Monday, May 11, 2009


OK.... so I wrote this post several days ago.  I let it marinate.  After hearing more about this yet again today, I think I'm ready to post it.  So here goes.

There are times when I want to carry duct tape for mouths.  There have been times when I wished I'd had a roll for my own mouth or typing fingers... I'm trying hard not to let this be one of those.

But I'm part mad, part bewildered, and part something I'm not sure what to call... maybe just basically in a funk over this so I'm going to say so. 

I got another e-mail the other day claiming that Miss California's comments against gay marriage are to be heralded and the consequential posting of half naked pictures of her are an attempt to dethrone her by the left wing world.  This, I am told, is therefore a great reason for Christians to unite against this horrible social ill.

Christianity today reports that in her interview with Miles McPherson- her pastor at the Rock here in San Diego- following the controversy, Miles said this is evidence of "Christian church being punked."

Are you kidding me?  Do you really think the "left wing media" is the real problem here?  I think we punked ourselves.  Notice the use of "we".  I think this bothers me so much because my faith is not an "us" and "them" thing to me.  But either way, this is ridiculous.

I think somewhere, somehow, too many people broke the mirror in front of them. 

I wish "christians" would at the very least think, reflect, and process before opening their mouth or hitting the send button.

Here's a few things I wish more christians were pondering:

  1. Would you like to see your church host this beauty pageant?  If you did host a pageant for beautiful, and evidently god-fearing women, would you include a high heel clad, waterproof bra and underwear strut down the stage in the middle of it?  Really?
  2. Do words now speak louder than actions? 
  3. If you care so much about marriage, let me ask, "what are you doing to help the failing or struggling ones in your own church to succeed?" 
  4. Are we going to embrace this pageant as a place of Godliness and truth?  If so, do we as a church have any grounds for standing against the constant barrage of "sexual images of our culture" that degrade women and influence the teens I work with daily?
  5. If you think homosexual marriages are wrong... how do you feel about divorce among believers, or "married" fathers who sire children and then don't raise them, or heterosexual couples who don't see marriage as a priorty anyway, or porn that streams through homes like water... or any number of other social trends that are on the rise?  Why don't we hear the church getting upset and forming rally's and stuff about the whole set of family and marrital problems we experience today?
  6. When you're defending the covenant of marriage, have you considered that your voice might be ringing void in the street because the track record of "christian" heterosexual marriages is so ridiculously bad? 
  7. If it's time for righteous anger, maybe we should put up the mirror in front of us before we go casting stones? 

If you want to hear what others are saying, here's some other stuff I found in the process of writing this:
  • If you want to hear another concerned christian response you can read this.
  • If you want to read what the secular world is really saying, read this and the comments too, but brace yourself.
  •  Oh... and for one more, here's latest of which I posted two quotes from- paranthetical remarks and all:
"The organizers of the pageant say that the Miss USA runner-up violated her contract by lobbying for an anti-gay-marriage group and posing in her underwear (but not at the same time!)"

"Prejean claims the photos -- they show her in pink lace underpants, hands strategically covering her chest -- were taken when she was 17 (that makes it all right then!), and that yes, sometimes models model underwear.  But another pageant organizer claims that the photos were taken far more recently, after Prejean's breast enhancement surgery (paid for by the Miss California organization!)"

And finally a few clarifiers
  • nope, I don't think homosexuality can be supported Biblically.
  • nope, I don't think heterosexuality is the key to a God honoring marriage.  
  • yep, I think homosexuality is a hot button issue today that is not the subject nor central concern of the Biblical teaching or of Jesus' life.  
  • yep, I think christians spend way too much time telling others where they went wrong and not near enough time figuring out where we have. 
  • nope, it doesn't matter to me one bit if Carrie Prejean keeps or loses the title of Miss California or Miss USA runner up or any of that. 
  • nope, I don't want to be the poster child for Christianity.  And I don't think Carrie should be either.  yep, I have parts of my life that I don't think would fall under the category of, "Welp, I did that while intentionally following Jesus."
  • yep, I think all future interviews on this subject by conservative talk show hosts and churches should be done in bikinis and speedos, regardless of your size or shape.
  • yep, this is where my main problem lies- I'm tired of Christians making the front page news for accusations that point outward without any statement of inward examination first- I wish that was just because it's been edited that way... but that's not the whole truth. 

ok... now I'm going to duct tape my fingers...


adam mclane 3:30 PM  

brian- first, I totally respect that you kept this post in the hopper for a few days to make sure you really wanted to post it.

I found this whole story concerning. It always scares me when we see someone like her put on a pedestal. Would they have put her on the same pedestal had the comments not gotten press and she won the competition? We both know the answer to that one... NOPE!

I'm sure Ms. Prejean is a nice young woman. And it is clear that she, like so many other pageant contestants, is completely unprepared for handling a media storm like this... with that said, I join you in being annoyed about the holy chip many believers carry.

Its not "us" vs "them." We are all "them" at one point or another. It saddens me to see Christians poster themselves as somehow higher than anyone else.

brian c. berry 4:42 PM  

Adam, agreed... on all counts.

marko 10:27 PM  

great post, brian

Becky 9:53 PM  

I agree with some things in this post. I agree about the body image stuff. I think a big thing missing is that she was asked the question and it was asked what she thought. Not what do Christians think and not what does someone else think. Are we really not allowed to have our own opinions anymore? That seems very close minded to me. I hope we are not to the place that political correctness is correct.

brian c. berry 10:14 PM  

not sure it's close minded on either end. I'm not telling Carrie what to think or say. Her opinion is hers. I happen to have a different view of the implications than she does. My post is as much about those differing opinions as it is a disagreement with a tide that is telling me, her opinions are not just hers, but also those held by the christian community and should be endorsed by all who are following Jesus. to that end, I disagree.

brian c. berry 10:15 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
neely 1:23 PM  

love it! and i am with you that all convervative talk show hosts should wear speedos and bikinis!


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