Carrie Prejean, for those who’ve forgotten, was the winner of Miss California USA in 2009 who attracted controversy in the national pageant when she answered a question about marriage by affirming the traditional view that marriage is between one man and one woman. She was subsequently presented as a heroine in certain sectors of the American evangelical community, such as Focus on the Family and Liberty University. The original title of her Focus on the Family broadcasts was to be, if I remember correctly, Carrie Prejean: A Modern Queen Esther. However, some (including me) thought this was going too far, and the broadcasts appeared under the title Carrie Prejean: Standing Firm. The broadcasts no longer appear to be available online, but if you contact Focus on the Family, you should be able to purchase the recordings (or maybe not--after what's happened in the months since, Focus on the Family may not want to admit that the broadcasts ever existed).
On June 10, 2009 Carrie Prejean was fired as Miss California USA. She alleged that she was fired because of her opposition to gay marriage, but pageant officials denied it. Pageant owner Donald Trump's comments were reported by TMZ:
Donald Trump just told TMZ he gave the green light to fire "biblically correct" Carrie Prejean's award-winning butt because she just wouldn't do the job and treated people badly.
Trump told us Carrie refused to appear at around 30 events on behalf of Miss California USA. He says Prejean was contractually bound to appear and she just wouldn't do it. He doesn't think her attitude has anything to do with her politics.
Trump said: "To me she was the sweetest thing. Everyone else -- she treated like s**t."
Keith Lewis, director of Miss California USA, went into greater detail:
Our problems with Carrie Prejean began before the controversial question at MISS USA. In early March, Carrie was advised in writing to re-read her contract because of conflicts that were ongoing for some time. Although our focus before MISS USA was on preparation, our focus after MISS USA is on brand building. Like anyone else who has a job, once you finish one assignment you go on to the next one. Unfortunately, Carrie had her own agenda. After signing on to appear at a press conference and to record a fundraising telemarketing message for the National Organization for Marriage, Carrie found a new voice that was not in keeping with ours. Although we attempted to put all the differences behind us at the press conference hosted by Mr. Trump when he instructed Carrie to bring herself back into contract compliance, that unfortunately did not happen.
Carrie’s contract in part states the following:
a) During the term of my reign as the State Pageant titleholder:
1) To cooperate fully with you and your affiliates, employees, agents, representatives, designees, sponsors, official charity affiliations and the like in carrying out their instructions in connection with the actions I will be performing under this agreement and in connection with my preparation for competition in the 2009 Miss USA Pageant. Without limiting the foregoing, I agree to follow and obey all rules, instructions, directions and requirements implemented by you in connection with my reign as the State Pageant titleholder, as they may be changed, modified or amended by you at any time.
2) To keep punctuality all appointments and appearances that require my presence.
3) You will have the exclusive right and control over all personal appearances which I may make or any services which I may render in the entertainment, literary and related fields. Without limiting the foregoing, I will not, without first obtaining your written consent, make any personal, television (both on scripted or unscripted television programming), motion picture, Internet/on-line or radio appearances or otherwise participate in, prepare or assist in the preparation of any written, audio or visual work that depicts, concerns, or relates in any way to me, including, without limitation, any motion picture, television program, commercials, music recordings, merchandising, screenplay, teleplay, print article, book, or Internet or web content. For the avoidance of doubt, I acknowledge and agree that the foregoing restrictions shall apply to all such appearances, services and works, regardless whether or not related to my reign as Miss California USA 2009 or the Miss California USA Pageant.
Although we could list multitudes of documented violations, for the purpose of taste and time we will attach a few as they relate to her allegations.
Her statement "I made every appearance" – We offered 53 appearances in writing, she was available for 1 and was either unwilling or unavailable for all the others.
