This past week the Miss USA Pageant has become embroiled in controversy after Miss California gave an unpopular answer to a very tough question. Below is the clip from the pageant that sits at the center of this controversy.
In response to her answer, Carrie Prejean has received an onslaught of criticism. The Miss California board has publicly denounced her position, and celebrity blogger Perez Hilton has labeled her a “dumb bitch,” describing her answer as the worst one delivered in pageant history.
Now regardless of where you come down on this issue, the backlash is quite shocking. No, Prejean’s response wasn’t the most articulate defense of same-sex marriage to ever be presented, but she didn’t exactly start yelling homophobic epithets either. She simply disagreed, while also applauding the nation that allows such diversity of both sexual orientation, and opinion, to exist.
So while I agree that “hate speech” should be greatly discouraged, ESPECIALLY among the Christian community, hate speech is a very different thing from respectful disagreement. That is a message that both liberals and conservatives do well to remember.
As Voltaire once said, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”
So I say kudos to Miss Prejean! She was put in a very difficult position–stating what she believed, knowing it would be unpopular, and risking her crown–but saying it anyway. And not because she’s brainwashed, but because she’s actually got a lot more courage than a lot of us, whether you agree with her or not.
What do you think?