By Mitchell Landsberg
Los Angeles Times
LOS ANGELES - As the head of Focus on the Family, Jim Daly might be considered one of the nation's leading culture warriors - a title that certainly applied to his predecessor, James Dobson, who founded the organization and built it into a powerhouse of the conservative evangelical movement.
And, to be sure, Daly threw the considerable resources of his organization - which opposes abortion and same-sex marriage - behind the campaign to defeat President Barack Obama, paying for millions of mailers that listed the presidential candidates' positions on issues that were important to "values voters."
In the aftermath of the election, however, Daly is willing to say things that few conservative evangelical leaders are likely to say. He believes, for instance, that the Christian right lost the fight against same-sex marriage in four states in part because it is on the losing side of a cultural paradigm. He says the evangelical community should have been considering immigration reform years ago, "but we were led more by political-think than church-think."
And, along the same lines, he argues that evangelicals have made a mistake by marching in lock step with the Republican Party.
"If the Christian message has been too wrapped around the axle of the Republican Party, then, A) that's our fault, and, B) we've got to rethink that," he said in a phone interview, which followed a pre-election interview in his office in Colorado Springs, Colo.