the same assumption as most of the readers/buyers/bloggers, that "Raised Right" meant "Raised Correctly." But no ma'am, that is not what this author means. "Raised Right" means what it says: namely, right-wing conservative. Another assumption most of us made was that "Harris" referred to Josh Harris (author of Boy Meets Girl, I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and many other books famous in my circles) and his brothers, Alex and Brett (authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here, as well as founders of the Rebelution movement). I figured she was a just-now-emerging sister that had hidden in her brothers' shadows; when I found out she was married, I assumed she was Josh's wife. (Is he married? I know zilch about him, really.) All that said, this book was nothing what I expected. I hated it from the beginning. The way this woman was talking, and the wording she used to describe her childhood and the was she was raised - similar to, but more politically crazed, than my own background - sounded close to contempt or, at least, the belief that her background had been wrong. She spoke poorly of rallies and demonstrations, which have lately been close to my heart. However, at the end of the first chapter she praised shows of love - in her definition described by a man who spent as much of his time feeding a certain group of homeless as he did at work. This convinced me to at least finish the book and see what else she had to say. I was shocked, surprised, enraged, and pleased by turns. On one page I was nodding my head and firmly agreeing; after turning it, though, I would recoil and wonder how she could say such things. But, since I had already agreed to review it, I knew I should finish it. Besides, I had to see how she resolved all these contradictions and conflicts. When I did finish, I still didn't agree with a few of her points and beliefs - but I still recommended it to everyone I spoke to. (Which, since I was in the middle of a youth winter retreat, was a *lot* of people.) Why? Well, for one, this book makes you think. Alisa takes all the dearly held stances and beliefs of both wings and holds them against the light for examination. She gave verses and reasons for the things she'd always believed, followed by the circumstances, people, and verses that caused her to question these certainties. At the end, her basic principles were unchanged for the most part - but how she believed we should live out these principles was radically different. Even if you disagree with her starting point and the beliefs she ends up with, this book requires you to question and explain the exact points of individual beliefs and why you stand by those points. This strengthens your faith whether or not you agree with the author. Also, I must say, the book does change as you go through it. The things that shocked or angered me in one chapter were explained by the end of the book. Many times I ended up agreeing with them, and many times I didn't. But no matter what I thought, I now understood why others could believe things that I had once considered impossible. In fact, for the first time ever, I now understand - not agree with, but understand - Christians who call themselves pro-choice, or who think abortion should remain legal. This book made me understand love in spite of disagreements more than I thought possible. In conclusion, I'm rating this book four stars for being a wonderful book that all Christians should read once they've been well-grounded in their faith and apologetics. I disagree with the author in certain areas, but I'm sure many people will in varying areas. Just remember: if you start this book, you *must* finish it to truly grasp what Alisa is trying to tell us all. It's a lesson worth listening to. I received this book for free through Blogging for Books in exchange for this review. I was in no way otherwise compensated. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    There is a unique shift taking place in our culture today as young adults are leaving the home and developing widely differing perspectives. Some have suggested that this isn’t anything new, “There has always been a falling out with one’s parents throughout history.” they’ll suggest. But there is something particularly unique about this younger generation that is ‘discontinuously different’ as David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, would suggest. Alisa Harris is a perfect example of the c There is a unique shift taking place in our culture today as young adults are leaving the home and developing widely differing perspectives. Some have suggested that this isn’t anything new, “There has always been a falling out with one’s parents throughout history.” they’ll suggest. But there is something particularly unique about this younger generation that is ‘discontinuously different’ as David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, would suggest. Alisa Harris is a perfect example of the cultural anomalies which are the present normalities. Her book Raised Right chronicles her story as she transitions from her parents’ traditions to a culture of wider values. Raised Right – How I Untangled My Faith from Politics is the personal story of Alisa Harris’s journey through the major events that shaped her life, views, and conclusions. Being brought up as the oldest daughter of a very conservative family, Alisa spent her early years picketing abortion clinics and campaigning for republican politicians, including George W. Bush. Alisa was a passionate daughter faithfully following in her parents’ footsteps. But in college, after leaving her home and the shelter of her narrow world view, her vision widened and her fire was quenched. The book takes us through her sincere struggle for identity. Knowing she did not agree with her families ideals, she struggles through college and through to the end of the book to find significant meaning and definitive truth to shape her values. In a way, this book is characteristic of a generation left feeling that they were held back as children to see the world in a particular way only to go out into society and find out it was not as they were told. Feeling lied to, these young adults grow up searching for authority but skeptical of anyone whose views come across as narrow or intolerant. In some ways I can relate as I find that there are actually few mentors whom I can turn to and be sure will give me an educated definitive answer, removed from any personal prejudice or conjecture. This book is a testament of a whole generation of wandering pseudo-believers who don’t know where to turn for guidance and authority. In a serious sense we have turned them away with our matter-of-fact responses for their questions and concerns, offering little more than our opinions. Alisa provides a clear example of how many young adults respond drastically to their upbringing and often settle with positions on the opposite extreme. Few of her peers are thoughtful about the conclusions they choose to follow, knowing little more than what they disagree with. As you read her story, it’s easy to see why she turned away from the traditions and values she was raised to accept without question. The structure put all of its weight on unfounded authorities which failed her later in life. When her vision was widened, she saw the errors in her misplaced trust in the Republican party and the politically filled promises which didn’t come true. Perhaps she threw the baby out with the bath water, or at least parts of truth that were attached to the lies. It’s a shame that she was mishandled because the taste in her mouth for certain doctrines were most definitely tainted with the after taste of the poison with which they were served. It’s no wonder young adults have such a struggle with choosing between societal differences when they were raised to see everything as black and white. Once they realize the world has multiple shades of grey they grow to resent their upbringing. It’s interesting to see what character remains from Alisa’s childhood: the drive to make her point, the temperament to speak out, and the determination to help those in need. Her character has remained fairly intact though her intellectual values have drastically changed. She writes as one who has experienced a lot from life, as one who knows where she came from and knows where she stands, but not as one who has discovered the answers to life. In the end, her conclusions only take us deeper into a confusing world with no absolutes. In this way Raised Right paints a sad picture which falls short of answering the questions that many young adults are facing. While those who have more settled and founded convictions tend to see these questions as a threat to a stable standard for authority, I find the honesty refreshing and the opportunities inviting to speak directly to the problems with true authority. Too often we attack the identity of a person – democrat, feminist, etc. – when instead we should be discussing biblical authority. While judging based on identity is easier, it does not help either party to communicate and understand each other, which are essential if we are committed to love one another. Surely I could critique Alisa for several things where she and I would disagree. I could debate over her political positions and religious stance. I could critique Alisa for the conclusions she draws from her perspective of Scripture, but no more than I could offer the same criticism to people in the same churches where I find fellowship and edification. In the end, I think she has been criticized enough and it is about time her views are listened to and not attacked. The takeaway from this book is well worth the read. The writing is crisp, precise, and insightful. The stories are inviting, entertaining, and thought provoking. It was such a pleasant read that I couldn’t put it down. Like a well crafted novel, I was captivated until the end. While we may draw different conclusions on specific issues, it is invaluable to have the sort of insight into the issues young adults are facing that this book provides. Though I would recommend it with reservations, I would still highly recommend it to anyone who has ever pondered why there is such a cultural difference between the older generations and those that follow. Check out my book reviews every Wednesday at worthyofthegospel.com

