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


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


As was the case in Iowa, the exit polling firm that provides data to all the major networks, cable news outlets and the Associated Press, did not ask New Hampshire Democrats if they were evangelical, further enabling the extremist conservative evangelicals with the very loud voices to assert that they represent all evangelicals voters. Moderate and liberal evangelicals make up a little less than half of all American evangelicals. Surely some of them are Democrats, or at least we should be interested in finding out how many of them are? The folks at Faith in Public Life have more . And on a slightly related note, Mike Huckabee will be on The Colbert Report tonight. --Sarah Posner

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...