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April 21, 2009

Miss Runner-Up: A Better Crown Is Coming

If you're ready for something that will alternately make your blood boil, and make you proud, take a look at this interview on The Today Show with Miss California and the judge, Perez Hilton, whose own intolerance led him to say that had Miss California won he would have run on stage and ripped the tiara off her head. For what? For stating her beliefs in a way that clearly was not meant to offend, but was spoken truly from the passion of her convictions.

Apparently, a "perfect Miss USA" would be as intolerant of views that differed from her own as Perez. Apparently, a "perfect Miss USA" would give a neutral and meaningless answer rather than dare have a conviction.

I, for one, like to recall that there are better crowns coming. And one of them, I believe, will be for Miss California.

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Her spiritual tiara might have a few less points on it for parading around near-starkers in that tiny bikini, though. (I saw a LOT of her in that state on Fox News. Imagine my surprise...) As I recall, several passages in both the Hebrew bible and the New Testament are pretty clear on female modesty.

But to the subject of her answer, if she was downgraded for stating her opinion, this liberal calls that a bogus move.

jason taylor

I'm not sure a "perfect Miss USA" would let herself be stared at by people she doesn't know in the first place, just to win a contest. But some of my ancestors DID come from old New England of course...


I don't like beauty contests

(ever since I stopped to rest in the local pavilion where the county beauty contest was to be held...

There was a contest going on as I rested & watched...
Contestants were graded on their grooming, mild mannered deportment, and their "build" so to speak.

But no contestant of that contest need be worried about touchy questions
---it was a cattle judging contest.
Nonetheless, despite the silliness of judging a woman almost like one judges a prize cow...THIS contestant shows why women with deeper values sometimes win---or become positively memorable...She stands for something.

Fox News (which I do watch regularly) does apparently require its female commentators to dress in coctail party short short dresses, etc.
(whilst the men all dress in office formal business suits).

So I am not surprised that the Fox voyeurs have to trot out the bikini footage.

So---this whole beauty contest episode is a mix of the silly and the substantial...Hoping here that her substantive, respectful comment brings her more lasting attention and honor.

Gina Dalfonzo

I find it fascinating that Perez stated she should leave politics out of it, and then proceeded to dictate an ideal answer for her to give that was based on HIS politics (i.e., the only acceptable politics in his eyes).

I wonder if it ever occurred to him what he was doing.

Steve (SBK)

I wondered the same thing Gina...

For when asked if she should state her mind or pander to judges, his response was that she should be "politically savvy".

That wasn't an open question from his perspective (i.e. there were not multiple answers, i.e. she should not have been free to make such speech).


Andy wrote: "... this liberal calls that a bogus move."

Hey, I've been telling everyone that you're a welcome addition to the Pointificator fold. Thanks for providing solid evidence to back my claim that even liberals and atheists can be fair and thoughtful. (And that's completely sincere on my part.)

As to displays of skin, yes - beauty pageants have long discriminated unfairly against the Amish. It would be wonderful to replace the hairspray, high heels and makeup with snoods, flats and unvarnished complexions. Better still would be a pageant focusing on inner beauty only, where a Mother Teresa could win hands-down over dozens of Princess Dianas, year after year. But God's ways are not man's ways, alas. (Should I insert here a poke at Darwinism and procreation of the sexiest, versus the Bible's model of a stable family unit? Nah, that'd be mean and Andy'd disappear for a while again; don't want that.) But if more people with the spine of Miss California don't win, then we'll probably continue down this fleshy, superficial path.

While I love her courage and willingness to speak out, I was also cynically delighted by the beginning of the video clip where you see her sitting with a frown from probably extreme jet-lag as well as getting up at oh-dark-thirty to be made up for TV, only to realize that the camera was now on so it was time to display the 6,000 watt smile. My biggest objection to beauty pageants is that they transform women not only into objects, but also into flaming hypocrites. God bless Carrie Prejean for trying to stop even a portion of this by her example onstage.

jason taylor

I wasn't aware that the chief quality demanded for winning a beauty contest was "political savviness".


And another thing! :-) It's been bugging me that Carrie Prejean and Sister Helen Prejean share the same last name. The latter is of "Dead Man Walking" fame. Is the "Prejean" surname a lightning rod for controversy?

