Who said it? Not Focus on the Family’s old lion of the religious right, but his successor as CEO, Jim Daly. (Pictured at right in a Denver Post photo.) As the Denver Post reports (via Dan Gilgoff at US News), Daly’s remarks appear to signal an important–and smart–shift:
A few months ago, when the 72-year-old Dobson resigned as chairman of the Focus board, completely surrendering any administrative role over the 1,000-person staff, Daly and the new generation of leaders truly came into their own.
Dobson was no longer the boss, just the voice of the flagship radio broadcast.
When Dobson stepped down, he said a few words on the occasion. And then Daly spoke.
“What we want to see are more families like Barack Obama’s,” Daly said.
“Everybody’s jaw went clunk, including Dr. Dobson’s,” Daly recalled, laughing. “But we can respect what Obama does well. We can focus more on the positive. And I respect his family.”
Daly says he is results-oriented, not an ideologue.
“When those who are right, left and center all say, ‘Let’s make abortion rare,’ let’s meet at that starting point,” Daly said. “Let’s shove off the rhetoric and get together on practical matters.”
In the Post profile, Daly has a couple other jaw-dropping observations:
“I cannot be Dr. Dobson. I’m hoping for a different pair of shoes,” Daly said. “He’s black and white — a scientist. That’s a good thing. He’s provided clarity for the culture. For me, it’s more about having a conversation with people.”
“We’re in a democracy. How do we express Christian ethos in a way that draws people into the discussion?” Daly asked. “We are the church. We have to be more understanding and not expect the world to act like the church. We also don’t accept the church acting like the world.”
A new day dawning?