Monday, April 20, 2009

"Everybody's Entitled to Their Own Opinion, But... Don't Even Think About Expressing an Opinion That Opposes Mine"

Perez Hilton, an outspoken gay activist and recent Miss USA judge, is in a tizzy over Miss California's response to his controversial question during the recent Miss USA pageant.

Here's his controversial question and Miss California's answer:

Clearly angered by Miss California's refusal to replace her counterculture convictions with political correctness, Perez uses his blog, "Everybody's Entitled to Their Own Opinion, But..." to defame her response to his question as, "the worst answer in pageant history." His reason?

"She lost, not because she doesn't believe in gay marriage. Miss California lost because she's a dumb @#!$% If I was Miss California with half a brain I would have said, 'Hmm, Perez, that's a very good question. That's a very hot topic in our country right now and I think that that is a question that each state should decide for themselves.'"

Good point, Perez. People who have at least half a brain wouldn't even think about maintaining integrity by sticking to their convictions under loads of pressure on national television. Especially knowing full well that it could cost them a Miss USA title and make them subject to public mockery and ridicule. No, people with at least half a brain would definitely cave to the majority and say what they think their antagonistic gay judge wants them to say. True intelligence is spineless. And thoughtless.

Hilton continued his nonsensical rant by villainizing Miss California for daring to be politically incorrect. "She gave an awful, awful answer that alienated so many people. And Miss California, Miss USA, she doesn't alienate. She unites. She inspires."

Let me get this straight, Perez. You would have Miss California spout a half-hearted, politically correct answer in order to alienate everyone who opposes gay marriage? Because regardless of Miss California's answer, she will alienate somebody. That's what happens when you ask somebody an extremely controversial question on national television. It's the nature of "hot topics". Maybe hot topics just aren't your thing after all, Mr. Hilton.

And what about all of the pro-marriage, pro-family Americans who were inspired by Miss California's decision to use her influence to promote family values? What about the people who were inspired to think more about the political, social, and spiritual ramifications of gay marriage as a result of Miss California's response? And what about all of the young girls who were inspired by Miss California's example of a strong woman with a backbone, who refuses to cave under fire? I think what you mean, Mr. Hilton, is that Miss California didn't inspire people to join your agenda. And since the whole point of Miss USA is to promote the gay agenda, I totally understand your frustration.

Perez concludes his blog with one last dose of verbal vomit, "If Miss California had won, I would have gone up on stage, snatched that tiarra off her head, and run out the door."

Good call Perez. That would have been a heroic step toward uniting and inspiring. It wouldn't have been at all divisive. I think your message would have been quite clear.


  1. i love it. you put into words what so many people are thinking. good stuff

  2. OK, first off I think that this is mainly a publicity stunt by Perez.

    However, I think this media frenzy is finally going to shed some light on the subject. People are fighting over marriage.

    So, what is marriage? Some people say that it is a religious institution that is God's will. Others say that it is just a certification to receive certain rights i.e. the rights of a family member.

    I don't know what the big deal about marriage is. The gay community doesn't want to change the way religious groups view marriage. Most religions vary on what exactly marriage is anyways.

    So, why shouldn't a gay couple be given the same rights as a straight couple? I think that should be the debate. Not whether or not you believe it jibes with your religious belief. After all, freedom and equality are what make this country great. Let's not discriminate.

  3. great post Sarah! As soon as I heard her shocking answer I was 1. Excited and 2. Doubtful she would win.
    The one question I have is that if gay people are so opposed to what the Bible says, then why would that want to agree with the one Book that gives a clear definition of marriage? Why do gay people want to call it marriage? If the concern is that "marriage" is religious, then why do gay people want "marriage"? I guess I don't understand what their goal is in the end.

  4. Sarah, I love how you think...and I think you're way more courageous than I am, which is inspiring. I've been thinking on this subject a lot lately, and really thinking about how marriage is supposed to be a mirror of Jesus and the church, and if we change the nature of marriage, then really, we're changing the way Jesus relates to the church, which in essence is messing with the basics of theology. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's just some of the thoughts I've been chewing on, having a couple gay relatives and struggling with loving them but yet not agreeing with their life choices. Trying to really think about why I believe what I do. Good post!

  5. Interesting, isn't it, that counterculture is something to be praised when it's opposed to and ridiculing the values held dear by believers, but forbidden if those doing the opposing are the believers. And interesting too that those who are the loudest when it comes to promoting tolerance wouldn't know it if it hit them in the face. Go Sarah!

  6. So true Sarah! You know one thing though. Its ironic that what Miss CA said was actually in agreement with the majority of people in CA.

    The majority spoke when it voted yes on prop 8. She is only guilty of going against the agenda of our deluded media. I think that it is amazing what a large voice the media has in our country when something like this can happen. Good post...


