Lynn v. Sekulow

Lynn v. Sekulow


Miss California: Look Pretty, Don’t Preach–Anything Wrong With That?

posted by Rev. Barry W. Lynn

I should begin by noting that I hate beauty pageants. Judging women, in whole or in large part, by appearances is a sexist and anachronistic affront to an entire gender.

I must admit, however, that the latest wrinkle in the Carrie Prejean, former Miss California USA, controversy has grabbed my attention. Prejean, who was a finalist in the Miss USA Pageant in April, made a statement in opposition to same-sex marriage during the question and answer segment of the contest. Religious Right groups immediately began complaining that she came in second because of the content of her answer and that she deserved to win the competition.

After the event, Ms. Prejean suffered some embarrassment in regard to a series of “modeling” photographs that appeared on the Internet, but Pageant officials supported her continued activity as Miss California USA.  Then, several weeks later, her employment was terminated, with officials claiming that she had failed to participate in several public events that she was contractually obliged to do and that, on the other hand, she had made some unauthorized media appearances.

Ms. Prejean has now sued Miss California USA officials Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler, as well as publicist Roger Neal for what she claims was an illegal firing.  I have no opinion about this contract dispute.  However, she is also claiming that the company dismissed her because of an anti-religious bias.  She is asserting that the company told her not to discuss God and her religious values even before the night she gave the infamous anti-same sex marriage answer.

I find this claim utterly preposterous. Since when can a private
employer not tell an employee that within the scope of his or her
employment, certain activities are forbidden?  She wasn’t told that she
couldn’t go to the church of her choice on her own time, nor was she
forbidden to read the Bible on her lunch hour. She was told that
theological discourse was not a part of her duties.

Can’t a life insurance company tell its employees that they can’t
evangelize on company time, or does every insurance agent have a
“right” to not only try to sell you life insurance but also chat you up
about “eternal life”? Could an actor hired specifically to play Hamlet
just replace Shakespeare’s lines with Bible verses and claim some “free
exercise of religion” right to do so?

Don’t get me wrong.  If Ms. Prejean showed that contestants were
never chosen if they were adherents of a particular faith or that no
efforts were made to accommodate religious observances in setting
up  her public appearance schedule, she might have a legal leg to stand
on.  But from what I’ve seen, she decided that preaching on the
pageant’s dime is a constitutional “right.” 

From that postion, I must dissent.

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Tiffany

posted September 3, 2009 at 7:45 pm


So are you saying when asked that question she should have lied and said that which was “politically correct”? If that is the case you have got to be kidding me. She answered the question truthfully and that got her in trouble plan and simple. I believe that the California organization did breach the contract and I hope she recieve a nice “chuck of change.” That will teach them next time to walk lightly.



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Mordred08

posted September 3, 2009 at 8:39 pm


Tiffany: “She answered the question truthfully and that got her in trouble plan and simple.” The neglecting of her duties as Miss California had nothing to do with it, of course. I’m surprised we don’t see more people pulling the religion card to get away with their bad behavior.
Does the fact that she was replaced by an anti-gay-marriage Christian (presumably without the dirty laundry) instead of an full-blown “love is love” liberal just fly over everyone’s heads? She’s not a martyr. She made some poor decisions, and she paid for it.
“That will teach them next time to walk lightly.” Or alternately, it will teach them that Christians will attack you if you do not accept their beliefs.



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Fran

posted September 4, 2009 at 11:21 am


While I don’t think someone should be eliminated for religious belief, Carrie did have a boob job paid for by the Contest. She showed no modesty when strutting around in her swim suit. She copped out on her duties to the pageant. I think she just wants to be on the religious circuit to make money. She will lose her case because she got other chances and blew them. She probably wants to lose it so she can whine on TV about it.



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Craig

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:34 pm


I have to agree with Barry’s first comment, beauty pageants are an anachronistic remnant of a different world. It is time for them to just be eliminated along with the objectification of women that they represent.
In this case my understanding was that she was fired for failing to fulfill the duties to which she agreed when she won Miss California, not for her answer to one question. If this is the case then she should not prevail in her suit, but in any case can’t we all just move on and stop teaching women that how they look is the most important thing in their lives? This starts at a very young age in these pageants, it strikes me as child abuse.



