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We at the Indy are accustomed to publisher John Weiss' little eccentricities. For instance, no one blinks an eye when his giant Akita, Janis, comes lumbering down the hallway. And yet, this latest news, that the Indy was working with Focus on the Family on a special project, was met with wide-eyed, closed-mouthed stares. Followed by murmurs.

It's no secret that the Independent is left-leaning. We are proud to support gay marriage. We are pro-choice and pro-woman. We believe in separation of church and state.

When my family moved to Colorado in 1992, from Portland, Ore., I thought of Focus on the Family as the Evil Empire. I looked on its founder, James Dobson, with equal parts horror and fascination. I was 12.

Fast-forward to the present. Dobson is out. Jim Daly, a former orphan, is president of Focus. Times have changed.

Sure, Focus is still against gay marriage. Still anti-abortion. But that vitriol I remember? It's just not there. Starting here, our in-depth interview with Daly should convey a sense of what I mean.

Focus and the Indy are just never going to agree on many things. But starting with our support of the ministry's foster-care initiative, maybe there are ways we can work together to benefit the community. I mean, after all, my bonafide hippie mom always said it was "wrong to judge people."

And you know, I could swear there's something in the Bible like that, too ...

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