By now most of us have heard about the dust up at the Miss America Pageant Sunday night.
The competition was coming down to the wire.
Finalists would select a celebrity judge to ask them a question regarding the issues of the day.
Now, traditionally these questions require answers as non controversial as:
A. “I would like to see world peace.”
B. “I would like to end hunger and poverty.”
or C. “I think every puppy should have a good home.”
But not this night.
Miss California, Carrie Prejean selected a celebrity gossip blogger named (and no, I am not making this up) “Perez Hilton”.
And then the sparks began to fly.
Hilton, an outspoken gay activist, asked Prejean , “‘Vermont recently became the fourth state to legalise same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?’
Now the easy choice would have been to string together a couple of politically correct cliches.
And at first it seemed that would be the well trodden trail Prejean would follow. After all, why risk alienating a judge when your greatest dream was about to be realized?
She paused a moment.
‘Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage.’
But she didn’t stop there.
‘And you know what, in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman.
‘No offence to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be – between a man and a woman. Thank you very much.’
No doubt Donald Trump, the driving force behind the revival of this pageant and a strong believer on the old addage “Any publicity is good publicity”, was smiling.
Suddenly Miss America became front page news.
“Perez Hilton” fanned the flames by crudely insulting Prejean and declared he would have stormed onto the stage and ripped off her tiara if she had won.
Prejean didn’t win the competition that evening.
But her post pageant explanation for her remarks indicates she may have won a greater prize.
‘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.’
In the aftermath of this controversy and what it cost Carrie Prejean to hold on to her convictions, a more personal question gets raised.
What would you or I have done if we were in her shoes that night?
Funny, isn’t it?
Sometimes the most revealing moments, the most defining moments of our lives happen when we are caught off guard.
Like being asked at work , “I noticed you weren’t laughing at that off color joke in the break room today. Are you one of those born again types?”
Or when the person working out next to you at the health club turns to you and says, “You go to church. What do you think about this gay marriage thing?”
Or, “You know, in order to make this deal we may not be able to be completely honest. But I’m sure you will go along and do what’s best for the company.”
And here we see the deeper question Carrie Prejean faced in front of a nation wide television audience.
Which means more to you – realizing a goal you have worked years to achieve?
Or your relationship with God?
It’s a question we will all face sooner or later.
Jesus put it this way:
Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.
For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?
For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. (Matthew 16:24-27)
Carrie Prejean will probably never be known as Miss America.
But she will be known as someone who wasn’t willing to sell out her personal principles for an earthly reward.
And that is something worth achieving.
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