Sarah Posner

Sarah Posner is a senior correspondent for Religion Dispatches and an investigative journalist whose work has appeared in The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, The Nation and many other publications.


Recent Articles

The FundamentaList (No. 76)

The anti-gay-marriage argument unravels and Glenn Beck says it's the end of the world as we know it.

1. Keep an Eye Out for the Dude on the White Horse. From the Christian right's vantage point, Holy Week had a decidedly apocalyptic tone. While abroad, President Barack Obama proclaimed that we are not a "Christian nation." Newsweek editor Jon Meacham pondered the possibility that we're living in a post-Christian America. Gay and lesbian couples can now get hitched in Iowa and Vermont. Outgoing Focus on the Family chief James Dobson threw in the towel. And tireless pastor Rick Warren was too exhausted for television sit-downs with George Stephanopoulos and Mike Huckabee. Is the end just around the corner for a country that might be -- gasp -- losing its religion? Apocalyptic visions abound inside the world of the increasingly paranoid conservative elites. The anti-LGBT National Organization for Marriage (NOM) launched an advertising campaign called the "Gathering Storm." Meanwhile, this week's "tea parties," calling for nothing short of a revolutionary coup, are not at their core...

The FundamentaList (No. 75)

The culture wars aren't coming to a close, "common ground" isn't common at all, and "abortion reduction" is still misleading rhetoric.

1. Why Does Obama's Faith-Based Office Spurn Mainstream Values? To promote the alleged "common ground" on "abortion reduction," Joshua DuBois, the director of President Barack Obama's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (OFBNP), gave a rare interview to Newsweek last week. In it, he embraced the Come Let Us Reason Together mythology that the end of the "culture wars" is nigh, if only those old battle axes on the left and right would lay down their arms. DuBois maintained , "There's a culture-war industry on both sides . . . What's helpful to the president and to us is a lot of people are weary of that. People are looking for ways out." With this cringe-worthy denigration of reproductive health advocates as just as extreme as abortion clinic harassers, DuBois signals a future of mealy-mouthed Democrats who are pro-choice in their hearts, though timid when it comes to campaign rhetoric and policy. Obama, so far, has not exhibited cowardice on setting policy. But he is...


After the flap last week over the White House's invitation to former NFL coach and gay marriage opponent Tony Dungy to join the Advisory Council to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, the White House has released a list of new additions to the Council, and Dungy isn't on it. According to David Brody , Dungy will not serve on the Council, but will be an adviser to the President on "responsible father initiatives." Will those include gay dads, I wonder? The new appointees to the Council are Anju Bhargava , Founder, Asian Indian Women of America, Bishop Charles Blake , Presiding Bishop, Church of God in Christ, The Rev. Peg Chemberlin , President-Elect, National Council of Churches USA, Nathan Diament , Director of Public Policy, Orthodox Jewish Union, Harry Knox , Director, Religion and Faith Program, Human Rights Campaign, Dalia Mogahed , Executive Director, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies, Anthony Picarello , General Counsel , United States Conference of Catholic...


Americans United for the Separation of Church and State and People for the American Way have come out against the White House's invitation to former NFL coach Tony Dungy to serve on the advisory council to the Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (OFBNP). In 2007, Dungy appeared at a fundraiser for the Indiana Family Institute, the state's Focus on the Family affiliate, and campaigned for a constitutional same-sex marriage ban. While it is indeed abominable that Obama seems to think it's A-OK to elevate the profile of homophobes (e.g. Rick Warren ), this is about more than just the opposition of LGBT rights activists to the invitation. The real issue is that someone's expressed religious faith provides them cover for bigotry. By portraying their input as valuable to the policymaking process, the OFBNP is placing an imprimatur on the members of its advisory council. (And what kind of policy experience does this former football coach have in any event?) Whether the...

The FundamentaList (No. 74)

This week in religion and politics: Extremist Catholics attempt to ruin the graduation of moderate ones, and theo-conservatism threatens rational policy.

1. "Flap" at Notre Dame the Work of Religious "Warriors." After President Barack Obama recently accepted the University of Notre Dame's invitation to deliver its commencement address, extremist Catholic groups spotted an opportunity. They immediately began burning up the bandwidth on the Christian Newswire with bellicose press releases, such as one announcing plans to "turn over tables until the traitors surrender" and vowing to "recruit and train new warriors to defend Life and Truth in future culture conflicts." That call to arms came from Randall Terry, founder of the militant anti-abortion group Operation Rescue. Terry, who converted to Catholicism in 2005 (after divorcing his first wife), is a notorious anti-abortion zealot who has engaged in criminal activity , like trespassing at abortion clinics and arranging to have a fetus in a jar delivered to Bill Clinton at the 1992 Democratic National Convention. Terry, along with his ally in the Cardinal Newman Society, Patrick Reilly,...