Telling Malaise Index by Dr. Alex McFarland Finds That
Americans Are Upset About the Direction of the Culture,
Says Author of New Book ‘Stand Strong America’
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—More than six months ago, as 2016 rolled in, Esquire Magazine and NBC conducted a survey of 3,000 Americans to learn more about their anger.
Interestingly, 37 percent said they read something in the news that made them angry once a day. More than half (54 percent) said their financial situation was worse than where they imagined they’d be when they were younger. Also about half (49 percent) said they become angry more often than a year ago.
Now, more than half a year after that 20-question survey, Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com), a nationally known pastor, religion and culture expert, radio and television host, and author of the new book “Stand Strong America,” says it’s apparent that the negative emotions are even higher, as a contentious presidential campaign, coupled with a Black Lives Matter/Blue Lives Matter debate, gives many even more cause to have overall malaise.
“If I were a betting man, I would venture to say that if this survey was presented again, the ‘anger factor’ would be even higher,” McFarland said. “Anger is a mask for fear, and Americans fear for the things they’ve lost during the last decade or two because it’s directly affected their quality of life. Several reasons, in my opinion, exist for this uprising of anger—and fear.
“First, information is shared much more freely and easily online now, so we are bombarded with many negative messages every minute of the day—many of them giving rise to strong emotions,” he continued. “Secondly, there is indeed much to be angry and fearful about: violence, injustice, leaders who fail us and much more, as we live in a fallen world. And finally, many Americans are without God. Even if they believe in Him, a true relationship with Jesus Christ is lacking, and He is the only way to true peace.”
McFarland has been gathering responses for his own “2016 Malaise Index,” an online survey that gauges Americans’ outlook on society. From staunchly debated LGBTQ policies and a sluggish economy, to global health scares and political unrest, along with shootings, violence and lack of safety—there are many headlines that might cause some Americans to have a bleak outlook on the culture as a whole.
But on the other side of the coin, Christianity is reaching more corners of the world, technological advancements abound, and young people are showing their engagement in society. So to others, there is hope and a chance for new beginnings.
“Headlines tell us that the culture is headed in a different direction than many would like,” McFarland said. “But there is wonderful and hopeful news out there as well. Those of us who can remember the general malaise and gloominess of the days of President Jimmy Carter can relate. Is there a similar feeling today? If so, is the negativity due to the same or different reasons? These questions—and answers—are important to those who wish to become the next leader of our great nation. We are uncovering this and much more with the ‘2016 Malaise Index’ so that a true picture of what Americans are thinking and how they are feeling about society in general may be understood—so the right action can be taken to turn our country around.”
While the survey is in its beginning stages with nearly 230 responses (more than some major survey results are based upon), trends are evident. For example, when queried with the statement, “My outlook on the culture as a whole compared to 10 years ago is…” a whopping 97 percent reported they felt “worse” about the culture. The other 3 percent reported they felt “better” or the “same.”
Additional findings from the eight-question survey include:
- Spiritually and morally, my outlook on society in general compared to 10 years ago is: WORSE—about 88 percent, while 11 percent answered BETTER or the SAME (about 1 percent did not answer)
- I feel that my children, or young people I know, will grow up in a better world than I did: TRUE—4 percent; FALSE—96 percent
- I consider myself a faith- or beliefs-driven person: TRUE—99 percent; FALSE—1 percent
- If great leaders from previous generations saw America today, would they approve or disapprove of the state of the culture today?: APPROVE—1.3 percent; DISAPPROVE—97.7 percent (about 1 percent did not answer)
McFarland recently released his latest book, “Stand Strong America.” Co-authored with evangelist and apologist Jason Jimenez—McFarland’s co-host of the “Viral Truth” television program, which airs on the National Religious Broadcasters network—“Stand Strong America” addresses the idea that Americans are weary of the poor character and decisions of their leaders, including laws that may not coincide with their faith. The book is available at AlexMcFarland.com, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble or Christianbook.com.
He is also the author of “The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity,” in which he dispels the myths and untruths about Christianity and replaces that with the truth of who God really is, as well as “10 Questions Every Christian Must Answer,” “10 Issues that Divide Christians,” “10 Answers for Skeptics” and the “Stand” series of devotions for teens. McFarland is an expert in the field of apologetics—the practice of defending the Christian faith in a world where faith in Christ is plummeting at alarming rates.
McFarland has spent years working with young people and takes their questions to heart. He has preached in more than 1,300 churches and has been featured at conferences such as the Billy Graham School of Evangelism, Focus on the Family’s “Big Dig” and California’s “Spirit West Coast,” sharing the platform with Chuck Colson, Eric Metaxas, Josh McDowell and others. He also serves as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University (www.ngu.edu) in Greenville, S.C.
Part evangelist, part apologist, part educator and part broadcaster, McFarland focuses on communicating the message of salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ. He co-hosts the daily, live radio program “Exploring the Word” on American Family Radio’s Talk Network, heard on approximately 140 stations across the country, and the weekly television show “Viral Truth,” airing on the National Religious Broadcasters Network, which he co-hosts with Jason Jimenez.
For more information on Dr. Alex McFarland, visit www.AlexMcFarland.com or follow him on Facebook or on Twitter @AlexMcFarland.
To book Dr. Alex McFarland for interviews, contact Beth Harrison at 610-584-1096, ext. 104, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com, or Deborah Hamilton at 215-815-7716 or 610-584-1096, ext. 102.