Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Defining Decency Down

Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain, But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.--Proverbs 31:10.

Christians are foolish to sing the praises of Miss California, Carrie Prejean, simply because she uttered some inarticulate opinions against same-sex marriage and speaks of God. To find a heroine in her is to define decency down, just as social science defined deviancy down decades ago (as Daniel Patrick Moynihan pointed out in a ground-breaking article in 1993).

This young woman is a beauty queen, both ensnared by and loving that sad and silly skin game. However, the category should not exist. American society has created an unreal and cruel standard for women to reach: the beauty queen--a woman known for curves and perfect skin, heavenly hair and preternatural teeth. They prance and pose and preen; the cameras churn and burn; the media salivates and speculates. My stomach turns. It is all sinful a waste of the short time we have on this fallen planet. Moreover, in addition to the intrinsic immodesty and vanity of the beauty queen persona, this woman apparently posed for even more indecent photographs. This model is no model (of character).

Carrie Prejean is no heroine. She does not deserve any more attention. To give it to her, whether you are James Dobson or Sean Hannity, reveals the paucity of both real virtue and Christian discernment today. We have defined decency down. Perhaps we should lift some prayers up.


Adam Omelianchuk said...


But I will say that civility is still needed.

(applying to Talbot and am going to apply to Denver.)

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...

Was I uncivil?

Steve Schuler said...

Yeah Doug, this whole Carrie Prejean thing is a curious mixture of comedy and tragedy, of virtue and vice. On the one hand I have to give the girl some credit for responding honestly to a question while she knew that it would be to her apparent advantage to respond with less candor. On the other hand the venue in which she was appearing, a beauty pageant, tended to eliminate her from my list of potential social heros. I don't stand in judgement of the whole enterprise of Beauty Pageantry or of her participation in that scene, it's just not my cup of meat. At any rate, the whole media frenzy over her character and thoughts is simultaneously comical and tragic. And here I am participating in it. That might be the most comical thing of all!

Adam Omelianchuk said...

No. But if you read some of the things about her in the mainstream media you will find that she is worse than Sarah Palin. Pretty awesome feat! I agree with you that her vocation is not something I would want women to emulate.

I also find it ironic that Miss CA is considered a "bigot" while Mr. Obama holds the exact same position. That in itself is a fascinating commentary on our nation's political discourse.

Michael Thompson said...

I am glad that you said this. (No, you are not being uncivil.) She is not an impressive person on a moral scale, with or without the pictures . . . and I have seen some of the interviews which demonstrate her increasing inability to articulate a position.

My contention is twofold:
1) she has freedom to state her opinion without this backlash;
2) society is now taking its morality points from a blogger who has accomplished NOTHING of value in his life.

abcaneday said...

Doug Wilson, on Blog and Mablog, has some excellent posts on the same theme concerning Miss California.

Wintery Knight Blog said...

I wrote about a really good Christian woman, Jan Craig, the wife of William Lane Craig, a while back, and it was one of my most popular posts.

Not's that's a Christian woman! I also like Michele Bachmann. Fiscal conservative Congresswoman AND home-schooling Mom AND defends the unborn and traditional marriage? Awesome!

Paul D. Adams said...

Colson's Breakpoint today is a must read in relation to this media nonsense. You can find it here along with my commentary.

Corbin said...

THANK YOU DOUG! Finally someone and a man at that (a real man)speaks out on the glaringly obvious in this situation! What happened to the scripture, "modesty is a virtue", or did Prejean miss that one? What a horrid role model, not only for a christian but for any girl or woman.

Anonymous said...

Dr. G, I responded to Paul's(inchristus's) blog a little earlier about the same topic...the link is:
I don't want to rehash the whole thing again... but read, you'll get my point!

I'm going to say this with as much love as I can...but men, you have to understand what un-caring, and unloving comments do to women! I AM A HUMAN BEING! Not some piece of meat! and I get so angry with twits like this chick who thinks her whole being revolves around the fleeting "beauty" to please the attitudes of the world!
I know I'm getting to the "uncivil" point here, so I'm thinking I'll shut up now.

Byron Harvey said...

Right on, Doug. I've been posting about this for two weeks now, this ridiculous (yet typical for evangelicals these days, sadly) rush to lift up this young woman, whose original answer really wasn't all that impressive to begin with! I wrote Focus to implore them not to carry the interview with Dobson, to no avail, and I thought their response was grossly inadequate. It's a shame.

Douglas Groothuis, Ph.D. said...


What blogger are you talking about?