By Robert Schlesinger, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
There's something about the ongoing saga of Miss California beyond the fact of (depending on your view) a vapid beauty queen voicing homophobic platitudes or the upstanding woman being sleazily attacked for nothing more than expressing her moral convictions.
Maybe the fascination with Carrie Prejean, the maybe-not-for-long Miss California, is related to the increasingly bizarre neo-reality TV quality that has descended upon the quote-unquote controversy. Where else could one find Satan, Donald Trump, and a beauty queen in trouble for both dressing skimpily and for lobbying on behalf of heterosexual marriage?
Prejean's troubles only started with her defense of "opposite marriage." They have grown with revelations that she posed for not one but several pictures in her underwear and her subsequent involvement in an anti-gay marriage lobbying campaign. For this manifest crime, she may be, ahem, stripped of her crown. To review, parading across a stage in a bikini is perfectly appropriate. Being photographed with her back to the camera only wearing underpants, crosses some sort of bright pink line. I guess pink underwear is lascivious while a white bikini is wholesome?
According to the Star-Ledger, "Miss California Carrie Prejean is keeping her crown but not her duties, for now: The organizers of the pageant say that the Miss USA runner-up violated her contract by lobbying for an anti-gay-marriage group and posing in her underwear (but not at the same time!)." That would be something. Anyway, Prejean's fate is now in the hands of the great arbiter of justice Donald Trump. And all of this over a beauty pageant. She's keeping her crown but not her duties? What does that even mean? This isn't neo-reality TV. I wonder if it isn't secretly being choreographed by the makers of This Is Spinal Tap and Best in Show?
But this turns out to be bigger than even The Donald. Prejean is in the middle of a two-day stint on James Dobson's Focus on the Family show and, as my colleague Dan Gilgoff reports, she used the most "starkly religious terms" yet to describe how she formulated her famous answer to the question about her position on gay marriage.
We all thought that Perez Hilton had made the gay marriage query, but we were apparently wrong. Prejean recounted that "I felt as though Satan was trying to tempt me in asking me this question. And then God was in my head and in my heart saying, 'Do not compromise this.' " Who knew the stakes were so high in the Miss USA pageant? (Her answer also raises other questions: Is Perez Hilton then the devil? And is Miss USA an infernal tool--did she win because she cast her lot with Satan or was this just about Carrie Prejean's choice?)
We are all familiar, I'm sure, with the phenomenon of professional athletes thanking god for their performance in the big game. But usually He helps the winning shot go in, or over the fence, or what-have-you--you don't often hear God being thanked for his Throw the game advice.
I started off by saying I want to win this pageant so bad, I've worked so hard, I wanted to sound politically correct but still stay true to my values. 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." And I just knew right there.
I guess He does work in mysterious ways.
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