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WaterBrook Press Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics

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Customer Reviews for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Review 1 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

From pro-lifer to "spiritual but not religious"

Date:October 18, 2012
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LifeVerse
Gender:male
Quality: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Value: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
The author claims that “This book is not a liberal credo or a political platform” (p 10). In fact, it definitely is a liberal credo.
She invites the reader to share her view of the world – or, rather, of people who are religiously and/or politically conservative. She is an “ex-conservative,” and no “ex” can discuss her former life objectively and rationally. So the book is full of contempt and sarcasm. She is angry at her conservative family for denying her a typical childhood. Now, having tossed aside her upbringing, she claims America’s biggest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood, is a wonderful organization, and she is ashamed that her parents’ protests helped shut down abortion mills in her home county. She regrets ever having considered Reagan a man of Christian character. (Incidentally, if that is what she was actually taught in her home, it’s hardly typical of conservative Christians in general. Most of the ones I know are sophisticated enough to know that they politicians they support aren’t saints, and some aren’t even Christian.) She regards her family’s activities as “badgering” and “browbeating,” while now she is only into “loving” – didn’t it occur to her that in helping shut down abortion mills, and thus saving lives, her parents were engaged in very loving activity? I also wonder if her description of being homeschooled is as dismal and narrow as she makes out, since the homeschooled kids I know are a rather bright lot, both mentally and personally, probably because they get to study worthwhile things like literature, history, and science instead of getting indoctrinated into “diversity.”
She laments that in her youth she was taught to evangelize – or, as she puts it, “browbeat heathens into faith” (which I’m guessing was not the wording they used while doing it). She has swallowed the secular view that Christians have no business trying to make converts (which requires ignoring the clear mandate of Jesus to do so), but it doesn’t occur to her that the “heathen” have their own methods of evangelism – such as inserting their messages into TV, movies, pop music, and, incidentally, the colleges that train America’s future teachers and lawmakers. Here’s a news flash about human nature: when people like something and believe strongly in it, they will tell others about it – whether they call that “evangelism” or “witnessing” or whatever. Maybe she doesn’t realize it, but her book is evangelizing for a form of post-Christian “spirituality.”
The book has a self-pitying tone. Maybe she regards it as some kind of therapy for her, but it would do her much more good to let go of her anger toward the people she has rejected.
+4points
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Review 2 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great book by a Christian young woman

Date:June 18, 2012
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Dressage lover
Location:Roxbury, VT
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
I could really relate to many things in this book. While my childhood was nowhere near as extremely political as the authors I have grown up with a very republican devoted father. I found myself feeling very sorry for the author when she documents being in college and realizing that being a political activist is the only identity she had. I loved the authors writing style, she is not preachy but rather simply expresses the lessons she has learned in her life in a very helpful and insightful way that I believe would open a lot of people's eyes. I loved the authors realization that the world is not black and white there are a lot of shades of gray too. Another thing I thought was awesome was the stand that the author took against titles and stereotypes, it made me proud to call myself a Christian feminist and an independent. The book was slightly hard to follow as the events are not listed chronologically, each chapter has a unique message and the author chronicles moments in her life when she learned pieces of the message of that chapter. I don't want to give to much away but I will just say that I agree almost one hundred percent with all of the authors conclusions. I found this book to be a quick read (I read it in just over a day) I would recommend it to anyone, teen and adult. I recieved this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are one hundred percent my own.
-2points
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Review 3 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

