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. 17)

Huckabee and the rise of religious populism, the gay marriage amendment in Florida, and Soulforce seeks dialogue between mega-churches and LGBT families.

1. Huckabee and Religious Populism There's been a lot of talk of late about how Mike Huckabee's candidacy demonstrates the fractures not only within the Republican Party , but within the religious right . He's been compared to Pat Robertson and William Jennings Bryan, and is thought by some to be channeling God. But none of that is really helpful in trying to understand whether he really is an economic populist, or as some have wondered, some sort of 21st-century "religious populist." His speech on Monday urging the amendment of the Constitution "so it's in God's standards rather than try to change God's standards so it lines up with some contemporary view" was a clarion call to this religious base. Although Huckabee has denied that he is a dominionist, it is the religious right's quest to Christianize government (and the GOP ) that has driven the groundswell for his candidacy. The ground troops in Huckabee’s populist march have been cultivated in mega-churches, through televangelism...


Earl Paulk , televangelist and former pastor to the now almost defunct Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Atlanta, was charged with perjury yesterday, for lying under oath in a lawsuit brought by a former congregant, Mona Brewer , who charges that he forced her to have sex with him over a fourteen year period. In sworn deposition testimony in the suit, Paulk admitted to having sex with Brewer, but said it was consensual. The perjury charge comes in because he testified that she was the only woman he's had sex with outside his marriage. (At least a dozen women, including his own granddaughter, have accused him of sexual abuse.) But late last year, court-ordered paternity tests confirmed something that had been rumored for years: that the 80 year-old Paulk was actually the father of his nephew, Donnie Earl Paulk. In other words, he had slept with his brother's wife. During the George H.W. Bush administration, the president bestowed upon Paulk one of his "thousand points of light" accolades...


On a conference call with reporters today, Jonathan Stein of Mother Jones asked Mike Huckabee if he's a Christian Reconstructionist . (Christian reconstructionists believe, in a nutshell, that the Constitution should be replaced with Old Testament biblical law.) Huckabee denied that he is, adding, "I'm not really one that that's identified with a reconstructionist movement and basically believe we should spend more time simply trying to be more responsible citizens in our own right, not to rebuild a certain type of kingdom, but simply to make sure government is effective and fair and efficient for everybody." That was a pretty milquetoast answer considering the company Huckabee keeps, as even Robert Novak noted with concern , last month, Christian Reconstructionists comprise Huckabee's base. Janet Folger , the co-chair of Huckabee's faith and values coalition, is a protege of the late televangelist D. James Kennedy , who also denied being a reconstructionist but, like Huckabee,...


Bruce Prescott , Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists and proprietor of the Mainstream Baptist blog, writes that Mike Huckabee's response in the Republican debate last night in South Carolina about his endorsement of the Southern Baptist Convention's 1998 Family Statement was a lie. Specifically, Huckabee was asked about the portion of the statement that requires wives to submit to their husbands: A wife is to submit herself graciously to the servant leadership of her husband even as the church willingly submits to the headship of Christ. She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband and to serve as his helper in managing the household and nurturing the next generation. Huckabee first attempted to deflect the question by wondering aloud why he's criticized for bringing religion into the campaign and then is the only one who is asked about religion. Isn't he hilarious? He then gave a non-...


Three Republican members of Congress -- Frank Wolf of Virginia and Congressional Pro-Life Caucus co-chairs Chris Smith of New Jersey and Joseph Pitts of Pennsylvania -- are in Israel this week lobbying for an abortion ban there. Israeli press coverage of the visit did not mention Smith's 2004 comparison of abortion to the Holocaust . Instead, it was reported that the congressmen were concerned about Israelis' declining birth rate compared to that of the Palestinians. They are working with Shas, the ultra-orthodox Sephardic party and its rabbinic council, which believes that "abortions are a grave sin which may even delay the coming of the messiah." But just like here, this is a minority view; according to a recent poll, only 30% of Israelis believe that abortion is murder. --Sarah Posner