Conservative Values and The Family

Many conservatives and adulterers belong to The Family, a conservative religious organization which has included Mark Sanford and John Ensign. CQ Politics reports on a third affair tied to Christian House, where conservatives affiliated with The Family often spend time praying, partying, or whatever it is they do there.

A Capitol Hill townhouse that serves as a dormitory and meeting place for a band of conservative Christian lawmakers has been linked to a third episode of marital infidelity, this time in a Mississippi court filing by a former lawmaker’s estranged wife.

In an “alienation of affection” lawsuit, former Rep. Charles W. Pickering Jr.’s estranged wife, Leisha, alleges that he carried on an extramarital affair with a onetime college sweetheart while he lived at a house at 133 C Street in Southeast Washington. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., and Gov. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., both of whom admitted to cheating on their wives in recent weeks, are members of the Christian fellowship of lawmakers known as “C Street” for the address of the house where several of the members live at any given time…

The extremely tight-knit and secretive group is described by those with knowledge of its practices as a prayer group in which members seek to discuss personal issues and “hold each other accountable.”

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  1. 1
    Fritz says:

    Maybe they could just rename it The Hellfire Club and party on.

  2. 2
    b-psycho says:

    So…anyone else think it odd for someone representing Nevada — the land of gambling & legal hookers — to be a “Traditional Values!  Pro-family!” type in the first place?  Or is there a huge chunk of bible-clutching types in the state that I’m not aware of?
    I would’ve expected congressmen from there to lean more small-l libertarian.

  3. 3
    Fritz says:

    Lots of Mormons, for one thing.

  4. 4
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Fritz – I’m kind of surprised but you’re right with AZ following right behind. At any rate, I’ve always found these family value types to be beyond hypocritical.

  5. 5
    Clint says:

    “a prayer group in which members seek to discuss personal issues and “hold each other accountable.””
    It was so thoughtful of the Republicans to get a “free love” haven.  I guess people never graduate from Frats.

  6. 6
    nomoreGOP says:

    “At any rate, I’ve always found these family value types to be beyond hypocritical.”

    They are the definition of Hypocrisy! It makes me sick!

    I just cant get over how odd it is when these so called “christian” guys like Sanford set themselves up so colossally by coming out so loud against a guy like Clinton – Calling on his impeachment, etc..

    Obviously Sanford himself knows that after he leaves the interview where he berates Bill for all his unholy, sinful, horrible indiscretions, he is jumping in a limo straight to the airport to get on a first class flight to Argentina (all on the tax payer of course) to be with his “soul mate” (better known as getting some young ***)

    Ok so maybe the timing isn’t quite there, but lets be realistic.. Sanford has never been a christian of ANY values.. He has been doing this for the entire 20 years of his marriage.. I mean he even admitted to what, two or three other women? He just didnt admit sex with any others (since that is so believeable) this is just the first time that he has been caught.. Once a cheater, always a cheater.

    And I think the best part of it all is that he thinks that he shouldn’t have to resign.. That the state will be ok with him missing all of his work to mend his marriage.. What a joke. Talk about icing on the cake ..

  7. 7
    Eclectic Radical says:

    Many ‘native’ Nevadans have the rural/small town mentality associated with the rest of rural/small town America and the accompanying morality. Casinos and prostitution are legal for economic reasons rather than moral and most of the customers are from out of town.
    As an amusing historical note, the reason that gambling was never criminalized in Nevada and prostitution remained legal in specific counties was the simple fact that the ‘good old boys’ liked their poker and whores. It didn’t mean they were any less pro-family values.
    One of the most oft-forgotten facts among those of us on the left is that ‘family values’ are not incompatible with male vice or infidelity if one is taking care of one’s family.

  8. 8
    Leslie Parsley says:

    nomoreGOP  –  You’re so right but I bet 10 to 1, the SC GOP will find some excuse not to force him out.

    You know the old foot-in-the-mouth cartoon? I think it needs to be revised to reflect the times.

  9. 9
    Fritz says:

    Why should anyone want to force out Sanford?  Who cares?  And I would be quite surprised if he used the official state credit card for his flight to Buenos Aires.
    How much taxpayer-funded work did all of the various aspirants for President (almost all of whom were elected officials at the time) miss while they were running in 2007 and 2008?

