Stuff Christian Culture Likes

Stuff Christian Culture Likes

#78 Miss California 2009, Carrie Prejean

posted by Stephanie Drury

Christian culture really likes Miss California USA. In the interview round of the Miss USA pageant 2009, she was asked by Perez Hilton if she thinks gay marriage should be legal in all 50 states. She answered that it’s great Americans can choose that or “opposite marriage,” but that “in my country and in my family” marriage should only be between a man and a woman.

Well, she came in first runner-up. She says that her answer cost her the Miss USA title and Christian culture seems to agree. It could even seem that she is being heralded in the right-wing media as a sort of martyr for her Christian beliefs.

It’s uncomfortable for Christian culture to entertain the idea that gay marriage might be anything other than flat-out wrong. They don’t seem to want to entertain the idea that maybe what could be more in line with Jesus’ teachings is being friends with gay people, seeking them out, and loving them well. People in Christian culture can’t seem to see themselves as being as sinful as they think gay people are.

Carrie Prejean has told the press, “I am praying for Perez Hilton.” Does she imagine that when that gets back to him and that when gay people read her quote that they are going to feel loved and validated? Does she imagine they will feel honored and humbled as precious people made in God’s image who deserve to be treated with dignity? Carrie also said in an interview, “‘It’s not about being politically correct. For me, it was being biblically correct.” But refusal to question what you are taught “in your family and in your country” and refusal to wrestle with Scripture or wrestle with God dooms all of us to repeat history as the Pharisees wrote it.

*This post originially aired April 23, 2009, and warranted a repost in honor of Ms. Prejean’s recent nuptials.

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posted July 5, 2010 at 2:34 pm

Steph, I feel the need to point out something that’s probably obvious, but the vast majority of the things you point to as being liked by “Christian” culture apply primarily to evangelical Christian culture. Many continue to trumpet the decline of the mainline, but so far, we’re still here.

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Bill (cycleguy)

posted July 5, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Steph: I can’t speak for Carrie or her heart. She must answer for herself. But I do think you misrepresent a vital issue. I believe that the Bible is pretty clear about homosexuality. but I am also sure that we are to love the homosexual. Just because I believe it is wrong does not mean I cannot love a homosexual. I do find myself a sinner and battling sin every day. But I am trying not to stay the way I was. Just my .02 worth.

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posted July 5, 2010 at 5:30 pm

Bill, I’m sure “the homosexuals” are glad that you love them, but when I hear a fundamentalist say that they love gay people basically what I hear is that you don’t go out of your way to kick the crap out of one when you see them.
The Bible is pretty clear on homosexuality, but it’s also pretty clear on a lot of other things that modern day christians have cherry picked out of it (See Leviticus). I’m not gay, but from what I do know, I’m pretty sure that gay people don’t want you to go out of your way to love them, they just want the same rights that you have and for you to leave them alone

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posted July 5, 2010 at 5:37 pm

And Allen, scroll up to the top of the page and you’ll see a picture of Stephy with “Stuff Christian Culture Likes” next to it. Now look under that heading and you’ll see, “A preacher’s kid’s humorous take on the stuff that American Evangelicals like”
She’s always been very clear about the specific group of Christianity she’s poking fun at. Hope that helps :)

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posted July 5, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Miss USA, 1859
Question: Do you believe in the abolition of slavery?
Carrie Prejean: “I think it’s great that people in America can choose to own slaves or not. No offense to any negroes out there who think they would rather be free, but I was raised to believe that slavery is an important support for our nation’s industriality. In my country and in my family, we believe that slavery is one of the things that makes this country great.”
The thing is, Bill, the Bible is “pretty clear” on lots of issues that we now find morally repugnant. “Slavery is no more forbidden by Scripture than by the Constitution, but is permitted by both; and I can not but think that modesty and good sense should have taught all citizens and all Christians who could not see the reason of the permission, to take it on the authority of the Constitution of their country and the Rule of their Faith, without an appeal to a higher law,” wrote theologian Samuel Seabury in 1861. [see for the whole shocking document.]
I think we need (and Jesus would ask us) to look more closely at the people affected by our (man-made) laws and see the impact they have. Even if homosexuality is a sin, I’m not sure that’s reason enough to keep people from marrying, just as it is not reason enough to keep people from divorcing, stoning them for committing adultery, or fining them for taking the Lord’s name in vain.