  5. 4 out of 5

    Alyson

    I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with politics. I dislike the shouting matches that foster an “us versus them” mentality, each side claiming to be right and condemning the other side as wrong, stupid, or even evil. More often than not, I feel there are too many complexities and too many gray areas to choose one side or the other. And it’s hard not to be disillusioned when new candidates promising change run with fervor all the way to inauguration and then put out their torches as soon as t I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with politics. I dislike the shouting matches that foster an “us versus them” mentality, each side claiming to be right and condemning the other side as wrong, stupid, or even evil. More often than not, I feel there are too many complexities and too many gray areas to choose one side or the other. And it’s hard not to be disillusioned when new candidates promising change run with fervor all the way to inauguration and then put out their torches as soon as they become mired in the daily bureaucracy. After reading Alisa Harris’ Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics, I can’t say I feel any less uneasy, but I do take comfort in knowing I’m not alone. Like Harris, I’ve struggled not only to untangle my faith from politics but also to make my views my own and not just piggyback on the views I absorbed from my parents. My upbringing is similar to the author’s. I grew up in a conservative Christian household. I went to conservative Christian private schools from kindergarten all the way through college. Once when I was a kid, I participated in a pro-life demonstration, holding a sign on the side of the road along with my parents and members of the church we attended. I was old enough to understand the abortion issue in a basic way, but not mature or independent enough yet to really form my own opinion. The family car radio was tuned to Rush Limbaugh and, later, the family TV was tuned to Fox News. And for a long time I had this golden halo image of Ronald Reagan in my mind, although I’m not sure if that’s because I grew up in a conservative home or if it’s merely because he’s the first president I remember from my childhood. (Maybe both.) Unlike the author of Raised Right, however, I never had the desire to get involved in political demonstrations or campaigns. My parents were not as politically active as the author’s parents, and they never pushed me to adopt their views. I just sort of absorbed their views as my own because it was easier than deciding for myself when for many years I felt so uncertain what I really thought. So I am really impressed that Harris—whose parents took her to pro-life demonstrations from infanthood on, who spent months preparing for a debate speech in homeschool so she could win a Ronald Reagan calendar, and who once jumped on the chance to see George W. Bush in person “as quickly as another girl would snatch up a VIP pass to a Backstreet Boys concert”—finally mustered the courage in early adulthood to seriously examine her beliefs and to begin to make her faith and her politics her own. Although Harris’ views have evolved more leftward in recent years, she asserts that “This book is not a liberal credo or a political platform; in fact, this book is born of a struggle to find a faith that transcends credos and platforms.” I laughed and nodded with understanding while reading about Harris’ experiences growing up as a person who held signs, handed out campaign literature, and attended political party conventions all in the name of building an America as the chosen nation where God votes Republican. I identified with her struggle to pick up the pieces of shattered convictions she once thought were unshakeable. Finally, I felt a kinship with the author as I read about her determination to be a person of faith with complex views rather than a dyed-in-the-wool partisan clinging to unexamined dogma, and yet to retain the things her parents taught her that transcend religious denominations and political parties—things like caring what happens to marginalized people around the world and demonstrating love through service to others. Of course, it’s impossible to completely separate one’s religion (or secularism) from one’s politics. Nevertheless, I believe it’s imperative for each of us to make our best effort to acknowledge that humans are complex beings with complex beliefs that cannot be attributed to simplistic labels like left or right. “We seek in one another the assurance that there is just one correct interpretation of the world,” Harris says, “that everything is so simple anybody can see it unless they’re malicious or stupid or willfully ignorant; and we punish one another for proving with our differing conclusions that truth is not that easy. We think we must suppress dissension to present the unified front we need to gain power over our enemies. But there are pro-life Democrats, pro-choice Christians, feminists who love their families, and conservatives who care about poor people. Not all of them are right, but neither are they heretics.”

  6. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    This memoir by a women around my age really hits the spot! I love the title and the book lived up to the tag line. Two disclaimers-I get books for free by blogging about them from Blogging For Books, Multnomah Publishing and two, I grew up in a home that is rather moderate. This Harris grew up in a homeschooling, protesting, Republican-only-voting home, so I don't relate to that aspect, but I do see the issue of so many in America tangling their faith with politics, and how this is a huge issue This memoir by a women around my age really hits the spot! I love the title and the book lived up to the tag line. Two disclaimers-I get books for free by blogging about them from Blogging For Books, Multnomah Publishing and two, I grew up in a home that is rather moderate. This Harris grew up in a homeschooling, protesting, Republican-only-voting home, so I don't relate to that aspect, but I do see the issue of so many in America tangling their faith with politics, and how this is a huge issue for the Kingdom of God. Fortunately the 'third way' is being addressed by thinkers such as Tim Keller, even CS Lewis in his day saw the danger of seeing your politics as the outward sign of your faith, which makes others wrong. I am giving this four stars because sometimes the writing is jumbled, I was unsure if she was speaking of past teachings or present thoughts and some things are not fully introduced. But her history is fascinating and her thoughts engaging. I highly recommend this to anyone: conservative, moderate or progressive to help understand our generation of believers and how we see the world of politics, justice and life. Two of my favorite passages: “Luke 4:18: The Spirit of the Lord is one me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed. When I heard freedom, I thought deregulation of onerous government rules, when I heard blind, I thought blind to the virtue of limited government; when I heard oppressed I thought of children who were not allowed to pray in school and successful rich people whose money was seized by the government.” I know people who in my mind are thinking this way and she puts in it black and white, thankfully she has come to the light that the gospel is so much more! “I have never been able to shake the Calvinist belief in the depravity of man...And I can't believe, as so many conservatives seem to, that a person's depravity disappears as soon as he begins running a business-that suddenly his pursuit of money will become altruistic as he lives out the virtues of unfettered capitalism, that in seeking success for himself, he will always lift others along with him as a rising tide lifts all boats. Fiscal conservatives may lovingly quote...Adam Smith who said a business owner is “led by an invisible hand” that guides him into improving society as he seeks his own best interests. When I read “invisible hand” I see more often than not a hand that strangles the weak an defenseless, robbing them to give to the rich.”

