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Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics Paperback – September 6, 2011
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“Journalist [Alisa] Harris gives a face and a voice to America’s younger generation, offering herself up as a case study of Christian youth caught in a partisan nation.… Young Americans will identify with her coming-of-age struggles and passion for weeding out injustice. Right-wing politicians and older generations of Christians should pay close attention in order to understand, and perhaps empathize with, her demographic.”
“Endorsements to co “A wonderful story for political misfits of all shapes and colors. Harris invites you to hop off the political bandwagon and to walk with her down the narrow way that leads to life. And she reminds you not to veer too far off the path to the left or to the right, lest you get confused and can’t find the way home again.”
—Shane Claiborne, author, activist, and recovering sinner, www.thesimpleway.org
“Raised Right demonstrates that the evangelical stampede to the far right in the 1980s has produced a generational backlash, as young evangelicals like Alisa Harris encounter the Hebrew prophets and the words of Jesus. This is the most encouraging book about evangelicals and politics I have read in a very long time.”
—Randall Balmer, Columbia University, author of Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America
“Raised Right is funny, insightful, and packed with truth. Harris speaks on behalf of a generation of culture warriors longing for a more peaceful way forward. Those who grew up in the trenches will relate to every page.”
—Rachel Held Evans, author of Evolving in Monkey Town
“In Raised Right, Alisa Harris paints a fascinating picture of how the same religious devotion can send succeeding generations to opposite sides of the political battlefield. And while her story may be more common than ever, it’s uncommonly told. Alisa’s voice is fresh, honest, gracious, and provocative in all the right places. An enthralling and illuminating read.”
—Jason Boyett, author of O Me of Little Faith: True Confessions of a Spiritual Weakling
“Alisa Harris is a smart, fearless, gracious writer who, in her memoir Raised Right, showcases a deft mature-beyond-her-years honesty and kindness when sharing her affecting story of growing up in a politics-and-faith-charged environment. But the brilliance of Raised Right shines brightest when Harris begins confessing—often with a self-deprecating spin—the personal and spiritual unraveling that happens when she begins to unmarry her faith from her politics. Ultimately, hope wins throughout as Harris discovers small bits of humble truth along the journey. And because narrative in Raised Right is rich yet familiar, readers will discover small bits of their own.”
—Matthew Paul Turner, author of Churched and Hear No Evil
“Raised Right chronicles Alisa Harris’s journey from an evangelical childhood community steeped in the politics of James Dobson to an evangelical young adulthood where the politics of Barack Obama are preferred. It is engaging and well written, and it will be very illuminating to anyone who wants to understand the changes afoot among youth raised evangelical and what those changes will mean for American politics.”
—Jonathan Dudley, author of Broken Words: The Abuse of Science and Faith in American Politics
About the Author
Alisa Harris is a journalist living in New York City who enjoys writing in quirky coffee shops. A 2007 graduate of Hillsdale College, she has worked as a college instructor in writing and journalism. Her writing has been published in WORLD, the Farmington Daily Times, Albuquerque Journal, and Detroit Free Press.
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
To start with, I must say that I enjoy the authors writing style. It was very easy to read and she is a gifted storyteller. Her stories are all very revelant and serve to bring out the points she is trying to make as she explains the things she wrestled with as a young adult.
However, I didn't end up feeling like she really "untangled" her faith from her politics. Its seems, rather, that she has embraced both theological and political liberalism. I really feel that her faith is just as much entwined with her politics as it ever was.
If you want to understand the thought process of the young, postmodern, Emergent church types, this book will be very revealing for you. But, if you really just are looking at escaping politicized Christianity while holding fast to conservative, biblical Christiantiy you will likely be frustrated by and disappointed in this book.
I was born in the Truman era -- and when I went to Bible College, Lyndon Johnson was president. When he was elected, the president of the school was sad over that. I figured that our school president was very Republican. At the time I was, too, but I began to wonder -- where does the Bible say that Christians must be Republican? Times were different then, but I was noticing a shift in thinking in many Christian circles that I wasn't articulate enough to put into words. Those were the days of the "Cold War," and people interested in Medicare (which was passed while I was in Bible College) were seen as being leftists if not borderline "Communistic." Communism was a live issue in those days, and Democrats were seen to be at best slightly "pink" if not "red" altogether.
Fast forward to Ms. Harris' experience. Some of the things she mentions, I realize that I thought about in retrospect. In 1964 and 1965 I had wondered about what seemed to be a fixation of many Evangelical Christians on the Republican party. Even though I was probably "conservative" then (and maybe still am) I had a hard time proving Biblically that private enterprise is morally superior to government control. Eve though I preferred private enterprise (and still do) it didn't mean that I was a better Christian than someone who wanted a more government-oriented approach to politics.Read more ›
This book isn't so much a guide to how to untangle the reader's faith from their politics as it is a memoir of Alisa's faith journey. The last few chapters, while important felt different from the rest of the book in tone and subject matter and I felt that they could have been developed a little bit more to better tie into the rest of the book. The chapters read like blog posts and are therefore easy to read. There are a few scriptures that she references as a basis for her belief change but for the most part, she speaks of general christian concepts and examples from conversations with liberal christian friends.Read more ›
Alissa Harris's new book "Raised Right" gave me the feeling of permission I needed.
***We interrupt this review to bring you the reviewer's Life Story for the sake of journalistic transparency in background comparison between her and the book's author.
The oldest of three kids, I was raised in a warm, nurturing, politically conservative Christian home by parents who loved their kids, their families, and the world around them. To the point, even, that they sold their home in the Chicago suburbs to live in South America for three years where my mom taught grade school and my dad built schools, churches, a drug rehab facility, and whatever else came up. They loved God. They loved people. They loved each other. Luckily that love rubbed off on their kids.
While our family rejected the absurd stereotype of many culture-Christians who live to call This, That, or The Other politician either a Saint or an Anti-Christ, we were a Republican-voting family. My parents never specifically instructed me as such, preferring to keep politics out of their children's lives, but I still knew which box I should check when I reached 18. In fact, I was in my early 20s before it occurred to me to even think about listening to- not just hearing- the whys and wherefores behind the reasoning of the American Left. Not even to agree with it, mind you, but just to listen to it.
I didn't really need for there to be alternatives growing up.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished 8 months ago by A. H. Wagner
This book explained to me a great deal of what is behind the Christian Right and the positions they take.Published 12 months ago by A. P. Sisson
Thank you, Ms. Harris, for going before me and challenging traditional conservative Christianity. This book profoundly affected my life and worldview and I am recommending it to... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Nance Deichman
There should be a rule stating that you can't write your memoir before the age of 40 (at least). While Alisa had some interesting points in this book, she still was clearly... Read morePublished 17 months ago by SBCincinnati
This left me wanting more, rather like a Reader's Digest condensed version of the real book. Like my review, it was a few words short of long enough.Published on February 3, 2014 by Sandy Toes
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... Read morePublished on August 10, 2013 by Emily Rachelle
'Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith From Politics' by Alisa Harris was an eye opening, foundation shaking experience that I was in dire need of. Read morePublished on April 14, 2013 by Brian E. Erland
Ms. Harris's memoir has little to do with untangling faith from politics. A more accurate (but less buzz-creating) subtitle would have been, "How my politics and faith both... Read morePublished on April 8, 2013 by Emily Schatz
Recently, in a contest hosted by WaterBrook Multnomah, I was the recipient of a copy of Alisa Harris's Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics. Read morePublished on October 16, 2012 by Sherrey Meyer