Maria Belen Chapur… Mark Sanford’s Fire-Starter?

He’s dead inside… and C Street House knew before his wife



There’s something dreadfully wrong with that. That C Street House, C Street Band, The Family, or whatever you want to call them knew that South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford was having an affair with Argentine reporter Maria Belen Chapur. The super-secret religious organization knew before Jenny Sanford did. But perhaps what’s even more heinous from a media point of view is that most of what we’ve heard about this “hiking the Appalachian Trail” affair has come from the perspective of Mark Sanford. Jenny Sanford has remained mostly silent, until now. She recently sat down with Vogue for an interview, and it’s telling of her inner strength during this storm.

Overheated vs. clear thinking

Vogue describes Jenny Sanford as “petite, clear-eyed, strong-willed, pious without being smug, smart without being caustic.” She wasn’t caught up in the emotional frothing at the mouth that her husband succumbed to when he spoke of soul mates and poetry. Perhaps that’s because their marriage, by her admission, was always one of friendship and comfort rather than passion. But Jenny Sanford has focused on the most important thing throughout – her legacy, the Sanford children. No secured loans or unsecured loans can buy something so valuable and irreplaceable.

Mark Sanford is the prototypical person who chomps at the bit to cast the first stone. That’s exactly what he did when he condemned President Bill Clinton’s philandering as “reprehensible.” He cut the image of wholesome, which for his wife and children was accurate. However, Mark Sanford clearly never grew up; he made the commitment to marry for friendship, believing he could find the fire elsewhere

Enter Maria Belen Chapur.

Hardly the home wrecker, Chapur lit Sanford’s fire. It also appears that she didn’t know quite what to do with such a powerful man pursuing her like a lovesick teenager. Mark Sanford decided to hike the Appalachian Trail in his pursuit of her. Perhaps it was the excitement, or the flame of passion that Mark Sanford wanted. Perhaps if Maria Belen Chapur hadn’t been there, it would have been someone else. Yet as Jenny Sanford sees it, Mark is suffering from an addiction.

“Over the course of both pastoral and marriage counseling, it became clear to me that he was just obsessed with going to see this woman. I have learned that these affairs are almost like an addiction to alcohol or pornography. They just can’t break away from them,” she told Vogue.

I see that as a weak defense of his irresponsibility

Mark Sanford has children with Jenny Sanford. You do not introduce poison into a relationship based on the upbringing of children. You act responsibly because you owe it to your children. You do not disappear “on the Appalachian Trail” (or in the case of my ex, to California). You take responsibility as a parent, because that is the most important job a human being can have.

And where’s Jenny Sanford’s comments on the C Street Band’s involvement in Mark Sanford’s passionate affair? She conveniently neglects to mention them during the Vogue interview, which indicates to me that she’s being influenced not to talk about certain things. Thus, I take Jenny Sanford’s entire interview with a grain of salt. It’s image-making, it’s theater of a sort. There’s some truth, but perhaps the heart of the matter remains obscured. And in this case, it should not be obscured. The Family (C Street Band, C Street House, etc) is involved in this crime against the Sanford children and Jenny Sanford. And while these crimes may not in themselves be punishable by law, they should be. Such harmful secrecy masquerading as religious freedom should be squashed in the interests of children. It is their right not be deceived by an important caregiver.

Midlife crisis and all that

My response to C Street House and those who "leave it in the Lord's hands." (Photo:

My response to C Street House and those who "leave it in the Lord's hands." (Photo:

“My husband has got some issues that he needs to work on, about happiness and what happiness means. You wish it wouldn’t come to a crisis like this, but I think when a lot of men get to this midpoint in life, they start asking questions that they probably should have asked a long time ago,” says Mrs. Sanford. Maria Belen Chapur has been drawn into Mark Sanford’s crisis of maturity, and unfortunately for her, life may never be the same again. Now, is Jenny Sanford perfect? Hardly. By her own admission, “I don’t have a wild past, but I don’t have a perfect past. I worked hard, and I played hard. There are things I probably shouldn’t have done, but I was human. The question is what you learn from them.” That was her experience as a former Wall Street type, a real numbers runner.

In a nutshell, Jenny Sanford says of her marriage to Mark Sanford that “We weren’t madly in love, but we were compatible and good friends. I like to think we balance each other out. I am a conservative at heart, but I’m not passionate about ideas like he is. I am better at making the trains run on time.” Mark Sanford, as a powerful white male, mistook his station in life with the right to stomp on loved ones in pursuit of passion. Incidentally, he’s stomped on Maria Belen Chapur, too, which is something he likely didn’t intend. But his hot and heavy behavior has burned her. Not as much as it has Jenny Sanford and her children, but it has charred the earth.

She is willing to forgive

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But I wish she would have taken a harder line against him. Mark Sanford is getting off much too easily, even if it is hard for politicians to remain grounded and not stoke the fires of ego. Political enemies, commentators and comedians are taking their share of pot shots, however. Politicians need to take the lead here, because Mark Sanford’s use of taxpayer dollars to chase after Maria Belen Chapur (some of it not even itemized) is in violation of the public trust. He must be impeached, and elected officials are the only ones who can truly get that ball rolling. If money is needed to start a grassroots movement to get him out, unsecured loans and secured loans are available. Get started here by clicking the button.

Jenny Sanford says that “Mark is not a bad person,” he’s just struggling. I can see that as well as anyone else. However you may choose to forgive him (likely as C Street has directed) is up to you. However, as a politician, Mark Sanford’s career should be over immediately. Yes, Jenny Sanford may be right when she tells Vogue that “If you don’t forgive, you become angry and bitter.” For the children, however, it’s best that she moves on from this hot mess of a “friend” and do what is best for the youngsters. Invoking the Lord means that you give up responsibility for your own actions. Take action, Mrs. Sanford – don’t join those with blinders on. Make a difference for your children.

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