  7. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Starr Light

    Another kinda-sorta, not-really review. Alisa Harris was raised with super Right Wing Christian Conservative Republicans. She picketed abortion clinics, she worked to get Republicans elected, and in the process, she believed that the only God-approved leaders were those under the Republican ballot. Things quickly changed once she reached college and began to meet the "Other People": Christians who were Democrats, supporting Hillary Clinton, crisis pregnancy workers who were pro-choice, and so on. Another kinda-sorta, not-really review. Alisa Harris was raised with super Right Wing Christian Conservative Republicans. She picketed abortion clinics, she worked to get Republicans elected, and in the process, she believed that the only God-approved leaders were those under the Republican ballot. Things quickly changed once she reached college and began to meet the "Other People": Christians who were Democrats, supporting Hillary Clinton, crisis pregnancy workers who were pro-choice, and so on. Alisa had to learn how to reconcile these new facts with the ones she was raised. One of the biggest reasons I like this book so much is because its message is close to my heart. Yes, the writing is superb, and I love how each chapter focuses on one aspect of the Christian Conservative Republican culture and then how Alisa's opinion changed. But what I love is how Alisa's life imitates my own. No, my parents never picketed abortion clinics, but a lot of the things she believed as a teen, I did. And now that I've grown up, I've found my beliefs wildly changing. And I wonder, "Have I disappointed my parents? What did they teach me that I've held onto?" I think this is a great "bridging" book. Harris doesn't try to prove either party to be "Right" or "less evil"; I feel her goal is more to unite both Democrats and Republicans. We don't have to hate each other over silly politics; we could unite to do good in the world, to make an impact on the poor and helpless instead of fighting over a woman's Right to Choose (and choosing to honor her baby's life more than her own life) or fighting over who gets tax cuts. A good, insightful read; I'm probably going to try to buy my own copy in the future.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I can not, not, NOT overstate enough how much I think all the young-ish (30s is young, right?) politically minded people I know (Christians and atheists alike) should read this memoir. I'm not saying that just because the author happens to have had the same crisis of conscience that I had and came to pretty much exactly the same conclusion as I did but because she lived both sides of the aisle, from the Christian conservative right to the Christian moderate liberal and the light that she sheds o I can not, not, NOT overstate enough how much I think all the young-ish (30s is young, right?) politically minded people I know (Christians and atheists alike) should read this memoir. I'm not saying that just because the author happens to have had the same crisis of conscience that I had and came to pretty much exactly the same conclusion as I did but because she lived both sides of the aisle, from the Christian conservative right to the Christian moderate liberal and the light that she sheds on both sides, and the problems that the rhetoric causes with living out our faith regardless of which side you come down on after doing your soul searching, challenges us to do BETTER. Her message, regardless of what the title may suggest, is very much the opposite of "my path is the RIGHT path" and is instead "it's all shades of gray and we need to listen to each other and find a way to work together to serve humanity". It's a bit of a confusing read because she chooses to jump around a lot in her own personal time line, contrasting what she believed when she was younger to herself as she began questioning her convictions and what she'd been taught, but it's an engaging and quick read (I finished it in less than 3 total hours) and as I said, her journey gives her a unique perspective on both sides as she struggled to find a way to define her faith and its role in her politics while still loving and respecting the people who had raised her, first and foremost, to love God and to love others.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Nicola

    Strictly because I enjoy coming-of-age stories in which authors describe how they come to terms with difficult political and social issues entwined with their personal identities, I enjoyed this book. But make no mistake, Harris is a very religious person, religious to an extent I am unfamiliar with and rather uncomfortable with. Her narrative is jumbled and sometimes convoluted and interspersed with her constant habit of quoting scripture and inserting well coached religious rhetoric into her a Strictly because I enjoy coming-of-age stories in which authors describe how they come to terms with difficult political and social issues entwined with their personal identities, I enjoyed this book. But make no mistake, Harris is a very religious person, religious to an extent I am unfamiliar with and rather uncomfortable with. Her narrative is jumbled and sometimes convoluted and interspersed with her constant habit of quoting scripture and inserting well coached religious rhetoric into her arguments. It made me feel that she is not yet mature enough to be able to objectively storify her experiences. Most of her writing indicates that she is still experiencing confusion over her life experience and is using her writing as a tool to think through them. The result leaves the reader feeling that they are simply eavesdropping on her own conversation with herself attempting to explain why she acts and thinks the way she does. I did appreciate learning so much about how this political demographic in America exists and flourishes.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mary Frances

    I wanted to like this book, but I found it superficial in some ways. I found it interesting that she never addresses, or perhaps even considers, how her parents' emotional problems led them to their strict and almost fanatical religious beliefs. She also does not seem to ask herself how she feels about the way her parents allowed her to be berated and humiliated by religious leaders, instead of protecting her and choosing her over their beliefs. I wonder what will happen as she explores these qu I wanted to like this book, but I found it superficial in some ways. I found it interesting that she never addresses, or perhaps even considers, how her parents' emotional problems led them to their strict and almost fanatical religious beliefs. She also does not seem to ask herself how she feels about the way her parents allowed her to be berated and humiliated by religious leaders, instead of protecting her and choosing her over their beliefs. I wonder what will happen as she explores these questions. She also at one time did not want to marry at all, hating the idea of what marriage would mean. She now seems to be married- an interesting change that she does not adders at all. There is so much more to her journey that is evident in this book. The young woman's points makes sense but her youth and relative inexperience show on almost every page. I look forward to seeing more from her as she matures.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Roland Gift

    Well written, but an unremarkable story--someone who grew up in a conservative home discovers liberal leanings in her 20s? Not exactly a unique tale.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

    Raised Right was written as a memoir, but I expect it is only part one. I appreciated the story format which made it a fast read. Occasionally I got confused about whether she was writing about her past or her present. Other reviewers seem to take her politics as more hard-edged than I would have. I read it as her process of questioning and appreciating her family's Christian background. Likely as she ages she will continue to do the same. I'm not going to to argue right vs. left as many reviewe Raised Right was written as a memoir, but I expect it is only part one. I appreciated the story format which made it a fast read. Occasionally I got confused about whether she was writing about her past or her present. Other reviewers seem to take her politics as more hard-edged than I would have. I read it as her process of questioning and appreciating her family's Christian background. Likely as she ages she will continue to do the same. I'm not going to to argue right vs. left as many reviewers have. Rather, her story explores the middle which can be the most tricky situation to be in. I appreciated the author's experiences of not fitting in; when one thinks and explores deeply that often is the resting place. As a Christian myself, I have been exposed to right and left Christians; it is hard to be dogmatic on either side as we live in such a complex world and live trying to incorporate our faith's true values.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Joanne

