By Dan Gilgoff, God & Country
One week after Mark Sanford admitted to his affair with an Argentine woman—and a day after he called his mistress his "soul mate" and acknowledged further indiscretions—I'm struck by the total silence of pro-family groups.
The Family Research Council has been completely quiet on the South Carolina governor's affair. So has Concerned Women for America. Ditto for Focus on the Family.
The wall of silence is all the more striking given that 10 Palmetto State senators in Sanford's own party have called for him to step down. Does the pro-family movement burn up credibility if it looks the other way when Republican allies own up to extramarital affairs? One recent book makes that case:
As long as we as Christians are willing to tolerate or overlook duplicity in our self-identified party, it will be clear to the world that our allegiance is to a party and not the truth, regardless of what we claim. . . .
[T]he evangelical movement has been guilty of preferring access over accountability. All too often evangelicals have tolerated major breaches of character or competence within the Republican Party or certain "pet" conservative groups. But if we are ever to speak as the moral conscience of the nation, we must consistently stand for a clear set of values and principles, no matter if that leads to a temporary loss of political power.
That passage doesn't come from the pen of a religious lefty. It's from a book by Family Research Council President Tony Perkins and fellow conservative activist Harry Jackson. The book, called Personal Faith, Public Policy, was published last year.
Sanford has admitted to duplicitousness and breaches of character. So why the silence from pro-family groups, even as Republican calls for his resignation mount?