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. 6)

"Values voter" edition! The attendees co-opt the language of the civil rights movement, award Giuliani a few points for trying, and wonder if hot-shot endorsements really matter.

1.Spinning Straw Polls into Gold and Hoping for a Miracle Of course the big news from the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit last weekend was that Mitt Romney Mike Huckabee won the straw poll. Whether the landslide of support delivered by the summit attendees will translate into a Huckabee ascendancy, however, remains to be seen. It will be tough for him to overcome his gaping fundraising disadvantage in time for the early primaries. That's of no concern to Huckabee's supporters, though; as one of them put it to me, "we've seen bigger miracles happen." But money -- not miracles -- matters to the Christian right leadership, and that's why they were sending pro-Romney signals ahead of the conference, much to the consternation of Huckabee's supporters. Huckabee, it seemed, was being left out in the cold by the "grasstops," but he denied that he was referring to the leadership when he accused Christian conservatives of being " more intoxicated with power than principle ." As...


That from the lips of Randy Thomas of Exodus International, the group that purports to "convert" people from being gay, at the press conference today in opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), pending in Congress, that would add GLBT people as a protected class to federal employment discrimination laws. Other speakers included Bishop Harry Jackson , FRC president Tony Perkins , and Rick Scarborough , author of Liberalism Kills Kids . There was a lot of overheated rhetoric about the legislation "hijacking the language of the civil rights movement," "dilut[ing] of First Amendment protections of freedom of religion," and being "insanity that will wreck the economy of this country." There was also a lot of very un-Christian mockery of transgendered people. I could go on about the silliness of their arguments -- that they wouldn't be able to fire a lousy employee they didn't even know was gay and be sued under the law, or that a gay person would even want to work at one...


You have to give it to Ron Paul . He didn't try to dance around his position on the war, and stuck with his call to bring the troops home (to "protect our borders.") That wasn't selling with the FRC crowd, which has responded enthusiastically to other speakers' calls for a victorious end to the war. It's one of those -- er, sanctity of life issues. --Sarah Posner


Duncan Hunter just roused the crowd with a pledge not to make Israel "give one inch" of land, just after endorsing a preemptive strike by the U.S. against Iran. People in the audience started waving Israeli flags. Perhaps they had followed Hunter here from the last Christians United for Israel Night to Honor Israel that Hunter attended. -- Sarah Posner


James Dobson is right about one thing: Fred Thompson can't speak his way out of a paper bag on the campaign trail. This was Thompson's grand opportunity to show this audience more than his Senate record, more than his affection for John Roberts or Tom Coburn , more than his dedication to the institution of marriage (twice), and more than his moment of awe when he saw his daughter's sonogram. That's baseline stuff for this crowd; they're looking for catchy phrases drawn on scripture and rhetorical venom for perceived enemies. Thompson delivered none of that. He doesn't know what he'd do in his first hundred days, he said, but knows that in his first hour, he "would go into oval office, close door and pray for the wisdom to do what is right." He might think that's a sufficient blueprint for a presidency, but even this audience appeared unmoved, and gave him only polite applause. --Sarah Posner