    Memoir about an uber-conservative (politically) Christian girl, trained to debate and win others to Christ, who as a young adult begins to question how much of her faith is really Jesus-based and how much of it is culture-based, or community-based. Maybe you don't have to love Ronald Reagan to be a believer? And so on. Seems a little obvious, especially when deciding on one's own faith, apart from family and home community, as a young adult is part of growing up, but it's new to her. Memoir about an uber-conservative (politically) Christian girl, trained to debate and win others to Christ, who as a young adult begins to question how much of her faith is really Jesus-based and how much of it is culture-based, or community-based. Maybe you don't have to love Ronald Reagan to be a believer? And so on. Seems a little obvious, especially when deciding on one's own faith, apart from family and home community, as a young adult is part of growing up, but it's new to her.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Makayla

    At times, I cried. At times, I laughed. At times, I wondered. I felt like I was looking in a mirror and seeing myself in the text. I was once a wide eyed Sarah Palin toting Conservative. But through the years, I felt like I was always in the in-between. I felt as if I was alone. I still feel alone sometimes. But Harris made me feel comforted. I felt every heavy step she took from walking away from her parents’ beliefs. 5 out of 5.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kari Shepherd

    I have mixed feelings about the author’s political opinions and think the subtitle is misleading. But as a memoir about a girl raised in an extremely politically active conservative Christian family who grew up and started voting Democrat, it was an interesting read.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    Very well written. I liked the personal touch of the book. Tracing her change over time. Being willing to learn, to listen, and change.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Miriam Hernandez

    It was okay. Appreciated the nuance, but it was a bit boring. I decided to stick with it and finish it and there were some nuggets of wisdom in it, but overall not something I would read again.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    I was raised in the country. Not the coastal country of large houses, servants and sailing. I was raised in the truck-driving, hunting and fishing, surrounded by fields and forest that John (sometimes Cougar) Mellencamp sings about kind of country. I was raised in a warm, loving, caring home by parents who loved their family, their friends and their God. That love rubbed off on their kids. I was raised just a short drive from the town where my father was raised and where my grandfather served as I was raised in the country. Not the coastal country of large houses, servants and sailing. I was raised in the truck-driving, hunting and fishing, surrounded by fields and forest that John (sometimes Cougar) Mellencamp sings about kind of country. I was raised in a warm, loving, caring home by parents who loved their family, their friends and their God. That love rubbed off on their kids. I was raised just a short drive from the town where my father was raised and where my grandfather served as mayor for 12 years. Though they never instructed us on how we should vote, we were clearly a Republican family (despite the fact that Gramps ran as a democrat every time). I knew what box I was expected to check once I was old enough to vote. It wasn’t until after my first four years of college (yes, I said first four years), that I even got to know a Democrat well enough to listen (actually listen) to the reasons why they believe as they do (Well, at least someone that I KNEW was a democrat.) As I continued in college these conversations occurred more and more often and I began to see the world differently. I like the way that Ruth Arnell put it, But then I … met people and lived through situations that forced apart my faith life and my political life, all the while speckling my black-and-white understanding of the world with flecks of moderate gray. Again and again I faced people I loved in situations that caused them pain, and there I was with a political map that didn’t feature the roads they were walking, let alone viable exits or much needed rest points to serve their needs along the way. [behnnie] The Twitter² Summary: Alisa Harris spent her home-schooled formative years picketing abortion clinics and volunteering for Republican campaigns. After spending time with people she respected who didn't share her beliefs she realized that faith and politics could interact in a different way. The Low-down: Harris describes an upbringing that is familiar to some and frightening to others. From being carted along by her parents to anti-abortion protests to rallying for conservative candidates, she grew up feeling that conservative republican politics and political figures were pretty much on the same level as scripture and prophets. It took her graduating college and actually spending time with people who believed different than her before she found that they weren't all that bad, maybe that they might actually be good people (sounds familiar to me, minus the graduating part). Harris deftly relates her changing understanding of the relationship between faith and politics. Harris points out that though today's Christians might say the Bible endorses capitalism; Christians two hundred years ago said it endorsed the divine right of kings. Her conclusion is that both missed the point, which is that the Bible is neither an eighteenth- nor a twenty-first-century policy textbook. Ultimately, Raised Right was constructed well and not the bitter/angry rant I feared it might be. The Rating: 4 of 5 Stars (An interesting book that kept me turning the pages) The Links: Download the first chapter free here. Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah's Blogging for Books program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the FTC's “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

