by William Moultrie
[editor's note: this piece originally ran on July 14, but has been revised to now include a more sensational headline]
Greenville – Robert Jameson is on a mission to keep Governor Mark Sanford in office. Jameson, a longtime follower of Fred Phelps, the Baptist pastor from Kansas who is notorious for protesting at the funerals of homosexuals and fallen soldiers, believes that Lt. Governor André Bauer is not eligible to assume the position of governor until questions about his sexual orientation are answered.
“South Carolina’s constitution plainly says that you have to believe in god to hold public office,” said Jameson, “and the bible is very clear that homosexuality is against the will of god, therefore a homosexual clearly cannot truly believe in god. I think it’s clear that the state’s constitution prohibits gays from holding elected office.”
Questions were raised about Bauer’s sexual orientation earlier this year when former congressional candidate Linda Ketner repeated rumors that Bauer, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, and state Senate President Pro Tempore Glen McConnell are all gay.
Bauer has been firm in his denials.
“How many times do I have to repeat myself? I am not gay. And I think my stance on god is well-documented. I led the fight for South Carolina to issue ‘I Believe’ license plates even though I knew they would be found unconstitutional and would likely cost the state some significant money on legal fees. That, my friends, is commitment to god.”
“I’m sorry, but that’s just not good enough,” said Jameson. “It’s easy to say your not gay, but we’re going to need proof. And I don’t mean just to move up if the governor’s office becomes vacant, but to keep his current office. The same goes for McConnell and Graham and anyone else holding public office who is not married. Our lawyers are examining how the constitution can be similarly applied to police officers and school teachers.”
The controversial section of South Carolina’s constitution dates back to 1865 and states “No person who denies the existence of the Supreme Being shall hold any office under this Constitution.”
“Of course it’s a problem,” said Furman political science professor Ben Tillman, “but religion is a touchy subject in this state. It’s a litmus test and people tend to just go along regardless of what they believe. Of course, if they threw out this constitution, we’d have to revert to the previous version, and that was the one that served us during the Confederacy – I suspect there would be quite a few more objections to that one than this one.”
“We’re not particularly happy with the governor’s adulterous actions either,” said Jameson, “but as far as we’re concerned, bedding a dozen women is a lot better than laying down with a single man.”
“God bless South Carolina,” responded Governor Sanford.