Sunday, September 11

Raised Right by Alisa Harris

Each day it seems that the line between politics and religion blurs.  At every election voters look at their own beliefs and decide which candidate best exhibits their beliefs.  We expect politicians to be cookie cutters of our own value system.  There are some which praise this blurring of the lines, and there are others that fear it.

Alisa Harris grew up in an extremely conservative home.  She has many memories of picketing abortion clinics and of helping campaigns for conservative Christians.  However, when she left for college she felt as if a bit of a blind fold was lifted.  She began to see that her religious beliefs and her political views were a tangled mess.  No longer could she clearly see where were faith/beliefs influenced her political thoughts and where her party’s thoughts influenced her beliefs.  She developed an understanding of the many different viewpoints and began to rethink her political motivations.  She realized that she had been engaging with politics, but had not done so with love.

"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"  - page 25

Feeling at times like a series of blog posts or journal entries, Alisa details the transformation she felt.  It wasn’t as drastic as I original thought.  Though self-reflective, she does encourage others to be engaged with the idea of what it means to be a Christian in America, especially in regards to politics.  She does not seek to attack others’ view points, but rather to encourage discussion.

To an extent, this could be compared to book such as Churched, though I felt the narrative in Raised Right was tighter and didn’t sound as angry or resentful.

In the end, Raised Right was a bit better than I expected.  It didn’t have the angry tone which I was worried about when I received it, and Alisa’s self-reflection seemed honest.  It was a bit repetitive at times, and there were a few times that it felt too much like a general blog entry.

If you are not interested in political oriented books, even ones that deal with issues calmly, this would not be a book for you.  If you are interested in shock-value presentations, such as those by Ann Coulter or Michael Moore, you will be sorely disappointed.

3/5 stars

"I know think that loving America is like loving my family.  We have a shared identity and a common experience, a history that ties us together and past grievances that divide us.  But I don't love my family because it's exceptional, because it can dominate everyone else...or is somehow more blessed by God than others are.  I love my family, my country, because it's mine -- because this is the community where God saw fit to plunk me and I have an obligation to its rancorous disputatious, obnoxious, and suffering members.  It's easy to love the world, and hard to love our neighbor." - page 90

I received this book free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group as part of their 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 Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255

Read the first chapter here.

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