  19. 5 out of 5

    Aneesa

    I checked out this book because I had read Alisa Harris's article "My Take: I could have become Michele Bachmann" (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08...) and I hoped the book would expand on this concept: "The program’s leaders said that the Bible calls for limited government, and that God’s law and nature’s law were good foundations for a legal system. The Christian believes the free enterprise system to be more compatible with his worldview than other economic systems, I learned." It's fascin I checked out this book because I had read Alisa Harris's article "My Take: I could have become Michele Bachmann" (http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/08...) and I hoped the book would expand on this concept: "The program’s leaders said that the Bible calls for limited government, and that God’s law and nature’s law were good foundations for a legal system. The Christian believes the free enterprise system to be more compatible with his worldview than other economic systems, I learned." It's fascinating to me to learn about how such seemingly radically different ideas--Christianity and capitalism--could become conflated, and how particular "worldviews" (as well as social norms) are reinforced and policed within communities. (If you're also interested in those issues, I recommend Jill Lepore's New Yorker article "Battleground America" [http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/20...], which describes how the Republican party came to change its understanding of the 2nd Amendment--based on the Black Panthers'--and reverse its stance on gun control.) However, this book does not really elaborate on that issue. I still don't understand what a "biblical worldview" has to do with limited government (except possibly the threat of making a false idol of big government). I also didn't learn any more details about the methods "Summit Ministries" and the like employ to indoctrinate young Christians, although I did learn that a large part of Harris's homeschooling involved learning to debate from the head of the Republican party in her county, and she spent a lot of time as a child picketing abortion clinics. I also learned that some Christians believe that God particularly favors America, which explains a lot. Except for why. The book is disjointed and filled with too many examples of the author's naïveté for me to really understand or relate, though towards the end it started gelling. Perhaps it would have been better to tell her story chronologically, so we could better see exactly how she changed and what made that happen. I did think her distinction between politics and love was interesting: "Unless you are smuggling soup to the Jews in your attic, I think a political act can't be an act of love. It can be a good act, even noble and heroic, but love is not something that takes place behind a barricade; it happens in the breaking of bread and the passing of cups." (25) And: "Yes, our primary job as Christians is to love people, and we can't love from behind a barricade. But we have other God-given responsibilities too--to fight against those who make unjust decrees, rob the needy, and deprive the poor of their rights. We can make political the things that are political and make spiritual the things that are spiritual.... Love the sinner--and not from behind a barricade but face to face. But when injustice, robbery, and inequity are not just individual but institutional, it's time to take a political stand. The government can't cure sin or heal pain; it can stop robbery and create laws that treat the poor justly. And it's our role to demand that our leaders do so." (210-211) On the other hand, I nearly blew a gasket reading page 192, in which she claims "I can't believe that the poor carry all the blame for their predicament because they didn't work hard enough to snatch the American Dream," but still seems to believe that the reason the poor remain poor is because they don't work hard enough--because of bad parenting. What? Oh, well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Alisa Harris is the author of Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics. Alisa covered education, poverty and cultural issues as a journalist in New York City, and currently works in nonprofit development. Alisha's work is a Memoir in which she details her journey to separate her political views from her Christian faith. Alisha (pictured above) grew up in an Ultra Conservative-Republican household. Some might call her family an extension of the Moral Majority. She accompanied her paren Alisa Harris is the author of Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics. Alisa covered education, poverty and cultural issues as a journalist in New York City, and currently works in nonprofit development. Alisha's work is a Memoir in which she details her journey to separate her political views from her Christian faith. Alisha (pictured above) grew up in an Ultra Conservative-Republican household. Some might call her family an extension of the Moral Majority. She accompanied her parents in protesting loudly outside of abortion clinics when she was a child. She had been immersed in the think tank that only the leadership of the Republicans would bring about the change that this country needed. She began to question this line of thinking when she went away to college. She didn't question her faith in God but rather why her faith was so heavily linked to the Conservative Republicans. Her realization became that of understanding that God wasn't represented by Republicans or Democrats but rather a loving God who died for our sins, the sins of those who engage in homosexuality as well as the person who hates homosexuals, those who abort their babies as well as those who are burning down abortion clinics and many more who needed the Lord as their Savior. I found myself using a yellow hilighter to mark passages of this book that spoke directly to me and some of the quotes from the book that especially remain with me are the following: "Love in action works for the unwashed and hungry people who are waiting in the pools of rain and soggy trash. The world as a whole may not change, but our neighbor's world, and by extension ours, grows brighter--- even when breaking loaves of bread in the rain." (p. 27) "I was done chasing supermen. I had stopped believing in the perfect leader who could say 'Let there be justice' and by the force of his word change the whole earth into heaven. Instead I determined to grab hold of the truth I’d always known – that the Leader had already come, had chosen instead to say, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ and had been despised and rejected because His message was bigger than the first-century political pundits had predicted. When Jesus said to go the extra mile and turn the other cheek, He called us to subvert tyranny with love and redeem injustice with suffering. He didn’t say that tyranny and injustice would cease immediately, but He promised that the time would come when the meek, the poor, and the merciful would inherit the earth.” (p. 75) My opinion: It's hard to judge a memoir and I'm not about to do that. This book reminded me of my very strict Christian upbringing and where the only word that was righteous was a Republican and all Democrats were sinners. I was forced to go to Christian Jr. and High School and it was the "will of God" that I was there. I wondered if this book would end with this gal running fast from her faith and turning against God but it didn't. I know that in my own life it wasn't until I learned later on in life (in my college years) that your relationship with Jesus Christ is very personal and there are no rights or wrongs about what political party you embrace and that you need to decide to do God's will and everything else will follow. I would recommend this book to any young adult or adult questioning faith and politics. (I first reviewed this book on my blog: http://conversationswithcarolyn.blogs... )

  21. 5 out of 5

    Julie Smith

    This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/20... This is the story of a young woman who has as one of her earliest memories protesting at an abortion clinic with her family. Homeschooled, allowed to watch no modern television shows or movies, Alisa Harris was raised in a structured environment around like-minded people. When she got into the outside world, she became a journalist at a Christian magazine, and she recounts her emergence from the black-and-white of her This review first appeared on my blog: http://www.knittingandsundries.com/20... This is the story of a young woman who has as one of her earliest memories protesting at an abortion clinic with her family. Homeschooled, allowed to watch no modern television shows or movies, Alisa Harris was raised in a structured environment around like-minded people. When she got into the outside world, she became a journalist at a Christian magazine, and she recounts her emergence from the black-and-white of her childhood beliefs and upbringing into a realization of shades of gray. Her isolated upbringing becomes apparent in an account where she finds herself totally shocked when a woman at a Bible fellowship group says that she supports Hilary Clinton, but later on, she herself ends up voting for now-President Obama (shhhh...don't tell her mom). I found this account interesting, although it did ramble around quite a bit, maybe because it IS quite difficult to frame your political beliefs without explaining many of the details that pulled you in that particular direction. From ballot-stuffing at primaries when a child (it's OK to do something wrong if the end result is the right thing) to a realization that the issue of abortion is not as clear-cut as many of us like to think: Some pro-lifers are blind to the fact that in the battle to defend the value of unborn life, they sometimes devalue the lives of the already born. the author tries to put into words how being a Christian doesn't always jibe with the idealogies of the right. It is a story of the inner struggle that many have with faith and politics. If read with an open mind, it can serve as a bit of an eye-opener for those on both sides of politics and can be a voice for the new breed of Christians who believe most in the values of love, charity, and brother/sister-hood imparted in the New Testament. QUOTES (from an ARC; may be different in final copy): I hope this book will help her and others to understand that this change is not a rejection of the core truths they've passed on to us but a different application of them. Our actions and beliefs are an expansion of the principles of justice and love that they imparted, not a rejection of those principles. When I heard "freedom," I thought "deregulation of onerous government rules"; when I heard "blind," I thought "blind to the virtue of limited government "; when I heard "oppressed," I thought of children who were not allowed to pray in school and successful rich people whose money is seized by the government. I used to think that anyone who was poor had only himself to blame, that America is a magical and glorious place so overflowing with opportunity that anyone who's struggling is simply not working hard enough or looking hard enough or finds it more convenient to live off the hard work of others or would really just rather buy drugs than pay rent. . . . When you believe hardship is a person's own fault, it's easy to look right through the suffering. Now when I look at the unemployed and destitute, I see what I might become if my life moved just a few steps in the wrong direction. BOOK RATING: 3.5 out of 5 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Coyle

