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

The FundamentaList (No. 7)

Halloween Edition! The very scary anti-gay movement, Huckabee spooks secular conservatives, and the undead evangelical Christian right.

1.Not Dead Yet David Kirkpatrick's cover story in Sunday's Times magazine is all the rage this week. In it he asks The Question that has surfaced periodically for the past 30 years: Is the Christian right dead? Like a spate of other not-so-revelatory pieces this fall about the moderation of evangelical Christianity, Kirkpatrick's piece ignores the essential role the press played in creating the myth of the conservative evangelical monolith in the first place. In the wake of the 2004 election -- just three short years ago -- much of the media coverage glorified that mythology by presenting "values voters" (read: biblical conservatives) as the homogenous soul of American evangelicalism. Now, as the (always present, but not as loud) centrist wing of evangelicalism emerges with a more structured response to the divisiveness of the Christian right, and as Christian right leaders are very publicly disagreeing over presidential candidate endorsements, The Question emerges once again. The...

The FundamentaList (No. 6)

"Values voter" edition! The attendees co-opt the language of the civil rights movement, award Giuliani a few points for trying, and wonder if hot-shot endorsements really matter.

1.Spinning Straw Polls into Gold and Hoping for a Miracle Of course the big news from the Family Research Council's Values Voter Summit last weekend was that Mitt Romney Mike Huckabee won the straw poll. Whether the landslide of support delivered by the summit attendees will translate into a Huckabee ascendancy, however, remains to be seen. It will be tough for him to overcome his gaping fundraising disadvantage in time for the early primaries. That's of no concern to Huckabee's supporters, though; as one of them put it to me, "we've seen bigger miracles happen." But money -- not miracles -- matters to the Christian right leadership, and that's why they were sending pro-Romney signals ahead of the conference, much to the consternation of Huckabee's supporters. Huckabee, it seemed, was being left out in the cold by the "grasstops," but he denied that he was referring to the leadership when he accused Christian conservatives of being " more intoxicated with power than principle ." As...


That from the lips of Randy Thomas of Exodus International, the group that purports to "convert" people from being gay, at the press conference today in opposition to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), pending in Congress, that would add GLBT people as a protected class to federal employment discrimination laws. Other speakers included Bishop Harry Jackson , FRC president Tony Perkins , and Rick Scarborough , author of Liberalism Kills Kids . There was a lot of overheated rhetoric about the legislation "hijacking the language of the civil rights movement," "dilut[ing] of First Amendment protections of freedom of religion," and being "insanity that will wreck the economy of this country." There was also a lot of very un-Christian mockery of transgendered people. I could go on about the silliness of their arguments -- that they wouldn't be able to fire a lousy employee they didn't even know was gay and be sued under the law, or that a gay person would even want to work at one...


You have to give it to Ron Paul . He didn't try to dance around his position on the war, and stuck with his call to bring the troops home (to "protect our borders.") That wasn't selling with the FRC crowd, which has responded enthusiastically to other speakers' calls for a victorious end to the war. It's one of those -- er, sanctity of life issues. --Sarah Posner


Duncan Hunter just roused the crowd with a pledge not to make Israel "give one inch" of land, just after endorsing a preemptive strike by the U.S. against Iran. People in the audience started waving Israeli flags. Perhaps they had followed Hunter here from the last Christians United for Israel Night to Honor Israel that Hunter attended. -- Sarah Posner