The writing is crisp, precise, and insightful

Date:April 26, 2012
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Adam Miller
Location:Cape Cod, MA
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
-1point
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Review 4 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Date:March 26, 2012
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Gracie
Location:Kansas
Age:45-54
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Written by a woman the same age as my oldest daughter, I was intrigued from the start. Alisa writes that “This book was born out of my search for a faith that’s more than the sum of my political convictions and for a meaningful way of living it out.”
Picking up this book, my thoughts were that somehow I would understand this generation more. The further along I got into the book, the more I realized it wasn’t so much about one particular generation as it is was about wrong attitudes and misdirected beliefs, regardless of the age.
Alisa terms it political and I label it more as a “religious zealot.” In the prologue she writes, “I’m also writing this for people who want to make sense of this strange new breed of Christian.”
Strange new breed of Christian…hum now isn’t that is an interesting set of words!
Just what is she implying? After all, there should be nothing new for us “Jesus followers”, right? Well, not unless the belief system has been drowning in the sewage of politics and religious rhetoric!
Wrote as a memoir, Alisa explains that she grew up in a family that participated in abortion demonstrations and was actively involved in the Republican party. She seemed destined to a life of supporting the cause and beliefs this party adheres to.
Like most teens though, once she journeyed outside her birth family and into the college years; she began to questions how not only her own parents, but her beloved Republican party lived out what Jesus taught.
Included in her stories are memories of deep hurt and confusions caused by her own church “family,” and pastors. Unfortunately, she is not the only one in this world who has experienced those type of stories parallel with “religious” institutions. Fortunately, Alisha was strong enough in her own faith and belief in God not to walk away.
While Alisha did not receive love and acceptance from those in her home church, Alisha does come to the understanding that love isn’t just a word which we easily slip out of our mouth
Throughout most of the book, in my mind I was screaming, “You go, girl!” Alisha’s unbiased honesty and quick wit reveals the journey taken in walking through and working out her own drive for power. Coming to a point where she realizes that, “Instead of seeking power, I want to work for the kingdom’s picture of peace.”
Like most of us, she shares her struggles in figuring out where her own faith lies. Not her grandparents faith, her parents faith; but sole her own. And at the end of the day, it comes back to the simple message of Jesus, taught to her by her parents and now being passed down to her own children. It looks different and is being walked out in a fresh new way, but the message at the end of the day is still the same. “To care, to love and to take heart! …In other words, as Jesus urged His followers, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” – not through a show of power but a picture of love.”
-1point
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Review 5 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Interesting read

Date:February 24, 2012
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Blue Raindrop
Location:Wichita, Ks
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Raised Right is the latest book that I’ve received from Waterbrook Multnoma for reviewing.
The book is essentially the memoirs of a girl who was raised in one of the segments of Christian culture that is activist oriented.
She tells a lot of stories about her life, as she was involved even as a young child with abortion protests and all sorts of political activities for the Republican party... because that’s what God would have them do.
She then details her transition to adult life in college, and the issues that came up when she became disillusioned with the choices of politicians, and had to discover for herself where politics ended and where Christianity really stood.
Was it even possible to be both a Christian and a democrat? Or even to go as far as to be both a Christian and pro-life, to believe both that abortion is a sin and to still believe that women should be allowed to choose that sin?
She also discusses some of the darker encounters with the church... including her home church staging an intervention because they believed she should drop out of college and focus on forming a family rather than feminist things like career... and an encounter with a pastor who disagree with something that she’d written on her personal page online, who decided to then recruit people to put pressure on her employer about it.
The book is a really interesting read... and I regret to say, I totally know some Christians like those she deals with at various stages.
I guess in a way, I’m a little surprised that she wrote the book. Partially because I expect she’ll be seeing more encounters with jerks in the name of Christ over it’s contents. Because I imagine they’d be offended, as that sort tends to be fairly easily.
But also a bit because I wonder how much it will be more of a tool of those who oppose Christianity than a tool to help those who’ve grown to confuse God with politics and issues. There are some examples of sane and reasonable Christians in the book... but to a non-believer reading it, the impression would probably be more along the lines of “See, Christians are jerks and really it’s just politics using the guise of religion.”
While that’s probably fair for some... I guess I just wish that she’d made the distinction more that the vast majority of Christians are not these jerks.
-1point
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Review 6 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Great exploration of faith and politics

Date:January 24, 2012
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Leigh Kramer
Location:Nashville, TN
Age:25-34
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
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.
-1point
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Review 7 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

An eyeopener.........

Date:December 16, 2011
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Dutchy
Age:55-65
Gender:female
Raised right gave me answers to the question how people with a normal IQ could behave like they do when they are on television.
I see now that it is stuffed in them just as food from the day they are born.
But to see that eventually they have a mind of their own is very nice.
Alisa seems to be brainwashed by the environment where she grew up. She is a fanatic right Christian. Though she is loved by her family, the true love of Christ is not there at all.
Then her eyes are slowly opening when she attents college, even though it is a Christian college.
There she will discover what it really means to be a follower of Christ and that does not mean pointing at other people because they have a different opinion. She will see that strict doctrines clinch with the love of Christ.
I thought it was not an easy book, but it tought me to look different at people and especially not to judge them because "they" tell me to do so!
It is worth reading.
-1point
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Review 8 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5

A good point approached in entirely the wrong way.