    This book is part memoir, with Alisa Harris walking through key events in her life, and part meditation on the appropriate relationship between religion and politics. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in thinking more carefully about church/state relations or the place of religion in the public square. The strengths of this book are many. It is well written, and flows easily (I read the whole thing in three sittings of about an hour each), which I suppose is to be expected of This book is part memoir, with Alisa Harris walking through key events in her life, and part meditation on the appropriate relationship between religion and politics. I highly recommend this to anyone who has an interest in thinking more carefully about church/state relations or the place of religion in the public square. The strengths of this book are many. It is well written, and flows easily (I read the whole thing in three sittings of about an hour each), which I suppose is to be expected of a professional journalist... Moreover, it is thoughtful and raises points that many polemical Christians have forgotten. Our primary point of interaction with the world is not to be power, but rather love. As Christians we should find our responsibilities not in political credos or shallow one liners, but in care for those around us, in concern for those who cannot defend themselves, and in working to love our neighbors. This love should not be any kind of abstract love for humanity, but in concrete relationships with those in our lives (Harris is quite right to point out that the two are mutually exclusive anyway). Areas in which we can all agree, left and right alike, are that we should: 1) care for the poor and underprivlidged; 2) love "not just with words but with actions," and 3) to take heart that Christ has overcome the world "not through a show of power but a picture of love." (218-219) The problem with so much of the Christian right, according to Harris, is that The hope of the gospel meant more than the truth that Jesus Christ, fully God and fully man, had come to earth, died on a cross to free us from sin, and then rose on the third day. It also meant the hope of being free from the shackles of government as we worked to redeem the world for Christ through political means.(65) Most importantly, this book is remarkable evidence that as Christians we can disagree on issues (no doubt Harris and I would differ on many) while agreeing on methods and respecting each other as believers. The primary weakness in this book seems to be that Harris has spent her life looking to politics for what she should be finding in a healthy, Gospel-centered church. As a conservative and as a liberal (seemingly starting with her parents' activism), she has continually looked to politics as a place where love is achieved. She writes of the civic potential to become a people of "no color, just people, loving each other and doing the right thing, helping." (162) While this of course is something we can and should work for not just in politics but in all of life, it must always be remembered that this is an ideal that will only be fulfilled where people are drawn together by the Gospel, and that is something which no state, political party, or law will ever be able to do. Only in a faithful local church do we see this ideal at work, and even then only imperfectly. (Perfect love on the part of Christians is seen only in heaven.) But even this is a fairly weak criticism, as the book is about politics. Perhaps if she had written a book on the church this sentiment would be echoed... Highly recommended. Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kaley

    As many books in the "inspirational" category of Christian publishing, this book boasted a easy, do-it-yourself approach to the all-familiar battle of Faith vs. Politics. Though it was entertaining and at times a little too close to home for me, I didn't walk away feeling any more relief regarding my similar tension between the two subjects. I sympathize with Harris - growing up in a very rural area, attending a small, extremely conservative Christian college, I walk the same field of land-mines As many books in the "inspirational" category of Christian publishing, this book boasted a easy, do-it-yourself approach to the all-familiar battle of Faith vs. Politics. Though it was entertaining and at times a little too close to home for me, I didn't walk away feeling any more relief regarding my similar tension between the two subjects. I sympathize with Harris - growing up in a very rural area, attending a small, extremely conservative Christian college, I walk the same field of land-mines when approaching political topics, careful not to step too far on one side or the other, for fear of offending each and every person around me. At first, her observations and brutal honesty were funny. But as the book progressed, she brought up more and more similar stories and points, all leading to the same conclusion: what these overly-faith-and-politics-interwoven (for lack of a more technical term) people are doing isn't working. Which, by the way, I was already well aware of before I opened the book. I guess what I'm getting at is that really anyone could have made the same observations and written the same kind of story. This is probably over-critical, but I didn't feel that she really came to any sort of solution on how to approach politics from a Christian standpoint. It was more of a happy-go-lucky "smile until everybody feels better about the situation" viewpoint. Her stories were entertaining, and while I could relate to them, I just didn't feel like she really said anything about untangling faith from politics that struck a chord with me. Regardless, some excerpts from the book that I enjoyed: "Despite the spiritual warfare waged all around me, I never felt the darkness. The devil lurked in every shadow, but my childhood was a sunlit merry-go-round of happy home and church-no indifferent teachers, no bullies since my mother taught me at home. I looked for times when i could rebuke the devil so I could feel the surge of power rushing out like Jesus did when the bleeding woman touched His robe and was healed-but no opportunities came. Other children went to sleep and dreamed of heaven, standing up and sharing their visions with the rest of the class on Sunday, but I never had these dreams. Never spoke in tongues. never felt that force of the Holy Spirit entering me or His magic shooting out. Others sensed the Enemy always present, when a cold breath of air prickled the skin on their necks, when they were praying and felt so full of the Spirit that they knew the Enemy was lurking for attack. and yet we had no need to fear. The forces of darkness-Demons of Negativity, Demons of Alcoholism, Demons of Depression, of Disbelief, of Divorce, of Sickness, of Strife, of Poverty, and most of all the Demons of Fear-could be easily vanquished by anyone with faith the size of a mustard seed my mother kept in a pendant." "American politics, including the politics of the Christian Right and the Christian Left, is predicated on ressentiment-the belief that my enemies are committing a wave of atrocities against me, that I am a disenfranchised victim seeking the will to dominate my enemies because they are snatching the privileges I'm entitled to. When we operate from this perspective, every question-and every answer-is political."

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I was SO impressed with this book! I wasn't sure I would like it because I've read other memoirs of people who've questioned their faith as they got older and basically turned away from God. But, that's not the case with Raised Right. Alisa Harris grew up in a very conservative Christian Republican household. She even went with her parents to protest outside abortion clinics when she was a kid. She had been taught that electing the right leadership to our country would fix everything and bring A I was SO impressed with this book! I wasn't sure I would like it because I've read other memoirs of people who've questioned their faith as they got older and basically turned away from God. But, that's not the case with Raised Right. Alisa Harris grew up in a very conservative Christian Republican household. She even went with her parents to protest outside abortion clinics when she was a kid. She had been taught that electing the right leadership to our country would fix everything and bring America back to a Christian nation. When she went away to college she first started questioning things - not so much her faith in God, but why it was so tied to conservative Republican politics. Eventually she began to see that God was not always represented well by Republicans and that there are other options in politics than black and white or Republican vs. Democrat. I can relate on some level - I didn't grow up in quite as hardcore churches, but I definitely got the message that Christian = Republican. I also grew up in a household where one parent was a Believer and one wasn't, so I definitely got both sides of things. I really appreciate how well Harris explains both her past and how she transitioned to the beliefs she holds now - all the while recognizing that God is definitely bigger than politics. Some quotes I really liked: "Strangely, I had never thought of asking the sinner his opinions myself, in a serious conversation where I listened instead of combating. In fact, I had never had a serious conversation with the damned because, in my safe world where everyone thought like I did, I never met them." (p. 52) "I was done chasing supermen. I had stopped believing in the perfect leader who could say 'Let there be justice' and by the force of his word change the whole earth into heaven. Instead I determined to grab hold of the truth I’d always known – that the Leader had already come, had chosen instead to say, ‘My kingdom is not of this world,’ and had been despised and rejected because His message was bigger than the first-century political pundits had predicted. When Jesus said to go the extra mile and turn the other cheek, He called us to subvert tyranny with love and redeem injustice with suffering. He didn’t say that tyranny and injustice would cease immediately, but He promised that the time would come when the meek, the poor, and the merciful would inherit the earth.” (p. 75) “I was under no delusions that he [Obama] would overturn Roe v. Wade, but neither did Reagan or Bush. And I wanted someone who could take us past our Roe v. Wade obsession to talk about some of the other ways we trample human life.” (p. 154)

