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Miss California not the Brightest Star in the Galaxy

Timothy Kincaid

April 27th, 2009

Much has been made over the answer given by Miss California, Carrie Prejean, to a gay marriage question from gay blogger Perez Hilton during the April 19 Miss USA Pageant:

Perez Hilton: “Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?”

Prejean: “Well I think its 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. 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 offense 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.”

This question may well have cost Miss California the title of Miss USA. [See Update Below]

Those who favor marriage equality heaped scorn on her head while those who vision themselves as defenders of traditional marriage saw in her a champion. And that’s a role Carrie was quick to adopt.

But I think with that question specifically, it’s not about being politically correct. For me it was being biblically correct.

Frankly, all I saw was a vapid girl who validated every stereotype about the intellectual challenges of beauty queens.

I was a bit inclined to give her a little break on the factual accuracy of her answer (if not it’s content), assuming she was startled and perhaps a bit underprepared for an unexpected question. But yesterday Rex Wockner interviewed Miss Prejean and the words that tumbled out of her pretty little head left little question about the sophistication of Carrie’s thinking process.

This is Miss California, after a week of preparation about the subject of same-sex marriage, discussing the bases for sexual orientation:

Rex: I understand that you were raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman, and I understand that you grew up knowing that you were always going to marry a guy, but you’re heterosexual. Um, some people are born gay, maybe, you think?

Carrie: No, I don’t think so.

Rex: OK, so now we’re getting somewhere.

Carrie: I think it’s a behavior that develops over time.

Rex: Why would someone choose it, given that if you choose that, you get discriminated against?

Carrie: Um, because obviously Perez Hilton doesn’t think that there’s anything wrong with it.

Rex: No, but if being gay is a choice, rather than something you’re born with, why would you choose something that’s going to lead to your being discriminated against? What would be the motivation?

Carrie: I’m not sure what the motivation would be.

Rex: OK. Me either.

And here she is on marriage:

Rex: And, I guess, last question: What would be so wrong with two women who love each other getting married?

Carrie: What would be so wrong with two women that love each other?

Rex: What would be so wrong with that? Yeah.

Carrie: What don’t you see wrong with that?

Rex: I don’t see anything wrong with it.

Carrie: Why?

Poor dear. You can’t really blame folks for having the opinions of their parents when it’s quite clear that they lack the skills necessary to process information and come up with opinions of their own.

And I do think it appropriate that the anti-equality crowd now has a spokesperson whose intellect matches the arguments they make.

UPDATE:

It appears that Carrie Prejean was not the front runner for this competition. This seems to be a fiction spread by both those who wish to view Miss California as being duly punished for her bad behavior as well as by those who wish to see her as a martyr for her faith.

Comments

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Pomo
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Perez Hilton isn’t the brightest star either. We don’t expect him or beauty pagent contestants to be. Unfortunately Miss California is much better looking than all of us combined :)

Devon
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

She’s not bright, but I the advocate and perez are both saying she’s saying homosexuality is a choice… but I don’t think that’s what she is saying…

KZ
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

How sad and irritating. I hope the average American doesn’t feel this way. I think I’ll donate some money to GLSEN.

AJD
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

I used to think Carrie Prejean was a stupid bitch. Now I know she’s a stupid bitch.

She might as well have said, “I personally believe in opposite marriage because some people don’t have marriage in the Iraq and such as.”

elaygee
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Why is anyone watching beauty pageants? They’re demeaning and dehumaizing to both the participants and the audience. Go watch Jeopardy if you want to see some real human champions.

Christopher Waldrop
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

AJD, I think you may have hit on something there. My biggest problem with the whole debate is that some of Prejean’s defenders have said, “She has a right to her opinion.”

And I’ll admit they’re right, but they can’t stop there. Some of her defenders use the “right to her opinion” defense as though it’s a magic shield that automatically protects her or her opinion from any criticism. They ignore the fact that those of us who disagree with her have a right to our opinions as well. And if we can defend our opinions using logic and real life examples and she can’t, does that really mean her opinion is just as valid as ours?

