RED STATE CHRISTIANS: Available for Pre-Order
I am SO excited to share with you all that my book, Red State Christians: Understanding the voters who elected Donald Trump, is available for pre-order TODAY!
You can reserve it here on Amazon or see my page at Fortress Press to reserve a copy. Release date is Aug. 6, 2019! If you pre-order now, you can be one of the first to receive and read it. Yay!
Before you check out the book, I also want to let you know that I've created a super easy way for us to stay in touch and continue to create community around Red State Christians, sharing stories, creating space for dialogue, and investing American Christianity today.
I want to invite you to sign up here for my new Red State Christians and author newsletter. Every week, I'll share an update about the book - about events - as well as sharing excerpts and places where I continue to see the stories of Red State Christians influencing current events and life in America.
I'll be putting much of the content I share here on the blog into this newsletter as well - and my first one is coming out later today!
All that said, I want you to know a few things about Red State Christians.
What Red State Christians is not
This book is not an attempt to shame or dissect the stories of Christian Trump voters, as sort of a science experiment or attempt to share grisly stories. My task throughout my writing was not to delegitmize or dehumanize anyone's story, mostly because Jesus resolutely refused to write off people for any reason. Instead, my task was to explore and to listen with an open mind.
This book is also not an explainer, an attempt to defend or absolve anyone. The vast majority of people whose stories make up this book were kind, generous and honest - refuting some of the worst stories you've heard about American Evangelicals in the time of Trump. That doesn't mean I didn't see and hear troubling things. When you read it, you'll see the spaces across Red State Christian America where I found great reason for hope and surprise. You'll also see spaces across Red State Christian America where there's reason for concern, where Christian Nationalism and seeking for power by Christian leaders has obliterated the grace of the Gospel, where America is just as important as the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
So I hope you approach it with an open mind, with kindness, and with a readiness to be surprised.
What Red State Christians is
I want to leave you with a short, slightly edited, excerpt from my conclusion ...
When I think back on my whole year researching Red State Christians, [a story] stands out. It reminds me that all Americans, Christian or not, conservative or not, have a remarkable gift for acceptance. If given the chance, we can accept one another, learn from each other, and build an entirely new country built on justice and freedom for all.
My Red State Christian story began with Trump, with his bombast and his uncanny ability to mollify moral concerns and unite an Evangelical Christian coalition of voters. Still, the place my story ends is far from Trump. It ends in places in America where people are forming unlikely alliances, surprising each other and surprising political pundits, to build a future that looks nothing like the Republicans or Democrats of the past.
Grace, for American Christians and for all of us, is a difficult thing. It means starting from a place where all of us have been wrong, and knowing that we all have something to learn from each other. If you are a liberal reading this book, I hope you've learned about the humanity and diversity of Red State Christians, and you can see parts of yourself in them. If you are a conservative reading this book, I hope you've learned about the dangerous edges and manipulation apparent in parts of American red state conservative Christianity, and I hope you see that in some places Jesus' message of love and sacrifice has been perverted to lift up power and hatred.
I hope, whoever you are, that your beliefs prior to reading this book have been challenged, and you're open to further conversation.
Much more on this later, but if you're reading this and you helped me write this book - through interviewing by phone or in person - I want to thank you for sharing your story and changing my life.
From D.C. to Orlando to Tampa to Naples to Houston to El Paso to Altoona to Cole Camp to Orange County to New Hampshire -- America is a beautiful place -- and I was fortunate to share my 2018 with so many of you in all of these places, plus a few more.
Thanks for being a part of this project. I can't wait for you to read it!
After all of my work, we are still about six months away from launch on Aug. 6, 2019! The good news is, in order to share Red State Christians with as many people as possible, we have lots of time to get the word out. Here's a few ways to make that happen - and it starts with a big No. 1.
1. PRAY: If you're the praying sort, pray for me and for the publishing process. Pray that Red State Christians tells the truth and ignites conversations that begin to heal America, beginning with American families, churches and communities. Pray that Red State Christians gets into the hands and hearts of people who need to read it, and people who can begin to ignite change.
2. PRE-ORDER: I'd love for you to reserve your copy here -- and you can also find it by searching under Angela Denker on Amazon, or "Red State Christians" inside quotes. The more people order and review, we won't need those quote marks ;)
3. SHARE: Do you know someone -- a journalist, a pastor, a writer, a politician, a teacher -- who has a large platform and might be able to help share Red State Christians with a wider audience? Do you know someone who might be able to write a review for a newspaper or magazine, or for a digital audience? I have a long list of my own, but I'd love your help in making connections with people who can help endorse and review the book before it comes out! Review copies will be ready very, very soon. If you're thinking of someone, shoot me a note and help me connect with them via email, phone, snail mail or social media. Thanks for helping with this!
4. CONSIDER HOSTING AN EVENT: Are you a Pastor, teacher, non-profit worker, or event facilitator in another field? One way I'm hoping to share Red State Christians is by speaking at events, especially in churches, colleges and universities - though I'm certainly open to other venues. I have lots of public speaking and workshop facilitation experience, and I've prepared three different presentations for a variety of sized groups to help share Red State Christians. Topics range from: Learning how to talk to people who think differently than you; What is Christian Nationalism and why is it dangerous; and Stereotypes Debunked and Confirmed: the Truth about Christians and Trump. I'd love to talk to you about your specific needs and audience. I'm also happy to come and guest preach or speak with book clubs/life groups/Bible studies. Drop me a note and let me know what might work for your community!
5. TALK: It's amazing that even with all of technology's great advances, the single most powerful tool in human society remains word of mouth. Even Twitter is just a social media version of using social media language like "trending topic," to explain the latest gossip. So please, talk about Red State Christians. Link to my Amazon page here when you see people having unhelpful political and religious debates on social media. Buy a copy of the book for your family members. Hey, bring a bunch to Thanksgiving 2019. Let's share that this book and these stories are out there, so that we can tell the truth about our country and about American Christianity.
Thank you so much for reading and for your support! Don't forget to subscribe to my newsletter here for regular updates beyond the blog.
PS: I got new author shots. So embarrassing ... and a crazy, snowstorm filled day. But Courtney Perry happens to be pretty amazing.