Thursday, November 08, 2007

Focus on the Family's possible new leader?

I was reading this article this morning and it was talking about this guy Jim Daly, that is probably going to take over the leadership of Focus on the Family that is currently headed by James Dobson. Here are a few excerpts and I'll link to the entire article at the end.

He is the nicest right-wing evangelical powerhouse you've never heard of. Jim Daly grew up the last of five children in what anyone would call a broken home. His mother died when he was 10 and he lived with, in turn, a stepfather, a foster family, his own alcoholic father and his divorced brother. He came to Jesus in high school, under the guidance of a football coach. His recent memoir, "Finding Home," has barely made a dent on the best-seller lists. Nevertheless, in 2005, Daly got the job of president and CEO of Focus on the Family, and although he denies this, it's clear that he was picked to be the yin to James Dobson's yang. While Dobson continues to threaten in the press, Daly chats amiably with a reporter about the fall weather. He sticks to the hard line on policy issues—gay marriage is bad for families, he says—but his presentation is all soft edges. "I'm sure there are wonderful gay parents out there; there's a poster child for everything." If one of his boys turned out to be gay, he says, "I'd love him."

Is the presence of Daly at the head of what is arguably the country's most politically powerful conservative Christian group more evidence of a shift by evangelicals toward the center? Or is this alleged shift simply cosmetic? Events of the past few weeks offer contradictory evidence. On the one hand, you have Dobson, creating a furor with a New York Times op-ed warning Republicans to deliver a presidential candidate with the right values—or else. On the other, a handful of new books and studies show some movement centerward, at least on the question of tolerance toward homosexuals. According to a new study by the Barna Research Group, 80 percent of churchgoers between the ages of 16 and 29 believe that the term "anti-homosexual" describes Christianity, and they complain that they don't get enough guidance from their pastors in how to apply Christ's message of love to their gay friends. According to another study cited in "After the Baby Boomers" by Robert Wuthnow, young evangelicals have grown dramatically more tolerant of gays over the past 20 years on issues like teaching in schools.

Love Thy (Gay) Neighbor


Blogger Jeni said...

Ya know what - I don't regard this "dilemma" of the younger set feeling they don't get enough guidance from their pastors on the subject of "gays" as being rocket science. The old adage "Love thy neighbor" is a good start as is "Do unto others" -easy to understand platitudes yes, but also darned good ones to abide by too. What is so difficult about parents starting the learning process with those two statements and the churches simply following suite?
Am I being too naive?

11:37 AM  
Blogger Keith said...

Probably! But you may be in a healthy church. I was in an unhealthy one at one time. A lot of churches tend to be the "turn or burn" types that do a lot of talking and judging.

Some of Jesus' harshest words were to the religious leaders. I still think that stands today. We should love ALL, accept ALL and let God be the judge, not us.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Jeni said...

Well, as you know me by now, I agree totally with your theory there Keith. I belong to the Lutheran church and they seem to be making an attempt anyway to be more open, accepting. I just wish it were even more so and across the board with all churches everywhere ya know. Patience is something that at times I have very little of that substance.

1:22 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home