November 11, 2011

Review of "Raised Right"

A Short Statement From the Department of Ridiculous Legalese:

--End of Bulletin--

by Alisa Harris

The author of this book remembers carrying a picket placard denouncing abortions, those who performed them, and those who were willing to undergo them, almost before she could walk.  For most of her life, Alisa Harris believed that the United States was God's new chosen people.  Ronald Reagan was God's new chosen prophet, and the Republican party's platform God's updated message.  Raised Right is the story of how Harris' views slowly changed, and her search for who she is and what she believes now that they have.

Reading this book was a surreal experience, as if my own voice was being reflected back to me from the page.  My parents were never political activists, and did not encourage me to become one, but they certainly taught me to be a one-issue voter.  For the first 25 years of my life, there was no single greater evil than abortion, and any presidential candidate who claimed to abhor abortion, despite his or her views on any other subject, should have my vote.  So this book demonstrated to me for the first time how much I really do fit into the category of the so-called "new, young Evangelicals".  Of course, I ended by leaving Evangelical Christianity all together and becoming an Eastern Orthodox Christian; Harris' sister became a Catholic.  As I say, at times while I was reading, I found this book almost eerie.

The passion of the young zealot and convert is a palpable force in every line of this book, and Alisa Harris certainly pulls few punches.  Her rhetoric may mellow a bit with time, but I was impressed at how rarely the author gave way to vitriol or recrimination.  She expresses the point of view of an entire generation of American Christians with humility, Christ-like love, and pointed self-inspection.  Raised Right continually challenged me as I read, and I firmly believe that every Christian in the United States needs to read it.


  1. I am so glad to see a review of this book. I recently saw a brief synopsis and wondered if it was all about politics, and would I be able to handle it? (I usually can't stomach vehement political books of any party, not sure why.)
    So thank you, I will be putting this on my TBR list.

  2. Every Christian, eh? Guess I'll add it to my to-read list. I've seen the book around but hadn't yet committed to reading it!

  3. I'm glad that you found a book you could connect with so strongly. Books like that are something extra special. I tend to stay away from religion-heavy books, so I can't say if I'll read this one or now, but I will keep an eye on it. :)

  4. Thanks for giving away a copy of this book! I just finished reading it and enjoyed every chapter. I thought Harris made some really good points about converting people through love instead of picketing. It's definitely a reread. I want to spend more time reading each chapter and contemplating what is being discussed, rather than reading the entire book in three days. ;)


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