Sarah Posner

Sarah Posner's coverage of religion and politics has appeared in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, The Week, and many others.

 

Recent Articles

The FundamentaList (No. 18)

Who's behind the Renewal Projects?; Huckabee implies he'd like a Christian Constitution; and televangelists are threatened with "full exposure."

1. Renewal Project Fails to Deliver South Carolina to Huckabee Although the Iowa Renewal Project’s Pastors’ Policy Briefings, at which Mike Huckabee was a featured speaker, contributed to his victory in the Iowa caucuses, last week's South Carolina Pastors’ Policy Briefing, hosted by the South Carolina Renewal Project, failed to deliver the votes he needed to beat John McCain in the state's primary. This week, the Florida Renewal Project hosted a pastors' briefing, but so far Huckabee is polling behind McCain, Romney, and Giuliani there, and it's unclear whether Thompson's withdrawal from the race will benefit Huckabee. The "Renewal Project" events mirror those held by the Texas Restoration Project . As I reported on TAPPED, the watchdog Texas Freedom Network (TFN) recently filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service, charging that the non-profit that funded the Texas Restoration Project, the Niemoller Foundation, violated its tax-exempt status by sponsoring conferences that...

THOUGHTS ON MICHIGAN AND THE EVANGELICAL VOTE.

Last night's exit polls showed Mitt Romney barely edging out Mike Huckabee in cornering the evangelical vote, 34-29%. About 40% of the Republican electorate in Michigan self-identifies as born-again or evangelical, but as I've argued before, not all of them hate Mormons, not all of them are as staunchly conservative as Huckabee on church-state separation, abortion, and gay marriage, and some of them, in Michigan's open primary might have even been Democrats! (The exit polling doesn't ask Democrats if they are born-again or evangelical.) As they head into South Carolina, however, the Republican candidates face a very different evangelical voter than than in Michigan. The Palmetto State is heavily Southern Baptist (Huckabee's denomination) and support for him among those voters runs high. Yesterday I chatted with Fred Astin , who works for the Beaverdam Baptist Association, a coalition of 70 Southern Baptist churches located in Seneca, South Carolina. Astin, who attended the November...

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...

THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT PASTOR CHARGED WITH PERJURY.

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...

HUCKABEE DENIES HE'S A CHRISTIAN RECONTRUCTIONIST.

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,...

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