Not only were cheat-y Republicans Sen. John Ensign and Gov. Mark Sanford among the “family values” set who voiced their support for anti-gay legislation, they were also both members of an exclusive Bible study group in D.C. that obviously failed to bring them closer to God’s rules for morality. Banking on religious devotion to balance your extramarital desires while championing traditional marriage? More and more elected officials are realizing that’s a recipe for failure.
An unmarked brick townhouse houses “C Street,” a members-only club affiliated with “the Fellowship,” which you might know as the backers of the annual National Day of Prayer power breakfast. Five congressmen live in the house, at least while Congress is in session. Ensign was among them; as a congressman, Sanford visited (he also mentioned the place during his press conference). Washington Post:
The house’s residents mostly adhere to a code of silence about the place, seldom discussing it publicly, lending an aura of mystery to what happens inside and a hint of conspiratorial speculation. In a town where everyone talks about everything, the residents have managed largely to keep such a refuge to themselves and their friends. On a street mostly occupied by Hill staffers and professionals in their 20s and early 30s, some of the Democratic staffers nicknamed it “the Prayer House.” On summer evenings, the congressmen would sometimes sit out front smoking cigars and chatting, but what went on inside stayed inside.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with being a part of C Street. Having an exclusive-ish religious clubhouse makes sense in a city filled with exclusive clubhouses. But if this sounds like the place where “spiritual guidance” includes tips on how not to cheat on your wife, well, that’s because it is.
Mark Sanford, South Carolina’s disgraced Republican governor and a former congressman, looked here for answers — for support, for the word of God — as his marriage crumbled over his affair with an Argentine woman.
Maybe in the basement they have quarters for ex-gay legislators to perform testimonies.