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An exception was Cameron Strang, a young pro-life Republican, the founder of the evangelical Relevant magazine and son of Christian publisher Stephen Strang. Cameron Strang was originally slated to close the first night of the convention Monday by delivering the benediction.

Last week, however, Mr. Strang canceled the appearance, saying he was concerned that his participation would be viewed as an endorsement. He agreed to take on a lower-profile role by sitting on the panel of a convention caucus meeting on religion later in the week. He also said that he would change his political affiliation to independent.

“It wouldn´t be wise for me to be seen as picking a political side when I´ve consistently said both sides are right in some areas and wrong in some areas,” said Mr. Strang on his blog.

Focus on the Family spokesman Tom Minnery said his organization would have been pleased to provide evangelical speakers from its Colorado Springs office 90 miles south of Denver, “but nobody asked.” The absence of conservative Christians “suggests to me that this is just window dressing,” he said.