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, http://sarahposner.com.

 

Recent Articles

The Future of Anti-Gay Activism

The Christian Right is recruiting black pastors to make the case that equating gay rights with civil rights is an affront to African Americans.

At a conference of several thousand conservative Pentecostals at Virginia Beach's Rock Church this spring, Bishop Harry Jackson was recruiting soldiers for the next wave of anti-gay activism.

"God's getting ready to shake us up," roared the Harvard MBA-turned preacher, rousing the audience to divinely ordained political action. With the crowd cheering, applauding, and speaking in tongues, Jackson shouted, "God's looking for a SWAT team ... he's looking for a team of Holy Ghost terrorists!"

What Falwell Never Learned

Falwell never grasped how to brand faith for pop cultural consumption.

Jerry Falwell was not a diminutive man in any sense of the word, but he died yesterday diminished. Falwell's star rose in the 1980s -- he was an anachronism who elbowed his way onto the national stage alongside Gordon Gecko and MTV, showing the rest of America that religious fundamentalism still thrived in a decade more associated with the seven deadly sins than the four Gospels. Falwell's legacy -- the fact that fundamentalist preachers control enough votes for the Republican Party to seem congenitally addicted to them -- is clear enough. But those who seek to walk in Falwell's political footsteps learned something from the decade of greed that Falwell never did: Christianity, like anything else, needs to be packaged, marketed, and consumed.

Abramoff's Go-To Earmarker

Another casualty in l'affaire Abramoff emerged last week when a little-known former congressional staffer, Mark Zachares, pleaded guilty to conspiring to obtain government favors in exchange for a golfing trip to Scotland, a ride on a Gulfstream jet, other entertainment, and prospective employment by the lobbyist.

The Goy Who Cried Wolf

Delegates at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference were treated to an air-brushed John Hagee last night, primed with his most innocuous talking points and stripped of his most outlandish Armageddon rhetoric. Hagee, the founder of the America's leading Christian Zionist lobby, Christians United for Israel, left his clumsy exegeses of Biblical prophecy back home in San Antonio. He is well-versed in bringing an audience of several thousand people to its feet, and he knew he didn't need his slide show of mushroom clouds and world-ending wars to work this crowd.

The Recruit

Last fall, while doing some reporting in northeastern Kentucky, I was talking to two local activists (registered Democrats, no less!) about why they were trying to shut down anti-bullying training at the public high school. Their gripe? By teaching that homosexuality is normal, and that students shouldn't harass their classmates because they're gay, the training sought to recruit students into being gay. "You know," said one of the activists, "homosexuality cannot be reproduced, because two homosexuals can't bear children. So they have to recruit people into their organizations."

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