  10. 10
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Fritz: I have no clue whether or not Sanford used state funding to finance his horizontal rumbas, but it isn’t unusual for a wife cheater to cheat elsewhere.

    All the aspirants for presidential office weren’t screwing around on their wives. Due to modern day technology it’s a lot easier to keep in touch with and meet the demands of an office than it is to communicate when the phone is disconnected.

  11. 11
    Leslie Parsley says:

    The bottom line, Fritz, is that he talked out of one side of his mouth while singing a different tune out of the other.  A moral degenerate, a hypocrite, and a liar to his wife and children and his constituents.

  12. 12
    Fritz says:

    Why should any of the rest of us care if he was cheating on his wife?  The only official no-no he did was not tell his staff that he was heading out of state and not tell the Lt Gov to mind the shop.
    I don’t see him as a moral degenerate.  He clearly seems to be unsuited to monogamy in a society that is rather compulsive about it.  He should have been French.
    Sure, he’s a hypocrite.  But there are precious few politicians who aren’t.

  13. 13
    Eclectic Radical says:

    It always bothers me when the proponents of the religious right are caught in affairs, but it doesn’t surprise me. Keep in mind that much of their program is not really about stopping people from having abortions, cheating on their wives, or entering into homosexual relationships… it’s designed to create a legal framework that will force all such activity into the closet and keep it out of ‘polite society.’ It’s the right-wing version of PC.
    As I noted in another post, ‘family values’ places almost no restrictions on the married, straight white male, though he is encouraged to keep is dirty secrets secret. The point is to keep women and minorities in line and to keep the non-straight quiet if they want to remain part of polite society. With this mindset, it can even be said that guys like Sanford aren’t hypocrites at all. They just got caught.
    What bothers me is that he went AWOL on the job and there are questions of whether or not official business was really personal business. As Leslie said, it’s easy for someone to keep in touch while away and it is also easy for someone to make arrangements to take a vacation on the job. Sanford simply disappeared without notifying anyone outside his staff, made himself completely unavailable, and apparently lied to his staff about his location, making himself even more completely unavailable in case of emergency.
    This is irresponsible and is a lot different than running for office or going on vacation under normal circumstances. In those cases, someone is available at urgent need.

  14. 14
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Fritz, not to belabor the point, but my mom always taught me that it is not only important to avoid wrong doing but it is just as important to avoid the appearance of wrong doing. Maybe things have change more than I thought since I was growing up. As much as I enjoy your posts, in this case  had I not known your name I would have known you were a man.

    If he’s not suited to monogomy, he shouldn’t have married and fathered 4 children. “Sure he’s a hycrite but there are precious few who aren’t. There may or may not be, but if one slits the throat of his wife, should all the others follow? And I still say Sanford & Co are moral degenerates.

  15. 15
    Fritz says:

    Historically men in power have a mistress or three.  It’s common enough I figure it’s wired in.

  16. 16
    Eclectic Radical says:

    “Fritz, not to belabor the point, but my mom always taught me that it is not only important to avoid wrong doing but it is just as important to avoid the appearance of wrong doing.”
    Leslie, the thing to remember about the family values crowd is that they only believe half of your mother’s maxim… if one can successfully avoid the appearance of wrong-doing, then one can do whatever one pleases under the table. This is the ‘polite society’ of Victorian England and Calvinist Germany, where perception of virtue was more important than the absence of vice. 😉

  17. 17
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Fritz: ” Historically men in power have a mistress or three.  It’s common enough I figure it’s wired in.”

    I don’t think it’s just limited to men “in power.”  ;  )   Or, to women in power for that matter.

  18. 18
    Fritz says:

    “Power is the ultimate aphrodisiac” — Henry Kissinger

  19. 19
    Leslie Parsley says:

    Actually, to be fair and because I am a woman, I did a search to see if any women office holders had been involved in an “illicit” affair. The answer is none.

    Eclectic, I agree with you 100%.

  20. 20
    Fritz says:

    Ah, sex and politics…
    Many years ago, in a different age of Middle Earth (and before I was married…) I ran for state assembly in California.  The connection to power of a guy running a shoestring campaign as the Libertarian Party candidate is, er, minimal.  But I had press conferences.  I was on TV debates.  I had interviews.  That was enough.  My dance card (as it were) was most delightfully full that year.  Absolutely crazy.  I was clearly seen as a different (and far more desirable) person by a lot of women.

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