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Bravo to the Brave Miss California
Carrie Prejean was the only contestant “thrown a political bombshell” in the Miss California contest to expose her as a Christian. Her faith was ridiculed and scorned.

The United States is embattled in an escalating culture war on the issue of same-sex marriage. If the battle plays out as it did in Canada, many Christians and many churches will run for cover instead of speaking clearly what the Bible has taught for 2,000 years. But like a voice crying in the wilderness, a little-known beauty queen from California has stunned both Christians and non-Christians by her brave stand for traditional marriage.

Carrie Prejean
Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

In the final stages of judging at the Miss USA pageant on April 19, 2009, 21-year-old Miss California, Carrie Prejean, from San Diego Christian College, was the only contestant thrown a political bombshell. Pageant judge Perez Hilton, homosexual activist and pundit, asked, "Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalize same-sex marriage; do you think every state should follow suit?"

Carrie's remarkably brave answer included the words, ". . . 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."

With that response, she lost her bid for the Miss USA tiara, and lit a fire of controversy that has not abated. On his website, Perez Hilton slandered her as a "b--ch" and defaced photos of her with sexually explicit drawings. He reputedly commented that he had given her a zero, and if she had won he would have ripped off her crown and would have run from the building. Since then, the radical left, much of the media, and many bloggers have scornfully attacked Prejean because of her seemingly politically incorrect views.

Some conservative Christians don't want Prejean defending marriage because they think she's not pure enough. I think they're wrong.

If God in Old Testament times could use Rahab, a prostitute, to protect his spies, and a murderer like the apostle Paul to become his chief messenger, surely an imperfect, flamboyant beauty queen should pose no problem. Spiritual purists should beware of trying to be more spiritual than God.

Who can doubt that the question by Hilton was deliberately chosen to expose Prejean's beliefs?

Knowing she was from a Christian college, he undeniably had a clear idea what she believed. He knew that she couldn't falsify an answer and still be true to her convictions. Hilton's question was designed to out Prejean as a Christian who believed in traditional marriage.

Who knew that a time would come when Christians would need to be "outed"? In any case, his question hit the mark.

Prejean admits she was tempted to fudge the answer. She said to Dr. James Dobson on his Focus on the Family program, "God was saying, . . . 'Carrie, do not compromise this -- you need to stand up for me . . . You need to show you're not willing to compromise this for this title of Miss USA.' "

After three weeks of relentless media attack, Prejean spoke out May 12 at a news conference called by Donald Trump. She publicly forgave her persecutors and those who had spoken maliciously against her. But she also held fast to her free speech rights as an American citizen, and insisted that the persecution inflicted on her was wrong.

This outright attack and bullying of a public figure because of their religious beliefs is more than a little troubling. To put this in perspective, Prejean simply stood up for basic Christian teaching on marriage (Jesus clearly defines marriage in Matthew 19 as involving male and female).

Doesn't it seem somewhat presumptuous to accuse Jesus of discrimination and hatred? Shouldn't God get to establish the basic ground rules of the institutions He created?

Carrie was outed and her private beliefs (which had nothing to do with the beauty pageant) were held up to ridicule, scorned, and belittled. Christians all over America and Canada would do well to take note. They can try and hide from the culture war by faithlessly keeping silent, thus hiding their truth. But they will not succeed, for there are legions of Perez Hiltons who will seek them out for exposure.

No, no, far better to openly own the truth that has been given.

Far, far better for timid, secret-agent type Christians and churches to celebrate the goodness of God's truth on marriage, and to share it faithfully and lovingly to all who have a heart to listen.

Royal Hamel is a member of the Guelph Mercury's Community Editorial Board.

Originally published in The Guelph Mercury, May 19, 2009.




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