The New York Times: James Dobson takes off the gloves
For years, Focus on the Family head Jim Dobson has been careful to distinguish speaking out on ethical and moral issues from "politics," by which he meant direct electoral politics. Focus on the Family engages in education and information for the benefit of the family, the organization said, not political advocacy.

As Dobson said in a 1995 letter (which he repeated verbatim in 1998), "My concerns—and the concerns of millions of evangelical Christians—are not political in nature. They are profoundly moral and ethical, and we are determined to defend them with our very lives, if necessary."

Things have changed. Now Focus on the Family will still be careful to avoid electoral politics (to do otherwise would risk its not-for-profit status), but Dobson has entered the political fray with, if it can be said, reluctant gusto.

"This year, amid the debate over same-sex marriage and the presidential election, he is throwing himself into the fray, creating a political organization, stumping for candidates, drawing a crowd of 20,000 to a rally against same-sex marriage and backing a drive to register conservative Christian voters," New York Times conservative beat reporter David D. Kirkpatrick writes today. He continues:

Dobson has never kept his views on what he calls moral issues to himself. He has worried aloud for 30 years about abortion, divorce, gay rights, and contraception. Every few years, he has publicly warned Republicans not to take conservative Christian votes for granted, and two decades ago he set up a separate organization, the Family Research Council, to press social conservative causes in Washington. But until now Dr. Dobson has held back his most potent asset, his ...
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Ted Olsen
Ted Olsen is Christianity Today's editorial director. He wrote the magazine's Weblog—a collection of news and opinion articles from mainstream news sources around the world—from 1999 to 2006. In 2004, the magazine launched Weblog in Print, which looks for unexpected connections and trends in articles appearing in the mainstream press. The column was later renamed "Tidings" and ran until 2007.
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