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Tiffany

posted September 4, 2009 at 7:01 pm


Mordred08, she is the one being attacked for her beliefs and if you cant see that you are blind. I hope that a lawyer during consultation discovered that she really does have a case against the California agency. I would hope that a lawyer did not take her case just for the publicity. That would make a mockery of the US justice system and I hope that is not the case. Of course once they go to trial a judge in California(that alone is scary) will judge if the case has merit/grounds. If it is the case that they breached the contract, I hope she take them for a ride. No one is trying to make anyone accept christian beliefs/values. But we would like to have our opinions and not feel we have to keep silent or deny those beliefs because someone else does not share those beliefs.



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Boris

posted September 4, 2009 at 10:46 pm


I love how Christians claim we live in a Christian nation, that around 76 percent of the population is made up of professing Christians in the U.S. and that Christianity is gaining in popularity everywhere and at the same time claim to be some kind of persecuted minority. The government, public schools, private businesses, media and contests all supposedly have some kind of anti-religious bias. From who may I ask? And these complaints about not being able to speak their minds! For 1800 years anyone who spoke their mind anywhere near any Christians was harassed, arrested, tortured, murdered or any combination of those. Until something like that starts happening this is one more thing hypocritical Christians should just shut up about.



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Mordred08

posted September 5, 2009 at 1:44 am


Tiffany: “Mordred08, she is the one being attacked for her beliefs”
Jesus was crucified for his beliefs. Joan of Arc was burned at the stake for her beliefs. Carrie Prejean was called an idiot on some guy’s blog. I’ve been called worse things on the internet by people who can’t even spell “idiot”.
“No one is trying to make anyone accept christian beliefs/values.”
Except for groups like the National Organization for Marriage who want to make them a part of constitutional law. Interestingly enough, NOM used Prejean as part of their campaign until…you guessed it, the dirty laundry came out.



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N. Lindzee Lindholm

posted September 5, 2009 at 2:08 pm


It was stated that “She is asserting that the company told her not to discuss God and her religious values even before the night she gave the infamous anti-same sex marriage answer.” Was she hired by the company before she gave her speech? If not, she should be able to talk about values because she is on her own time. If not, then her position may be unjustifiable.



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DSJulian

posted September 6, 2009 at 9:17 am


Perez Hilton, who asked the question whether she believed every State should legalize same-sex marriage, aid she lost the number one spot because she fumbled the answer, failed to answer the question, and alienated a large segment of the population.
Carrie replied, “Well I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one way or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage. You know what, in my country, in my family, I think I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised and I believe that it should be between a man and a woman.”
Donald Trump, who owns most of the Miss Universe Organization, defended Prejean’s answer, saying that “Miss California has done a wonderful job” and that “It wasn’t a bad answer, that was simply her belief.” Several elected officials, including Gavin Newsom, mayor of San Francisco and a prominent supporter of same-sex marriage, and political pundits criticized Hilton and defended Prejean for honestly stating her personal beliefs.
The correct answer, of course, should have been: “It’s not up to me to decide for other people or other states because I’m just a dumb bimbo swimsuit model with a snappy new boob job (thanks Donald, er, Mr. Trump) [smiles and winks at Trump].
The questions you should be asking are: (1) Did Donald Trump offer to pay for breast enhancement surgery for all the contestants? and (2) What was Perjean supposed to put out in return for this enhancement?



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Mary-Lee

posted September 7, 2009 at 5:26 pm


Any twenty-something woman who needs to fall back on “that’s how I was raised” also needs to grow up. Fine that she was raised that way, but by this time in her life she needs to either accept or reject the way she was raised and develop beliefs and convictions of her own. That she has not is a measure of her immaturity… more than likely the same immaturity that persuaded her to believe she could blow off her commitments to the Miss Universe organization.



