Can Christian beauty queens have it both ways?

Posted at 2:45 PM Feb 25, 2010

By Andrea Grimes

We all know and loathe Carrie Prejean, the Christian beauty queen from California who, aside from being surprisingly unable to say two coherent sentences in a row, also only believes in "opposite marriage." Oh, sure, she has lots of gay friends--who in the beauty queening industry doesn't? For that matter, who in America doesn't?--but really, those gay friends shouldn't really have rights and stuff.

But because one Bible-thumping pageantess from California isn't enough, we now have Lauren Ashley, Miss Beverley Hills. Again, she has lots of gay friends. But she wants them to know that they will be mightily smote down by The Lord God for their abominations. She recently told Fox News:

"The Bible says that marriage is between a man and a woman. In Leviticus it says, 'If man lies with mankind as he would lie with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death and their blood shall be upon them.'"
Whereas Prejean never went as far as whipping out the whole holy death-sentence thing (maybe because she can't pronounce Leviticus, or something), Ashley is unafraid to warn her gay besties that they have been maked for certain death. "Oh my god, Marcus, these blonde highlights look great! Thanks! By the way, God's gonna kill you for boning your boyfriend! Laters!"

Can you be a Jesus freak and a beauty freak? Can swimsuit-competition-participating, sexy-face-making, implant-getting contestants really have it both ways?

Sure, we can take issue with Ashley for not quoting the rest of Leviticus--wherein women have to go to the menstruation hut and nobody is allowed to eat shellfish, lest they be similarly smote--but can we take exception to the fact that she purports to be so religiously devout while catering to an industry that, in no uncertain terms, promotes certain ideals about sexuality, body modification and superficiality?

I think we can.

I'm not going to get all Biblical on you Dolls' asses here, but there was a time in my life when I fancied myself a kind of Bible-thumper in the manner of Prejean and Ashley. And that Bible-thumper would never have put up with sexy photos, swimsuit ogling and beauty obsession. One's body is a temple, and one puts implants on temples? One is to remain chaste, and yet one has whack-tastic topless modeling photos taken of oneself?

The certain kind of Christianity espoused by Prejean and Ashley is, I perceive, the type which values a religious life over a life "of the world." There is talk of living "in the world" but not "of the world." If breast implants and beauty competitions are not "of the world," I'd be hard-pressed to think of things that are.

Which is all to say, I'm amazed that an organization like the right-wing National Organization for Marriage would be anxious to get behind the statements made by Prejean and Ashley with regard to gay marriage, considering the behavior and lifestyle of those women is likely to be in serious conflict with their ideas about modesty and, probably, women's proper place. (For the record, I don't think there's anything morally wrong with implants, beauty contests and the like--though as a feminist I take serious issue with these things.) To say nothing of what is "Christian" about modifying one's body (god's creation, after all) and boasting of and competing in matters of personal beauty, which is basically what a pageant is, right? I mean, vanity is a thing. A serious thing.

I'd stop short of calling Prejean and Ashley hypocritical, because I don't know what they really believe, in their heart of hearts, about their religion. I would suggest that if they expect people to take them seriously as Christians, they re-think the industry and lifestyle they've chosen. It's simply difficult to swallow moral and religious posturing from two women who, it seems to me, have opted to pick and choose for themselves when and where they act Biblically.


BorgQueen said:

I will straight-up say these women are hypocrites. Twice. HYPOCRITES. It's like saying I have tons of black friends as I pull the white hood over my face. I am sick of these girls using a national platform to push their narrow-minded ideas. Not to say they can't have differing ideas- they can and they should be able to express them. But this goes beyond expressing what they believe, it ventures into promoting intolerance and hate and for women that, theoretically (putting aside feminist issues with beauty pagents as a whole), are supposed to be role models, that is a irresponsible position to take.

Christianity teaches that God is the only true judge of men so by passing her judgement on the sexual preferences of someone, by her very beliefs, to say nothing of her activities as a beauty queen, she is a hypocrite.

Kris said:

Has anyone figured out what contest Lauren Ashley actually won? Because the city of Beverly Hills was quick to point out that they don't HAVE a pagent, and have no idea who this woman is.

I think Foxnews just trotted out a random woman and gave her a title to incite controversy.

St. Michael said:

No, she's legit. There really aren't very many local "qualifying" pageants, so those competing at the state level get to choose the place they represent (and in this case in particular, I use the term loosely). At least, that's how they explained it in the news story I read.

Michael SW said:

Christian beauty queens cannot have it both ways--the idea they go around boasting and preaching Christian Morals & Family Values and yet are later discovered to not practice what they preach. Add to that, what is even worse, is this violetn rhetoric against their opposition--who the hell are they to say that gays are, in so many words, going to be damned forever?

Let me make something perfectly clear: I am Catholic. Am I perfect? No. But unlike some other professed Catholics and Christians, I follow the GOSPELS, which defines the Core of Christian Teaching, simply because it's the GOSPELS that have the teachings of Jesus Christ. If you look through the four Gospels--Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, all of which in the New Testament, at no time does Jesus mention any condemnation against gays or anyone. In fact, Jesus' main agenda was the promotion of loving one another, to live in love, peace, and harmony, as the Father in Heaven expects us all to do. Far too often has there been bashing and abusing of gays, violating their civil rights and liberties, and as a Catholic heterosexual, I can empathize with them. Why? Because I'm a black man and there was a time (and in some cases still is) when blacks were bashed and abused for getting married in the first place and especially marrying a white woman, or a black woman marrying a white man. And those engaging in such bashing, such harassment, such abuse and violation---those who claim to be Christians and doing so "in the name of God".

Well Jesus our Lord warned us of people, of abusers and manipulators like those. He called them the PHARISEES: "Be on gaurd against the yeast (teachings & propaganda) of the Pharisees" (Matthew 16:5). And believe me--much of these right wing religious zealots are indeed the PHARISEES of today!

Right wingers: Go in peace and learn to love one another!!

Seminymous Coward said:

article - No, they're hypocrites.

BorgQueen - In the Old Testament, there's a Book of Judges about the judges God chose to judge over the Israelites. Yes, they aren't quite the same as judges in the modern sense, but they definitely had judicial power derived from God, as did the Kings of Israel. God also provided laws that He clearly meant to be enforced by humans in this life. This is, admittedly, less pronounced in the New Testament.

Michael SW - There's a fairly reasonable theory that Jesus was a Pharisee. In any case, there were plenty of decent Pharisees. Don't worry, though; tarring them all with the same brush is merely unreasonable instead of outright immoral, since they were an ideological group with membership by choice.

question . . mabe said:

question . . .. isnt God the only one allowed to judge . . .wat up wit all these ppl tryin to do God's job . . .leave it let god handle .n remenber love ur neighbors as your self . .regardless of gender race of sexual orientation . .. .. ..

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