Possibly not, although that’s just my opinion.

quo III
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

If anything is stupid, it’s making the outcome of a beauty contest depend on how people answer questions about gay marriage. Particularly since it appears that there is only one approved answer.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

I doubt the outcome of the contest was determined by that one question alone.

AJD
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Christopher:

I do think she has a “right to her opinion,” as everyone does. But the problem is that many of the people who insist on saying that are also conferring a degree of respectability on her opinion. Perez Hilton may not have been articulate in calling her a “bi**h” and a “c**t,” but I think he was right to make an example of her. It needs to be made clear that anti-gay views are not acceptable or respectable, including when they’re based on religion.

David C.
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Air head alert!

I think it doesn’t much matter what the question was. Since our beauty queen here just can’t think straight or critically, what comes out of her mouth is going to be pretty much incoherent until she gets that fixed.

As to the general population, there are plenty of individuals that have been supplied with opinions. Those opinions were never considered in the first place but are imitated by those seeking approval of parents, peers, and authorities. Such mimetic behavior underpins much of what we think of as culture and religion.

Candace
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Sigh. Just sad…. the bitchy Perez Hilton personna and his stupid public use of perjoratives because he was pissed off…. the allegations now that the contestant lost the title because of her TrOo christianity…. the stupidity of the contestant, the eagerness of the wingnuts to turn her into an anti-gay authority, her own eagerness to stay in the spotlight a little longer by allowing them to do that…. the reinforcement of the stereotype that blond women are stupid…

I need a double dose of testosterone to distance myself from this.

Kristie
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

You know, from this interview she really seems to me like so many young people I know that have been raised in a religious home. They are taught by their parents and ministers and “elders” that things are a certain way and the Bible says you shouldn’t do this and shouldn’t do that and they take it all as fact without ever deciding what they believe for themselves. They base all of their beliefs on the religious interpretation of other people (parents, church leaders, etc) and don’t look at things any closer. It’s sad really.

This interview also illustrates even more clearly that her stumbling, inaccurate, and ineloquent answer during the pageant was not just a fluke. The questions Rex asked her were not difficult and she seemed to be struggling to understand what the hell he was asking her. She’s definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer.

Christopher™
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

quo III:

i know you love lumping all anti-gay criticism under one umbrella, but it doesn’t wash this time.

The issue isn’t that Carrie Prejean didn’t give the “approved” answer. The problem was that she was embarrassingly ineloquent and clearly uninformed about the factual claims she made.

If she had said, “I agree with the position of our President, Barack Obama, on this controversial issue. I believe that gay and lesbian Americans deserve to have their relationships protected under the law, but I also believe that the legal definition of marriage should be reserved for traditional male-female relationships. Regardless, all committed relationships deserve our support, and I will do my best to encourage that.”

Now, I wouldn’t agree with her position, but it would indicate some level of thoughtfulness. In fact, had she worded the answer that way, she very well might have won the crown.

However, when you use phrases like “opposite marriage” and “in my country,” and also make claims that all Americans can legally choose what marriages they can enter into, you appear ignorant and stupid. It’s one thing to be vapid. It’s quite another to be *so obviously* vapid. She crossed that line and lost the crown because of it.

Bruno
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

I think it would be in Prejean’s best interest to not do too many interviews on this topic. At some point, some “gotcha media” liberal like Katie Couric will tear her a new ass without even trying. And that would be on a more national level.

She could probably do interviews with Matt Lauer ad infinitum though.

gar
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Beauty fades, but dumb is forever. – Judge J. Scheindlin

Punisher
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

“However, when you use phrases like “opposite marriage” and “in my country,” and also make claims that all Americans can legally choose what marriages they can enter into, you appear ignorant and stupid.”

By that logic, then every liberal, who say we belong to the country that is for toleration and diversity (at least the liberal version of both), is ignorant and stupid.

And she is right when she said Americans legally choose marriages. Note the question was responding to. It was how the states should choose on the issue. How do states make the decision on this issue? People voting and choosing through the ballots. So legally, she is right.