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churchmouse

posted September 8, 2009 at 2:09 am


“ Since when can a private employer not tell an employee that within the scope of his or her employment, certain activities are forbidden?”
I am not a fan of pageants. But what happened to Carrie was wrong. She was let go because she stated an unfavorable opinion about homosexuality. Hilton pounced on her before the answer was out of her mouth. He had a mission and Shannon and staff hated her and wanted her out that much was obvious. Trump caved in and had to fire her to save face and they blamed her for things she did not do to get rid of her.
Where I find fault with Carrie is how she lied about the semi- nude photos she took. She blamed them on the wind……yea right Carrie. No Christian woman who was walking right would pose for pictures like those pics. But does she have the right to sue……absolutely.
There are things happening all over this country/world to peoples free speech, particularly Christians.
I am a Christian and do not believe we are a Christian nation any longer. I believe we are a humanistic secular society who has turned their backs from God and it shows.
BORIS you need to step out of the box and research the freedoms that are being taken away from people.
Consider five examples of how Christianity is a crime in this country.
First, prayer is being outlawed. Verbal prayer offered in a school is unconstitutional, even if that prayer is both voluntary and denominationally neutral (Engel v. Vitale, 1962; Abington v. Schempp, 1963; Commissioner of Education v. School Committee of Leyden, 1971). If a student prays over his lunch, it is unconstitutional for him to pray out loud (Reed v. Van Hoven, 1965).
Second, Jesus is outlawed. A city council meeting can pray, as long as they don’t say the name of Jesus (Rubin v. City of Burbank, 1999). The decision said nothing about swearing with Jesus’ name.
Third, the Bible is outlawed. In Omaha, Nebraska, a student was prohibited from reading his Bible silently during his free time, or even to open his Bible at school (Gierke v. Blotzer, 1989). It is unconstitutional for a classroom library to contain books that deal with Christianity, or for a teacher to be seen with a personal copy of the Bible at school (Roberts v. Madigan, 1990).
Fourth, Christmas is outlawed. A Frederick County, Maryland, school employee was prohibited from handing out Christmas cards on a public-school campus. Red poinsettias were banned from the Ramsey Court house in St. Paul, Minnesota, because they offended one person who believes the flowers to be a symbol of Christianity. In Worthington, Ohio, students were prohibited from bringing in Christmas cookies with the colors red and green or in the shapes of stars or bells.
Fifth, crosses are outlawed. It is unconstitutional for a war memorial to be erected in the shape of a cross (Lowe v. City of Eugene, 1969). In June 2004, the Los Angeles County Supervisors voted three to two to remove a tiny cross from the official county seal rather than face a potential lawsuit from the ACLU. The cross had been there for forty-seven years. (Warsaw v Tehachapi, 1990)
In Texas, 1995 Samuel Kent a federal judge told American students if they prayed in the name of JESUS, they would be sentenced to a 6 month jail term. Tolerance???? (Worldnetdaily, 2001 “Santa is Appalled)
Idaho….(Peterson vs Hewlett Packard) Christian worker exercised his free RIGHT in response to a homosexual poster the company placed near his cubical. He posted in his cubicle bible verses regarding the poster. HE WAS FIRED.
The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals wrote, “An employer need not accommodate an employees religious beliefs if doing so would result in discrimination against his co-workers.”
California….A lesbian approaches 2 doctors in San Diego to be artificially inseminated, the doctors refused. She sued and the courts found that the doctors were wrong. They said, “practice your faith within the walls of your church but not in the work place.”
Madison , Wisconsin….Ann Hacklander and Maureen Rowe looking for a roommate to share expenses. One of the applicants that applied was a lesbian . They selected another girl. The lesbian sued and won. Girls were ordered to pay $1,500.00 and forced to go to sensitivity training taught by HOMOSEXUALS all because they did not select her for their roommate.
Under the First Amendment any group has the RIGHT TO EXPRESS ITS VIEWS, and to try to persuade others of its stand on a moral issue. WE have the right as citizens to free speech anywhere we are.
The government is taking free speech away. They are even taking parental rights away. They think they know what is best for our children.
And if the hate crimes bill goes through any pastor across the country will not be able to say one negative thing about homosexuality and the bible will be declared hate speech. It’s already happened in Canada.
All the above examples are taken from The Criminalization of Christianity, pp. 101-103).
How dare you BORIS tell me I have to shut up. Who do you think you are? And what right do you have to stop anyone from sharing an opinion? You make my point that there are forces trying to criminalize Christianity. You are proof positive. Thanks.