And, given the choice between being surrounded by beauty contests who avoid upsetting anyone, and by nuns who deliberately do so, which would most men choose? So I feel somewhat complicit, and need to take a walk...

Catherine Larson

I agree with you Andy on parading around in skimpy attire being less than laudable. To be quite honest, I purposefully don't watch pageants anymore because they make me feel crummy. No matter what they say about the more sophisticated day we've reached in pageantry, the bathing suit parade and the low-neck line parade still feel wrong to me. So while I didn't actually watch the show, I still applaud Miss First Runner-Up for sticking to her guns...even if those guns were in a holster around her bikini.

Mike D'Virgilio

Queen Hilton is a raging idiot. Now I know as a Christian I'm not supposed to be mean or call names, but if you'll remember Jesus himself gave a good tongue lashing to certain religious professionals of his day. I could parse out the inanities, contradictions and just plain stupidity, but that would be too painful. Even Matt Lauer, a liberal in good standing, could see through the blather.

As for beauty pageants, beautiful women and modesty, I don't know. I mean in the modern context beauty pageants are modesty personified. I don't know where you'd draw the modesty line anyway.

But thank God she was willing to stand up to the bullying tactics of a typical leftist. It is an object lesson in what is at stake in the debate over same sex "marriage." As Frank Rich shouted in last Saturday's NY Times, we who are "biblically correct" (nice phrase, Miss California) are bigots akin to racists, and the left will not be happy until the law treats us as such.


"He(she)who is faithful unto death, I will give the Crown of Life."

A promise from Jesus that no human judge can circumvent


Don't get me wrong on the whole bikini thing, folks. Beautiful body + bikini, I'm fine with it. But I am really interested in the biblically correct culture that supports her (family and I assume a local church) not having "come alongside" her and her parents about the modesty issue.

In all the years I have been observing the evangelical community (it's a hobby of mine, I guess) I have learned that you folks see modesty tied directly to marriage (ie, don't dress like a harlot because men can't deal with it.)

And Lee, thanks for the attaboy. And yeah, Ms. Prejean is a fine example of natural selection. No doubt she'll pair-bond with a high-status male and propagate her dna into several more little beauty contestants, or quarterbacks. Nothing wrong with that.

Gina Dalfonzo

Andy, I know what you mean. I really do wish more churches would provide young men and women with more guidance and training in the area of modesty. I don't know why they don't -- unless it's that old fear of being seen as too judgmental.

But how hard would it be for an older Christian mentor to "come alongside" a young pageant contestant in her church and suggest something like this?


Even aside from the modesty issues, what young woman wouldn't want to wear an Audrey Hepburn-inspired swimsuit? :-)

(Hat-tip to Modestly Yours: http://blogs.modestlyyours.net/modestly_yours/2009/03/jessica-rey-the-modest-power-ranger.html )


I work at a college. Most of them have no idea who Audrey Hepburn was...

Gina Dalfonzo

That's just sad! But I think a lot of girls still do know, especially girls in the entertainment industry. Although sometimes they seem to be giving her a mental makeover. If I had a nickel for every time I heard a young starlet dressed in something the size of a postage stamp say "I'm trying to be just like Audrey Hepburn. . . ." I always want to say, "Honey, are we thinking of the same Audrey Hepburn?"

Jason Joyner

I read where Ms. Prejean was getting lots of support and friend requests on Facebook, so I did a search there for her name. Thankfully there are several groups, listed first, that are fully supportive of her. At the end are the predictable "Miss California is a homophobe/bigot/etc" pages, with many fewer supporters.

The most disturbing was the group "Committee to Catch Miss California in a Compromising Position". I was shocked when I saw that. The evil in this world will do anything to discredit the light. Ugh. Thankfully there were only a few people in that group, but how many more are willing to act but haven't connected there?

I'll be praying for Carrie.


Col. 2:20Since you died with Christ to the basic principles of this world, why, as though you still belonged to it, do you submit to its rules: 21"Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!"? 22These are all destined to perish with use, because they are based on human commands and teachings. 23Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.

1 Tim. 2: 9I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, 10but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God.

