Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Dr. James Dobson Steps Leaving Focus on the Family

Focus on the Family reported today that Dr. James Dobson, the influencial leader and founder of Focus on the Family, is stepping down 33 years after he began the organization.

The new host of the daily radio show, John Fuller, and Focus on the Family CEO and President Jim Daly paid tribute to Dr. Dobson on their program today.

Daly said, "this week marks the completion of a transition period that probably started more than 10 years ago."

While Dobson has taken the high road, there has been controversy surrounding his leaving. Even though when he had voluntarily stepped down as Chairman of the Board of FOF in 2009, the new leadership said he would continue on the radio show. This is no longer the case. Part of his phase out plan was to eventually turn over the mic of the radio show to someone else, but not now.

As the New York Times reported: "Beginning in March, Dr. Dobson, 73, will co-host the radio show with his son, Ryan, 39, a tattooed surfer and skateboarder who wrote a book called "Be Intolerant" and who has honed an identity preaching to youths.
"Our nation is facing a crisis that threatens its very existence," Dr. Dobson said in announcing his new venture on his Facebook page. "We are in a moral decline of shocking dimensions. I have asked myself how can I sit and watch the world go by without trying to help if I can. That is what motivates me at this time."

"He has been gradually withdrawing from the leadership of Focus since 2003, but it is unclear why he decided to start a new organization and create a new show - "to be called 'James Dobson on the Family.' " (Focus on the Family's radio show has 1.5 million listeners a day on about 1,000 stations.)

"A Focus board member who spoke on the condition of anonymity said that because Ryan Dobson has been divorced, it would be against the board's policy for him to serve as the voice for Focus, which counsels people on marriage and child-rearing. (Ryan Dobson has since remarried and has a son of his own.)"

Personally, having met Dr. Dobson and as someone who has been impacted by his work for years, while raising my family and later as an example of how to be engaged in our culture, it saddens me to see those who he entrusted the labor of his hands for the past 33 years with, to take the reigns from his hands in such a fashion. I know on good report from my sources that this has been very difficult for the Dobson family.

I am glad that he will continue his work, even though in a new venue. And I predict that the 1.5 million FOF listeners will move over to his new show.

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