And the issue is indeed she did not give the “approved answer.” Jacobs said the right answer would have been to say leave it to the politicians, which is a non-answer to a question asking her to take sides on the debate. And Shanna said her answer was not compassionate for gays. And Hilton said her answer cost her because he did not like her stance (calling her a dumb bitch) and saying she has no right to bring politics and religion (hypocrite that he is in, since he brought those issues in, not Carrie, and Carrie did not even mention God or religion in her answer, which makes those who attack over religion bigots themselves on that basis).

So you have three judges saying she did not give the PC answer, and that did cost her.

That’s on them, not Carrie.

Priya Lynn
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Punisher she said “Well I think its 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.”. For the vast majority of the U.S. that is not true. That’s why she came across as stupid.

She later said she gave the “biblically correct” answer so she was bringing religion into it.

Chad
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

To people like Punisher and quo III, I have to ask, “If a Miss USA contestant had expressed opposition to interracial or interfaith marriages being legal, would you then think the outrage is justified? Or would you also dismiss it as a kneejerk PC reaction?”

That’s what Carrie Prejean’s defenders don’t get, and will probably get it. For us gay marriage isn’t a political issue or a “political correctness” issue, but an issue of rights – our rights. I respect people like Carrie Prejean’s right to express her anti-gay opinion openly and in a public forum, but I also won’t refrain from being pleased when she suffers a tangible backlash for her opinion, just as someone who expresses sexist and racist views in such a forum would (probably, hopefully) without question.

To be honest, I don’t like Perez Hilton, nor do I approve of his misogynistic insults, but I hardly blame the judges for factoring in Prejean’s opinion. This isn’t her opinion on health care reform or even the Iraq War; it’s her opposing rights for her fellow citizens. That, I think, goes well beyond being “un-PC”, and I’m confident there would be no debate or objections at all if her bigotry had been directed elsewhere.

that_chris_guy
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

@ quo III: It’s quite reasonable that she be docked points for her answer; “that’s the way I was raised” is not a logical reason for any adult to hold a particular opinion–let alone a someone who is supposed to be a role model for other young women.

Rick Brentlinger
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

POTUS Obama, while campaigning, took essentially the same position as Carrie except that he was better at finessing his answer (with the help of his trusty tele-prompter – a device Carrie did not have), by making politically correct remarks designed to placate gay people while opposing our right to marry.

I daresay many of the people voicing outrage now, were not outraged at Obama and voted for him (knowing he opposes legal gay marriage), which is what makes it so odd to hear their outrage against Carrie and not against Obama, when both Carrie and Obama agree that those of us who are gay should not be allowed to legally marry.

Rick Brentlinger

Evan
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Oh, I love it when this site gets snarky!

Christopher™
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Punisher:

*sigh*

My point was that the way she phrased her answer was her undoing, not necessarily her position on the issue of gay marriage. However, her anti-gay position was made more glaring because of the way she worded things, and it’s clear the judges picked up on that. She came off as vapid, and she was, and besides, the judges couldn’t call her stupid and ignorant in their assessment. *That* is not PC.

Please don’t stretch my point beyond what it was intended to convey, just to try to “score one against BTB” or something. Prejean *was* incorrect in saying that individual American couples can choose to marry the opposite sex or the same sex. And if that *isn’t* what she meant to say, then it only supports my point that she was incoherent in expressing her point of view.

If she had expressed her position with the same eloquence as Obama, and/or pointed out the fact she shares the same position on the issue with the President, her comments would not have generated much attention beyond the gay blogosphere.

JJQR
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

If she HAD somehow phrased the answer to bring Obama into it (making it clear that they believe the same) it might have lifted her answer into a seemingly hipper one. But she wasn’t prepared for that vicious Perez Hilton’s question. (I doubt this one question/response cost her the “crown”, though).

Laura
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

She clearly has not given this issue much thought. She phrased her answer in such a way that one might be inclined to believe that EACH American can choose same-sex or opposite-sex marriage. But in actuality, each state gets to choose – and in the case of California, the people chose (which is much different than me having a say in my own marriage decision).

