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 Marginalization of the Non-Evangelicals.

In one of yesterday's posts, I wrote about how conventional wisdom develops around what "people of faith" want, and how "people of faith" usually means "evangelicals." Today there's more evidence of the Obama administration's overemphasis of evangelicals, as USA Today's Cathy Grossman reports from the Religion Newswriters Association's annual conference about a panel on Obama's Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The panel included two members of Obama's faith-based Advisory Council, the Rev. Frank Page , the past president of the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), and the Rev. Peg Chemberlin , the president elect of the National Council of Churches (NCC). The SBC is a conservative evangelical denomination (which claims to be the largest non-Catholic denomination in the country) that was one of the leading architects of the religious right; the NCC is an umbrella organization of mostly mainline Protestant denominations who tend to be more liberal. From Grossman's post...

Is Valerie Jarrett Beck's Next Target?

From Ryan Grim at HuffPo comes the news that Yosi Sargant , the communications director for the National Endowment for the Arts, was asked to resign after Glenn Beck accused him of promoting Nazi ideas. Who's next? This week WorldNetDaily 's smear-monger-in-chief, Aaron Klein , set his sights higher than low-level employees like Sargant. He ran an attack piece on Valerie Jarrett , the president's senior adviser, accusing her of Communist ties. It's Beck candy, wrapped up with a big, fat, racist bow. The lede: "Was Valerie Jarrett, one of President Obama's closest advisers, introduced to the president's political circles by her father-in-law, a communist sympathizer who worked with the radical Obama mentor Frank Marshall Davis ?" The icing: "Jarrett reportedly interviewed Obama's former environmental adviser Van Jones for his White House position from which he resigned this past weekend. WND exposed Jones is an admitted black nationalist and radical communist. Jarrett defended Jones...

Why Are Jews Liberal?

That's the question raised by neoconservative Norman Podhoretz in his new book and in his Commentary magazine, which solicited , according to the Times , "six notable American Jewish thinkers" to answer it. What popped out at me in The Opinionator's roundup of these ruminations was Michael Medved's response -- and one reaction to it. Medved, who is Jewish, hosts a radio show syndicated by the Christian (and arch-conservative) Salem Radio Network. Salem, along with the National Center for Policy Analysis , a conservative, "free enterprise" group, has just launched a drive to deliver an anti-health care reform petition to Republican members of Congress. Salem also owns Townhall.com , which is currently featuring scare stories about ACORN. Last September, the print magazine ran a cover story titled "Obamageddon: Could We Survive a Barack Presidency?" Why would this turn anyone off from conservatism? Gosh, I don't know. But Medved blames Jews' alleged distaste for Christianity for their...

Will Abortion Coverage Kill Health Care Reform?

After last night's presidential speech, the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners issued a statement that claimed to speak for "the faith community." He declares, "In his speech this evening, President Barack Obama made the commitments that a broad coalition in the faith community had asked for -- reform as a moral issue, affordable coverage for all, and no federal funding of abortion." Really? The "faith community" -- whatever that is -- has demanded no federal funding for abortion? There's no doubt that the religious right has demanded that. The coalition Stop The Abortion Mandate is abuzz this morning, questioning Obama's truthfulness in claiming no federal funds would be used to pay for abortions. To be clear, though, Stop the Abortion Mandate wants not just to stop "mandates," it wants to end legal abortion altogether. And Wallis does too, although he's more moderate and has endorsed abortion-reduction approaches that Stop the Abortion Mandate and its coalition partners are too strident...

Antichrist Spirit Coming to a Public School Near You.

For the religious right, what is the opposition to President Obama 's speech to public school children next week really all about? Theologically, the end of days. Politically, the separation of church and state. At its core, the conservative hyperventilating about "indoctrination" of students with "socialist" ideology is a dog whistle to evangelicals who believe -- and have believed for decades -- that "big government," be it in the form of the New Deal or health care reform, is a sign of the end of days. One of the critical signs that the final showdown is upon us is the emergence of an Antichrist and his consolidation of a "one-world government," a "one-world economy," and a "one-world order." Not that they necessarily believe Obama himself is the Antichrist -- I was just watching the televangelist Jack Van Impe insist that the false prophet would be the head of the European Union -- but that his efforts to reform health care or cooperate with global leaders on economic or military...

Pages