While it’s hardly a news story in and of itself, it’s worth noting that The Right have been passionately wringing their hands over the “Liberal intolerance” directed toward Miss California, Carrie Prejean. They’re breathlessly ranting about Freedom of Speech issues, and how Prejean’s has been trampled by the Liberal Media and those… those… QUEERS.
If you hadn’t noticed (I hadn’t), there was a Miss USA pageant underway. Someone had the bright idea of hiring an openly gay man, Perez Hilton, to be one of the judges, and he asked what should have been a fairly soft-ball question of Carrie Prejean. He asked her about her stance on same-sex marriage. Rather than peddle the question with a simple, nonsensical answer about “to each their own”, she decided a beauty pageant was a good forum to make a general statement about gays and lesbians.
“I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman,” she said on the live broadcast. “No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”
Needless to say, scandal erupted. Hilton was offended. Keith Lewis, co-director the Miss California competition, which Prejean won to make it into the Miss USA pageant, was offended.
“I am personally… hurt that Miss California believes marriage rights belong only to a man and a woman,” said Lewis in a statement.
Co-director Shanna Moakler, best know as Travis Barker’s wife in the MTV reality show “Meet the Barkers,” said that she fully supported Lewis’ condemnation of Prejean’s views.
In short, most of the people you would expect to be offended by such a remark were offended. And, of course, since the issue is same-sex marriage, those people whom you would expect to be delighted by such a statement rushed out to show their support. Fox News has been running the story as if the fact that Prejean did not win the Miss USA pageant is evidence of an attack upon Christianity itself. It didn’t take long for Prejean herself to play the God card as she snuggled up against the warm bosom of the Right-Wing media.
“By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith,” she told Fox News. “I’m glad I stayed true to myself.”
And to further support the notion that her answer cost her the crown, she went on to say, “Out of all the topics I studied up on, I dreaded that one, I prayed I would not be asked about gay marriage. If I had any other question, I know I would have won.”
Illustrating the emotions surrounding the touchy subject, Prejean’s answer sparked a shouting match in the lobby after the show.
“It’s ugly,” said Scott Ihrig, a gay man, who attended the pageant with his partner. “I think it’s ridiculous that she got first runner-up. That is not the value of 95 percent of the people in this audience. Look around this audience and tell me how many gay men there are.”
Charmaine Koonce, the mother of Miss New Mexico USA Bianca Matamoros-Koonce, argued back.
“In the Bible it says marriage is between Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve!”
One has to wonder what the Bible says about parading women around in sexy swimsuits and judging them according to their beauty.
The Right-Wing media is desperately trying to turn this into a Free Speech issue. They haven’t said much about the fact that Prejean’s statement was made during a beauty pageant in which many gays and lesbians were involved, and which had at least one openly gay man as a judge. If the statement cost her the crown, it had nothing to do with Freedom of Speech. It had to do with accountability. Carrie Prejean made a stupid statement before the wrong audience in a beauty contest. She wasn’t dragged out into the parking lot afterward and flogged. No one spit on her. She wasn’t imprisoned. She wasn’t thrown to the lions. The only repercussion was that her bone-headed remark probably kept her from winning the crown.
Oh, well. Sorry, hon. That’s what we call “cause and effect”. It’s not like you were fired from a high-paying job as CEO of a Fortune 500 company for your statement. You lost a beauty pageant; probably to someone who had nothing more on you than that she didn’t make a bone-headed statement. Maybe next time you’ll aim a little higher than a beauty pageant.
Asked about her post-pageant activities, Prejean said; “I ate my first hamburger in a long time!”
For some reason, that just summed it all up for me. From my perspective, Carrie Prejean took part in a beauty pageant, in which she was asked a soft-ball question about gay marriage, to which she responded that it was preferable to deny homosexuals basic human rights, which somehow proved her faith to God, but doesn’t mean she has anything against gay people. And her reward for sticking by her principles and defending her Christian faith, after starving herself for months, was a hamburger. Either God is an asshole, or Carrie Prejean dramatically misread His regard for beauty pageants.
Okay. The latest non-news from the Fox News camp has been noted. Can we move on now? This all makes me very sleepy.