presidential-electionMany Americans are tempted to turn the channel when it’s time for the presidential debates—the bickering, blaming and back-and-forth are almost too much to bear.

But for this first debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, airing tonight at 9 p.m. ET and moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt, Americans should not only watch, but also have handy a list of eight election considerations from nationally known religion and culture expert Dr. Alex McFarland (

McFarland, also a radio and television host and author of 17 books, including his newest, “Stand Strong America,” is advising Americans about several critical questions they should ask themselves before they head to the polls on Nov. 8.

“This presidential election is perhaps like no other, in that Christian voters, pastors and churches have a huge stake in the outcome,” McFarland said. “Not to vote, because we may refuse to choose between ‘the lesser of two evils,’ is not only throwing away our privilege and duty to vote but also essentially casting a vote for someone who may do more harm to the country than good. All of us have both the biblical and the civil responsibility to not only vote but to take our values—and some serious considerations—to the polls with us.”

McFarland is giving voters a list of eight considerations, both for tonight’s debate and when voting in November:

  1. Remember that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.”
    God can use any presidential candidate for His purpose; all candidates are flawed. Will we allow these flaws, which we all have, to make us cast a protest vote or not vote at all?
  2. Will my life be better or worse under this president?
    McFarland has been gathering responses for his own “2016 Malaise Index,” an online survey that gauges Americans’ outlook on society. Hundreds of responses have been submitted For example, when asked, “My outlook on the culture as a whole compared to 10 years ago is…,” about 96 percent reported they felt “WORSE” about the culture, with the remaining reporting they felt “BETTER” or “THE SAME.”
  3. Will this president protect my religious freedom?
    What are the candidates’ plans for preserving the religious liberties on which the country was founded, especially as more and more freedoms are being taken away?
  4. How will this candidate protect life?
    Abortion, euthanasia and other life matters have historically been important issues for voters—and 2016 is no different. While the Republican platform is one of the most pro-life in the party’s history, the Democratic platform asserts that a woman has the right to abort her unborn child—a black mark on the nation since Roe v. Wade in 1973.
  5. Will this candidate protect our country?
    The safety and defense of the country is of paramount importance. National security and recognition of those who seek to harm America must be a priority for the next president.
  6. Who will this president appoint to the Supreme Court?
    Appointments to the Court have longstanding impact and is perhaps one of the most important considerations of the election. Justices appointed under the next president—whether liberal or conservative—will make long-lasting decisions for several decades.
  7. Will this president protect the financial resources with which God has entrusted us?
    Many people are struggling in today’s economy, and many policies could be enacted to ease the financial burden on Americans. All human beings long to have the dignity that comes with providing for their family.
  8. Will I feel good about the decisions this president will make?
    Overall, will I still be proud that I voted the way I did in four or eight years? And more importantly, did I carefully consider my vote in prayer?

McFarland also recent wrote an oped titled “People of Faith Are ‘Deplorable’ to the Left” for, in which he says that Clinton’s recent “deplorables” comment reflects an even broader scope, namely how liberals and progressives view not only those who trust in God, but God Himself.

McFarland’s newest book, “Stand Strong America,” co-authored with evangelist and apologist Jason Jimenez, addresses the idea that Americans are weary of the poor character and decisions of their leaders, who make laws that may not coincide with many Americans’ faith. The book is available

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.

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