Personally, I think she was trying to placate both sides but instead revealed her bigoted views. Now she’s trying to say “everyone has the right to their opinion” – when in fact, whether or not gay Americans can choose same-sex marriage is not a matter of opinion. It is a fact, that gay Americans cannot marry in 46 states. I’m fine with her saying she doesn’t believe in gay marriage – but to make false statements regarding gay marriage just opens her up to criticism. Obama isn’t being criticized because he has said all along that he believes that gays rights should be respected and protected and he has never opposed any gay rights legislation.

John
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

To people like Punisher and quo III, I have to ask, “If a Miss USA contestant had expressed opposition to interracial or interfaith marriages being legal, would you then think the outrage is justified? Or would you also dismiss it as a kneejerk PC reaction?”

How about give her a free pass, like the one given to our president and SecState? Or is it that their comments aren’t given half the attention Prejean’s have been merely because they are Democrats and we hope to get something else from them, so we’ll just express our “disappointment” and move on? Far easier to punish a beauty queen than a presidential candidate, eh?

That’s what Carrie Prejean’s defenders don’t get, and will probably get it. For us gay marriage isn’t a political issue or a “political correctness” issue, but an issue of rights – our rights.

Yet what you seem to be missing is that the treatment Prejean received on this while so-called allies are excused makes us look like hypocrites turning this from a rights issue to nothing more than political correctness and sheer pettiness. What beauty queens believe about politics has about as much importance to me than what gossip trash like Hilton have to say. Well, actually I’ll take Prejean over Hilton any day. That guy’s a crass loon.

We have a far bigger fish to fry than a beauty queen who fails to give an answer we like. How about a SecDef who has punted on the President’s promise to repeal DADT – all while the President maintains his silence?

Mark in Colorado
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

“Well, actually I’ll take Prejean over Hilton any day.”

Could you clarify what you mean by this statement exactly?

It’s a rather odd statement coming from someone who refers to himself as an “average gay joe”.

Timothy Kincaid
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

There are a few differences that one may wish to consider when comparing Miss California to the President.

1. Generational – President Obama is 47. Prejean is 21. Because Americans under the age of 30 are far more supportive of gay marriage, it is easier to accept that someone in their 40′s is less receptive to marriage equality. It is less of an exception to the rule.

2. Alternative – Obama has stated support for civil unions. Prejean, on the other hand, does not seem to make any allowances for any civil rights whatsoever to her fellow gay citizens either in her answer or in subsequent interviews.

3. Prop 8 – Obama wrote a letter in opposition. Prejean seems to be endorsing the results.

4. Eloquence – Much of the criticism of Prejean is in regard to the rather thoughtless and ineloquent way in which she expressed herself. She seems willing to express opinions based on what she’s been told (cuz it’s “biblical”) rather than what she has thought through.

5. Alliance – Obama has not allied himself to any great extent (though there are some tangential associations) with anti-gay activists. Nor does he exploit his opposition to marriage equality to get applause from those who unapologetically seek the harm of gay men and women.

Certainly the President is worty of some criticism for his lack of support (or perhaps flip-flopping) on marriage equality (as well as other issues). And we will do so when the occasions arise – as we have in the past.

JJQR
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Cool. We can use the 47-year-old thing to excuse Obama now.

quo III
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

that chris guy,

You wrote: ‘@ quo III: It’s quite reasonable that she be docked points for her answer; “that’s the way I was raised” is not a logical reason for any adult to hold a particular opinion–let alone a someone who is supposed to be a role model for other young women’

I find it a reasonable enough answer. It’s probably the answer that most people would give in response to most questions about views on moral issues. Most people simply accept their parents views, and they probably right to. The results of people thinking for themselves are dismal 90% or more of the time.

Rick Brentlinger
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

3 more differences to consider…

1. Teleprompter – Obama reads from a teleprompter, lines written by someone else so that what he says sometimes sounds thoughtful. Carrie has to think on her feet – no one writes lines for her to read from a teleprompter.

