Raised Right: How I Untangled My Faith from Politics by Alisa Harris is one of the most articulate accounts I’ve read of growing up in the middle of the culture wars that have been splitting America apart.
Harris writes of her childhood as a protestor against what both she and her family felt was the misguided direction America was being taken in…of the intermingling of faith and politics that “required” that the right people be put in power in order to correct the sins that were being committed.
However, as she grew into adulthood, she began to discover that those clear-cut issues she saw as a child were not as clear-cut as she had thought, and she began to re-examine both those issues and her faith.
I appreciated her acknowledgement of the importance of her childhood experiences. She did not throw them away; she respected her parents and the importance of their faith. But she struggled with how to live out her faith in a way that brings ministry and healing rather than division.
Her story is not just a personal story. It’s an important chronicle of the journey of many in a younger generation who have grown up in the culture wars—who value their faith and the values they were taught, but who are struggling to find new ways to live them out as Christians. As they reach adulthood, they are discovering that “Christian” and any particular political party are not synonymous.
Harris is respectful of those she disagrees with. Without losing her own integrity, she is willing to acknowledge that others of integrity can reach opposing viewpoints, and points out that it is necessary for all to find ways to work together to heal the problems that divide the country.
I would highly recommend this book both as a “coming-of-age” memoir and as an important look into the views and values of her generation.
This book was provided free of charge from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for reviewing it.