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IQ: Mansion on the hill

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Time was when Focus on the Family wielded enormous sway in national politics — and commanded attention locally. With founder James Dobson departing, the scope of its relevance today seems up for debate.

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Ian Flesher
West side

Technician

What's your view of Focus on the Family? It cheapens religion to make a business of it.

What has Focus meant to Colorado Springs? It galvanized and radicalized the already-conservative religious right.

Should religion play a role in politics? Politics should respond to social realities, not religious beliefs.

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Brenda LeBrasse
Skyway

District 11 administrator

How do you view Focus? When they came here, they seemed to have a positive investment in goodness for families. My church, First Presbyterian, did a lot of work with them.

Should religion play a role in politics? No matter whether it's the environment, education, money problems, or health care, religion will enter when you talk about what's good for people.

Is the religious right the local political force it was in the 1990s? This was a very conservative area when I first moved here. It's become far more adventurous and able to understand other sides of issues.

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Linda Pryor
Downtown

Radiology technologist

What is Focus on the Family's legacy in Colorado Springs? It pushed this town to the right and made us the focus of national attention.

Should religion play a role in politics? It should stay out of politics. It puts politics at the service of religion.

Is Focus the political force it was 10 or 15 years ago? Far fewer people agree with them now.

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Victor Appugliese
Old North End

Network technician

What's your view of Focus? They've put us on the national stage over several issues. I'd like to see less antagonism from them and more cooperation with the rest of the community.

Have you ever listened to Dobson's radio program? A couple times. He struck me as opinionated and hostile to any view but his.

Is the religious right still the local force it was in the 1990s? We have a lot more culture and diversity now. We're a less right-wing, religious-dominated community.

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