Date:December 6, 2011
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MaryRuth
Location:Midwest
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
1 out of 5
1 out of 5
Author: Alisa Harris
Genre: Memoir, Politics
Publisher: Waterbrook
When I first saw this book, I read the author’s name, Alisa Harris, and subconsciously assumed it was ‘Harris’ as in Joshua and Alex and Brett, as in kissing dating goodbye and doing hard things. I took the title, ‘Raised Right’ to mean ‘Raised Correctly’ and the subtitle, ‘How I Untangled My Faith from Politics’ to refer to keeping one’s beliefs uncorrupted by the influence of political correctness.
I was wrong on all three counts.
Raised Right is the memoir of Alisa Harris, who was, in her own words, “picketing since before [she] could walk”. From praying outside abortion clinics to protesting outside capitol buildings and from Worldview Academy to debate class, her parents raised her to uphold strong Republican ideals and to be ready to combat false beliefs.
Early on in the book she gently criticizes her upbringing, citing instances such as her mother’s avoidance of explaining the definition of a prostitute but freely and graphically explaining the definition and process of abortion, as well as involving her in political circumstances and arenas she was too young to fully understand.
I do agree that many parents thrust their children into political arenas far too early, before the children are capable of understanding what they are taking part in and making the choice to participate themselves. As the author grew older, she began seeing this for herself and grew disillusioned with the extreme political nature of her faith.
What follows is an account of her rocky journey from being a far-right-wing conservative to a moderate to a self-professed liberal feminist.
Personally, I was deeply disappointed, even outraged, by this book. The author’s journey of ‘learning to live out the gospel’ consists mainly of a touchy-feely blurring of the lines between right and wrong, an embracing of vague bipartisan ideals, and subtle subversion against biblical principles.
In discussing the biblical role of women, the author relies on ‘a convincing interpretation of Scripture’ that said the Bible’s command to women to be silent in church was directed only at a particular church in a particular culture, to help them ‘avoid being a stumbling block’ to their culture. But, the author says, in twenty-first century America, ‘forcing women to be silent and denying them certain ministry roles because of their gender’ makes churches who practice that belief a stumbling block to our culture.
But if that is the case, perhaps we the church should stop preaching that adultery and promiscuity are wrong. After all, both those practices are widely accepted parts of our culture, and if people know they will have to give up those practices if they become Christians, that could become a stumbling block for them. See? That theory just doesn’t work.
The author also endorses an ideal of marriage in which both the man and woman are equal, ‘each submitting to the other in Christ’, which is completely contrary to the Bible’s clearly outlined plan for the man to be the head of the woman as Christ is the head of the church. Biblical marriage is a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church. Is Christ supposed to submit to the church out of love, then? Should Christ and His church be compromising on tough decisions? Somehow I don’t think so.
Later in the book the author quotes a friend of hers who makes the following statement: “The whole gay thing? Jesus never mentioned homosexuals at all. I just feel that Jesus’ heart was more for the impoverished and the sick. I don’t feel like He would get so flared up.” Although the author did not make this statement herself and she does not expressly endorse it, neither does she refute or correct it. No, we have no record of Jesus saying anything about homosexuality when He was on Earth in the flesh. But Jesus was God, and the entire Bible, not just the words in red ink, is the Word of God. The Bible makes it quite clear that homosexuality is an abomination. As for Jesus getting ‘flared up’, I would like to point out the cleansing of the temple—throwing over tables and chasing people out with a whip qualifies as ‘flared up’ in my book. And, in direct relation to the homosexuality issue, God rained fire and brimstone on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah because of the rampant and unrepentant homosexuality taking place there. If that is not ‘flared up,’ I don’t know what is.
The author also expresses angst about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, wondering how war can possibly solve anything, and confusion over the fact that we liberated the people of Iraq from a violent genocidal dictator only for them to look at us as invaders. However, later in the book as she is describing the horrible treatment women in the Middle East receive at the hands of men, she criticizes Americans and Christians for caring more about unborn children being aborted every day than they do about born women being abused, tortured, and killed in the Middle East every day. My question is this: if we were to go in by force and liberate these abused women from the men abusing them like we liberated the men, women, and children suffering under a tyrannical dictator, what would stop them from having the same irrational perspective of us—seeing us as invaders—as the others we liberated?
I agree with the author’s view that Christians can often become too militant and combative in promoting their beliefs, and that we do need to speak the truth in love rather than shouting it from protest groups. I agree that finding a way to speak the truth in love to a culture that doesn’t want to hear it is difficult. But that does not give us license to reinterpret Scripture to suit our own desires and the desires of a corrupt and godless culture.
I received this book from the publisher free of charge in exchange for my review.
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
Review 9 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Does God care about our politics?