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posted July 5, 2010 at 11:26 pm

As some one who is both finishing up my Ph.D. in Bible (Old Testament/Hebrew Bible specifically) at a major university and as someone who grew up in a fundamentalist tradition but has moved on to more theologically sound church, I have to say that the Bible isn’t as clear as you think about the issue of homosexuality … in either testament. I have been studying Hebrew for over a decade now and Greek for half a decade. I know how to read the texts in their original languages. One can make an argument both ways from both the OT and NT passages depending on the cultural assumptions one makes. The whole idea that there is a clear-cut, direct equivalent when translating from one language and culture to another is absurd. There are all sorts of connotations and culturally embedded references that a translator assumes or supplies. A good translator will research the culture and note their own assumptions; a great translator will admit that at times (such as this) it is largely a guess and, more often than not, reflects the ideology and culture of the translator more than the ancient author.
Besides, as a previous posted noted, even if you accepted that that literal meaning of the passages in question forbade homosexuality, we don’t stone our children if they talk back to us or sell our children into slavery to pay off our debts or believe in a flat-earth…

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posted July 5, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Arg! I have typos. :(

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posted July 6, 2010 at 7:31 am

Yeah Josh, I missed that. Helps to read the fine print. thanks

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Julie Presley

posted July 6, 2010 at 5:58 pm

I have to admit I’ve been skeptical of you, but the more that you expound on your thoughts here and on facebook, I grow in understanding of your purpose and your position. I really appreciate what you had to say in this post. This is an issue that I’ve really struggled to understand God’s position on, and though I don’t dare say I’ve got it, I agree with you that love is the basis for all of it. Regardless of our crimes, our color, our sexual orientation, our age, weight, looks etc., we are called to love, not discriminate. That said, I have a really hard time love those “God hates fags” people.

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Julie Presley

posted July 6, 2010 at 6:54 pm

“loving”… not love.

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posted July 6, 2010 at 11:37 pm

It loathes me to defend Carrie Prejean, since she represents so much that I can’t stand about American Christian culture, but her answer likely did cost her the pageant. And truth be told, if there was a right or wrong answer for her, then why ask the question? She didn’t condemn people to hell in her answer or do any of the stereotypical fundamentalist things that right wing Christians tend to do. She just stated her opinion when asked a question. If I ask your opinion on any subject, then immediately judge you as a person for stating your opinion, what kind of person does that make me whether I’m Christian or not?
I truly believe that if Carrie Prejean was a midwest girl with an all natural self and a more down to earth personality, this wouldn’t be a big deal. But she’s a blond from California who says dumb things like her breast implants are okay according to Scripture (look it up) and thus makes herself an easier target for the left. And what one side tears down, the other side will build up and defend to the death right or wrong.
Again this post is not about the issue of gay marriage, which is not a subject I want to get into here. It’s more about who Carrie Prejean is, what she said and the reaction to it. I do enjoy your posts though and I hope you keep up the good work!

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Still Breathing

posted July 7, 2010 at 7:57 am

Not that I agree with her answer but was she set up? Did they ask the other girls the same question? I’m only curious because the camera shot on Perez Hilton was rather convenient.
Captcha = is apostasy

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posted July 10, 2010 at 2:37 am

But she’s a blond from California who says dumb things like her breast implants are okay according to Scripture (look it up) and thus makes herself an easier target for the left.
There are some, er, erotic Carrie Prejean videos you don’t seem to be aware of. I don’t think there’s news in being any two of bigot, Christian, and/or pron-making beauty queen. But all three together suggests some unusually unwise life decisions.

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posted July 12, 2010 at 4:49 pm

That’s an interesting point, Jake; I kind of like that.
I also think that there’s something…hm…really smug and snobby about how a lot of people who think homosexuality is wrong express their opinions, however inoffensive they try to be about it. I remember feeling so tortured about the whole issue when I thought homosexuality was wrong, and when my gay friends asked me my opinion; it was so painful to tell them I disagreed with “their lifestyle,” and just thinking back on it makes my insides twist with shame. They were always so kind about it, too — they showed me so much grace.
One of the worst things is the glib response I’ve often heard from right-wingers about what gay people should do if they’re not supposed to “be active in the gay lifestyle” — things like, They should be celibate, they should go into the priesthood, they should change their orientation — as if because of their sexual orientation gay people don’t deserve to be in committed relationships like the rest of us God-approved heteros (who clearly have more than our share of issues when it comes to sexuality). It’s the presumption that galls me — that somehow, because of something that I did nothing to earn and nothing to choose, I am better in God’s eyes than someone else.
It’s well and good for Miss Prejean to smile pretty and deny an entire people group a right that she freely enjoys without necessarily deserving it. But the double standard really grates on my nerves, and the implied unwillingness to look at the issue from someone else’s perspective.
Also, even if it did cost her the title, it’s nothing short of insulting for Christian culture to get all up in arms and cry martyr when people elsewhere in the world are dying for their faith (or dying for being gay, depending on the country). We’re so bloated with privilege in America that we don’t know what persecution actually is, and as a result we’re generally pretty horrifyingly callous when it comes to how we view other people’s suffering and indignity, and how we puff ourselves up to be some sort of heroes when we come up against a little bureaucratic opposition for opinions which are certainly allowed, but pretty ignorant, unthinking and self-satisfied.
As an aside, I start to have little PTSD mental convulsions when I come across the phrase “biblically correct.”
(Also, HAHAHA, my CAPTCHA is “cervixes agreements.”)

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posted July 14, 2010 at 1:33 pm

Do you know if she was wearing a purity ring at her wedding ceremony?

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