Thursday, March 05, 2009

James Dobson resigns as chair of Focus on the Family

James Dobson has resigned as chair of Focus on the Family, the conservative Evangelical organization.

Some say that his resignation and the broader defeats that conservative Evangelicals have sustained may well do Focus on the Family in. That would be the best outcome.

However, FoF may not die, as Richard Land (chair of the Southern Baptist Convention) says in the conservative newspaper Washington Times:

"There's no one with quite the niche Dobson has," said Mr. Land, who also made Time magazine's list. "He's not a minister but a psychologist. That puts him in a unique category. No one person will succeed him. You'll see a broader group of leaders with their own constituencies, but not a narrow band."

But, he cautioned, "Anyone who thinks evangelicals are going away as a social force is smoking something illegal."

That, perhaps, is an alternative that we can live with. An author at US News argues that Dobson's cult of personality kept FoF from connecting with younger Christians, effectively making the organization irrelevant. I would prefer that FoF die completely, but having them finally embrace global issues that are of genuine concern to Christians would also be acceptable.

Meanwhile, good riddance to Jim.

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