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Boris

posted September 8, 2009 at 9:58 pm


Churchmouse
Boris the Cat here:
I am a Christian and do not believe we are a Christian nation any longer. I believe we are a humanistic secular society who has turned their backs from God and it shows.
Boris says: This never was a Christian nation. It is a nation that had religious freedom as one of its founding principles. The Ten Commandments strictly deny religious freedom and demand the worship of only one God. It’s hard to imagine a more anti-American document than the Ten Commandments and they should be banned from all public venues immediately and forever.
Under the First Amendment any group has the RIGHT TO EXPRESS ITS VIEWS, and to try to persuade others of its stand on a moral issue. WE have the right as citizens to free speech anywhere we are.
Boris says: So do atheists. You can’t burn us at the stake anymore so get used to it.
The government is taking free speech away. They are even taking parental rights away. They think they know what is best for our children.
Boris says: You want the government to take women’s reproductive rights away. You think you know what is best for our citizens and so you want to force parenthood on people who don’t want it or are not ready for it. So you really aren’t worried about people losing their rights. You just want to make sure they lose the rights you want them to lose and you don’t lose any of yours.
And if the hate crimes bill goes through any pastor across the country will not be able to say one negative thing about homosexuality and the bible will be declared hate speech. It’s already happened in Canada.
Boris says: All Bibles should have to be sold with warning labels. Below is a copy of the one we atheists are suggesting to congress be put in all Bibles sold in this country:
WARNING: This a work of fiction. Do NOT TAKE it literally.
CONTENT ADVISORY:
Contains verses descriptive or advocating suicide, incest, bestiality, sadomasochism, sexual activity in a violent context, murder, morbid violence, use of drugs or alcohol, homosexuality, voyeurism, revenge, undermining of authority figures, lawlessness and human rights violations and atrocities.
EXPOSURE WARNING: Exposure to contents for extended periods of time or during formative years in children may cause delusions, hallucinations, decrease cognitive and objective reasoning abilities, and in extreme cases, pathological disorders, hatred, bigotry, violence including but not limited to fanaticism, murder and genocide.” endanger your mental health and life”.
Christian pastors are not qualified to speak on the subject of homosexuality. This is a matter for science and scientists have discovered much about homosexuality. Homosexuality occurs in nature in many species and so human homosexuality has a naturalistic explanation. Christian pastors staunchly deny just about every scientific explanation there is. They are no more qualified to speak about homosexuality than they are evolutionary biology.
How dare you BORIS tell me I have to shut up. Who do you think you are? And what right do you have to stop anyone from sharing an opinion? You make my point that there are forces trying to criminalize Christianity. You are proof positive. Thanks.
Boris says: The reason I said Christians should shut up is for their own good. Christian arguments like your one about people losing their rights are hypocritical and can always be turned on their heads and used to debunk the Christian’s position like I just did yours.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted September 9, 2009 at 3:29 pm


“Was she hired by the company before she gave her speech?”
Yes, Lindzee, she was. “The company” even subsidized her boob job.



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Grumpy Old Person

posted September 9, 2009 at 3:34 pm


Tiffany,
“She answered the question truthfully and that got her in trouble plan and simple.”
That may be part of the “plan [sic] and simple” truth, but it is by no means all of the truth.
She also got in trouble for lying about not ever having semi-nude pictures taken. She also failed to show up for some appearances. In addition to adding political/religious views to her speeches, these things all contributed to ‘getting her into trouble’.
“I believe that the California organization did breach the contract “
Go ahead and “believe” it all you want; it’s a free country. OTOH, I, believe it is Ms Prejean who breached her contract. And, I beleive the courts will agree with me. Ever wonder why she didn’t sue the actual owner of the contest if she is so ‘wronged’? After all, it was Mr. Trump who fired her (something he is famous for).



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Grumpy Old Person

posted September 9, 2009 at 3:46 pm


“She was let go because she stated an unfavorable opinion about homosexuality.”
No, she wasn’t, churchmouse. Lyin’ fer Jeezus doesn’t help your case. Or your cause.
“they blamed her for things she did not do”
Wrong again, cm. She DID fail to show up for assignments. She DID lie about the pictures. (And you know that since you, yourself, typed, “Where I find fault with Carrie is how she lied about the semi- nude photos she took.”.) She DID insert political/religious beleifs into her public appearances. Again, lying does not help your case.
“I … do not believe we are a Christian nation any longer”.
It never was, cm. Your ‘laundry list’ does not impress. But I must say, your spelling has improved considerably.



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Punisher

posted September 10, 2009 at 1:16 am


“She wasn’t told that she couldn’t go to the church of her choice on her own time, nor was she forbidden to read the Bible on her lunch hour. She was told that theological discourse was not a part of her duties.”
Nice revisionist spin. Or did you forget about Lewis’ attacks on Prejean for being part of a church that Lewis deemed extremist for daring to hold to live the gay lifestyle to be sin (actually, it is very much mainstream conservative Christianity to hold to that, regardless of the denomination), and Lewis questioning whether Prejean should be part of MISS USA organization over that? Forgot about when Lewis and Moakler held their own press conference where they trashed her and any Christian conservative she associates with? Or Moakler’s appearance claiming to be her friend while trashing her for being associated with any Christian evangelical that Moakler disagreed with over the gay issue?
Their own words screamed religious discrimination. Sorry, but I choose to take them at their word when they made all these statements. They cannot make these statements and turn around and deny religious discrimination has nothing to do with it. That’s laughable.
Or did you forget about right after the pageant itself, several of the judges including Moakler and Hilton stated they marked her down for her answer, and Lewis and Hilton specifically stated that she had no right to bring her religion and politics in despite the fact that she was asked a question that pertained to both in regards to her beliefs? Yeah, Moakler wanted both ways saying she did not lose because of her answer, but for failure to show compassion in her answer, meaning her answer must agree with Moakler.
And as to their claims she was fired only for breach of contract, let’s not revise that either. What part of the contract allow those who are given charge over her, be it Lewis, Moakler, or whoever, to week in and week out trash her over and over again? And then they say she cannot talk in public as part of the contract while they trashed her?
There is a term for that- unconsciousable contract. Yes, you can argue in itself that is not the case. But it becomes the case when they repeatedly trashed her and then tell her she cannot speak to defend herself because of the contract.
They did alot to breach the contract themselves.
The bottom line is this divide between the two parties come down to they simply don’t like her answer and her standing up for herself after all the attacks they threw at her afterwards.



