I’ve met a lot of people who have relied on Focus on the Family’s parenting and marriage shows and materials who have become increasingly alienated by FOTF’s angry political agenda. Most non-religious liberals would be very surprised by some of the mainstay content the group provides. The parenting materials, for example, focus on the importance of showing children “unconditional love” and teach parents not to punish children for childish mistakes. Much of the marriage advice given to husbands—often by women—sounds downright feminist, believe it or not, for example reminding men that the Bible also teaches husbands to submit to their wives.
For years, FOTF was one long, continuous, cheery stream of socially conservative but therapeutically liberal self-help and affirmation. And then suddenly James Dobson started frothing at the mouth. More and more, he crowded out feel-good programs with hysterical anger about things like “the Homosexual Agenda!” I’m guessing a big chunk of the grassroots funding base is walking away.
Zack Exley, commenting on the recent layoffs at Focus on the Family on his Revolution In Jesusland blog.