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Current Events
A quick word association test: when I say “evangelical leader,” what comes to mind? A critic of gay rights? A fierce defender of “family values?” A media-savvy preacher who blurs the lines between religion and politics? Evangelical heavyweights like Focus on the Family founder James Dobson pioneered that brand of leadership. He and fellow broadcasters like Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson were big players in church and national politics. But Christianity Today profiles en emerging evangelical leader who’s offering a different leadership model. Jim Daly, the newish president of Focus on the Family, is steering the group in a new direction, according to a lengthy profile in the evangelical magazine by Sarah Pulliam Bailey. Daly is trying to reduce the group’s emphasis on politics. He says he doesn’t want Focus to be driven by a “personality” but by a sense of mission because mission-driven groups have “greater staying power.” Daly told Christianity Today: We tend to shut down the ears of people to hear the gospel because they only see you in a political context or as a conservative. Christianity must transcend politics in order to change culture and politics. Daly’s predecessor, Dobson, may not share that point of view. The pugnacious Focus chief led the group to get involved in culture war issues such like opposing gay marriage and fighting back against the alleged “war on Christmas.” Dobson, who founded Focus in 1977, once accused President Obama of holding a “fruitcake interpretation of the U.S. Constitution” and of deliberately distorting the Bible. Dobson resigned as Focus board chairman in 2009.  Bailey’s piece said that he was “asked to resign” at a board meeting. (Dobson declined several interview requests through an assistant, Bailey reported). As the group’s president and chief executive officer, Daly’s leadership style is being felt ways big and small. He has relaxed the dress code at the group’s headquarters – men can now go without a tie, and women don’t have to wear dresses, skirts and pantyhose. via Focus on the Family refocuses on, well, family – CNN Belief Blog – Blogs.

Current Events
According to the Denver Post, Preliminary data show the Focus on the Family website logged 500,000 hits and 50,000 unique visitors during the hour in which one ad aired on Sunday’s Super Bowl… “Our traffic jumped to 40 times its normal volume,” Focus spokeswoman Monica Schleicher said Monday. “In the hour during the pre-game (broadcast), when the other ad aired twice, our Web traffic was 20 times our normal volume.” Take a look at the ad here: What did you think of the ad? Personally, I was a little disappointed.  After all the hoopla about this being about abortion and Mrs. Tebow’s choice to keep her baby, I think you really had to read into it to get the message.  It’s all good if people went to the Focus website, but I just didn’t think it was that effective of an ad.  It seemed like she was trying to tell a story she wasn’t able to tell.  Hopefully the website delivered the message I thought the ad was supposed to. Your thoughts? Todd Read more:

Current Events
The decision has some people cheering, and some people jeering.  The decision by Focus on the Family to sponsor an ad during the Super Bowl is polarizing many people even before it runs in the big game. So, what’s the controversy all about?  Well, mostly the estimated price tag of $2.5 million dollars after Focus has eliminated over 275 jobs in recent years. Focus’ response:  None of the money is coming out of their budget, but rather from ‘generous donors who specifically gave for this project’. The ad features University of Florida quarterback Tim Tebow and his mother and has an anti-abortion/pro-life message. So… what do you think?  Is this worth the money?  And should Focus be ‘focussing’ more on people than commercials? I’d love to hear what you think… Todd

Did you hear the news last week that James Dobson is now fundraising for a NEW family organization and radio show that will be separate from Focus on the Family, AND headquartered in Colorado Springs?  Dobson released a letter last week that says he will be starting a new radio show with his son that will be called “James Dobson on the Family”… Here’s a really good article over at that asks some of the same questions that I immediately asked: 1.  Why would James Dobson start a whole new ministry (which he needs, according to his estimations, $2 million to fund in 2010) rather than work with the institution he founded? 2.  This is the first time I’ve ever heard of Dobson’s son being catapulted as a successor to the father (which is essentially what this looks like). 3.  If this is a plan to pass on the legacy to the Dobson son, why are they calling it “James Dobson on the Family”?  Doesn’t that defeat the purpose of a succession plan? 4.  It appears that FOTF is taking the high road on this one.  James starting his own ministry has to hurt FOTF in their own efforts.  (They’ve been struggling financially for some time now).  This will only make things worse. FOTF knows this.  So does James. 5.  While both sides are saying nice things about each other… there has to have been a ‘parting of the ways’ moment.  And, given all the power, influence, and money at stake, I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. Take a read here, and let me know what you think… Todd

Current Events
James Dobson is now 73 years old, and he his signing off the “Focus on the Family” radio show that he pioneered decades ago… Of course, Dobson has diminished his role over the past few years as part of his succession plan, having resigned as president at Focus back in 2003. Dobson will sign-off in February. It was a ‘mutual decision’, Dobson said, made by himself and the board. It’s hard not to read into the ‘mutual’ part, but I won’t. What do you think?  Will James Dobson leaving the Focus on the Family show have any impact on families in the US?  I’d love to hear your comments… Todd