James Dobson praised Miss California USA Carrie Prejean for preaching a sermon with her life. Miles McPherson, her pastor, compared her to Esther. Prejean claimed God chose her and trusted her to speak out. Even now that she has been stripped of her title, Prejean is on the talk show circuit talking about her beliefs. "When God is for you, no one can be against you," she told Larry King.
I've been studying religion and beauty pageants for my Ph.D. dissertation, and even I'm still trying to wrap my head around the last two months of headlines. Nobody expected Prejean's comments about gay marriage to be news, nor for American evangelical communities to promote Prejean as a pageant preacher.
The irony of the controversy is not how unique Prejean is for using the pageant to promote her Christian beliefs, but how in line with pageant tradition she is. Christians have long participated in such beauty pageants, and they quite frequently win. And not only do they have religious justifications for their participation, many frequently have Christian motivations for their participation.
What?!! Not only is this more degradeful to already the christian women in the west (strippers, prostitutes etc..) but goes against the bible. Though we should note the holy spirit brings the bible to our hearts and will always guide us. We should also note christians will bring up verses from the bible that may allow women to be naked for everyone to see. But in the end the holy spirit decides right?
"Remember, for example, Miss America 2003, Erika Harold, who faced resistance over her desire to advocate abstinence during her reign. Miss America 1973, Terry Meeuwsen, Miss America 1990, Debbye Turner, and Miss America 1995, Heather Whitestone have also put their beliefs into practice through pageant participation. Indeed, they used their crowns to open doors to minister to others in unique ways, paving the way for other pageant preachers like Prejean.
But these are only some of the more prominent names. Winners of Miss USA and Miss America often herald their Christianity. In both contests, however, as well as in preliminaries and state pageants that lead to these pageants, winners receive prizes, accolades, and access to myriad public appearances. Pageant titles provide Christians a means to express their Christian beliefs to larger audiences. One need only consider how often Amazing Grace gets sung at pageants to see this belief in action. Indeed, Katie Stam, the reigning Miss America, sang Via Dolorosa to clinch her title.
Many Christian pageant participants claim that participation affords them opportunities to express their religious convictions beyond the pageant runway. They see that it opens doors to be a witness through speaking in churches and working in the community. They place Bible verses on their sponsorship pages in pageant program books and claim that the support they receive from their churches provides added incentive for their participation. Some share their testimonies in pulpits as well as the public sphere. Pageant participation provides them with the opportunity to preach in a unique way."
Oh ok so the religion of truth here, anyone can be what most american women do? Are christians really going this far? We've seen porpnography being acceptable by christian scholors, and this, whats next? Children doing this? NOOO!! But wait, if kissing was not very acceptable by the west 60 years ago, children doing it in kids shows today is? Every day these childrend programs are going further and further which may explain why 90% of americans have had sex before marriage (http://www.foxnews.com/wires/2006Dec19/0,4670,PremaritalSex,00.html).
''Before Prejean expressed her convictions about marriage, she preached another, perhaps louder sermon. Prejean donned a bikini and an evening gown in which she walked across the stage to be judged on her appearance. Thus, despite the ways in which pageant participants reinterpret their pageant opportunities as religious ones, a tension remains: women are not only judged on their community service platform or their ability to do well in an interview, public appearance, or talent performance. They are also judged on their bodies, and it's difficult, if not impossible, to get around that."
Ok so we see here how the writer is saying its hard for christian women to "get around" getting judged on how their body looks (really? are most christian holy spirit guided women thinking this way? Do the ones in downtown think the same? Or how about high school? yeah probably not). Well my question to you is, if you're afraid of breaking God's law on revealing yourself then why are you in the pageant in the first place? And more inmportantly why make a fool of the christian faith? The downtown christian girls are better apparently according to the writer. That way they can expose themselves in any way with no camera's or audiences.
"While there are countless ways that Christians involved in pageants respond to this portion of the competition, contestants handle moral questions about the swimsuit competition in three ways. Simply put, some contestants grin and bear it. They recognize that competing in a swimsuit is required. It's the shortest part of the competition and in some ways the easiest. It's only 30 seconds. Other contestants reinterpret the swimsuit competition as a way to display that they have taken seriously God's commandment to treat their bodies as temples of the Holy Spirit. They claim that since their bodies are God's temples, they should care about their physical condition. It is akin to how athletes talk about their extensive training. By taking seriously God's command to love him with their whole heart, body, soul, and mind, these contestants assert that they are glorifying God by caring for their bodies. Finally, some contestants view the swimsuit competition as a way to make a faith statement. Take, for example, Miss Utah 2007, Katie Miller (Miss America). Miller, a Mormon, made headlines a couple of years ago with her choice to wear a one piece swimsuit. She also followed a strict modesty code in all phases of the competition. Fewer contestants have chosen this route as more and more contestants see that winners sport two piece swimsuits, but the one piece is still an option."
No i think most christians will do whatever it takes to win.
"Whether their response to the swimsuit competition is lament, reinterpretation, or faith statement, all of the contestants don a swimsuit of some sort and walk across the stage in it in order to get one step closer to the crown. Moreover, all of them seem to find a way to reconcile this with their religious beliefs, and some even find the means to celebrate it. Prejean preached a kind of sermon before she even opened her mouth. But what kind of sermon was she preaching?
Perhaps this is further proof that for some Christians right belief will always trump right practice. Or perhaps it's more simple than that. Perhaps we see in her a bit of ourselves: the contradiction with which we all live. Carrie Prejean is neither a paragon of virtue nor a vile temptress. Rather, she, like all of us, lives in the messy space where secular and sacred intersect. She, like many of us, copes with inconsistencies between her beliefs and her practice daily. Most of us are simply fortunate enough not to have our lives subjected to public scrutiny. We could all learn from Prejean the importance of considering the types of sermons we are preaching (and encouraging) with our lives."
Ok well I think the question to be answered is, is this fall into moderate (cultural) christianity or traditional? Either way the holy spirit guides all.
Down below i found another article related to bikini's and nudity. Its about why christian women fall for pageants. Its again outlining what i've said but take a look:http://www.christianitytoday.com/tc/2003/mayjun/9.20.html