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?
I am thankful you took time to address this issue. I am also very proud of Miss California. I was very impressed that with a crown on the line (as superficial as that may seem to some) she stood up for her belief’s regardless of the fact that she had to have known where Perez Hilton stood on this issue. In the clip you posted above, you will notice the crowd seemed supportive despite the onslaught of negative media coverage after the pageant.
The most telling thing about the entire exchange was a statement made later by Hilton in which he essentially said that things such as politics and religion should be kept out of such arenas. In what other way would someone be able to address any issue surrounding marriage if you didn’t discuss it politically or religiously? This only further shows that intelligent, understanding and open dialogue and mutual respect are not what are truly being sought.
This only further shows that respectful debate and disagreement is becoming a more and more difficult thing to find. I’m glad she spoke up for her convictions, and I pray that it will encourage others to do the same.
I blogged about this too…
I love this statement from your post on this issue:
“Religous harmony works both ways. While Christians should respect the individual’s choice of sexuality, the pro-gay movement should respect the Christians’ beliefs in God, the Bible, and homosexuality as sin.”
I think that pretty much sums this whole situation up!
I also blogged on this as it seemed so representative of the greater issues of intolerance. I’ve come to the conclusion that intolerance cannot be combatted with intolerance. Please note that this particular blog entry was written out of frustration rather than being well thought out and can even be a little judgemental, but I think that this issue really shows greater insight into the culture wars.