21 April, 2009

Owning up to your spine

Every once in a while, a young man or woman shoots out of obscurity with an act or a statement that, while it shocks the guts out of the conformists for its sheer veracity, helps reaffirm the faith of us puritans in the existence of the demarcation between right and wrong.

Miss California Carrie Prejean was the frontrunner for the Miss America title last weekend, till she was asked what definitely was a loaded question by Gay celebrity blogger 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?”

Now, gay-rights is an issue which even the presidential candidate is expected to have an opinion on in the US. Why, even Carrie later confessed that “of all the topics I had studied on, I dreaded this one. Any other question and….” But neither the fears, which eventually proved founded, nor the inclination to doctor her prepared answer to sound politically correct like even Barack Obama did, stopped her from giving an answer that politely but clearly stated her convictions.

“Well I think its 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. 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”

Ms Prejean predictably (though it is fair to suspect that she could have lost for other reasons too) lost the winners sash. But clearly she was the winner that night. Touted as a potential winner, and having anticipated this very topic, she probably knew how badly such an answer could affect her chances at the pageant. Even when she foresaw the depth of the trap that she was being lured into, even when she could have escaped with a politically agreeable answer that wouldn’t commit her opinion anywhere, even when she could have found a thousand excuses to even betray her convictions for the larger picture, like all of us are so prone to do, the 21 year old girl chose to be candidly forthright.

We live in a society that, we’d better admit, is abounding in covert morality, covert ethics, and covert spirituality - ‘Keep your inclinations to yourself, please. It isn’t socially acceptable’ So, that a celebrity, from that very class of society that we hold responsible for the downward plunge of our moral values, can stand up and say “it's not about being politically correct, for me it was being biblically correct”, is not just refreshing for its frankness, but also a slap in the face of a generation that shies away from owning up to anything that isn’t the in-thing, a generation that is terrified at the thought of not conforming.

But the furore that resulted points out something else too. The question technically asked for the contestants views on the subject. There was no way she should have been booed for stating what she thought was right. If anything she should have been lauded for the gumption. Instead, Perez Hilton derides her, calling her a bitch Have we become so obsessed with socially accepted stance’s, or the need for self justification in Hiltons case, that we cant even accept a differing view without snickering.

Something in the bottom of my heart applauds the way Miss California could be so vocal about her religion even in front of a partisan crowd, something we rarely have the guts to do. She later described the encounter as “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”. She might have lost the pageant, and maybe a potential international title, but she was clearly the winner of the night!

PS: All this said, something still bothers me. Same sex marriages might not be Christian, but is sashaying in a bikini, a costume that classifies as semi-pornography in half the world, Christian? But yeah, for now, lets give it to the girl!

11 had something to say:

vinjk said...

hey ab! i thought you had quit blogging long time back!
your blog looks great now! :)

anyway i'll be coming back to read your posts since you hit 50!

BTW which article were you talking about?

vinjk said...

like you said, it is great she had the guts to stand up and air her views no matter how controversial it is.But, as far as her views are concerned, it's a very parochial one. Why does she (or anyone who has the same view) want people to follow her Christian values? or Islamic values? If someone wants to be part of a church, follow the rules of the church. That is fine. But it is wrong for the government to decide who should marry and who should not as the govt serves not just the believers but also the non-believers and atheists too.

vinjk said...

I'm assuming her answer meant a thumbs down to the judge's question.

Fantasies of a Lifetime said...

Its quite sad isn't it ? speaking your mind out has become accolade worthy . . .We have turned into one big hypocritical species . . .

Anyway Atta girl , I might have succumbed to the perks of an award instead of being true to myself ! . .

vinjk said...

Almost the same view as yours Ab
http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/22/martin.miss.california/index.html

D said...

Very thought-provoking! And I love the angle with which you've looked at the topic.

I think I agree with you: it takes a lot to be able to say what's in your head (or heart) especially when you know it may lead you away from your end.

behindblueeyes said...

I have no problem with gay people yet hate the way that your views on gayness have been turned into some kind of litmus test for how enlightened you are.

I'm very liberal yet, I don't think that the definition of marriage should be changed. I think that it should be a civil union. So according to a lot of people, I am back in the dark ages. Even though I am so much more tolerant of different people than Perez Hilton appears to be.

I can't stand Perez Hilton. I used to go on his blog and at one point he devoted his blog to attacking a little girl! I'm serious. She was sort of a 'dorky little girl', probably about 14 or 15 years old and I guess she said something about him and put it on youtube, so he was posting her videos and making fun of her in a very vicscious and scathing manner, and it was so obvious that she didn't have much intellect and of course, he has a little bit. or at least he can appear to. It was horrible.

I would never watch a show with him on it. He thinks he can tell people what is moral and what isn't, after he did something so primeval that it defies belief.

Standbymind said...

Hey man!

How ve u been!

Whats up these days?

Standbymind said...

No Updates Bro?

clueless comrades said...

Havent seen a new post in ages..

D

Avaran said...

@comrades... i know i know... the fact screams right in my face... just dont feel like doing anything about it... :(