That does not include the offer of Playboy or the reality show, I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here
Her statement, "They wanted me to do Playboy" not recommended but offered to her based upon her written request
Quoted from Carrie Prejean’s e-mail to us "I expect you to be forwarding me ALL email requests and interview requests to me. I know how you are and its (sic) not right if you are selecting things for me." Her statement "I did not make a book deal"
Quoted from an e-mail from Charles Limandri to Paula Shugart at Miss Universe, "As we discussed, Carrie has already started moving forward with the book deal. In fact, I now understand that she has already signed a contract with the publisher, that there are drafts of the content prepared, and that they expect to soon choose a writer to put it all together. Therefore, obviously as far as she is concerned, this project must go forward at this point."
Her statement "I have cooperated fully" Quoted from e-mails written to Keith Lewis from Carrie Prejean when he attempted to get details for her master calendar, "You do not cooperate with me, and you pick and chose the the things YOU want me to do. That is not happening anymore. Stop speaking for me. I have MY own voice. What are u gonna do fire me for volunteering for the special olympics hahaha ur crazy No I am doing this appearance. You do not need details. Its for the SPECIAL OLYMPICS!!! You just need to know I will be doing it alright. You will not facilitate this appearance." She was never told she could not go only to allow us to get the details Her statement, "I did not make appearances without their consent" There is currently a video that she taped for Shape magazine that was shot after MISS USA without our permission or involvement and is available online.
Her statement, "This is personal". We agree but not on our part. We believe it is personal on the part of Carrie Prejean and her lawyer who is General Council for NOM, the National Organization for Marriage, and their desire to continue to focus on their agenda around this issue.
The Miss California organization has a tradition of supporting strong-minded young women of all stripes. There is room in the Miss California family for titleholders of all points of view and we respect Carrie for having the courage and faith to stand by her convictions. We simply wish Carrie had been equally faithful to her contractual obligations, which she has not.
Copies of the email exchange between Carrie Prejean and pageant officials can be found here.
In reading the comments from both sides (and what has been revealed since then), there’s no doubt in my mind that Miss Prejean was fired as Miss California USA because of her attitude and behaviour, not because of her religious beliefs. However, some Christians insisted on believing otherwise. Here’s an amusing example from Learning, Loving, and Leading, the blog of Doug Brown, student pastor at Surrey Hills Baptist Church in Yukon, Oklahoma:
Politically correct police have won.
Carrie Prejean stripped of the Miss California crown. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,525716,00.html
If you haven't followed this story it is one worth catching up on. Miss California was in the top three in the recent Miss USA pageant when in the interview part of the pageant she was asked her opinion of same-sex marriage. She had the strength of character to state what she believes. She said, "...a marriage should be between a man and a woman."
Since that statement Miss Prejean was treated as if she was the second coming of Adolf Hitler. Her name and character has been drug through the mud. She has been ridiculed and called hypocritical. The way she was treated you would think she had called for the death of all living polar bear cubs in the world.
And finally yesterday the news, literally news, came out that she had been stripped of her current title. Miss Prejean heard about the move in the news a sign of true disrespect. The "official" reason for her being ousted as Miss California was, "contract violations". We could believe that if she had not been treated the way she was after her stance on same-sex marriage. Anyone with half a brain knows why she was stripped of her title.
The point of this story that I want to focus on is this: she was punished for her beliefs. In a day in which we are told there is no objective truth. We are told there is no right and wrong. It amazes me that in this setting someone can be punished for their beliefs. The true hypocrites in this story are those who mistreated Miss Prejean for her stance.
Pastor Doug’s defense of Miss Prejean can be excused on the grounds that by his own admission, he has only half a brain (maybe he’ll get a whole brain when he becomes a full pastor).
There have been some developments in the Carrie Prejean saga since June 2009. First, she filed a lawsuit against Miss California USA over her dismissal:
"Carrie Prejean is finally firing back at the people behind Miss California USA," said TMZ.com. The former Miss California USA crown bearer—who clashed with pageant judge/blogger Perez Hilton over same-sex marriage—just filed a lawsuit "claiming Shanna Moakler and other pageant officials forced her out because of her religious beliefs." Included in the suit are allegations of "religious discrimination, defamation, public disclosure of private facts, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent infliction of emotional distress."