(notice that this is about avoiding conspicuous consumption, not skin. It is only recently that 'modest' has come to mean something other than not showing off how good, or talented or wealthy someone is)

You will not find a dress code for daily life in Scripture. It is not lawful for us to make up laws which God has not given us, and attempt to bind the consciences of others with them.

If attire is standard in a society and not intrinsically associated with communicating sexual availability, then it is harming the men to pretend that it does mean sexual availability - for the men will be surrounded by women dressed that way (and vica versa) no matter what the church women choose to wear at church-related functions (as opposed to the rest of the time. I presently live in the only place I have ever encountered where the Christian women pretend not to wear bikinis by wearing tank suits to church functions-related only. Everywhere else, all my life, the women who were not obese, wore bikinis at the beach or the pool - even at the very conservative and legalistic church where they don't play cards, unless they are Rook or Uno, and won't dance, unless it be on roller skates.

Legalism in this area has the effect of hyper-sexualizing and hyper-sensitizing the men and women to what they will encounter in ordinary every-day life - provided they aren't hermits or in a monastery. Temptation is -intensified-, not helped, as indeed Scripture indicates.

Beauty pageants I think are all wrong for all sorts of reasons, showing off bodies for purposes of sexual attraction being only one of them.

You can certainly reject my opinion! That comes from my observations plus Scripture. But not the Scriptures themselves.

jason taylor

That's fine enough lab. But we are not Polynesians and bikinis do mean sexual availability here if only the availability of the permission to stare.


I remember reading that disappointed European sailors found that Zulu girls, for whom a hip string was considered proper and modest attire, were in no way available. Just because she's naked, doesn't mean she's yours. (Especially if Shaka's impi's are backing her up...)


So I've been waiting for an opportunity to post this one (h/t Berkeley Breathed and his comic "Opus"):


Andy, you've struck on an issue of far wider implications (as labrialumn so well indicated): should evangelical Christians in particular, but all Christians in general (including, say, Catholics and Orthodox) refuse to engage with the culture due to conflict over values like this? My reference above to the Amish was to point to a culture which answers "yes". labrialumn's church answers "usually yes". I've been to churches like lab's, to churches that said "nah", and to many that were inbetween those extremes.

The interesting problem that Christians have is that social norms change over time. At one time it was immodest and shameful for a woman to wear pants (and in some Christian subcultures it still is). Next time you walk across campus, Andy, count for yourself the percentage of women *not* wearing pants, and compare it to a photograph of a college campus from the 1950s or 1900s. Similarly with short hair for women and long hair for men; see http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=53&chapter=11&verse=14&end_verse=15&version=31&context=context for verses that made the 1960s and 1970s very interesting times for some churches.

So the real question is this: should a young, beautiful, talented articulate woman avoid beauty contests (and forego the scholarship money, the opportunities for herself, and particularly the chance to speak up on issues and be a role model) because she'll be required to participate in a swimsuit exhibition? A young woman from my area of the country decided to forge ahead, and the rescuers at Ground Zero for 9/11 were grateful: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katie_Harman But she herself has said this is a decision that each person must pray about, and ultimately decide for themselves with the support of their family, and guidance from God.

One of the suprising things for me, as a former atheist, was to discover that Christianity does not provide absolute rules, and does not say that anything not covered by the rules is therefore permissible. Rather, Christians are expected to take issues like this to God, to their family, and to their community.

And it's questions like this that make you so valuable here, Andy. Thank you.


Happy to help, Lee. But it does make me wonder: Sarah Palin becomes agrandma out of order, but it's ok, because she's Christian. Ms Prejean is in the same outfits you see in Girls Gone Wild (to her creidt, hers stayed on) but it's ok because she's a Christian. It really confuses us poor pagans...

Gina Dalfonzo

As one of the resident Palin groupies (I was going to say "THE resident Palin groupie," but then I remembered I'd have to wrestle Anne and Allen for the title), I'll take on the first part of that statement: No one here has said it was okay for Palin's daughter to get pregnant. Repeat, NO ONE here has said it was okay. What is okay -- what is right, we would say -- was for Bristol Palin not to punish an innocent child for her own sin. There's a crucial distinction there.

