Where Have All the Bibles Gone?
Study Finds That Number of Religious Materials in Hotels Has Dropped Over Past Decade; Religion and Culture Expert Dr. Alex McFarland Says Trend is Part of a National ‘De-Christianization’
(update: Since the distribution of this news release, the hospitality analytics company STR, which released a study showing that the percentage of hotels that offer religious materials in rooms had dropped from 95% of hotels in 2006 to 48% this year, updated the results of the latest survey. STR now says that 79% of hotels surveyed this year have religious materials in their rooms.)
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—Travel is a given for religion and culture expert and author Dr. Alex McFarland (www.AlexMcFarland.com), who stays in well over 100 hotels every year as he speaks and preaches all over the country.
But after more than 20 years in ministry, McFarland has noticed some changes in these hotels, especially over the past decade. And now, a study confirms it.
Fox News, the Los Angeles Times and others have reported that according to the study from the hospitality analytics group STR, the percentage of hotels that offer religious materials in rooms has dropped over the past decade—from 95 percent in 2006 to 79 percent this year.
“What a sad reality,” McFarland said, “especially when our world so desperately needs hope. And where better to find hope than in the Word of God? Which does more harm—potentially offending someone who rented a hotel room, or depriving another person of an avenue to truth that could rescue that individual from a very dark place and help save a life? I’ve heard personal accounts of people who were about to take their own lives, only to find a Bible in a hotel room drawer and take it as a sign to keep on living. Thousands of stories like this one prove that there truly is life in the Word of God. I pray our nation’s eyes will be opened to the fact that stripping society of anything to do with Christianity or Jesus Christ is not helping anyone. In fact, the quest for political correctness is hurting all of us so much more than we know.”
Of the hotel study, a Marriott spokesperson went as far as to say that “religious books don’t fit the personality of the brands.” Fox also reported that many hotels are now catering to younger, millennial travelers who may not appreciate the religious materials. Another spokesperson for Gideon International, which has placed Bibles in hotels for decades, said the survey is “reflective of increasing secularism and independence in the world,” resulting in an “erosion of spiritual awareness.”
The hotel trend is more evidence of the “de-Christianization” of America, McFarland added. Earlier this month, McFarland brought attention to the latest traditional round of atheist-themed billboards around the country that implore Americans to “Make Christmas Great Again” and “skip church.”
The American Atheists billboards are popping up in Virginia, Colorado, Georgia, Louisiana and South Carolina, where McFarland also serves as Director for Christian Worldview and Apologetics at the Christian Worldview Center of North Greenville University (www.ngu.edu).
McFarland recently unveiled his new blog at www.AlexMcFarland.com, with categories such as Church & Ministry, U.S., World, Politics, Entertainment, Relationships and Inspirational, with posts including “Don’t Let Our Kids Be Eaten by Lions,” “Five Freedoms No President Can Take Away” and “The Truth About Political Correctness.” Read more here.
McFarland’s newest book is “Stand Strong America,” and he is also the author of “The God You Thought You Knew: Exposing the 10 Biggest Myths About Christianity,” “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.
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 more than 125 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.