The Carrie Prejean episode says much about this country, and most of it is not good. There is so much in this story that is sad, and there is plenty of blame to go around. I have previously shared my thoughts about the elevation of Miss Prejean to some sort of hero status. A few other observations now come to mind:
1) It is despicable the way Miss Prejean was attacked for sharing her honest opinion about gay marriage. The venom and hatred from some quarters has been shocking. But the conservative Christians who latched on to her to promote their own agenda also bear responsibility for this mess. They did not consider whether Carrie was prepared to become their poster child or how it might affect her personally to do so. And now as some unseemly photos from her past have emerged many of them are deserting her. Talk about fair weather friends.
2) I see in Carrie's story another example of something I have been puzzled about for a long time, namely how many Christian women today see no contradiction between their faith and the suggestiveness of their clothing. That Carrie, a Christian, doesn't think twice about displaying her nearly nude body on national television in a sexually provocative way makes no sense to me. But it also makes no sense to me how frequently I see young women in my own community dress in a way that I don't think any female should, and for church, no less! The bare midriffs, cleavage, stiletto heels, skin tight pants, coy messages written on chests and rears, and dresses that look like baby doll nightgowns leave me speechless. And their conservative Christian parents don't seem to have a problem with it. Call me an old-fashioned prude, but if I were to suggest to my daughter that she wear some of the things that we routinely see on some of her peers, she would look at me like I had lost my mind. She would be extremely uncomfortable dressing that way and calling such attention to herself, and it's not because of any Victorian-minded training she has received from her parents but because her own humility and modesty would prevent her doing so.
3) It was clear from her rather inarticulate answer ("opposite" marriage?) on the Miss USA pageant that Miss Prejean was not prepared for all this attention. If the Christian community had any sense at all, and if they really cared about her as a fellow Christian, they would have immediately circled the wagons in protection of her after the radical press started going after her. Carrie's friends and family should have advised her to lie low and let others speak for her. She should have issued a press release saying in effect that she stands by her answer. And then she should have voiced her desire to move on with her life and speak no more of it. Instead, the Sean Hannity's of the world decided to squeeze some ratings and a few more soundbites out of her. So they set her up for continued silly statements about how her career goal is to become a "motivational speaker" and encourage young women to stand up for themselves and their views. And to think that children used to want to be firemen and nurses and teachers and doctors. Now it's "motivational speakers" and "community organizers."
I'm sorry if I'm being excessively grumpy. By the way, for those who may not have heard, the President has opted to skip any observance (beyond signing the standard proclamation) of the National Day of Prayer today. But of course. Our country is in such excellent shape. And besides, we have Obama at the helm, and he is going to take care of everything. What could there possibly be to pray about?