Sarah Posner invites guests from across the ideological spectrum to discuss breaking news and three-alarm issues at the intersection of politics and religion.
Guest-hosting on The Posner Show, Sarah talks to Marc about the controversy over whether the 2012 Olympics should memorialize the Israeli athletes murdered forty years ago in Munich. Is anything involving Israel inevitably political? Marc and Sarah move on to the recurring question of whether Benjamin Netanyahu is committed to peace. Is this the year when the two-state solution will die? What, if anything, should liberal American Jews do about Israel? They close by analyzing the constant hand-wringing over the Jewish vote.
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Sarah Pulliam Bailey about Mitt Romney’s commencement speech at Liberty University and how evangelicals are dealing with Romney’s Mormonism. How much will President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage impact white evangelical turnout, or black or Latino enthusiasm? They also dissect the theology of Obama’s new support for same-sex marriage, the reactions of his spiritual advisors, and whether his new position will hurt him with “new” evangelicals who say they care about more issues than just the culture wars. Are “anti-gay rights” and “anti-gay” the same thing? Plus: The generational divide over same-sex marriage—will megachurches start to lose members?
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Gabe Arana, web editor for The American Prospect, about the magazine’s current financial crisis. Gabe says conservatives are smarter about funding a media infrastructure, while the liberal donor class has not been. Sarah worries about the future of long-form journalism in an age of rapid-response online media. She cites Gabe’s article on his experience with reparative gay therapy as a great example of this kind of reporting. Turning to the presidential race, Gabe thinks the resignation of an openly gay foreign policy advisor shows that Romney is a wimp. Sarah wants to know why Obama can’t evolve on gay marriage already.
On The Posner Show, Sarah speaks with Anthea about the controversy over Mona Eltahawy’s “Why Do They Hate Us?” piece in Foreign Policy, and whether her broad-brush approach, which provoked much criticism, could contribute to a more robust discussion of international women’s rights. Turning to the domestic “war on women,” Sarah wonders whether the term is politically useful, and argues that the fight over contraception coverage raises a much bigger issue—a long-term goal of redefining the First Amendment. While the Vatican investigates and “reforms” American nuns, Anthea contends that the American bishops are completely out of touch. Plus: Anthea lays out a harsh critique of Ross Douthat’s new book, Bad Religion.
On The Posner Show, Sarah talks with Grant about the Vatican’s crackdown on the nuns in the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. Is this payback for the nuns’ support of health care reform? Grant explains the church’s “preoccupation” with feminism, and why he is dubious that the Bishops’ upcoming “fortnight for freedom” campaign will have any traction with Catholics in the pews. Do the views of dissenting lay Catholics matter to the Church? Plus: Does Paul Ryan get Catholicism wrong?
On The Posner Show, Sarah and Tresa discuss Mormon feminism. What does Mormon theology and culture have to say about motherhood? Do Mitt and Ann Romney’s statements about Hilary Rosen and stay-at-home motherhood more reflect their place of privilege or their Mormonism? How has Mormon teaching shaped Romney’s views on contraception and abortion? Tresa argues that being a feminist Mormon housewife is not an oxymoron. Sarah and Tresa discuss efforts to block menstruating women from performing rites such as baptisms for the dead. Plus: what is the Mormon concept of Heavenly Mother, and why have Mormon feminists been excommunicated for trying to reclaim it?
On the Posner Show, Sarah talks with Matt about Andrew Sullivan’s controversial cover story in Newsweek, “Christianity in Crisis.” Matt believes Christianity is—and always is—in crisis because evangelicals love a decline narrative. But he argues that politicized solutions proposed by the religious right have been disastrous for the evangelical witness. Has Obama’s faith outreach to younger evangelicals worked? Or will issues like abortion and same-sex marriage keep younger evangelicals in the Republican fold? Finally: How legitimate are political arguments based on religious belief?
Guest-hosting on The Posner Show, Anthea talks to Julian about Trayvon Martin. Julian argues that the case been distorted by our search for the perfect allegory, while Anthea criticizes the Stand Your Ground law and the mentality of the gated community. Breaking news: Hispanics can be racist, too! Anthea and Julian move on to discuss the strange way that The Hunger Games has exposed teenage racism and examine the film’s social critique. They close by looking at how the media’s construction of left vs. right narrative frames comes at the detriment of the truth.
On The Posner Show, Sarah and Paul discuss this weekend’s Reason Rally. Should a secularist movement model itself on the Christian Coalition? They examine obstacles to a secularist movement gaining political influence and whether religious groups will always have an advantage. The religious right and the Republican Party are united, but Democrats worry that they have to appeal to secularists and religious voters alike. Can those two factions unite around protecting church-state separation? Plus: Do secularists need better public advocates than Richard Dawkins?
On The Posner Show, Sarah and E.J. discuss whether more aggressive efforts to restrict access to abortion and contraception have sparked a resurgent women’s movement. Can we thank Rick Santorum for this—for being honest about his views on contraception in a way that most conservatives are not? E.J. makes the argument that women’s bodies are an economic issue, not a “culture war” issue. E.J. is optimistic about young women seeing this an freedom issue, and their activism through Slutwalks, social media, and more. Is the fight over contraception really just a rear-guard attempt to undo health care reform? Plus: Are liberals underestimating the political clout of religious conservatives?