Date:December 6, 2011
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luv2readjen
Location:Lisle, IL
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
I am 13 years older than Alisa, but in recent years, I have found the shrill certainty of pending doom from die hard conservatives harsh, and the pious anti-money stance of the corporate bashing liberals cloying. Alisa’s book senses and brings to light the self-righteous hypocrisy that can be found in both, and identifies a real concern that there is little middle ground – sometimes both sides are right and wrong at the same time.
In the midst of articulating much that is problematic with taking all your views from the extreme wings of either side, Alisa also highlights how faith should make us inclined toward working in the trenches, in the places where our love works, as opposed to only shouting epitaphs and clichés from sidewalks while carrying candles or placards. Sometimes, change happens because we have the wherewithal to roll up our sleeves and grease our elbows and start doing the things that impact people’s lives. When we simply shout that “they” are “wrong” regardless of whether we are ‘anti-‘ or ‘pro-‘, we aren’t usually changing things, we are just making sure we are heard.
Can we truly claim, as Christians, to love the sinner but hate the sin, if all we do is scream at the sinner? Sometimes it’s important to take a stand. Sometimes it’s important to take a knee. Sometimes it’s less important to be tough, and more important to show compassion. When we care less about women throwing themselves into a fire than we do about whether the logs they used to build the blaze were from a deforested region, or that before she threw herself in the fire, she prayed to Allah for forgiveness, then our priorities are messed up, and we have turned our cause into an idol that does not allow us to see the person God created for the issue we did.
Read Alisa’s book. Whatever your political stripe, it will probably aggravate you at points and make you cheer in places. The hoped for result is that a tad more tolerance for the shades of gray that fall between the black and white will carry the day. Alisa is articulate and provocative, and her book will at the least leave you thinking.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. 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 Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
-1point
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Review 10 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5

Refreshingly Honest and Vulnerable

Date:November 15, 2011
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Amanda
Location:Michigan
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Raised Right by Alisa Harris is a challenging and insightful book. Alisa Harris is refreshingly honest and vulnerable about her struggle to work out faith and politics and make it her own. Alisa tells of her journey from childhood innocence to the coming of age into adulthood, and how she dealt with the transition to take what she learned from her parents and develop it into her own beliefs and views.
It is a story that all can relate to especially the generation of today who are facing the struggle of faith and politics and how they fit together. Alisa shares of how she has learned to work her faith and political views together to make a difference in the world around her. It will bring encouragement to all of those out there who are so lost when it comes to politics and the role we as followers of God have in it.
I highly recommend this book to every young adult who is coming of age and realizing that they can’t get by on their parents faith and politics.
-1point
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Review 11 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5

Thought provoking in all the right places.

