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No Room For Dissent?

April 21, 2009

[Note to the Reader: This post is a little long, but keep reading as it takes some time to set up my premise!]

I was browsing FoxNews.com today and ran across this story headline:

Did Miss California’s Answer Really Cost Her the Crown?

Now, I don’t follow the Miss California pageant or the Miss America pageant or the Miss Universe pageant or any other pageant.   I think these things are shallow and bad examples for our daughters, but that is another post for another day….

I wasn’t quite sure what the story was about, but it had piqued my interest.  One can sum up the article with the following quote:

So did her answer to Perez Hilton’s gay marriage question cost Prejean the coveted crown?

This was the last place I would expect to see the Culture War erupt!  Another article on the subject is posted at the Dailymail.com.  It says:

Prejean, a blonde student was one of the favourites to win the Miss USA  title at the pageant held on Sunday at the Planet Hollywood hotel and casino in Las Vegas and shown live on TV.

Having negotiated earlier rounds of modelling in a swimsuit and evening gown, she was down to the final 15 and had to answer a single question from one of the panel of five judges.

Prejean picked celebrity blogger Perez Hilton, who is openly gay and calls himself ‘queen of all media’.

Hilton asked her: ‘Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalise same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?’

Prejean paused for a moment before replying: ‘Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage.’

She continued: ‘And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.

‘No offence to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it  should be – between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.’

Gay Marriage and Abortion are the two biggest issues on the Culture War front between Evangelical Christians and the culture at large.  But when Christians and the culture talk about gay marriage, I don’t think the questions being asked are in the same categories for both sides.

When someone like Perez Hilton (again, who? I just don’t keep up with media enough!) is talking about gay marriage, or gay rights in general, he is doing so thinking that these “rights” are just as absolute and redeeming as the slave’s right to freedom and the woman’s right to vote.  So it is in this context he asks the Miss Universe contestant if she thinks gay marriage should be allowed.  To him, it is tantamount to asking, “Do you think Hitler was evil?”  Of course the answer should be yes.

Miss Prejean hears the question and automatically filters it through her Christian worldview.  She comes to the question of gay marriage with an entirely different context.  Being gay is a lifestyle to be chosen.  The importance and magnitude of the question isn’t nearly so close to her (and many Christians in general).  When she hears “should gay marriage be allowed?” she is hearing a question of morality, a question of right or wrong.  It doesn’t really affect her personally.

I never could understand why gay people reacted so critically when disagreed with.  This is America right?  Aren’t we allowed a dissenting opinion?  Aren’t all viewpoints and world views allowed at the table? Do their rights cancel out my rights?

If the question of gay marriage is elevated to the status of questions of racism and prejudice, then yeah, they are correct in getting so ticked off.

This post isn’t an answer to the question.  It is me just writing down my thoughts as I ponder this issue.  It definitely isn’t as black and white as I used to think!

Comment and let me know what you think.


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3 Comments
  1. Robert permalink
    April 22, 2009 6:22 am

    I think, ultimately, it is an issue of not getting what you want. I bet most gay people could not even tell you why they want marriage, except that it is being denied them, so therefore they want it. So it angers them to be denied it. I meet people every day that are angry because they cannot have something. Isn’t that sometimes the issue with welfare and entitlement? Our current political power want’s to give people what they want. It is their right, their entitlement. We know as parents, that we want to give our kids everything, but if we did, they’d be rotten little scoundrels. (Sometimes they are even tho)

    As to being “born” that way, most gay people can tell you about some traumatic event in their life that is a clear an obvious motivation in their homosexuality. It is a mental condition, but they got that description taken away. Remember Olympic diver Greg Louganis? He was born gay. Oh, but he was molested by a gay man when he was a young impressionable tweener wondering about his sexuality. But that is besides the point to him.

    The sad part is that both parties (gays and evangelicals) are to blame for poor communications between the parties. Gay people are not the devil and their sin is no worse than a pastor who cheats on his wife, or drives a better car than his flock. On the flip side, evangelicals are not the crazy eyed bible thumping freaks as depicted on TV. I work with a lot of Gay people (Hello, ATLANTA!) I treat them no different, and try to show them respect. Most of them actually go to church and seek to honestly know Christ. The hunger is there. I also realize that they, more so than some of us, have probably seen a lifetime of hurt, and need Jesus, just like I do.

  2. Nic permalink
    April 22, 2009 7:25 am

    Did you know that only 1% of all homosexual people want to get married? This is a community that has a huge struggle to be monogamous and 99% of them have no interest in getting married. 99% of a minority group have 0% interest in getting married. However, 99% of them will vote to have gay marriage approved due to the principle of the issue. Wow, unbelievable, more unbelievable how much coverage this issue gets and how this minority group has such a large influence on our government. Very confusing. On another issue, the churches in California really screwed the pooch during the last proposition band wagon they jumped on. Yes, they did a great job promoting, i mean, discouraging the prop 8 issue, however, what about the teen abortion proposition. When did we start caring more about homosexuals having the rights to marry which is going to “ruin marriage”? (by the way, freakin’ Christians you have ruined marriage by having the same divorce rate as non-Christians) Anyways, there was another proposition on the ballot that would have prevented teenage girls from getting abortions without their parents consent. HEY FREAKIN CHURCH you would have been able to save the lives of children, but no you wanted to jump on the band wagon of the hot button issue that will ultimately have very lil’ kingdom impact instead of promoting the proposition that could have saved lives. Good job! I quote Huckabee, Jesus was too smart to get into politics and I think the Church should do a better job of following Him in action and deed then in our lovely attempts at verbalizing our political views.

  3. April 24, 2009 7:01 pm

    First. Perez Hilton is one of those no-talent internet sensations, and why he is at all famous blows my mind. But, putting that aside for a second, I know that he would be the first to stand in line for the “Let’s all be open minded” store when it opens (where the Gottschalks just went out of business). What is the most obscene to me is that, as is evident by what happened in this “pageant”, people are only allowed to be open-minded if that open-mindedness agrees with the people who are self-proclaimed open-minders. Does that make sense? What I’m saying is this: Perez Hilton’s disagrees with anyone who thinks contrarily to himself. His logic is the exact same of those he accuses of being conservative or closed-minded. He wasn’t looking to hear what this girl would say, he wanted to brand her as a gay-basher.
    That being said, it does suck that the soap-box for evangelicals (I actually hate that word) is gay marriage. There are SO many things in this world that scream out for love, justice, and the grace of Jesus. Why “Christians” have picked that one is simply disappointing, so say it lightly. I agree with Nick. (Although I would argue with him AND Mike Huckabee on another point…Jesus was ABSOLUTELY political, but that’s another discussion… :))

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