Sarah Posner invites guests from across the ideological spectrum to discuss breaking news and three-alarm issues at the intersection of politics and religion.
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Brent about how “pro-Israel” groups have dominated the debate over the Hagel nomination. Brent argues their dominance is due, in part, to the de-democratization of American Jewish organizations. Is the term “Jewish lobby” anti-Semitic, and is the term “Israel lobby” even accurate? Brent and Sarah discuss the role of Christian Zionists. What should we make of Rand Paul’s trip to Israel? Plus: Can we talk about the Palestinians?
On The Posner Show, Sarah and Denny discuss the election and the future of the evangelical alliance with the GOP. Denny predicts that by 2016 marriage will be off the table in presidential politics, but that it will continue to resonate as a “religious liberty” issue. How far will private companies push for religious exemptions from laws and regulations? Denny explains why, unlike many evangelicals, he wasn’t surprised that Romney lost. He also argues that the religious right will continue to support the GOP, but may find its role changing due to demographic shifts.
On The Posner Show, Sarah and Anthea explain how Mike Huckabee got his David Petraeus-King David analogy all wrong. Anthea says the Petraeus affair shows that evangelizing in the military doesn’t have its intended effect. Moving on to an analysis of religion and the election results: Did Ralph Reed exaggerate how many evangelicals he could bring out to the polls? Have the Republicans boxed themselves into a corner by catering to the religious right? Anthea challenges the Catholic bishops on immigration, but suggests that the LDS Church emerged from Romney’s campaign with its reputation intact.
On The Posner Show, Sarah and Katharine talk about religion and climate change. Katharine describes how climate change exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Sandy. They discuss questions addressed in Katharine’s book, co-written with her husband, on addressing faith-based issues in climate change. If God is in control, and the end is near anyway, why should humans do anything to mitigate climate change? How is climate-change denial like creationism? Has Sandy revived climate change as a political issue? Finally, Katharine explains why houses of worship should go green.
On The Posner Show, Sarah and religion scholar Sarah Sentilles discuss Richard Mourdock’s comments about rape and pregnancy. What would happen if politicians like Mourdock had to offer a non-religious justification for their views? How prevalent is the view that God controls everything that happens in the world? Sentilles argues that appeals to religion lets politicians off the hook. The Sarahs agree that Mourdock and Akin display a misunderstanding of rape. What should we make of the idea that Hurricane Sandy is God’s will? Finally: What happens when women talk about God?
On The Posner Show, Sarah and E.J. discuss the marriage equality referenda in Maryland, Maine, and Washington. E.J. explains why polling isn’t a good predictor of how people vote on this issue. Sarah asks what’s changed in Maine, and E.J. explains how voters are swayed by personal stories. Sarah discusses religious outreach in Maryland, as well as the role of the Baltimore Ravens. Why do marriage equality proponents need so much more money for their campaigns than opponents do? E.J. explains how leading private employers in Washington state have provided financial support for marriage equality there. Finally, E.J. recounts the revolutionary changes for LGBT equality in her lifetime.
On The Posner Show, Sarah and Grant discuss Catholics and the election. Why did the vice-presidential candidates get asked about their Catholicism only in terms of their views on abortion? They discuss the reasons the Obama campaign has scaled back religious outreach. Is there really such a thing as the Catholic vote, anyway? Sarah asks Grant about the “On All of Our Shoulders” letter, a critique by Catholic theologians of Paul Ryan’s economic policy. Does Catholic doctrine support the conservative conception of smaller government? Grant sheds light on an effort by a Republican political operative to claim that the Obama campaign is calling voters with an anti-Mormon message. Plus: Lightning round on the baseball postseason.
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Emily about Republican efforts to win over Jewish voters. Michele Bachmann offended some congregants at a Chicago synagogue when she showed up for Yom Kippur services. Emily argues that Jews have become a “set piece” in the presidential campaign. As Sheldon Adelson’s millions are being spent on persuading a tiny fraction of Jews to vote for Romney, who are Republicans really talking to when they talk about Israel? A new poll of American Jewish opinion confirms once again that Jews are overwhelmingly liberal—but do they support Obama’s Israel policy? And why doesn’t the poll ask about the occupation? Plus: Emily reminds us that Israel is real.
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Jacques Berlinerblau about his new book, How To Be Secular, in which he says American secularism needs to “check into rehab.” Why did secularism lose steam to the Christian right, despite having been protected by the Supreme Court in the 1960s and ’70s? And what would it take for secularism to succeed today? Jacques argues that secularist leaders need to abandon strict separationism for what he calls an accommodationist approach. Is Obama’s Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnership a good idea? Finally, Sarah and Jacques agree that God-talk on the campaign trail is here to stay.
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks to Linda about her recent debate with Pamela Geller over anti-Muslim subway ads in New York. They also discuss the Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on hate crimes, which Linda attended. Is the US government doing enough to combat domestic extremism? Sarah asks about the American media coverage of protests against an offensive YouTube video in various Muslim countries. Linda criticizes Romney’s recent comments about Palestinians, but also criticizes Obama for never visiting a mosque. Plus: Can Twitter be used to fight Islamophobia?
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Natan about increasing “price tag” terrorism perpetrated against Palestinians in the Israeli occupied territories. What’s fueling these attacks? And why haven’t the Israeli Defense Forces stopped them? Natan thinks the violent extremists may have sparked a backlash. But can the settlement establishment do anything about the attacks? Finally, Natan argues that Israeli apathy is one reason the peace process isn’t moving forward.
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Mollie about religion and the Republican National Convention. Why has Romney decided to open up about his Mormon faith? For the first time, the GOP ticket doesn’t have a Protestant on it, and Sarah and Mollie discuss why. Do Paul Ryan’s economic proposals reflect Catholic teaching, and does it matter? They debate the importance of Todd Akin, and Mollie argues that President Obama is the real abortion extremist. Does America have an “abortion culture“? Plus: Is the election still about the economy?