Beliefnet
Progressive Revival

This morning, Miss California USA told an MSNBC anchor that
she prays for celebrity blogger Perez Hilton.

Not unsolicited charity, her prayers are a response to an
unexpected controversy from Sunday’s night Miss USA competition.  Miss California was one of five
finalists for the Miss USA crown when she drew Mr. Hilton’s question in the
last phase of the contest.  
He asked her if she believed in gay marriage and she answered “no”
(well, mostly):

 

PEREZ: Vermont recently became the fourth state to
legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit? Why or
why not?

CARRIE: I think it’s great that Americans are able to
choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex
marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I
think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No
offense to anyone out there but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think
it should be between a man and a woman.

 

Although it had appeared she might win, Miss California placed second to
Miss North Carolina.  Both her
supporters and her detractors credited this answer for her loss.  In the lobby after the competition,
there was a shouting match between audience members about gay marriage.  Then, Perez Hilton called her “dumb”
using two unflattering words.  He
seemed initially sorry but then took back his apology.  She responded by saying that she’d pray
for him.  Miss California confessed
that she was tempted into “political correctness” in her answer–thinking that
the audience would want the liberal answer–but instead answered according to
her own true opinions.  She
believes that marriage should be between a man and a woman.  Period.  That’s her opinion. 

With the blog-o-sphere abuzz, Miss California has become, according to
liberal commentator Rachel Maddow, “the Rosa Parks” of gay marriage–refusing to
move to the back of the beauty pageant bus in order to maintain her
integrity.   Or maybe a kind
of anti-gay marriage Martin Luther: 
Here she stands–she can do no other. 

But what if Carrie Prejean wasn’t eliminated because she believes in
traditional marriage?  What if she
was eliminated because she was completely incomprehensible?  First, she didn’t seem to know what to
call traditional marriage–she contrasted “same-sex” marriage with something
called “opposite marriage.” 
Second, she praised the fact that in America we can freely choose
“same-sex marriage” or “opposite marriage.”

Well, Miss California–there are two problems with your answer.  I’m a woman married to a man.  We don’t call it “opposite.”  We call it “heterosexual” or “traditional”
marriage.  We only call it
“opposite” when we are fighting over how to fold the laundry (he folds the
towels in the opposite way I do and they don’t fit in the closet correctly). 

But the bigger problem is that Americans don’t have free choice when it
comes to marriage.  Only Americans
in four states do.  Free choice
regarding marriage doesn’t exist in the great state of California–where it
fleetingly existed–until people who believe in only one choice (“opposite”
marriage) took away the free choice of people who had hoped for the possibility
of same-sex marriage.  What you
said exists–free choice–doesn’t exist for your fellow gay and lesbian citizens
in California.  Unless, of course,
all the gay people in California move to Vermont.  They can have free choice there.  People who hold your opinion negated the possibility for
free choice for those with a different opinion in your own state. 

No, Miss California, you didn’t lose because of your opinion.  You are more than entitled to an
informed opinion about a controversial issue.  You said you expected a controversial question.  But you
tripped
–like last year’s Miss USA who fell off her high heels at the Miss
Universe pageant or that poor Miss South Carolina who blamed geographical
illiteracy on the fact that many Americans were too poor to own maps.  You aren’t informed about an issue that
divides your own state–and you don’t realize that you contradicted
yourself.  Political correctness didn’t
steal your crown.   Political ignorance did.  I don’t like the way the Perez Hilton
responded to your lack of understanding, but you might take responsibility for
blowing your own chances. 

I feel sorry that Mr. Hilton so clearly had a “gotcha” question for
you.  You might be wondering why
Miss North Carolina didn’t get asked about insider political information and
bank runs.  But that’s the way beauty
contests go.  So, here’s a friendly
piece of advice:  Next time someone
asks you a question just reply, “World peace.” 

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