Dobson’s successor, Daly, gives Focus on the Family new focus

As posted by Andrea Stone on aolnews.com:

"Jim Daly is certain there is 'a right way and a wrong way' to live one's life, and it's all about Jesus Christ and a literal reading of the Bible. But the new leader of the evangelical ministry Focus on the Family isn't going to get in your face if you disagree.

"At a time when the conservative movement is dominated by raucous tea party demonstrations for lower taxes and smaller government, Daly seems oddly disconnected. 'Don't know much about it, to be honest with you,' he said, even though a recent poll showed that many tea party supporters are social conservatives like himself.

..."Bill Oliver, a local gay rights activist who has protested outside the 81-acre Focus campus, said Dobson disparaged gay families, but under Daly, 'the rhetoric has definitely been lowered.'

"One sign: the group's recent decision to stop offering 'reparative therapy' for gays and lesbians. Focus officials say the transfer of its Love Won Out program to Exodus International -- which has been attacked by gay rights groups and criticized by mental health professionals -- has to do with getting back to 'bread-and-butter' issues and doesn't signal a change in policy.

"Yet it's clear Daly, who has met with gay activists, sees diminishing returns in continuing the culture wars.

"'I'm not fearful that change will happen in America. It will happen. ... I don't know what will happen with marriage equality, but I'm not going to be discouraged if we lose some of those battles,' he said, noting that for '98 percent' of people, traditional marriage will remain relevant.

"'It's going to be difficult in this culture and the way the demographics are going right now,' he went on. 'You look at the under-35 age group. I think it's splitting 60-40 support for the freedom to marry. There's a lot of people in the U.S. [who] basically come to the conclusion that this is something between two adults. I will continue to defend traditional marriage, but I'm not going to demean human beings for the process.'"

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