Raised Right? You Bet!

Raised Right is written by Alisa Harris and details her journey from right-wing-abortion clinic picketing-child, to where she is now.  Harris grew up in a very politically conservative family and began her career as an activist early.  She picketed at abortion clinics with her family from a young age, and was raised thinking that being raised “Right” was the only way to form a Biblical worldview.  As her world began to expand in college and beyond, she found her “right” way of thinking challenged, and she began her journey from a right-winger to someone somewhere to the left of middle.

Harris says that she wrote this book to help others in her generation to figure out where they fit politically.  Like her, many of us who were raised in evangelical America were brought up in pretty conservative homes, and a good number of us (ahem, me) had/have a limited understanding or tolerance for the views of others, thinking that God must be a Republican.  Many of us have moved away from this narrow mindset, but we don’t know exactly where we fit.  So many of the values that we hold dear seem to be contradicted by the “left”, but what about the other values (feeding the poor, providing for the needy, fighting for the oppressed) that are also things that Christ taught about—often more than the things we think of as being so important.

Well, I was “raised right” and sometimes have trouble figuring out where I stand now, so I was immediately drawn into this book.  There were a lot of points that really resonated with me (see paragraph above), but I still completely disagree with her position on abortion.  Harris is still anti-abortion, but basically says that “you can oppose something without believing the government has to forbid it” (p. 178).  I say that if life begins at conception, then elective abortion is equivalent to murder, and we do have laws against that.  I do agree that “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” (p. 173).  When considering who to vote for in the most recent presidential election, Harris refused to make abortion her deal breaker, rationalizing that no Republican has ever been able to reverse Roe v. Wade, and it is unlikely that it will ever happen, so why not focus on reducing the number of unplanned pregnancies and supporting those who find themselves in what can be a very scary time.  Doesn’t sound like bad reasoning to me.

Lots of rambling here, but all in all, this was a really good book that I really enjoyed and found myself challenged by.  I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who was raised in evangelical America and who has ever questioned their political upbringing.  And guess what!  You have the chance to win a copy!!  WaterBrook Multnomah gave me two copies of the book, and one of them could be yours!  Just leave a comment on this post for one entry, and post a link on your own blog (and then link up with it in another comment) for one more entry.  Giveaway will end on Saturday and I will announce a winner on Monday, October 24.  You can sneak a peak at the first chapter here.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.  All opinions are 100% mine.  Please rank my review on the Blogging for Books website!!!

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10 thoughts on “Raised Right? You Bet!

  1. Just my opinion about helping the poor and needy…Jesus commanded US to do that. As in, hands on, get involved. I definitely don’t do it, but I’m trying to change that. I really don’t think that it matters how someone votes, I think it matters how they live their lives more. I think we have to be careful not to think politics is the answer as opposed to Jesus (whichever way we vote). I mean, even if the government made everyone millionaires, that wouldn’t solve people’s problems. Because the real problem isn’t that they are poor, it’s that they need Jesus, just like the rich do. The reason I think Jesus told us to help the poor is because it changes us. Like I said, it’s just the conclusion I’ve come to!

    • I totally agree with you, Katie. Helping the poor is something I have felt convicted about a lot lately, too, and I thnk that we (the Church in general) have done a pretty poor job of “feeding widows and orphans” among us.

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  4. It’s hard for me to talk about my political views, or to converse with another on the subject of politics because I have no interest in the matter and know very little about them. I do, however, have some thoughts about one of the issues brought up in the first chapter: abortion. I’ve had many debates in high school about why abortion should be illegal, but they always conclude in, “we’ll agree to disagree” or something of the nature. I’ve come to realize that, like Alisa Harris said in her book, abortion will probably never be illegal. For a while, I felt as though abortion should be illegal except in the case of rape, but then a friend confronted me and said that I can’t claim to be pro-life and then list exceptions. It’s all or nothing. You’re either for legalizing abortion or abolishing it, there is no happy median. This was a hard concept to swallow because I do my best to put myself in one’s shoes before I form an opinion about his or her situation. So, when I think about the emotional and physical pain a woman must go through while giving birth to a child who’s conception is such a terrible memory, I understand her desire to erase all traces of the incident from her life. But then I think about God’s decision to give up His son for all of mankind. The same people who were and are undeserving of such a sacrifice. Jesus died so that you and I might live. This includes the conceived and not yet born. A child might be born as a result of a sinful action, but that does not make his or her life a sin. God brings good from bad. Who is to judge the validity of another’s life? God. And he made it perfectly clear that any being created in His likeness is worthy of life when he allowed His son to pay the penalty of our sins for us.

    I’ve gone off on a tangent…but God’s love for His people is something I feel strongly about. I’m not even sure how this relates to the book anymore, but those are my thoughts, thanks for the review Erin!

  5. Simply put we are to be there for the orphans, widows, poor and needy. But the fact is Matthew 22:37-39 reads Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. Now where in there does it say take care of yourself or to judge those around you for their sins. In the relm of politics I stand a registered Republican raised by a registered Democrate that was VERY much against abortion after being a victim of date rape in the 60’s and raising that child as a the precious gift she is from our God not a stain from the evil committed to her. She believed God could truely take the evil and bring good and He did he gave a life. Now, with that said I am also a very confused voter so what I choose to do each election is to read not listen to where each canidate stands. The things that I look at the most are the things that have direct effect on my ability to provide for my family and remain free to worship my God. I do however look at the character of each and whether what they say is contridictory to how they accomplish things. Then I bow my head and ask God to guide my voting for He is the only one that knows what is to come. I am opposed to anyone who uses their race, creed or beliefs to sway votes. If we are a nation that is supposed to be desegregated and beyond seperation according to those things then why would we want to vote for someone who focuses on that kind of difference. I want to be led by someone who is a servant and is more worried that the people of the “richest” nation are not homeless, jobless and without food. We will not remain a great nation if we don’t get back to the basics of God’s great commandment. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and love your neighbors as yourself. Even if the people of this nation do not love the Lord as I do I can guarantee you they love themselves enough not to starve themselves when there is food in the fridge so why is it there are people all around us starving if we are loving our neighbors as ourselvs. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for the amazing review. Carol

  6. How interesting. Growing up, being a Christian meant you were a Republican. Once at college I met other Christians who were Democrats. My brother and I have debated this and he made the comment that if Christians were taking care of the poor and the fatherless, the government wouldn’t have to. The book sounds like an interesting perspective on a rather divisive issue.

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