A new campaign launched by prominent Evangelical leaders is intended to “change the discussion” on a number of cultural issues. The Imago Dei project—headed by Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Coaltion; Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; actress Roma Downy; and others—calls on Christians to affirm that “every human being, in and out of the womb, carries the image of God; without exception.Therefore, I will treat everyone with love and respect.”
According the website, Christians are too often defined by opposition:
“Accordingly, followers of Christ should be known not by what we oppose but rather by what we propose; a personal relationship with God through the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.”
Rodriguez says the campaign is not intended to focus on any particular group or orientation. Rather, the purpose is to affirm and highlight central truths from Scripture:
“The Imago Dei campaign does not sacrifice truth on the altar of cultural or political expediency but rather it elevates it on the catalytic stand of grace and love.”
But that message may already be getting lost. Time magazine’s Swampland blog misses the main purpose of the campaign and zeroes in on gay marriage:
“That change in tone is significant for organizations that have used the image of God doctrine to defend their opposition to gay marriage. A position paper still posted on the Focus on the Family website says: ‘Focus on the Family is dedicated to defending the honor, dignity and value of the two sexes as created in God’s image—intentionally male and female—each bringing unique and complementary qualities to sexuality and relationships.’ When asked whether or not that position page would change given the Imago Dei Campaign, Daly did not say, but he clarified that affirming the image of God in people does not condone their behavior.”
Leaders of the Imago Dei campaign are highlighting their message through social media channels, public service announcements on radio and TV, and apparel.