As the thread has shown, the second part of the statement is more complex -- probably because fornication and immodesty are handled somewhat differently in the Bible. As I'm a little short on time right now, though, I'll let someone else get into that one, if anyone would like to.


Andy wrote: "It really confuses us poor pagans..."

(insert tongue halfway into cheek, in the hope this isn't too offensive) Psh - you-all were confused *looong* before this. On what basis can a pagan condemn a woman for (hang on a sec, let me copy/paste) "parading around near-starkers in that tiny bikini"? The whole *point* of paganism (or rather, atheism/agnosticism, right?) is that anyone gets to do prettymuch what they darn well please. You-all need to borrow morality - Christian morality, in this case - to even *begin* to talk about hypocrisy, 'cuz there's really no such thing when everyone does what is right in his/her own eyes. (extract tongue)

Hypocrisy is only possible within an absolute moral framework - one that applies to all persons. And Christians claim that we're all, every one of us, hypocrites - because there's none righteous, no, not one (except for the one who was born righteous via virgin birth). The denial of any absolute moral framework is the denial that anyone - including a conservative Christian woman parading onstage in what should be underwear - can possibly be a hypocrite.

So, my friend, what was your point, again?


Actually, I will admit that the point of my last was just a little beard pull. Worked, too. But seriously, I have no problem with any of the family decisions Sarah Palin, her daughter, or Ms. Prejean have made. What's really the thing with me is the total victim-fest the right puts on when it gets any push-back on it positions. This silly pageant thing is just another opportunity for conservatives to scream "victim!"

Just because we disagree with you, and work to advance our own positions and policies, not yours, does not mean we're out to get you. The whole woe-is-me-persecuted-Christian thing is just getting tiresome. You had your way for eight long years. Like Jon Stewart said, a lot of folks on the right are "mistaking tyranny for losing."

Gina Dalfonzo

Andy, would you say that calling a young woman a "dumb b----" and a "c---" in public is an example of working to advance a position or policy?


Andy wrote: "Actually, I will admit that the point of my last was just a little beard pull. Worked, too."

Only for those of us who can actually grow beards; our Fearless (and Beardless) Editor shot one right back atcha.

"The whole woe-is-me-persecuted-Christian thing is just getting tiresome. You had your way for eight long years."

Really? So the documented examples here at The Point, for merely the last 2.5 years - are those fabrications, or hallucinations, in your mind? Ah, but perhaps that's too many incidents, so let's boil it down to having you explain just one: http://thepoint.breakpoint.org/2008/12/no-mob-veto.html

And for the record, this is a goatee.


Oh, and Andy, I came of age in the 1960s and 1970s, era of radical feminism a la Betty Friedan, Gloria Steinem, et. al., when calling a woman a "dumb b----" and a "c---" was considered by liberals to be equivalent to calling an African-American (such as President Obama) a "n-----". Sometime between then and now this degradation of conservative women *by reference to their gender* became acceptable on the Left. Happen to know when that transition occurred?

Oh, and here's this; apologies for the one character parading around at first in immodest clothing, then completely starkers, but I think it contains a lesson for us both: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hei9vPFVDJs

Jason Taylor

LeeQuod, we are not all hypocrites just because we are none righteous. A hypocrite is knowingly decieving. If it does not specifically mean that then the word is useless for the very reason that it applies to everyone.

There are in fact a large number of quite decent people who would never dream of calling themselves righteous without a lot of qualifications. Whereas you will equally often find the most obviously miserable of sinners by any observation who say, "I'm a good person"(probably they are fools rather then liars). And again you will find a number of people who make a great show of their righteousness without even bothering to try to be righteous. It is the third type who would qualify as a hypocrite.

Terry L. Brown

The homosexual agenda is quickly infecting every aspect of our lives. One of the arguments used to silence those who hold to traditional values and unapologetically, and correctly, believe that homosexual behavior is a sin was to ask: "How does what someone does in the privacy of their own home harm you?'". Answer: When the private behavior of someone or a group is sanctioned by the state as normative that behavior will become the law of the land. Once that happens government agencies will mandate, not just tolerance of such behavior, but ACCEPTANCE of it. That mandate will manifest itself in schools being required to teach our children such behavior is normal and good, companines will draft policies requiring their employees to accept homosexuality as normal and good (employees with a traditional beliefs will be coerced to attend sensitivity training to enlighten them to see the error of their way with the threat of employment termination if one refuses), laws will be passed (hate crime laws) placing homosexuals into a protected class that, if broken, will result in onerous fines and imprisonment, all social institutions, particularly marriage, will capitulate to this immoral onslaught by shaming anyone who would dare stand up and say "This is wrong. This is sin.".

