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

SOTOMAYOR AND CHURCH-STATE SEPARATION.

Despite prodding from church-state separation advocates, no member of the Senate Judiciary Committee asked Judge Sonia Sotomayor about her views on the Establishment Clause or Free Exercise Clause of the First Amendment during her confirmation hearings. Republicans, like Oklahoma's Tom Coburn , talked about the Second Amendment "hanging in the balance" -- a questionable jurisprudential assertion -- but no one brought up the more real threat posed to the Establishment Clause by the stated desire of the Court's more conservative wing to reverse 60-year-old precedent preventing the entanglement of government and religion. Because Sotomayor decided only a handful of cases implicating the religion clauses of the First Amendment, her views are not discernible from her judicial record. But that didn't stop Judiciary Committee members from prodding her on other issues on which she has a scant record, and at least getting her to uphold the principle of stare decisis (precedent). Religious...

SANFORD, C STREET AND JESUS' "TOP MEN."

This morning The Washington Post picks up on a reference Mark Sanford made in his confessional press conference to meetings he had at "C Street" to discuss his infidelity. He was referring to 133 C Street, S.E., in the District, where a secretive group of power elites known as "The Fellowship" or "The Family" meets. According to the Post : The house pulsed with backstage intrigue, in the days and months before the Sanford and Ensign scandals -- dubbed "two lightning strikes" by a high-ranking congressional source. First, at least one resident learned of both the Sanford and Ensign affairs and tried to talk each politician into ending his philandering, a source close to the congressman said. Then the house drama escalated. It was then that Doug Hampton, the husband of Ensign's mistress, endured an emotional meeting with Sen. Tom Coburn, who lives there, according to the source. The topic was forgiveness. (The Post also reports that the townhouse is actually owned by Youth With A...

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...

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