2. Gravitas – Carrie is a 21 year old college student and beauty pageant contestant – no one expects gravitas from her. POTUS Obama is 47 and viewed by his supporters as the epitome of gravitas.

So why do they share the personal viewpoint that government should withhold legal marriage rights from gays but do not equally share opprobrium from gays for that shared viewpoint?

3. Gender & Color – Carrie is a blond white girl and therefore fair game for vitriolic attacks based on her view against gay marriage. Obama is a black man, therefore it would be politically incorrect to besmirch him for holding the same view as Carrie against gay marriage.

As someone in the blogosphere opined:

“If A = B, and B = C, then A = C… if [Carrie] Prejean is a bigot for her views, and Obama holds the same views, then clearly Obama is a bigot too.”

Conclusion: Come out against gay marriage in a beauty contest – you lose the contest and become an object of ridicule.

Come out against gay marriage in a Presidential campaign – you win the contest AND folks who ridicule Carrie Prejean’s views on gay marriage will support you even though you agree with Carrie Prejean. Go figure.

Christopher™
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

quo III:

“Most people simply accept their parents views, and they probably right to. The results of people thinking for themselves are dismal 90% or more of the time.”

Given the fact that the “90%” figure is not quantifiable, and that it’s just a figure you pulled out of your ass, it doesn’t even make logical sense.

Are you *actually* proposing that people should blindly accept their parents’ moral viewpoints rather than thoughtfully examine them, whether they end up agreeing or not? Wow.

I guess blacks (and a minority of white Christians in the beginning) shouldn’t have been “thinking for themselves” when it came to the abolition of slavery and equal rights.

I guess women shouldn’t have been “thinking for themselves” when it came to the right to vote.

I guess Galileo shouldn’t have been “thinking for himself” when he upset the Church by proposing that the sun was the center of the solar system.

Basically, you’re proposing that people do not give thought to *why* they believe what they believe. All that matters to you, it seems, is that they agree with *your* moral viewpoint, regardless of whether they came to that place thoughtfully or not.

You do realize that attitude isn’t even supported by Scripture, right?

I’m not so much stunned by your attitude, but stunned that you were willing to champion closed-mindedness so openly.

Laura
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

Give me a break Rick. Carrie further clarified her bigotry by saying that gay people “choose” to be gay. Neither, Obama or Clinton have ever made such a statement.

She has had ample opportunity to clarify what she said “on her feet”, but instead she’s only made it worse. She could have made Perez look like the jacka** he is, but instead she just sounds like an idiot. I mean, come on, its Perez!

staci
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Here is an idea. How about all the gay men that work for these contestants in order to help them win just quit right now. They will have no one to do their hair, makeup, dress them, teach them to walk and talk and carry themselves. Let’s see how these bigots make out at the next Miss USA Pageant. That goes for Miss New Mexico too.

quo III
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Christopher,

Well, given that your comment about my figure is just a vulgar remark that misses my point, I don’t think you’re making much sense. Did it occur to you that I didn’t mean it exactly literally, or think people would take it that way? Try to develop a better sense of idiom.

I am not so much suggesting that people should blindly accept their parent’s views (it wouldn’t, obviously, make sense to suggest that because then they would be listening to me and not their parents…), as I am suggesting that it’s usually a good thing if they do that. Thoughtful examination is a bad idea in most cases, considering that most people do not think very clearly.

I hold this view not because I think people should hold the same views I do (although that would be nice), but because I think it’s generally better if they follow the accepted norms of any given society, whatever these are, and whether they are my views or not. My view doesn’t have anything to do with Scripture.

Richard Rush
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Perhaps Carrie Prejean aspires to become the California equivalent of Sarah Palin. Both of them are beauty contestant has-beens, profoundly ignorant, and appeal to the Christian Fundamentalist crowd.

toujoursdan
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Obama speaks off the cuff often too. Remember the Presidential debates? Those responses were not scripted and he has delivered several speeches and participated in many town-hall meetings without notes or a teleprompter.

