As evangelical Christian defenders of traditional marriage evaluate their November election losses, disagreements that have developed in the broader movement over how to engage society have been accentuated.
The divide is exemplified in the change in rhetoric coming from the new CEO of the highly influential Focus on the Family ministry, whose political action wing, CitizenLink, fought a losing battle against same-sex marriage in Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington state.
Jim Daly, who succeeded Focus on the Family founder James Dobson as president in 2005 and took over as host of the radio show in 2010, struck a conciliatory tone in the aftermath of the Nov. 6 election in an interview with the Los Angeles Times. The interview reflected Daly’s emphasis on a more bipartisan appeal, stressing the good works of Christians, rather than their condemnation of sinful behavior, and maintaining civil discourse with opponents.
Daly said conservative Christians have lost the fight against same-sex marriage in part because they’re on the losing side of the cultural paradigm and have not reached out to people with whom they have disagreements to find common ground, according to the Times.