Now that she has been tempted by The Devil and blessed by The Donald, Carrie Prejean (still Miss California USA) can get on with her life, knowing that if nothing else she has given so many the opportunity to demonstrate the Christian practice of forgiveness.
In fact, other than Donald Trump, who announced Tuesday that Prejean can remain Miss California USA, no one has been more forgiving of Prejean’s past indiscretions than leaders of the Christian Right. Are conservative evangelical leaders, known more for their judgmentalism than their mercy, having a change of heart? Or are they just rallying behind one of their own?
No doubt conservatives were impressed by Prejean’s response, on national TV, to a Miss USA pageant judge’s question on gay marriage (she’s against it). “You put it on the line, that’s what I mean when I said you’re courageous,” Focus on the Family founder James Dobson told Prejean when he interviewed her last week on his radio show. “The Lord is using you all over this country.”
Prejean told Dobson she was tempted to give the “politically correct” answer so she could win Miss USA. “I started off by saying I want to win this pageant so bad, I’ve worked so hard,” she said. “But I just knew at that moment that God was just telling me ‘Carrie, how bad do you want this? Are you willing to compromise your beliefs for a one year crown of Miss USA?’. . . I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question.”
At least one judge (Perez Hilton) said Prejean’s honest answer cost her the title. It certainly caused conservative Christians who oppose gay marriage to rally to her side, even after they found out about the risque photographs of her modeling underwear as a teenager.
A few samples:
“Pageantry and underwear commercials: We would not encourage Christian women to go do those things. At the same time, no matter what your profession, I’ve heard of God using it and radical grace breaking through. It can find any of us at any times in our lives: the alcoholic, the prostitute, the model, the businessman that’s having an affair. I’d hate to have the Christian community focus on poor decisions she’s made as opposed to celebrating that she had the courage to speak for biblical truth.”
Christians recognize that all people are born with a sin nature and therefore need to repent and be saved by the blood of Christ. Salvation is open to all mankind. Everyone sins. Everyone needs saved. If one doesn’t believe that, then he is of a belief that defies any need for salvation for all, the very cornerstone of the faith Prejean and I both share.
She never claimed to be a non-sinner. Prejean made some decisions in her teen years I’m sure she’s not proud of, just like the rest of us . . . If making a mistake in your life exempts you from taking a stance against other actions you disagree with for the rest of your life, then every person on earth would have to remain completely silent on every ethical or moral issue forever. Is that what they want?
It is because Carrie is a Christian that she is held to a higher standard than her detractors hold for themselves. As parents tell their children, one reason for living a moral life is because eventually — usually at the most delicate time — our indiscretions may be revealed.
Let’s hope conservative Christian leaders will be as forgiving of those whose views (or faiths) they oppose as they are of Carrie Prejean.