The “Obama only speaks from a teleprompter” meme seems to be an indirect way of saying he’s… well… stupid, inarticulate and can’t think for himself – a rather Rovian tactic of attacking an opponent’s strengths. Instead of being indirect why not just call it for what you think it is? (It’s amazing that people can’t see propaganda for what it is, in America.)

In all likelihood, Prejean did not lose the pageant based solely on her response. If you look at the scoring for swimsuit and evening gown competitions, Kristen Dalton, the winner, scored much higher in both. (Miss California placing third and second respectively.) She was a “front-runner up” until the question, but given the other scores, even if she gave the PC answer she wouldn’t have won the competition anyway.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miss_USA_2009

Jason D
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

To rick, and many others:

This wasn’t a surprise question, she wasn’t thinking on her feet.

She along with all the other contestants WERE GIVEN THE QUESTIONS AHEAD OF TIME.

She even indicated in interviews after the pageant that she had prepared her answer and that she hoped she didn’t get that question.

It’s not a matter of Carrie having no teleprompter – although Obama doesn’t need one for simple questions, he uses it for speeches – just like every other politician.

It’s not even a matter of poor improv skills, although someone who’s job description requires a lot of public appearances SHOULD be comfortable in front of a crowd and SHOULD be able to string together a coherent sentence on the fly.
The simple fact is after being given the question ahead of time, and given ample time to prepare a response, when she was actually asked the question, she choked. She gave us stumbling, meandering, factually inaccurrate verbal diarrhea.
To say nothing of the response itself, she fumbled. And that counts.
I’m trying to decide if this is sexist because we’re not supposed to “pick on” the pretty girl, or because we’re not supposed to expect much from a pretty girl.

Gabe Arana
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

I really love this headline, “not the brightest star in the galaxy.” Haha

Priya Lynn
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

I too am stunned by Quo III’s attitude. Its at once frightening, hilarious, and sad. He quotes that chris guy:

@ quo III: It’s quite reasonable that she be docked points for her answer; “that’s the way I was raised” is not a logical reason for any adult to hold a particular opinion–let alone a someone who is supposed to be a role model for other young women

Quo III responds:

I find it a reasonable enough answer. It’s probably the answer that most people would give in response to most questions about views on moral issues. Most people simply accept their parents views, and they probably right to. The results of people thinking for themselves are dismal 90% or more of the time…Thoughtful examination is a bad idea in most cases, considering that most people do not think very clearly…My view doesn’t have anything to do with Scripture.

As far as “most people” goes, I for one would never think to just accept my parents views. Secondly if you think thoughtful examination is a bad idea because most people do not think very clearly then it naturally follows that blindly accepting the way you were raised is a bad idea as well – your parents viewpoint had to originate with someone and according to you it must have originated with someone who did not think very clearly. Its nonsensical to think the originator of an idea must be beyond reproach merely by virtue of being ancient.

The fact is that when you have a predecessor’s thoughts you have an opportunity to refine, rethink, and improve upon them. If people always relied on accepting their parent’s views society would have stagnated back in the cave age. There’d be no modern justice system, medicine, technology, democracy, and Quo III you wouldn’t have that Christianity you admire so much.

New knowledge comes with time and that better equips us to create our viewpoints than our parents were equipped to create theirs. The idea that “thoughtful examination is a bad idea in most cases” is quite simply crazy.

Chad
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

John,

You have absolutely no idea whether or not I voted for Obama in the 2008 election or, if I did, my reasons for doing so. Nor do I really see what relevance Obama has in all this. For most of us, expressing our anger against Prejean doesn’t use up Outrage Points that we can use toward other media figures and politicians.

Christopher™
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

quo III:

Actually, it is you who isn’t thinking very clearly. You state:

“…I think it’s generally better if they follow the accepted norms of any given society, whatever these are, and whether they are my views or not. My view doesn’t have anything to do with Scripture.”

