Focus on the Family founder James Dobson was pushed off the Focus radio show by the organization’s board of directors. The board told Dobson that his last “Focus on the Family” radio broadcast would air Feb. 26. Dobson was disappointed. He didn’t want to leave his radio show. That’s when he decided to start “Family Talk with James Dobson,” set to air on radio stations May 3.
Or so goes the account by Rev. Ken Hutcherson, a high-profile conservative evangelical wholeads the Antioch Bible megachurch in Kirkland, Wash. Hutcherson has made a name for himself for his flamboyant manner and opposition to abortion and gay marriage (and as a former NFL linebacker).
On Tuesday, Hutcherson’s editorial called “I Lost My Focus on the Family” was published online at World Net Daily. In it Hutcherson says he knows that Dobson was pushed out of Focus, claiming to have talked to Dobson and Focus president and CEO Jim Daly about it.
Focus on Wednesday denied Hutcherson’s assertions, but Hutcherson didn’t back down.
“I am not speculating. I know what the truth is,” Hutcherson said in an interview today with World Net Daily.
Hutcherson told WND that the board thought Dobson was “going to go, be quiet, sit in the corner and not do anything after they made that decision” to end his hosting the Focus radio show.
Since 2003, Dobson has been gradually eased out of day-to-day operations at Focus, a plan he put in place to faciliate executive succession at the family group, Focus says.
In the editorial, Hutcherson expresses his disapproval of Focus’ new kinder, gentler approach on hot-button issues like abortion and gay marriage.
“There is a tendency after many years of success for new blood and new minds to come in with a new plan,” Hutcherson wrote. ”(I’ve always thought: If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!) Just because something sounds new and elegant does not guarantee it will be better.”
Hutcherson thinks Focus is in trouble financially without Dobson, and believes someone like himself should have been chosen as Dobson’s successor rather than the mild-mannered Daly.
Focus needs “a very aggressive person to take it from Dr. Dobson to another level,” Hutcherson told WND. “Someone as crazy as I am. And they didn’t do that, because they want a new image.”
You can read Hutcherson’s WND editorial here.
What do you think of Hutcherson’s assertions? Is it possible Dobson was forced out? Please weigh in below.