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

CHARACTER COUNTS, BUT ONLY WHEN CONVENIENT.

CHARACTER COUNTS, BUT ONLY WHEN CONVENIENT. Yesterday Ohio Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland challenged Republican rival Ken Blackwell to release his tax returns, so voters could see exactly how Blackwell, who favors implementing a flat tax and cutting the capital gains tax, would benefit from his own proposals. Blackwell refused, telling the Canton Repository that his millionaire status proves his ideology that hard work leads to riches. It�s odd, though, that he�s not being more forthcoming, since his officially sanctioned, pabulum-filled initiative The Ohio Center for Civic Character demands that people of character �appl[y] truth in our relationships.� And that truth, he says, requires accountability and transparency: High-character people scrutinize themselves and welcome the scrutiny of others. They acknowledge that human nature compels us toward independence. Our preference for independence results in isolation from one another. Isolation breeds temptation to...

NO SCARLET LETTER IN OHIO.

NO SCARLET LETTER IN OHIO. Floyd Flake , the minister and former Democratic congressman from New York who launched a burgeoning career as a closet Republican back in 1998 with a speech to the Republican National Committee, recently became the co-chair of Ken Blackwell �s gubernatorial campaign. Blackwell, who trails rival Ted Strickland by 20 points in a Columbus Dispatch mail-in poll earlier this week, bounced back with a Zogby poll showing only a 4.6 percent deficit against Strickland, with a 3.2 percent margin of error. Blackwell, who is a leading light of the GOP effort to cultivate more black candidates (ones who won�t make ill-advised and politically suicidal comments to reporters, that is) surely thought he was burnishing his credentials with black voters by bringing Flake on board. Although he spent ten years in Congress as a Democrat, he turned to the free-market ideology that is the bedrock of Blackwell�s campaign, when he�s not pandering to the theocratic right. But will...

APOCALYPSE NOW? ...

APOCALYPSE NOW? Self-identified Christocrat Rod Parsley has officially hitched his wagon to the Armageddon addicts at Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Parsley, a member of CUFI�s national leadership, was in town last week to lobby members of Congress on his zest for an apocalyptic showdown in the Middle East. Like his friend and CUFI�s leader, John Hagee , Parsley professes a deep love for Israel and the Jewish people. But a few minutes of a sermon reveal that Parsley, like Hagee, only loves Israel as the site of Armageddon and the Second Coming. In his most recent production, Iran and Israel: Impending Apocalypse , Parsley pronounces us �living in the final moments of human history,� owing to Iran�s nuclear program. Although a webcast of the sermon is available online for free, Parsley nonetheless hocks the DVD for a �love gift� of cash. And to lend divine credibility to its contents, he claims that �[j]ust days before the July 12 incidents which began the current situation of...

Holy War

In the June issue of the Prospect , I wrote about Texas televangelist John Hagee, an Armageddon prophesier who insists that military confrontation with Iran is foretold in the Bible as a necessary precondition for the Second Coming. Using his best-selling book, Jerusalem Countdown , his internationally broadcast television program, and the viral marketing offered by a network of mega churches whose pastors have signed on to his new lobbying effort, Christians United for Israel (CUFI), Hagee has spent the past six months mobilizing popular support for a war with Iran. Based on his end-times prophecy, a supposed love of the Jewish people and the state of Israel, and false claims that Iran is just months away from a viable nuclear weapon, Hagee maintains that confrontation with Iran is necessary to fulfill God's plan for the future of the world. While it hardly seems like a sound basis for foreign policy, as the violence between Israel and Hezbollah escalates at the Israel-Lebanon border...

Pastor Strangelove

Texan John Hagee has a huge following, the ear of the White House, and a theory that an invasion of Iran was foretold in the Book of Esther.

On Purim, the Jewish holiday that celebrates the day Queen Esther saved the Jews from annihilation, Trinity Broadcasting Network's flagship talk show, Praise the Lord , featured an appearance by Rabbi Daniel Lapin. A politically conservative Orthodox rabbi, Lapin is best known for crusading with the Christian right against anti-religion bigotry and, more recently, for his close association with the convicted super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff. But he was not invited to a nationwide telecast to discuss such topics as the trumped-up war against religion or the better nature of his fallen friend. He had been asked to explain the significance of Purim to Christians, and particularly how the Old Testament's Book of Esther "serves as a roadmap to reality," which pinpoints where the next world "hot spot" will be. That soon-to-be-flaming location is where the Book of Esther was set: namely Persia, or in modern parlance, Iran. Seated beside Lapin in the ornately gilded Trinity Broadcasting Network (...

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