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 FundamentaList (No. 84)

This week in religion and politics: An HHS appointment raises questions about the purpose of faith-based offices, and religious leaders mourn the assassination of George Tiller.

1. HHS Faith-Based Appointment: Kerfuffle or Crisis? Last Thursday, President Barack Obama tapped Alexia Kelley to lead the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services. The appointment did not, as some commentators described it, cause a "kerfuffle" or "skirmish" between the "religious left" and "religious progressives," whatever those terms mean. The appointment of the executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG) isn't really about disputes between religious figures; it's about something much more urgent. It raises serious doubts about the wisdom of having an Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships (OFBNP) at all. It is now obvious that it is impossible to have a religiously neutral program. The White House has insisted that the faith-based centers in a dozen federal agencies are intended to bolster capacity in faith-based and community organizations to deliver social services. If that's the...

CATHOLICS UNITED DECLARES WAR ON CATHOLICS FOR CHOICE.

"Catholics for Choice Joins the Far Right, Attacks Common Ground," screams the press release from Catholics United (CU), which is defending the choice of Alexia Kelley to lead the center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services. Catholics for Choice (CFC) yesterday criticized the pick because of Kelley's opposition to abortion. CU is led by Chris Korzen , Kelley's co-author of the book A Nation for All , and the former communications director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), the organization Kelley leads. In the press release, Korzen states: Catholics United is profoundly disappointed by Catholics for Choice's simplistic, incendiary, and unhelpful reaction to President Obama's appointment of Alexia Kelley to this important post. . . . [CFC president Jon] O'Brien's statement, as well as his report attacking Catholics in Alliance and Catholics United for our own efforts to find common ground, is a roadblock to...

ABORTION FOE TO LEAD HHS FAITH-BASED OFFICE.

President Obama has appointed Alexia Kelley , executive director of Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good (CACG), to head the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services. Kelley is a leading proponent of "common ground" abortion reduction -- only CACG's common ground is at odds with that of Obama. While the administration favors reducing the need for abortion by reducing unintended pregnancies, Kelley has made clear that she seeks instead to reduce access to abortion. That is an extremely disturbing development, especially coming this week in the wake of George Tiller 's assassination. Under George W. Bush , the faith-based centers didn't play a policy role. But Obama has expanded the faith-based project to include a policy side, and one of its chief goals is to reduce the need for abortion. I have opposed this, because reproductive health is a public health, not a religious issue. Also problematic: It is counterproductive...

The FundamentaList (No. 83)

This week in religion and politics: Should the Senate Judiciary Committee consider Sonia Sotomayor's stance on the separation of church and state or her lack of a record on abortion?

1. Sotomayor and Separation of Church and State: More Information Needed. The Supreme Court's "60-year record on the Establishment Clause hangs in the balance," Derek Araujo, vice president and general counsel to the secular Center for Inquiry (CFI) replied when I asked him last week just how important Justice David Souter's vacated seat is to the separation of church and state. That's why ascertaining Sonia Sotomayor's views on this essential constitutional question is one of the most urgent questions the Senate Judiciary Committee must address in Sotomayor's confirmation hearings. Araujo said that jurisprudence protecting the separation of church and state "has been widely regarded as an area for potentially seismic shifts" after the more conservative Samuel Alito replaced Sandra Day O'Connor in 2006. When O'Connor retired, Araujo added, the Court lost a key vote holding that the Constitution requires "government neutrality in matters of religion, not only among different faiths,...

PUKE, GUTS, AND THE CHUTZPAH OF WILLIAM SALETAN.

Oh, William Saletan , how I waited for you to enlighten me on the cultural meaning of the assassination of Dr. George Tiller . The wise sage of all that is unassailably reasonable tells us that Tiller's work "makes me want to puke," sort of like battlefield combat, where "guts" are spilled and people are simultaneously brave and murderous. (And, unlike Saletan's view of Tiller, morally justified.) Funny how Saletan uses the battlefield analogy for Tiller, but not for not his alleged murderer, Scott Roeder , who admired the teachings of an anti-abortion group so engaged in the mentality of war that it calls itself the Army of God. After the murder, the group hailed Roeder as an "American hero." Saletan breezes by the extremist groups like Army of God, to applaud the statements of some pro-life groups who condemned Tiller's murder. But then Saletan gives them a pass, in the service of promoting his centrist, reasonable position of reducing abortions. He says the groups condemning Tiller...

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