Adultery is wrong. It’s wrong if the couple is separated. It’s wrong if there is or is not a law against it. It’s wrong if there are or are not children. It’s wrong on multiple levels.
- It’s a breaking of a promise, a vow.
- It’s sharing something that was meant to be specifically for the promised individual.
- It violates a trust.
- It can destroy a family.
In the case of Gov. Sanford, his position should not exempt him from the law, just as it should not have emboldened him to break it. For in this case, Gov. Mark Sanford did break the law.
South Carolina Law
According to South Carolina’s Code of Laws, Title 16 – Crimes and Offences, Chapter 15 “Offenses Against Morality and Decency”:
SECTION 16-15-60. Adultery or fornication.
Any man or woman who shall be guilty of the crime of adultery or fornication shall be liable to indictment and, on conviction, shall be severally punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars nor more than five hundred dollars or imprisonment for not less than six months nor more than one year or by both fine and imprisonment, at the discretion of the court.
SECTION 16-15-70. “Adultery” defined.
“Adultery” is the living together and carnal intercourse with each other or habitual carnal intercourse with each other without living together of a man and woman when either is lawfully married to some other person.
[Daily Kos (emphasis theirs)– Adultery is a crime in South Carolina!]
That means that he violated the law. Now, I’m not sure what grounds a person would have to have to bring a suit before the court. I’m sure Mrs. Sanford could bring a suit, though from her statement I doubt she will.
Mrs. Sanford’s Statement
I really appreciate Mrs. Jenny Sanford’s statement. I appreciate it for a number of reasons:
- She starts out saying that she loves her husband, and focuses on his accomplishments.
- She rightfully says that her greatest accomplishments are her children.
- She asked him to deal with what was going on separate from the children in order to help him decide what he wanted to do for the sake of the children.
- She’s willing to forgive him if he’s willing to work toward restoration with humility and repentance.
- She’s grounded in faith.
She’s a total class act, and I pray that this family will be able to see healing and weather this storm.
What Should Happen?
Should Gov. Sanford lose his job? There was a law broken—adultery—but there has been no indictment filed. Therefore, he’s not under investigation by the police, though he admits he’s guilty of a crime.
Obviously, if someone was able to get a hold of him to get him to come back because of the media firestorm, he wasn’t unreachable, therefore I reject the whole “he left the state without a leader.” He was gone for a week, there were people in his administration that could react, and he was reachable, but did not want to air this dirty laundry in public—as he was in the process of dealing with it himself.
Do I think that “if you can’t keep your commitment to your wife, how can you keep your commitment to your state?” is a proper question? Sure, it’s a good question, but I’m not sure that it warrants removal—perhaps a confidence vote or wait until the next election.
I mean, it’s up to members of that state to decide whether they trust him, not for me to rain down judgment from afar.
If he were the Governor of my state? I doubt all politicians ability to keep the promises they make, or to accurately represent me, so the question of “will he keep his promises to the state” seems spurious at best. It’s reaching.
Taxpayer funds to go to Argentina? Was he there for a government purpose, or was it only for the mistress? If it was only for the mistress, pay the funds back.
See, I understand human nature—we’re all sinners, we all fall prey to it, and but for the grace of God I could be in the same position.