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

MARK SANFORD: FATHERS ARE THE "SPIRITUAL LEADERS OF THE HOUSE."

At the web site of the Palmetto Family Council, the South Carolina arm of Focus on the Family, is an undated recording of an interview Governor Mark Sanford did on families and fatherhood. He serves up the usual platitudes about families being the bedrock of society, and then launches into the particular responsibilities of fathers. To wit (or witless): When asked about the best way to keep families strong, Sanford advised spending more time with one's family (ahem) and praying together. "I don’t want to be old-fashioned here," he added, "but I think the father has the responsibility of being the spiritual leader of the house, and there are some lessons on a daily, nightly, morning basis that need to go from the father to the little ones in talking about how shall we then live. And I think that particular responsibility is on the backs of fathers." Sanford is exploiting a Christian fundamentalist fixation on "male headship," a claim that the Bible requires men to exercise "spiritual...

NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF EVANGELICALS HAS A NEW LOBBYIST.

The National Association of Evangelicals has finally replaced Richard Cizik , its longtime Washington presence who was forced out last December after endorsing civil unions. The group chose someone from within its ranks, Galen Carey , who, according to a press release, has worked for the NAE's related humanitarian mission, World Relief. Notably, the NAE did not select a known quantity from religious-right advocacy circles or someone recognized for firebrand activism on wedge issues. In its statement, it highlighted how Carey will help expand the NAE's visibility beyond white evangelicals, and (implicitly) away from the wedge: He is a committed Christian who is active in his large multicultural church in Maryland. He has formal theological education with a masters degree from an evangelical seminary and doctorate from a mainline seminary. Galen not only speaks about the growing number of Hispanics in our communities and churches but also speaks to them; he is fluent in Spanish. Caring...

The FundamentaList (No. 86)

This week in religion and politics: In her last regular column, Sarah Posner says so long to The FundamentaList.

After nearly two years, it's time for a change. That's why the Prospect editors and I have decided that this week will mark a send-off for The FundamentaList. We're not discontinuing The FundamentaList because the religious right is dead, because religion isn't important, or because the religious right and religion are not playing a political role in the Obama era. Instead, we're making the change so that we can react to breaking news stories more nimbly over on the blog and explore worthy stories in greater depth here on the main site. The Prospect launched The FundamentaList in September 2007, when the Republican presidential primary was starting to heat up. Our goal was to follow the news of the religious right, both in the presidential campaign and in the broader political realm. That news included presidential campaigns, Mike Huckabee's unlikely rise (and his opposition from religious-right elites), Values Voters Summits , several " pastor problems ," Sarah Palin mania , anti-gay...

The FundamentaList (No. 85)

This week in religion and politics: The Army secretary nominee's record on church-state separation comes under scrutiny, and immigration reform may leave out LGBT people.

1. Army Secretary Nominee Has Questionable Record on Church-State Separation. Rep. John McHugh, a Republican from New York who is President Barack Obama's nominee to be secretary of the Army, is drawing scrutiny from church-state separation advocates the Secular Coalition for America and the Military Religious Freedom Foundation because of his congressional voting record on church-state separation issues. Opposition, or even indifference, to church-state separation is no minor matter in the military, given repeated revelations of violations of constitutional protections at the Pentagon , Air Force Academy , and in the field . McHugh's voting record in the House shows a disrespect for church-state separation generally, as well as a disregard for the ongoing infringement of service members' constitutional rights from aggressive proselytization in the armed forces. In 2005, in the wake of the exposure of egregious constitutional violations at the U.S. Air Force Academy, McHugh voted...

ABORTION REDUCTION GAMESMANSHIP.

Dan Gilgoff has a thinly reported post in which he speculates, based on one anonymous congressional source, that the White House is "leaning" towards supporting the Pregnant Women's Support Act (PWSA). If true -- and Gilgoff offers little evidence it is -- this would represent a remarkable about-face for the administration. Since President Obama's Notre Dame speech, there's been a bit of a rumor mill, particularly on Catholic blogs, that his "common ground" rhetoric suggested that he supports PWSA. ( Alexia Kelley , Obama's new appointee to lead the faith-based center at the Department of Health and Human Services, does.) But Obama's rhetoric at Notre Dame is no different from the rhetoric he's used all along. The administration has long stated it supports measures that "reduce the need for abortion" by preventing unintended pregnancies. It does not say it seeks to "reduce the number of abortions" by implementing measures to discourage women from having them, or making them more...

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