Date:November 13, 2011
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MRubio
Location:Texas!
Age:18-24
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
5 out of 5
Value: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
Meets Expectations: 
4 out of 5
4 out of 5
"Raised Right" by Alisa Harris tells of a coming of age from the innocence she experiences as a child to the transcendence of her adulthood and all the shades of grey it brings.
It took a couple of pages for me to really begin to get into the book since I've been more into self-help books recently. A couple of reviews I read have complained that Alisa doesn't really give you any plan of action on how to differentiate faith and politics but if you turn to the back of the book, (by the bar code) it's under "christian living/ social issues" not "spiritual growth/ self-help". Her purpose for this book wasn't to cajole you into a certain direction but rather just share her experiences on why she's chosen hers. She does close each chapter really well and offer insight like how what her old sign holding, rallying definition of "love" doesn't compare to the man who gives leftovers at 5am to homeless people (chapter 1),how she says that "in the pursuit of self-preservation, we abandoned the values that are worth preserving" (chapter 5), and how Jesus "didn't call us simply to oppose positions that are wrong but to embody values that are heavenly" (chapter 6). Her insights do offer a new perspective without discriminating on others who disagree.
I've made my faith a serious commitment recently (under a year ago) and can honestly relate to what's being said. Finding that balance is a journey we're all on and early on in her life, she saw things in black and white and also states how that was a safety net. As she stepped out into the real world, she sees things and begins to ask a lot of questions. Although her parents had the best intentions, she began to see their methods to promote peace as selective and has since tried to adjust to more effectively lead a Christ-like life. She just seems more vulnerable and open about the struggles of being a Christian than others would admit to... and if anything, THAT is the new breed of Christian..admitting we're human instead of using a facade of perfection. The first step to progress is acknowledgement and Alisa has done a fine job of that. She respects all the values and virtues learned from her parents taught her and holds them close as she realizes labels are one-dimensional and as a result, becomes her own person...whether that fits into a specific category or not.
Overall, great memoir and phenomenal writing. I can always respect someone who makes me learn new words.
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Review 12 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Ummm, not sure.

Date:November 12, 2011
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plasticmom
Age:35-44
Gender:female
Quality: 
5 out of 5
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Value: 
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Meets Expectations: 
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3 out of 5
Raised Right is not a book I would typically pick up to read, but having been part of a family who felt Repulicanism=Christianity, I was intrigued by the idea that you could actually separate your faith from politics. I was drawn in initially by the author's well-written narrative. I appreciate anyone with a good grasp of the English language, and one who uses words I have to look up once in a while. So, from the perspective of a good piece of writing, I give her 5 stars. Content, well that's different. I wholeheartedly agree with many of her statements. That judgementalism and partisanism does nothing to further the work of Christ, and that we all need to find our way back to what it means to love our neighbors. Unfortunately, when I reached the last chapters of the book, I hoped to better understand how to put into practice the ideas she had presented, only to be left hanging.
At times, this book reads like it is written from the depth of her spiritual conviction, and at other times, it reads like a rant. So, honestly, I'm not sure how to rate it. I liked it, yet I didn't like it. So in the spirit of fairness, I'll meet in the middle and give it a 2 1/2.
This book was provided to me free of charge by Waterbrook Multnomah for review purposes.
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Review 13 for Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics
Overall Rating: 
2 out of 5
2 out of 5

Good, but not without lingering questions.

Date:October 31, 2011
Quality: 
3 out of 5
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Alisa Harris was raised in a family that believed that conservative politics would win the United States back to Christ. Encouraged to vote, rally, and debate others who opposed her family's political point of view, Harris' Christian faith was intertwined in her Republican political views. Despite her homeschool past and frequent church attendance, Harris, in her memoir, tackles what it means to be a Christian that participates in the political system of the United States.
Within her memoir, Harris attempts to balance political alliances. She commends her conservative parents for teaching her "justice and love," but also questions the same political viewpoint for placing too much emphasis on materialism and greed. However, instead of unleashing what she dubs "The Four Killer Questions" method of evangelism or exhausting her classmates with endless tirades at a local community college, Harris finds herself wondering what it truly looks like to reach those who are lost. Rather than target the individual's political alliances, Harris suggests that Christians disregard labels and love one another because "God made everyone."
Overall, the spirit of Raised Right is one that attempts to claim Christianity from the tangle of American politics. Harris suggests that even in the stickiest of debates, such as abortion, both sides of the political aisle can join together for a common good (179). Despite Harris' attempt to shed light on the fact that Christianity is not bound by one political party or issue, her book still leaves readers with a lingering "What do I do now?" Though the book is a memoir dedicated to Harris' change of heart regarding politics and faith, it was still lacking in the call to action for readers. Regardless, Raised Right is a read for those seeking out what it means to be a Christian in a world filled with divided politics and ideologies.
PS- The good people at Blogging for Books provided me a review copy of Raised Right. I was not compensated in order to provide a positive review.
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