Ben Franklin was once famously quoted as saying, “There are only two certainties in life – death and taxes.”
With all due respect to old Ben, I’d like to add another.
If a celebrity takes a stand for traditional values in our culture, they’d better get ready to be savaged by the media.
The count down started for Carrie Prejean the moment she was asked by gay activist/gossip columnist Perez Hilton whether she felt gay marriage should be the law of the land.
“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.”
Her response was anything but strident.
It wasn’t a page from the Patrick Henry-esque “Give me liberty or give me death!” school of rhetoric.
But it was honest.
And it was rooted in her convictions as a Bible believing Christian.
Her reward for her honesty?
There is debate as to whether her statement cost her the title of Miss America.
But there is no doubt that she was publicly called obscene names by Perez Hilton.
She was openly mocked and even physically critiqued on MSNBC prime time programming.
And now, a web site that appropriately enough calls itself “The Dirty” has released controversial photos of Prejean modeling lingerie.
The point of this?
See if you follow the logic –
Because you exercised questionable judgment as a teen ager in a photo shoot you are now completely unqualified to express your opinion on the subject of how our culture defines marriage.
Prejean issued the following statement in response to this media dust up.
“On April 19, I chose to answer a question during the 2009 Miss USA pageant in an honest and personal manner that expressed my views of the long-established definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman. That answer, and my commitment to stand by my beliefs, has since resulted in attacks on me and my integrity as a woman. We live in a great country; a nation that was built on freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Yet my comments defending traditional marriage have led to intimidation tactics that seek to undermine my reputation and somehow silence me and my beliefs, as if opinion is only a one-way street.
“I am a Christian, and I am a model. Models pose for pictures, including lingerie and swimwear photos. Recently, photos taken of me as a teenager have been released surreptitiously to a tabloid Web site that openly mocks me for my Christian faith. I am not perfect, and I will never claim to be. But these attacks on me and others who speak in defense of traditional marriage are intolerant and offensive. While we may not agree on every issue, we should show respect for others’ opinions and not try to silence them through vicious and mean-spirited attacks.
“With that in mind, I will continue to support and defend marriage as the honorable institution it is. I will continue to stand with the overwhelming majority of the American people and the voters of my home state of California. If this whole experience has taught me anything, it is our precious right to speak freely, and how we as Americans can never allow anyone or any group to intimidate or threaten us to keep silent.“
Was the decision to model lingere a mistake?
As a Christian, it was.
But does this mean that Carrie Prejean is no longer entitled to present her deeply held convictions on marriage in a public forum?
Prejean may very well end up paying a price for the photo shoot.
The Miss California Pageant organization is considering taking away her title based on a morals clause within their contract.
But the National Organization for Marriage is standing behind her status as a spokesperson.
President Maggie Gallagher stated on May 5 that the release would not affect Prejan’s role.
“On a personal note, as a former unwed mother, I want to say to Americans: you don’t have to be a perfect person to have the right to stand up for marriage.”
Interesting stuff isn’t it?
The supposedly pro-tolerance side of the issue of gay marriage suddenly changes their tune when someone has the nerve to express an opinion not in completely harmony with their vision of political correctness.
Locker room level assessments of a person’s attributes.
“Gotcha!” style reporting of the past designed to shut down and shut up, if not destroy a person entirely.
All because they will not tolerate what they perceive as intolerance.
Very consistent, that.
I have discovered that the surest way to know you are winning a debate is when your opponent resorts to name calling.
Yelling “You’re ugly and your mom dresses you funny!” might make the people on your side feel morally superior, but it won’t carry the day.
The use of what are called “ad hominem” attacks usually means the other side has run out of reasonable arguments.
In a real way, the anger and venom displayed by the media lynch mob that is trying to ride Carrie Prejean out of town on a rail is the best argument against their own position.
But understand a couple of key lessons from this latest turn of events.
If you are going to make a stand for Christ in these days, get ready to be placed under a microscope.
Nonbelievers will hold you to a higher standard of ethics and personal conduct than they would ever apply to themselves.
And with good reason.
The moment we say that we have found God’s truth, that we believe in God’s truth and the God Who is truth lives in us, the world will have one predictable response.
“Oh, yeah? We’ll see about that.”
Some, like Carrie Prejean’s detractors, simply want to see a fall so they can dismiss the message.
Others, want to see if what we are saying is real.
And they don’t mind scratching away at our exterior to see if the love of God in our lives is more than skin deep.
Let’s pray that Carrie Prejean will continue demonstrate both the honesty of owning up to past mistakes, the humility to learn from them, and the consistency in a walk with God that will ultimately answer her critics.
Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation. (I Peter 2:11-12)
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