Conservative evangelical leader James Dobson announced that he was stepping down from his role as chair of Focus on the Family, the Associated Press reported on Feb 27. The influential Christian Right ideologue will continue to host the daily radio program of the Colorado-based organization he founded in 1977, and write a monthly newsletter.
Dobson, 72, and his powerful group espouse “traditional family” principles that have been at the center of many of the nation’s most visceral recent culture wars. A child psychologist and author, he has maintained that women with children under 18 should not work outside the home, and that homosexuality can be changed through reparative therapy.
Six years ago, Dobson resigned as president and CEO of Focus on the Family. His latest step back comes as the religious right found itself politically outmaneuvered in the November elections, and as surveys show younger evangelicals responding more tolerantly to gay civil rights issues.
The new Focus on the Family board chairman is retired Air Force Lieutenant General Patrick P. Caruana, a longtime board member.