It takes no prophet to know this. I know this because it has happened. The episode with Miss USA is simply another example.

But clearly understand this. This is the tip of the iceberg. America is freefalling into moral oblivion. Sexual sins that we now view with extreme disgust will become as normative as homosexuality has become. The Church should be in the vanguard of bringing America back from this abyss, but it is not. In fact some churches and denominations have forsaken the truth of the Bible concerning this issue and have embraced the lies of the world. This is shameful. These churches and denominations are more dangerous to the spiritual health of our nation and the world then all the atheists combined.

"Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you" (Revelation 3:2-3 EVS). Indeed, wake up!

Michael Snow

I am not surprised that this thread went off chasing rabbits...ah, bikinis.

But I am amazed that there has been no discussion of Miss CA's statement:

Perez Hilton: “Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?”

Prejean: “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...

Her first two sentences (out of three) are fully consistent with the homosexual agenda.

[Maybe it just took her that pause to find her footing, but you see how she has been trained to think.]

And her final sentence is in the subjective mode,

The argument against homosexual 'marraige' is an argument that must proceed from an objective moral order.

Those who argue from the subjective have given the battle to the 'enemy.'

As Samuel Johnson wrote, if you have someone to your house for dinner who believes only in a subjective moral order, count your spoons.


Michael, please note that Perez's question began with "Do you think", not "Should". A subjective question calls necessarily for a subjective answer.

Gotta give Miss CA props for not giving the antlers-in-the-headlights look, even though I'll bet that's how she felt.

And to her point, I should ask - does the existence of an objective moral order eliminate freedom of choice? (And Zoe thought *her* thread went off-track!) Or is the choice to disobey the moral order - and suffer the consequences, whatever they may be - a necessary corollary to freedom? I took her remarks to be a celebration of the democratic process at work in the USA, irrespective of how she felt about the result of that process. It's consistent with the homosexual agenda only because we don't live in a fascist state (yet).

Gee, once upon a time silverware actually contained silver...

Jason Taylor

LeeQuod "my dear old friend" those times when silverware had real silver were the times when gentlemen's clubs really were clubs for gentlemen. When the Admiralty was not concerned about giving offense to pirates and did not think Trafalgar was fought between the Red fleet and the Blue fleet. When scientists were to busy hacking their way through jungles to worry about their rightful place. And when the silverware of which you speak was used to eat roast beef and not tofu.
Get with the times LeeQuod.


Jason, I'm with Andy, longing for the good old days when seeing a woman's bare ankle was sufficiently scandalous. Of course, that was also a time at which the thoughts of women were not held in high regard - which would have worked better for Carrie Prejean, but not so well for Catherine Larson, Gina Dalfonzo, and at least half of the bloggers at The Point.

So, my dear old friend, I'll meet you in the kitchen where we can chat as we wash the dishes, while the women finish their discussion about matters far beyond us both. Care for a cup of herb tea?

Michael Snow

As I feared, the battle really is all over. The enemy is only left with the mopping up operations.


Michael, I think you and I both need to go read Catherine's book. Would it be better to adopt the enemy's tactics of intimidation and assault (as in the outing of Prop 8 supporters), or would it be better to fight fairly and stand for what is right - even if that meant losing horrendously - and be prepared to forgive and restore?

I.e., should Perez Hilton be forcibly silenced, or should we pray for his conversion to Christ? (There was this high profile First Century intellectual named Saul, who no one believed would *ever* become a Christian. In fact, he not only ridiculed Christians, he helped get them killed...)

Jason Taylor

Actually LeeQuod my dear old friend, those were times when women could take over ships when their husbands were away, could be taken captive by indians and end up trudging home carrying about half a dozen scalps with them. And could rule cities for those times in the year when their husbands were away. However it is true that they seldom became lawyers.

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