  25. 4 out of 5

    Allizabeth Collins

    Description: Alisa Harris was brought up to be a politically conservative-Republican Christian, her views of faith and politics tightly linked. She picketed abortion clinics and protested the war in Iraq because of her belief that the USA had strayed from the teachings of God, and the only way to redeem itself would be to put the right people and laws into power. Her parents, church, religious community, and education (home school through college) molded her into the person [they] wanted her to Description: Alisa Harris was brought up to be a politically conservative-Republican Christian, her views of faith and politics tightly linked. She picketed abortion clinics and protested the war in Iraq because of her belief that the USA had strayed from the teachings of God, and the only way to redeem itself would be to put the right people and laws into power. Her parents, church, religious community, and education (home school through college) molded her into the person [they] wanted her to be, but her interactions with the outside world pushed her to question certain aspects of her faith-driven politics. Seeing the world from different perspectives allowed her to stay true to her core belief system, but separate her faith from her political background. Can faith and politics mix? Or are they better off on opposite sides of debate? Alisa tries to determine her real feelings about the past and future of her beliefs. Review: I was raised 'middle' - middle child and center of the christian/political spectrum - not 'right', nor 'left'; but I understand where Alisa Harris is coming from. I am well aware that many people/organizations try to indoctrinate their children with whatever beliefs they hold in order to plant the seeds for the next generation of believers in the cause. I have many friends and family members that think in that exact way: My parents are Republican/ Democrat, so I must vote Republican/ Democrat, (even if I don't believe in it...), or My family doesn't believe in gay marriage or abortion, so I guess I should oppose it too... Isn't growing up about discovering our own stances, and finding out what we (the individual) truly believe in? I do not believe in passing down political convictions (or discriminations). That is why I enjoyed reading about Alisa's journey, because she started viewing politics and religion from different angles and making her own judgments. Do I think she completely "untangled" herself from the faith/politics "knot" her childhood tied? Not totally, but free-thought is a start. I found her memoir well-written, though disjointed at times; I expected the normal progression from childhood through adult, but her experiences were frequently mixed, switching from kid to college student. Her recall of the past was told in a story-like fashion, and I appreciated Alisa's attitude throughout. Recommended to today's young Christians (17-35) who are interested in the faith versus politics debate. Rating: Bounty's Out (3.5/5) * I received this book from the author (Blogging For Books - WaterBrook Press) in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Adenike Adebiyi

    This book might be more aptly titled "I was blind but now I see." I dog-eared many pages for various reasons. Here are quotes from some dog-eared pages: pg. 25: "Unless you are smuggling soup to the Jews in your attic, I think a political act can't be an act of love. It can be a good act, even a noble and heroic, but love is not something that takes place behind a barricade; it happens in the breaking of bread and the passing of cups. Political love is theoretical, directed at some vague 'humanit This book might be more aptly titled "I was blind but now I see." I dog-eared many pages for various reasons. Here are quotes from some dog-eared pages: pg. 25: "Unless you are smuggling soup to the Jews in your attic, I think a political act can't be an act of love. It can be a good act, even a noble and heroic, but love is not something that takes place behind a barricade; it happens in the breaking of bread and the passing of cups. Political love is theoretical, directed at some vague 'humanity,' and Jesus didn't say to love humanity but to love your neighbor." pg. 101: "If killing is wrong, why isn't it always wrong?" ... "It just doesn't make any sense to me that you can kill for a good reason if killing is wrong." pg. 126: "Our hyperpoliticized culture reduces us to solely political beings, defined only by our political characteristics and which special-interest group claims to represent us. Our gayness, blackness, whiteness, femaleness are not part of a complete identity but our whole identity, elevated from an accident of birth to a political credo. We become misshapen when all the spiritual and intellectual parts of our identify become merely political. We reduce all the complexities of our nature and experience to a political stereotype: the soccer mom, the gay-rights activist, the young white evangelical." pg. 146: "We seek in one another the assurance that there is just one correct interpretation of the world, that everything is so simple anybody can see it unless they're malicious or stupid or willfully ignorant; and we punish one another for proving with or differing conclusions that truth is not that easy. We think we must suppress dissension to present the unified front we need to gain power over our enemies. But there are pro-life Democrats, pro-choice Christians, feminists who love their families, and conservatives who care about poor people." pg. 174: "In a situation where they could help women—raped and bleeding women, pregnant women about to bring new life into a situation filled with pain, women who had miscarried their babies on days filled with suffering—these pro-lifers chose principles over people. They deemed the health and lives of women expendable, acceptable sacrifices in achieving the goal of preventing even one abortion ... I am not suggesting either option is ideal or easy." (Note: I think multiple ratings should be used for books, e.g., one rating for value of content, another for writing style, another for pleasure derived from reading, etc.)

