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,


Recent Articles

The FundamentaList (No. 16)

Deja Values Voters, Soldiers for Christ (and Huckabee), discontent with the National Association of Evangelicals and an update on the televangelist investigation.

1. Deja-Values Voters All Over Again The wake of Mike Huckabee's win in the Iowa caucuses had a whiff of 2004 about it, as the self-anointed "values voters" declared victory -- and it was more about their own relevance than about the candidate himself. The votes had barely been counted, and already, just like in 2004, "values voters" were being declared the soul of the heartland. But as noted at the Faith in Public Life blog , only Republican voters were asked about how their faith played a role in their vote. Neither the CNN nor the NBC exit polls asked Democratic caucus-goers whether they were "born again or evangelical," even though Barack Obama has spent considerable time talking about his faith on the campaign trail. And the religious right political leadership wasted no time on picking up the false narrative about their monopoly on righteousness. Even though they had thumbed their noses at Huckabee for months, the lure of claiming credit for his victory proved difficult to...


Picking up on Tom 's post below, since Huckabee won in Iowa and McCain may well prevail in New Hampshire, I've been wondering whether the Republicans will end up with a McCain-Huckabee ticket. In a way, it seems like a clever move: Huckabee looks like the only candidate who can consolidate the religious part of the base, whose numbers the GOP would need to have any shot at prevailing in November. His obvious foreign policy ignorance makes him a wide-open target at the top of the ticket, but as a running mate to McCain that would appear less worrisome, and he would bring along religious conservatives reluctant about McCain. A war hero and a pastor might just be the best combo the GOP can get out its fractured field. Think about the consequences, though, of a McCain-Huckabee presidency. McCain would focus on foreign policy and national security (i.e., keeping us in Iraq for 100 years) and Huckabee would be busy turning biblical conservatives into political appointees. There's a peril...


Although you could pinpoint the turning point of Mike Huckabee 's candidacy at the 2007 Values Voters Summit in October, where he won the straw poll, I see it a bit earlier, back in the summer, when he was endorsed by evangelical publisher Stephen Strang and New Man magazine. There's a new crew of evangelical vote mobilizers, and their names aren't Dobson or Robertson. Sixty percent of last night's Republican caucus-goers were evangelical, and 80% of Huckabee's supporters described themselves as evangelical. And he pulled it off without some of the biggest public faces of the Christian right. At the Values Voters Summit, despite wide support by the rank and file, the summit's organizers -- notably Focus on the Family's James Dobson , Family Research Council's Tony Perkins , American Values' Gary Bauer , and High Impact Leadership Coalition's Harry Jackson -- resisted getting behind Huckabee. Of the organizers of the Values Voters Summit -- billed as the most important political...


Mike Huckabee 's campaign website has a new video up, fresh from the campaign bus. In it, some usual suspects make pitches to potential caucus-goers: Chuck Norris , former South Carolina governor David Beasley , Huckabee's wife Janet (along with her three dogs), and Ken Eldred , author of the book God at Work (which apparently shows how "biblical values" spell successful capitalism -- who says the old GOP alliances are dead?). Also on board? Rick Tyler , Newt Gingrich 's national spokesman. Here's the video: --Sarah Posner


I'm not in the habit of making predictions -- I've spent too much time listening to self-styled biblical prophesiers over the past couple of years -- but a few observations about Mike Huckabee , whether he pulls out a win in Iowa tonight or not, are in order. Although the religious right has been unable to coalesce around a candidate, and the tried and true GOP alliances look like they're crumbling, Huckabee's meteoric rise since the August straw poll shows that there is a still a formidable fundamentalist political machine that can rally money and ground troops around a candidate. What has changed is the face of that political machine: Pat Robertson 's Christian Coalition has fallen apart, and Robertson himself has lost personal appeal with the rank and file; Jerry Falwell is gone; and James Dobson has mystified followers by not embracing the only candidate who obviously meets his retrograde litmus tests. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council similarly has distanced himself...