Posted at 2:45 PM Feb 25, 2010By Andrea Grimes
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.