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churchmouse

posted September 10, 2009 at 3:48 am


Boris, can you prove the bible is 100% false? If so provide the evidence.
Boris says: “The reason I said Christians should shut up is for their own good. Christian arguments like your one about people losing their rights are hypocritical and can always be turned on their heads and used to debunk the Christian’s position like I just did yours.”
So you think you know what is best for us? LMAO And you have all the answers? Oh pleeze.
Boy aren’t you tolerant. So let me get this straight….You tell us to be tolerant of other views and then you don’t do it yourself.
I gave you examples of stuff happening all over the country, you just won’t admit that it’s happening.
As for Ms. Prejean not showing up for scheduled dates, I do not think this has been proven. They hated her and wanted her out.
She probably would have been the next Miss California had she not spoken against homosexual marriage, come on. Hilton started crucifying her after she gave her answer. How can you explain all that happened?
Punisher you are right……it came down to her answer.
In fact poor pathetic Shannon resigned after Trump let her Carrie keep her crown. That’s how much she hated her and she did not mince words about it.



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Boris

posted September 10, 2009 at 3:32 pm


Boris, can you prove the bible is 100% false? If so provide the evidence.
Boris says: Sure with two words: evolutionary biology. God supposedly was active in the past directly responsible for many things such as flooding the earth and drowning almost he entire human race, killing every first born Egyptian child and animal on one night, feeding a nation of people in the desert for forty years, intervening in wars involving hundreds of thousands of troops and many other events for which there exists not one shred of evidence that could even hint that any of these things even might be true. Certainly a catastrophic event such as the Passover event had it really occurred could not have gone completely unnoticed and unmentioned in the mountain of historical inscriptions we do have from Egypt not to mention all the archaeological evidence there would be. This event simply never happened and because it didn’t the God of the Bible could not possibly exist. There could be a God but it isn’t the God of the Bible. We can test the claims of the Bible scientifically and they all fail due to the lack of evidence necessary to support those claims. Nothing is ever going to change that.
So you think you know what is best for us? LMAO And you have all the answers? Oh pleeze.
Boris says: What’s best for you and everyone else on this planet is atheism.
Boy aren’t you tolerant. So let me get this straight….You tell us to be tolerant of other views and then you don’t do it yourself.
Boris says: What you are really saying is that I should tolerate your intolerance. “Let a wave of intolerance wash over you… a wave of hatred… Yes hate is good… Our goal is a Christian nation…. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don’t want equal time. We don’t want pluralism. We want theocracy.” – Randall Terry, right wing Christian ex-used car salesman and founder of the violent antiabortion group Operation Rescue.
I gave you examples of stuff happening all over the country, you just won’t admit that it’s happening.
Boris says: I know those things are happening and I support each and every one of them. You people say Christianity isn’t a religion so you have no right to demand religious freedom.
As for Ms. Prejean not showing up for scheduled dates, I do not think this has been proven. They hated her and wanted her out.
Boris says: You don’t think evolution has been proved either but it has been.



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Gerard Nadal

posted September 15, 2009 at 11:52 pm


“I find this claim utterly preposterous. Since when can a private employer not tell an employee that within the scope of his or her employment, certain activities are forbidden? She wasn’t told that she couldn’t go to the church of her choice on her own time, nor was she forbidden to read the Bible on her lunch hour. She was told that theological discourse was not a part of her duties.”
This is a joke, right?
The employer says one can not discourse on theology, and then asks a question whose truthful answer is rooted in an abiding theological purview-forcing the employee to either lie to save their job, or violate the company rule. The employer abrogates the right to hold the employee to company policy when he forces the employee to violate the company policy.



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