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Wilson

    I remember hearing in church that you couldn't be a Christian and be a Democrat. I wondered where this was in the Bible. Where does Jesus say, "Ye must vote red to be born again."? When Clinton was elected president, we didn't know that blue could also mean dresses, we only knew it meant that God didn't win. Sitting with a couple kids from my youth group while watching returns, we prayed for the future of our country. We felt certain that there would be no future because every child conceived wo I remember hearing in church that you couldn't be a Christian and be a Democrat. I wondered where this was in the Bible. Where does Jesus say, "Ye must vote red to be born again."? When Clinton was elected president, we didn't know that blue could also mean dresses, we only knew it meant that God didn't win. Sitting with a couple kids from my youth group while watching returns, we prayed for the future of our country. We felt certain that there would be no future because every child conceived would be aborted because that was the platform of the Democratic party, wasn't it? While I couldn't totally relate to Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics , I still remember going off to the "Life Chain" one Sunday morning after church -- had I had my own way to church I wouldn't have participated. For $2, which I didn't have but my ride graciously agreed to provide, we were able to "rent" a cardboard sign. For an hour we stood along the highway and held up signs. I passed on "Abortion stops a beating heart" and other anti-abortion messages and held one up that said, "Jesus heals and forgives". I wasn't cut out to be an activist. I wanted to show love not condemnation to anyone who would perceive our message that way. But Alisa Harris grew up in a family where their blood ran red -- Republican red. From dressing up a goat as Bill Clinton in a county fair, to debating abortion, to learning the "Killer Questions" of evangelism so that no soul is left behind, Alisa sees politics as part of the church. She feels so dedicated to the cause that she campaigns in college for someone she can't even remember their name at the end of the day. I believe it is then she starts questioning why. From that point on, she begins wrestling with the compound of Church and Politics. She is sat down with her parents by her pastor in what appears to be an act of church discipline to reign her back into the fold. After all, women should be preparing for marriage and raising up more Republicans for Jesus, right? Hounded by her parents to vote for McCain, she ends up buying a t-shirt that says "Blondes for Obama". In the end of the book she muses over the question of "Can a Christian be a Democrat?" This was a quick read and I did enjoy this book. I think those who have grown up in the church and realize that Jesus is bigger than a political party would also enjoy it, as well as anyone wanting a glimpse into the life of an activist family. FTC disclosure: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen L. L.

    I really wanted to love this book. . .and I did for the most part. Alysa Harris articulates the plight of a young Christian conservative raised on political activism with self-effacing humor and keen observation. She draws from eclectic influences such as Carman, an eighties Christian entertainer, as well as her personal hero in her adolescence--Ronald Reagan--to show how passionate she was for the GOP cause. But as the world changed in the nineties and into the new millennium, bringing with it I really wanted to love this book. . .and I did for the most part. Alysa Harris articulates the plight of a young Christian conservative raised on political activism with self-effacing humor and keen observation. She draws from eclectic influences such as Carman, an eighties Christian entertainer, as well as her personal hero in her adolescence--Ronald Reagan--to show how passionate she was for the GOP cause. But as the world changed in the nineties and into the new millennium, bringing with it wars, terrorism, financial calamity, and political polarization, so did she change from being essentially a one-issue voter to becoming passionate about a number of issues, such as social justice, feeding the poor, and regulating Wall Street. And she, like many of us young Christian conservatives, found that the stagnant old political system was ill-equipped to keep up with the growing dissatisfaction with the status quo. I was gripped with the discussions, and impressed with Harris's ability to humanize both sides of these debates. Three-dimensional, flesh and blood people populate her vignettes, such as loved ones who had abortions, or fellow students whose viewpoints challenged her to rethink her sometimes shallow view of Christianity and virtue. This is a book for those who have both judged and been judged. This is a book for those who have hated and been hated. This is a book that opens up dialogue and makes discussion possible again in a culture that has taken an embattled stance against its ideological opponent. In that sense, this may be one of the most important books of its time. I hoped for more of a sense of closure within the book, but was left with an antsy and troubled feeling. Perhaps that was purposeful, an extension of the author's inability to come to a black and white conclusion on truth in the political sphere. I hope there will be more to come from Ms Harris on this topic, or any topic for that matter. She seems to have the pulse of a move to reexamine Christ's transcendent teachings in fresh language for a new generation.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    In Raised Right, Alisa Harris described the challenges she faced with politics and her Christian Faith. She grew up homeschooled and she eventually attended Hillsdale College and received her journalism degree. Her parents taught her the importance of standing up for what you believe in. In her early childhood, her parents protested at abortion clinics and she was picketing alongside them. Alisa Harris believed in standing firm against injustice and standing up for people who didn’t have a voice In Raised Right, Alisa Harris described the challenges she faced with politics and her Christian Faith. She grew up homeschooled and she eventually attended Hillsdale College and received her journalism degree. Her parents taught her the importance of standing up for what you believe in. In her early childhood, her parents protested at abortion clinics and she was picketing alongside them. Alisa Harris believed in standing firm against injustice and standing up for people who didn’t have a voice. One day at a coffee shop she witnessed a nanny degrading her employee. She yelled and screamed about how bad of a job she was doing. She called her fat and other rude comments. Alisa had a hard time sitting and watching this event unfold. She gets outraged and says something in the heat of the moment. Later she found out that it was for a TV Show called, “What Would You Do”. Her part didn’t make the final cut into the hit ABC TV show. She also shared about one of her protests against the Bank Systems. Bank of America hasn’t paid taxes for a number of years. But citizens have to always pay taxes or risk breaking the law. This book is about her beliefs about politics. This book is enlightening to read about people standing up for what they believe in. They have to risk failure and the belief that it doesn’t really matter anyway. But many are still trying to stand firm on things they think need changed. It’s important to stand up for people who aren’t able to stand up for themselves. I would recommend this book to anyone who cares about politics and has some backbone. Sitting on the sidelines can become all too easy. Her book will encourage readers to live what they believe and stand up and use your voice! Adults and teenagers will enjoy the stories that Alisa Harris shared. They will feel not so alone in their beliefs about bringing change for the American people. “I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Connie

    this was not only very easy to read, but very interesting and well-written. I just wish that there were more young people like her – – young people who were raised in the most completely sheltered atmosphere ever, and brought up to believe all sorts of strange things related to her parents' (and millions of other Christian extremists)religious beliefs. Sadly, there is a growing number of young people who are born into these families who are brainwashed from birth, and never exposed to anything oth this was not only very easy to read, but very interesting and well-written. I just wish that there were more young people like her – – young people who were raised in the most completely sheltered atmosphere ever, and brought up to believe all sorts of strange things related to her parents' (and millions of other Christian extremists)religious beliefs. Sadly, there is a growing number of young people who are born into these families who are brainwashed from birth, and never exposed to anything other than a fundamental and extreme version of "Christianity". While in her teens, she chanced to be exposed to Christians who would have been classified by her parents and their peers as filthy liberals, or something even more vile. She soon came to realize the true message of the gospel and how freeing it was to believe it and live it. I highly recommend this book to anybody, churched or unchurched. Fortunately, there is a growing number of people who have spent their lives in this interpretation of Christianity (Dominionists/Reconstructionists/Quiverfull/Prosperity Gospel – – – there are a dozen names/classifications under which these extremists fall) who have seen the light even after decades of indoctrination – – AJ Alexander, who wrote "Religious Right", Frank Schaeffer, just to name two very prominent ones. This is a dangerous group of religious extremists whose movement has been known as the "Seven Mountains Mandate" andtheir end goal is a complete takeover of America at all levels, and instead of having our constitutional law, our country would be ruled by what the term as "God's law"– – – which is very Old Testament in nature, and unlike any Christianity that people in the mainline Christian churches have ever heard of. They had already made great inroads in all of the seven "Mountains". I and many others refer to them as the "American Taliban".

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