Ordinarily, we would probably be wise just to move on from last week's flap over Miss USA contestant Carrie Prejean's truthful pageant answer on same-sex marriage, but subsequent news reports reveal we are drawing the wrong lessons from the brouhaha.
Prejean -- in response to the trick question from gay activist blogger Perez Hilton, one of the pageant's judges -- refused to endorse same-sex marriage, which probably resulted in her losing the crown she was favored to win.
Not satisfied with unilaterally disqualifying Prejean and possibly damaging her career, Hilton publicly excoriated her, saying she "gave the worst answer in pageant history" and calling her a dumb B-word and worse.
Prejean, in stark contrast, said that as a Christian, she loved Hilton and was praying for him, a graciousness met with further ungraciousness from Hilton.
Hilton told the "Today" show's Matt Lauer: "I personally would have appreciated it had she left her politics and her religion out, because Miss USA represents all Americans. … The answer she gave alienated myself (and) millions of gays and lesbians. … Miss USA is not a person that's politically incorrect. Miss USA … represents … all America and is inclusive and give(s) the right answers. … I want someone who is going to (say) things that will make everyone feel welcome. … For example … she's a Christian, but I don't want her talking about Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, because that's offensive to all of the Jewish Americans, to all of the Muslim Americans, to all of the atheist Americans."
But it was Hilton, not Prejean, who injected politics. Hilton's clear message, denounced by no one from the gay activist community or secular left, is that Prejean should have lied or ducked the question because her honest answer offended some. Had she high-fived same-sex marriage, you can bet Hilton wouldn't be decrying her lack of inclusiveness toward the majority and not making them "feel welcome." So if Prejean had agreed with Hilton's minority position -- or pretended to -- she would have represented "all of America"; if she had agreed with the majority, she wouldn't have. Go figure.
Pageant judge Claudia Jordan, obviously another opponent of pageant integrity, said, "In pageants, just like in politics, it's probably best to just give a neutral answer, where you're not committed to one side or the other, if you want to win."
Keith Lewis, co-director of Miss California USA, said he was personally saddened and hurt by Prejean's opinion and that "religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family." Again, all opinions are OK except those they disagree with, especially when the opinions are grounded in religious principle.
California pageant public relations spokesman Roger Neal accused Prejean of lying for telling a church audience that California pageant officials told her to apologize publicly and to avoid mentioning religion on the "Today" show. Neal said Prejean was urged only to reiterate that she didn't mean to offend anyone and to use the national spotlight "to heal some wounds."
I doubt Prejean lied, especially considering what Neal admits officials did advise Prejean to say, which is egregious enough.
Why should Prejean have to apologize to anyone? And what wounds does she have an obligation to heal? She did not spontaneously volunteer her opinion on same-sex marriage; she gave it reluctantly, in response to Hilton's loaded question. Nor did she "wound" anyone merely by voicing an opinion shared by hundreds of millions.
Or have we become such prisoners to thought control that one's just voicing an opinion is pronounced hurtful and damaging? Should the majority of Americans flog themselves for having the same opinion as Prejean? How about Barack Obama, who voiced precisely that opinion during the presidential campaign?
Seriously, do Prejean's detractors believe her sin was to voice her opinion publicly or merely to think those thoughts? If it's the former, their ire ought to be aimed at Hilton for asking the question in the first place. But I suspect many actually believe Prejean's primary sin (and that of most Americans) is to think the way she thinks, which, they would say, makes her a bigot and a homophobe. Talk about the tail wagging the dog!
Those who say the militant homosexual activists' goal is to live and let live apparently aren't following their reaction to Prejean and Hilton, which proves the militants will not tolerate an opposing viewpoint. Those who doubt their persistence might be surprised on a not-too-distant day when most states have succumbed to the bullying and changed their definitions of marriage.
If you care to hear the other side of the argument -- that same-sex marriage is not an innocuous idea -- read Frank Turek's excellent book "Correct, not Politically Correct; How Same-Sex Marriage Hurts Everyone." The book will also serve as a wake-up call to complacent Christians operating under the fallacious belief that they have no business engaging in the political arena, a belief that could contribute to the eventual loss of their very freedom to evangelize.