Obviously, because you’re promoting a “society says” version of moral relativism. If society’s norms say to do a certain moral thing, you are obligated to do so. Those who “think for themselves” and choose otherwise are doing something you think is a “bad idea.”

Tell that to Mahatma Ghandi, Martin Luther King and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. All three men stood against their respective societies because they believed their society was acting immoral. Heck, even Jesus himself did that. So, even He wouldn’t agree with your viewpoint.

I also find it oddly revealing that you emphasize that your viewpoint has nothing to do with Scripture, when you would be the first to take issue with Scriptural interpretation regarding GLBT issues of many on this blog.

No, my friend. You are the one who is confused.

John
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Could you clarify what you mean by this statement exactly?

While I have no idea what either person is truly like in real life, the public demeanor of both reveal something of their character. There is something I undoubtedly would disagree vigorously with both of them on, but Hilton I would never trust, never turn my back on and frankly, wouldn’t ever associate with. Hilton is a putz (which I thought even before this episode) while Prejean, from what I’ve seen thus far, is harmless.

John
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Perhaps Carrie Prejean aspires to become the California equivalent of Sarah Palin. Both of them are beauty contestant has-beens, profoundly ignorant, and appeal to the Christian Fundamentalist crowd.

Then on that day this becomes relevant. Until then, this is nothing more than the ignorant remarks of a young beauty queen which has little or no bearing on my life and certainly did not deserve the despicable reaction of Hilton or others I’ve seen in response.

John
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

You have absolutely no idea whether or not I voted for Obama in the 2008 election or, if I did, my reasons for doing so. Nor do I really see what relevance Obama has in all this. For most of us, expressing our anger against Prejean doesn’t use up Outrage Points that we can use toward other media figures and politicians.

Why do I care about whom you voted for last year? The election is long over. Democrats beat the socks of the GOP. What is relevant here though is that Obama is President of the United States. Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State of the United States. What is Prejean again? Oh right. Miss California who failed to gain the title of Miss USA for whatever reason. These “outrage points” you speak of directed at such a minor personage as Prejean, all while making excuses for folks who really do have an impact on our lives, makes this all look petty.

Chad
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

Why do I care about whom you voted for last year? The election is long over.

I was wondering the exact same thing!

What is relevant here though is that Obama is President of the United States. Hillary Clinton is Secretary of State of the United States.

It’s relevant, but not to the discussion at hand, unless you know for sure that the author of the original post and other commentators have given Obama and Clinton the pass they’re denying Petijean.

The bottom line is that, regardless of the relative insignificance of beauty pageants (and God knows I’m sympathetic to that point), Petijean has become, at least for five minutes, a public figure with national media attention, one who has vocalized anti-gay views and has taken the chance to expound on them. My point – I won’t speak for the others here – is that in spite of the circumstances she shouldn’t be given the pass, no more than anyone who expresses overt bigoted views about race or sex would be in today’s climate. Taking even a minor figure like Petijean to task for her bigotry is one step forward toward making opposition to same-sex marriage and gay rights as outrageous in mainstream society as opposition to open expressions of racial bigotry, which is of course something I welcome.

I don’t think, as you express elsewhere, that she’s “harmless”, anymore than Orson Scott Card’s homophobic screeds are “harmless” because he’s “just” a quasi-well-known novelist or that the NOM commercial is “harmless” because it’s been widely mocked. Ignoring or forgiving her comments would only serve, if only a little bit, to keep anti-gay views part of the mainstream narrative.

Mark in Colorado
April 28th, 2009 | LINK

John–
You stated, “…while Prejean, from what I’ve seen thus far, is harmless.

I don’t know what your life experience has been John, but anyone not living in an urban environment knows that the smiling bigot can be the most poisonous and lethal. They’ll be nice to you to your face then “stick a knife in your back” when you’re not looking. It’s a generalization to be sure, but they do exist. Perhaps you have not yet been privy to the latest revelation about the putrid “Prejean” (I mean what a pretentious name).

Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “If you lie down with dogs, you’ll get up with fleas, and that’s the fruits of travelling with a fool.”

