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


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...

The FundamentaList (No. 15)

Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney jockey for the support of the Christian base.

1. The Meaning of Huckmas The last Sunday before the caucuses, Mike Huckabee backed off from giving a scheduled sermon at an Iowa church, saying he wanted to worship instead of speak. But on the previous Sunday, just two days before Christmas, in front of a packed crowd at John Hagee's 5,000-seat Cornerstone Church in San Antonio, Texas, Huckabee equated real believers in Christ with the lowly shepherds who heralded the arrival of the newborn king, and selfish nonbelievers with Herod, King of Judea, who felt so threatened by Jesus' arrival that he ordered all baby boys to be murdered. Believers, he maintained, are unselfish and want to serve Jesus; the nonbelievers, like Herod, want power and money all to themselves and refuse to worship the son of God. Although Huckabee has insisted that he didn't replace the Arkansas capitol dome with a steeple and that his comments in religious settings shouldn't be misconstrued as theocratic, it was hard for this Jew in the pew (in the church that...


Last week, Robert Novak wrote about why some of the architects of the 1970's-era conservative takeover of the Southern Baptist Convention don't like Mike Huckabee . Although some of them have enthusiastically endorsed their fellow SBC; preacher, one notable exception is Paul Pressler , who endorsed Fred Thompson . According to Novak, Pressler's objection is his concern that "Huckabee plays to the establishment and would be subservient to the State Department and the New York Times ." But even Novak seemed disconcerted by a Huckabee fundraiser in Texas last week, hosted by Steven Hotze , whom Novak describes as a Christian Reconstructionist leader. explained by Bruce Prescott , Executive Director of Mainstream Oklahoma Baptists explains Christian Reconstructionism: At its root, Reconstructionism is a militant Biblicism. . . . Stripped to its barest essentials, here is their blueprint for America. Their ultimate goal is to make the U.S. Constitution conform to a strict, literal...

The FundamentaList (No. 14): Huck-a-Muck Edition

Waiting for end times, banning gay marriage, and Huckabee's Christmas surprise: A foreign policy!

1. Huckabee's Christmas Surprise: A Foreign Policy! Until Mitt Romney demanded that Mike Huckabee apologize for daring to criticize President Bush's "arrogant bunker mentality," not much was known about Huckabee's foreign policy -- a frightening prospect, given his frontrunner status in some early primary states, including Iowa, South Carolina, Florida, and Michigan -- and his propensity to hang around with pre-millenial dispensationalists . The most Zev Chavets could wring out of Huckabee for his New York Times Magazine profile was that he likes to read Thomas Friedman and Frank Gaffney and thinks that Duncan Hunter would be just dandy as secretary of defense. It was odd then, that just a few days after the Times Magazine piece ran, Huckabee's foreign policy treatise appeared in Foreign Affairs . In tone, at least, it was decidedly more Friedman-esque than Gaffney-esque; even so, given Huckabee's past deer-in-the-headlights reactions to foreign policy questions, it seemed to come...