Jim Daly Tells Evangelicals Post-Election to Avoid Hostility and Collaborate

Focus on the Family President Discusses Compromise on Hot-Button Issues

Jim Daly, president of the nonprofit Christian organization Focus on the Family, recently spoke on the direction of the evangelical community after the 2012 presidential election, arguing that when faced with hot-button issues such as illegal immigration and same-sex marriage, conservative evangelicals need to focus on collaboration and approach issues with humility instead of hostility.

"I think as Christians, we need to anchor down, not with hostility but with humility, and just ride this forward and continue to talk to people about the message of Christ, what the Gospel means. And if that resonates and if people connect, I think the other issues will come in line," Daly told National Public Radio's Rachel Martin.

Daly went on to say that he believes Christians have focused too much on what they hear through the media, instead of forming personal relationships with those holding differing viewpoints and reaching a consensus through educated conversations.

"Because once you get to know somebody and you create friendship – even though you may have different opinions on deeply held viewpoints – there are ways to find some consensus, I think," Daly said.

The NPR interview also touched on the topic of same-sex marriage, which was legalized in Maryland, Maine, and Washington on Nov. 6.

Daly said he believes "we've done a poor job for marriage," and that traditional marriage is currently suffering a slump, partly because "marriage has lost its bluster and it's in a weak moment."

"And for that, that's what gives me great sadness, 'cause I think the institution of marriage is so critical to the foundation of the culture," he added.

American evangelical Christians maintained an active voice in the 2012 presidential election, with many of them pushing for the election of Republican candidate Mitt Romney.

When Barack Obama won his second term in office, Southern Baptist Seminary President Albert Mohler called the election "an evangelical disaster."

Post-election, famed evangelist Franklin Graham told CBN's The Brody File that he believes Obama's second term will "usher in the largest changes in our society since the Civil War."

Critics are now discussing what the evangelical agenda will be for the future, with many, including Daly, arguing that Christians need to be more cautious when approaching politics.

"I think we've got to be very careful about wrapping ourselves around the axle of politics," Daly told NPR.

Jim Wallis, Christian activist and editor of Sojourner's magazine, recently wrote in an opinion piece for The Huffington Post that he too believes evangelicalism and politics can be a poisonous combination.

"The biggest mistake the religious right made was to make the word 'evangelical' a political term. Evangelical is a theological commitment, not a political one. It's about the centrality of Christ and the authority of the Bible," Wallis wrote.

"Those commitments will always challenge politics, but they should never be partisan," he added.

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