Signs and Wonders
Mark Sanford with his fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur, after winning the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held.
Associated Press/Photo by Bruce Smith
Mark Sanford with his fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur, after winning the GOP nomination for the U.S. House seat he once held.

Signs and Wonders: Will voters continue to forgive Mark Sanford’s trespasses?


Sanford Agonistes. Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford keeps getting covered by messes of his own making. This time around, his ex-wife, Jenny, has accused him of trespassing at her home in violation of their divorce settlement. A judge has set a hearing for two days after the special election he hopes will put him back in Congress. Jenny Sanford confirmed Tuesday that court documents from family court acquired by The Associated Press outlining the complaint were authentic.The documents say Sanford has to appear before a judge next month to say why he was at his ex-wife’s Sullivan’s Island home on the evening of Feb. 3, using his cell phone for a flashlight. Her attorney filed the complaint the next day. According to AP, “The couple’s 2010 divorce settlement says neither may enter the other’s home without permission.” Mark Sanford lives about a 20-minute drive away from Sullivan’s Island in downtown Charleston.

Mormon retreat? Is the Mormon Church retreating from the marriage fight? That’s the contention of an article in the liberal magazine Mother Jones. The magazine contends that during last month’s oral arguments in the Hollingsworth v. Perry Supreme Court case, “faith-based groups were on prominent display: the Methodists supporting marriage equality, the Westboro Baptists suggesting (per usual) that ‘God hates fags,’ the Catholics both for and against gay marriage, clergy of all stripes. But one group that wasn’t there in any official capacity was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints—a.k.a. the Mormons—which perhaps more than any other religious group was responsible for getting Prop. 8 passed in the first place.” The Mother Jones article says the official policy of the church hasn’t changed, but has seen “backlash from the flock.”

Media landscape changing. U.S. internet advertising revenue grew 15 percent to a record $36.6 billion in 2012, according to a new report released Tuesday. The report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers said the growth in mobile advertising was the big news. Mobile ad revenue more than doubled from the previous year to $3.4 billion. It accounted for 9 percent of total internet ad revenue in 2012. Research firm eMarketer expects U.S. mobile ad spending to grow 77 percent this year. That said, Google and Facebook still dominate online advertising. Brian Wieser, analyst at Pivotal Research Group, wrote in a research note for Yahoo News, “If we strip out growth from Google and Facebook, the rest of online advertising likely grew by 3.8 [percent]. This bodes poorly for conventional Web publishers such as Yahoo, as Google and Facebook are likely to remain as the most dominant sellers of online advertising.”

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Pants on the ground? Louisiana’s Terrebonne Parish has passed a new law banning low-slung, underwear-exposing pants. The ban targets the public wearing of pants and skirts that hang “below the waist” and “expose the skin or undergarments.” Violators will be slapped with fines: $50 for the first offense, $100 for the second, and $100 plus 16 hours of public service for each subsequent offense. “Hopefully, it’ll get these young men to pull up their pants,” Terrebonne Parish Council member Russell Hornsby told Yahoo Shine. The council approved the ban April 10 council by a vote of 8-1, and Council President Michel Claudet is expected to sign it into law this week.

Warren Cole Smith
Warren Cole Smith

Warren is vice president of mission advancement for The Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview and the host of WORLD Radio’s Listening In. Follow Warren on Twitter @WarrenColeSmith.


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