Sarah Posner

Sarah Posner is an investigative journalist, author, and an expert on the intersection of religion and politics. Her work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, The Nation, Salon, The Washington Post, and Religion Dispatches. Read more at her website, http://sarahposner.com.

 

Recent Articles

Islamophobia, From Screen to Capitol Hill.

Last week saw the preposterous spectacle of members of Congress calling for an investigation of the allegedly seditious activities of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Republicans Sue Myrick , John Shadegg , Paul Broun , and Trent Franks , who accused CAIR of planting interns to work as spies on Capitol Hill, based their charges on the book Muslim Mafia . The book was published by WND Books, the publishing arm of World Net Daily , which solidified its reputation for McCarthy-esque tinfoil hat "journalism" long before Glenn Beck's tears were even a twinkle in Roger Ailes' eye. Now the Clarion Fund, producer of the film The Third Jihad -- which also peddles the alleged Holy Land and Muslim Brotherhood connections -- is calling for an investigation, too. The Third Jihad charges that Muslim groups like CAIR intend to supplant the Constitution with sharia law, and have links to jihadists. CAIR and numerous other Muslim organizations were identified as unindicted co-...

If Only War Were that Simple.

The Washington Post today profiles Lt. Carey Cash , the Navy chaplain serving at Camp David, where President Obama attends services. Cash -- a great nephew of music icon Johnny Cash -- is a conservative Southern Baptist who won't, apparently, give Obama the trouble that the Rev. Jeremiah Wright did. If Obama is seeking some spiritual guidance as he contemplates troop escalations in Afghanistan, though, I hope to God his admiration for Cash does not lend credence to what Cash has to say about God and war. According to remarks he made to the National Conference on Ministry to the Armed Forces in 2003 (h/t to David Brody for the link ), Cash believes that faith actually saved Marines from death on the battlefield. He described a brutal battle in Baghdad, on April 10, 2003, after which, "by every assessment, during that nine-hour ordeal, our battalion should have sustained untold casualties and countless dead." Instead, Cash maintained, there was a "miracle": It cannot be denied. Someone...

No Abortion Shift, No Need To Cater to Anti-Abortion Activists.

In his U.S. News and World Report column, Dan Gilgoff buys into the idea that President Obama and the Democratic Party should be mindful of voters who worry that Obama will "overreach on abortion rights," based on the new Pew poll out on abortion attitudes. But that poll doesn't show any seismic shift in abortion attitudes, nor does it contain any warnings to Obama and the Democrats that they should be any less pro-reproductive rights. According to Pew: Among people who know that Obama is pro-choice, a plurality (29% of the public overall) think that he will handle the issue about right. About one in- five (19%) worry that Obama will go too far in supporting abortion rights, while very few (4%) worry that he will not go far enough in supporting abortion rights. Who are the people who are worried about this unspecified overreaching? Fifty-two percent of conservative Republicans, and only 19% of moderate Republicans, and only 18% of independents. So the Democrats should shift their...

Shotgun Adoption and Government Funding of Faith-Based Programs.

RH Reality check has republished Kathryn Joyce's excellent piece, which originally ran in The Nation , about the coercive tactics used by crisis pregnancy centers -- recipients of tens of millions in federal abstinence-only funds under the Bush administration -- to persuade women not to choose an abortion, and then pressure them to give up their newborns for adoption by suitably "Christian" families. One of the difficulties in proving that federal dollars were used to unconstitutionally fund a pervasively sectarian program is that many grant recipients perform many different services, some with non-government funds. (If only the hairsplitting attention paid to abortion in health care were paid to how our tax dollars support religious organizations that engage in proselytizing activities.) But even if a federally funded program isn't unconstitutional, Joyce's piece raises alarm bells about whether federal money should go to an organization whose programs are misleading and coercive,...

The Religious Right's Jennings End-Game.

Make no mistake: the religious right's smear campaign against Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools director Kevin Jennings is not about Jennings' alleged past actions, or even about the fact that Jennings is gay. It's about a much larger, concerted campaign by the religious right to dismantle the separation of church and state. How? By using Jennings as part of a long-term political and legal strategy to claim that LGBTQ equality advocacy discriminates against Christians, and deprives them of their constitutional rights to free speech and free exercise of religion. More on that in a minute, but first a little background on where the Family Research Council's "research" on Jennings comes from. FRC began calling for Jennings' head on June 10, just a few weeks after President Obama appointed him to the post at the Department of Education. But FRC's "research" was not its own; it was based on the rantings of fringe groups Americans for Truth About Homosexuality (AFTAH) and Mission America...

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