Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Dumb B*ch" Carrie Prejean: Faith, and an "Apoplectic" Blogger

I think Perez Hilton had some reason for calling Miss USA Contestant Carrie Prejean a "dumb b*ch" [redacted].

" 'That's not the kind of woman I want to be Miss USA,' he said. 'Miss USA should represent all Americans and, with her answer, she instantly alienated millions of gays and lesbians and their friends.'

"Earlier, Hilton had said on his video blog he would have run onstage and ripped the tiara off Prejean's head had she won the title...." (Newsday.com)

It seems that homosexuals in America are not accustomed to being assaulted with reminders of Abrahamic beliefs: not in nicely-organized public activities like beauty pageants. Beauty pageant contestants are, to my limited knowledge, expected to be diplomatically vague: unless the views they state adhere to politically-correct standards.

Stating Christian Beliefs? Without Authorization? Outrageous!

Mr. Hilton's outrage at Carrie Prejean's statement isn't isolated. The Miss USA contest audience booed her, and a Miss USA official was not amused, either:

"...And the blogger [Mr. Hilton] would not have been the only member of the Miss USA family to go apoplectic had Prejean advanced in the competition. Keith Lewis, executive director of California's Miss USA operations, said in a statement released to Hilton that 'religious beliefs have no place in politics in the Miss CA family.'

"Prejean Monday said she was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything...."

That "religious beliefs have no place in politics" is a familiar refrain. Americans who are serious about their faith, and follow one of the Abrahamic religions are expected to either renounce their beliefs, or sit down and be quiet. It's called 'being tolerant.'

Religious beliefs have been (and are, in my opinion) important in public debate - and political action. Christian beliefs, and beliefs which were presented as Christian, played a significant role in the abolitionist movement of the 19th century: on both sides1 (Yale, Columbia: it might be well to remember that Frederick Douglas was speaking in 1846, and had very specific rhetorical goals in mind)

I've noticed that, although American law supports religious freedom, the dominant (that's not the same as majority) American culture tolerates religious beliefs that deviate from its own preferences only as long as those beliefs are kept behind closed doors. Or, at times and places set aside for 'those people.'

Carrie Prejean: Awful Alienator; Christian Woman

I don't doubt that, by the the standards of Mr. Hilton and America's dominant culture, Carrie Prejean is an alienator (as in "an unpleasant person..." - not android hunter).

In today's America, religious beliefs seem to be tolerated as long as they adhere to politically correct standards. Which Carrie Prejean's clearly don't.
No Wonder She Alienated so Many - She's One of Those People
Carrie Prejean is a student at San Diego Christian College, an educational institution which appears to live up to its name.

"Carrie Prejean is dedicated to serving the Lord and is not at all shy about her Christianity--even on national television. As the new 2009 Miss California USA, Carrie has shown that she can balance the pressures of national competition with her desire to share Christ's love with younger women.

"Carrie has recently been serving with a ministry that seeks to reveal Christ's transforming love to women in the adult entertainment industry. Led by a young women who herself was delivered by Christ, the group 'gets real' with these women and discusses their problems and life struggles. Carrie feels that she can connect with women her age and believes that God is using her to bring hope to others...." (San Diego Christian College News)

Christians Associating with "Sinners" - Not Exactly a New Idea

When I was in college, in the seventies and eighties, "women in the adult entertainment industry" were viewed from two perspectives: as victims of male oppression; or as revolutionaries, sort of, striking out against the stultifying inhibitions while breaking free of poverty.

Both points of view have some basis in reality.

I'm not sure what the current intellectual fashions are, regarding pornography.

The Catholic Church is against pornography (2354), prostitiution (2355), and rape (2356). Talk about stultifying! (References are to the Catechism of the Catholic Church.)

Being opposed to what a person does is not being opposed to the person. The fifteenth chapter of Luke leads with a case in point: the sinners and tax collectors thing.

Catholics are instructed to accepted homosexuals "...with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition." (2358)

Accepting people with respect, compassion, and sensitivity isn't the same as saying 'go and sin some more.' The Church accepts people with homosexual tendencies: but it doesn't affirm homosexual practices(2357-2359).

For that matter, Catholics aren't even allowed to kill themselves (2280-2283). In a way, I can see how people get the idea that Christians in general, and Catholics in particular, don't want us to have any fun. Church teachings are more a matter of promoting long-term welfare for short-term whoopee: a distinctly counter-cultural concept in America.

Carrie Prejean: Not the First to Opt for God

A promising athlete, Eric Liddell, competed in the 1924 Olympics but would not run on a Sunday. A movie with cool music and Hollywood's usual respect for fact was based vaguely on his experience, and Harold Abrahams'.

I doubt that Carrie Prejean will get a "Chariots of Fire" treatment any time soon: but that doesn't seem to be what she's looking for. In an interview, Carrie Prejean talked about how she views being a "dumb b*ch."

"...This happened for a reason. By having to answer that question in front of a national audience, God was testing my character and faith. I'm glad I stayed true to myself...." And, asked "Are you upset that Perez Hilton called you a "b**ch" in his blog rant?" she answered:

"Yes, but I have no regrets about answering honestly. He asked me for my opinion and I gave it to him. I have nothing against gay people, and I didn't mean to offend anyone in my answer." (FOXNews)

Related posts: News and Views:
1 (Yale, Columbia) It might be well to remember that Frederick Douglas was speaking in 1846, and had very specific rhetorical goals in mind. American institutions of higher education are, grudgingly, capable of conceding that Christianity played a positive role in the abolitionist movement - for which they are to be praised.

Even if I hadn't decided that slavery was a bad idea before I converted, as a Catholic, I have to be against slavery. The Catholic Church says that slavery is wrong (2414).

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What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.