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

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 (...

Congressman Rogers' Neighborhood

Representative Hal Rogers , the Kentucky Republican who chairs the Appropriations Subcommittee of the House Homeland Security Committee -- that is, the politician who controls the purse strings -- has filled his fund-raising coffers with contributions from companies that do business with the Department of Homeland Security. Through Rogers' campaign and his leadership PAC, which can be used to buy influence with colleagues, interested donors have more than one way to give, and they do. In the 2004 election cycle, Rogers' PAC, Help America's Leaders, or HALPAC, pulled in nearly $1.3 million -- about twice as much as his campaign fund. In turn, HALPAC doled out more than $650,000 to the campaigns of fellow Republicans in 2004, making it one of the eight biggest-spending leadership PACs. Many of its contributors were the PACs of lobbyists and DHS contractors who later scored major DHS contracts. Between April 2003 and February 2004, the PAC of Accenture -- the Bermuda-based consulting...

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