In November it was reported by Radar Online that Miss Prejean had posed for 30 nude photos and 8 sex tapes. She threw a temper tantrum during an appearance on Larry King Live on CNN. Her ex-boyfriend claimed that Miss Prejean had attempted to get him to lie about how old she was when one of the sex tapes was shot (she wanted him to say she was 17 at the time, he claimed she was 20). The revelation of the sex tapes reportedly led to a settlement of her lawsuit. Meanwhile, Keith Lewis added further comment:
In response to Carrie’s awkward appearance on "Larry King Live" and her ex-boyfriend saying he was told to lie about her age in her solo sex tape, Miss Cali Prez Keith Lewis tells TMZ:
"The public is finally getting a glimpse of the real Carrie Prejean who lives in her own delusional world.
The childish behavior, her negative attitude, the sarcasm and condescending tone, the disrespect and continual lying she is demonstrating now is only a fraction of what we endured during her reign and after.
Anyone who buys her book is supporting a woman who is actually the opposite of everything she claims to be.
I sincerely hope she is able to get the psychological help I believe she has shown to clearly need."
For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication. I Thessalonians 4:3
In February 2010 it was reported that Miss Prejean had become engaged to Kyle Boller, backup quarterback with the St. Louis Rams of the National Football League, and had moved in with him.
Carrie Prejean's legal problems aren't over yet. In March 2010 it was reported that she was being sued by A. Larry Ross Communications, an ostensibly Christian public relations firm, for not paying them for work that they had done on her behalf. According to Courthouse News:
A "Christian-focused" public relations firm gave former Miss California Carrie Prejean "interview tips and damage control" during a 2009 media controversy says the ousted beauty queen owes it $64,000. Larry Ross Communications, sued Prejean in Denton County Court, Texas, claiming she has not paid for the "hundreds of hours" it spent fielding media calls and doing other public relations work.
...Larry Ross Communications claims it represented Prejean throughout the brouhaha, providing "crucial information" to her attorney when Prejean sued the Miss California Pageant.
The company's Web site says it "assists Christian-focused organizations, associations, ministries and churches in telling their stories through the Christian and secular media in the context of traditional news values."
The company says it gave Prejean "intensive interview training," "brokered a conference call with Donald Trump ... and confirmed a joint press conference with Trump and the pageant officials."
Although A. Larry Ross Communications claims to be "Christian-focused," apparently nobody there has bothered to read what God has to say about Christians taking one another to court:
If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?
Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?
Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more the things of this life!
Therefore, if you have disputes about such matters, appoint as judges even men of little account in the church!
I say this to shame you. Is it possible that there is nobody among you wise enough to judge a dispute between believers?
But instead, one brother goes to law against another—and this in front of unbelievers!
The very fact that you have lawsuits among you means you have been completely defeated already. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be cheated?
Instead, you yourselves cheat and do wrong, and you do this to your brothers. I Corinthians 6:1-8 (NIV)
It's my contention that the cause of Christ is harmed far more by the behaviour of professing Christians such as Carrie Prejean than by the mosquito attacks of so-called "new atheists" such as Richard Dawkins or Christopher Hitchens. To compare Miss Prejean to Queen Esther, is of course, absurd, as Esther was a virtuous woman (it's also worth noting that Esther's predecessor, Vashti, was deposed as queen because she refused to parade her beauty in front of a bunch of drunken men (Esther 1:10-12). As for Carrie Prejean's claim to be a Christian, I'll quote (out of context) Mark "Jacko" Jackson: "Well, prove it! And until [she does]...I'm gonna wait! Oi!"
For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: I Peter 4:17a
HT: Politics Daily