I am no fan by any means of Perez Hilton, but your poor lack of judgment to choose a smiling bigot as someone you would trust and associate with, someone you deem to be “harmless”, makes you someone I could not trust and could not associate with. Yes, Perez is reckless and ugly in his presentation, but if you think for one second that Miss California 2008 will stand with you and defend you and support you as a gay American, then you will deservedly reap the “fruits of travelling with a fool”.

Apologist is not a good look on you.

John
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

if you think for one second that Miss California 2008 will stand with you and defend you and support you as a gay American, then you will deservedly reap the “fruits of travelling with a fool”.

So you are saying that a 21-yr old beauty queen is someone I should turn to as my ‘champion’? Give me a break, Mark. I don’t rely on any celebrity or near-celebrity for this, nor is my ego so fragile that I need validation from folks like them. You lay all this nonsense at Prejean’s feet, trying to paint her as being some kind of monstrous figure which is every bit as absurd as the rhetoric coming from The Peter et al. Prejean is not my enemy nor have you even come close to making the case why I should consider her to be. Yes, she is harmless from what I’ve seen thus far. If she decides to follow in Antia Bryant’s footsteps that will change things, but for now all of this calumny directed at a young beauty queen of all things is absolutely stupid and petty.

John
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

Ignoring or forgiving her comments would only serve, if only a little bit, to keep anti-gay views part of the mainstream narrative.

There is a huge difference between criticizing public comments in a constructive fashion and tearing into her as if she were Josef Stalin reincarnated. That you cannot see this is simply stunning. And yes, “harmless” she remains from what we’ve seen of her thus far, no matter what you care to project upon her to the contrary.

Ephilei
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

Can we PLEASE! stop talking about this woman?! There are lots of stupid people, but just because this one’s more attractive we’re listening to her?

Chad
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

John,

I don’t recall myself or anyone else “tearing into her”, at least not by my standards. I do see myself and lots of other people calling her a bigot, which she is by any reasonable definition.

And I’ll just say that I find it stunning that you think it’s beyond the pale for gay people to be angry at a public figure who makes anti-gay comments in a public forum. God forbid we shouldn’t be “constructive” when someone is outspoken in their opposition to our rights.

Audrey the Liberal
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

While John can be a bit of a Team Red cheerleader, he does have a (small) point. Its not to say that anti-marriage right isn’t being very stupid by trying to turn a bobble headed beauty contestant in to some kind of “victim”, its just that the excuse making (that some on) the left engage in regarding Barack Obama can be very bewildering.

Priya Lynn
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

I don’t think she’s harmless. As a highly visible celebrity impressionable youngsters might think her viewpoint is something to emulate.

Chad
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

Audrey,

That is a fair point, although bringing it into the conversation here does assume that 1) all of Petijean’s critics here voted for Obama or at least haven’t found his lack of support for gay rights extremely problematic, and 2) people like myself will not extend an equal or greater amount of criticism to Democratic leaders who support gay rights. In other words, it makes the assumption that everyone “picking on” Petijean is a liberal – well, not just a liberal, but a liberal who supported or supports Obama.

John keeps falling back to the argument that attacks on and criticisms of Petijean are “petty”, but I don’t see any reason why Petijean should be off-limits – or that criticisms of her should be on some arbitrary level of decorum (although I will admit that I was disgusted by Perez Hilton’s undisguised misogyny) – when another quasi-famous public figure who has criticized gay rights in public fora like, say, Orson Scott Card presumably isn’t. That’s why we should probably just agree to disagree (although I admit I did kind of enjoy the excuse to debate!).

David C.
April 29th, 2009 | LINK

And now, guess what, she appears to have been, as expected recruited by NOM

Truth Wins Out - Briefly: Baptists, Boobies, Bad Parents, and God’s Cripples
May 5th, 2009 | LINK

[...] a Miss USA crown (she never had the crown — she wasn’t even a front-runner) due to her false and uneducated answers to simple questions about marriage for gay people. After a week of interviews in which Prejean [...]

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