No Room For Dissent?
[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.