  7. Hi Stacie! I agree that we have missed the entire point of marriage as a blessing that contributes to the flourishing of human beings. Instead, our society has perverted marriage to be something that satisfies our needs and fulfills our urges. It's certainly not a picture of Christ's relationship to the church, whether it's a self-centered heterosexual marriage, or homosexual relationship. I think people are blinded when they believe it's possible to be in a gay relationship, and completely selfless. The very fact that someone would cast aside God's best for what they want, is selfish. It reminds me of a neat quote by C.S. Lewis, "Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." We're content to sit in the slums and make mud pies when we choose our idea of "best", and ignore God's best: infinite joy.

  8. Matt, Thanks for your thoughts! I do think the gay community wants to change the way religions view marriage. Groups like Soulforce have made it their agenda to protest religious groups that don't embrace homosexual marriage. You can google the group to check out the extent of their activism among churches.

    As a Christian, I believe marriage is a big deal because it was created by God, and given to us to enjoy. When we stay within God's boundaries for marriage, we flourish as human beings because we are acting the way he created us to act. But when we step outside of those boundaries, we malfunction as human beings. We are no longer operating the way God intended. If, as a society, we maintain healthy boundaries for marriage, I think we'll have our politics right.

    If we leave "religion" out of this debate, then it's no longer a debate about marriage, because marriage is a religious institution. Naturally, if you choose to violate the basic moral beliefs of a religious faith, then you will not be able to benefit from a religious institution.

    Freedom and equality are great when they don't violate moral and ethical standards. The purpose of our government is to protect us from ourselves, which is why we can all agree to condemn certain behaviors (like stealing, lying under oath etc.). I think the issue is that right and wrong have become blurred in our society, so we all have different ideas about how to flourish as a society. When the moral lines become so blurred, I think our most satisfying option is to look to the Creator's intentions for humanity.

  9. Hi Sarah. Thank you for your response to my comment. I was really looking forward to an open and honest debate on this issue.

    I understand that you believe that homosexuality is a sin. I'm not here to debate whether or not Christianity is true or not. I respect your freedom of religion. After all, I believe that our country was founded on freedom of religion. That is one of the reasons why our country is so great.

    You claim that marriage was created by God. What exactly do you mean by that? Marriage is word in the English language. Marriage in the US is not a religious institution, it is the state acknowledging an interpersonal relationship and giving the participants certain rights. This includes spouses getting the rights of a family member. The marriage that you are referring to is "Christian Marriage." That is the ceremony that is led by a Christian Pastor. You must realize though, that many different religions promote monogamous relationships. The law allows different priests from different religions to perform marriage ceremonies. You can even get married by a judge or a county clerk. Therefore, I think it is safe to say that marriage in general cannot be considered a religious institution. Gays and lesbians just want the right to the same marriage that Atheists, Muslims, Jews, Satanists, and all other human beings have the right to.

    I checked out Soulforce, by the way, and they claim to only protest against people that are oppressing gays and lesbians. Do you really believe that Christians are being oppressed in America? Do you believe that gays and lesbians really care about trying to change Christianity's definition of marriage? I have friends that are gay and the couldn't really care less about trying to change anybody's religious view. They just don't want other people forcing their beliefs on them.

    So, I'm gonna throw it back to you. Do you still believe that Christian Ideology should be allowed to dictate US law?

    As a side note, I'm also curious as to why you believe that it is impossible for a gay person to be selfless in marriage. Why are you assuming that all gays and lesbians are self-centered?

  10. Hi Matt,

    Thanks for your response! As I’ve spent more time the last several years investigating and evaluating the social sciences, history, philosophy, science, and other religions I have concluded that Christianity provides the most compelling, holistic view of the reality. In light of that, I do think that Christianity is a lens through which we can look at the world and make sense of issues like gay marriage. However, for the sake of our discussion, I will try not to come at the issue from a Christian perspective. I don’t not think that Christian beliefs should dictate US law, and I think there are good reasons to reject the legalization of homosexual civil unions from a political and social perspective.

    I was pretty vague about what I mean by marriage being a religious institution. Sorry about that! I do think that this debate is largely centered around the issue, “What is marriage?”. When I say marriage was created by God, I mean that when God created man and woman, he created them to enter into an intimate, committed union for the purpose of partnership and procreation. Within the Christian worldview, the very first example of marriage is between a man and a woman. God intentionally set the precedent for us with his model of marriage between Adam and Eve. When we live the way he created us to live, we will flourish and live fully, both individually, and as a society. Although marriage was originally a Christian institution, society has recognized that we must establish laws that govern our sexual activity and define marriage (I’ll refer to marriage as a civil union, for the purpose of steering clear of religious nuances, from here on out) in order to protect us and help us to flourish as a society.

    The tricky part about this issue, is marriage doesn’t just affect 2 people, it affects the whole of society. That’s why it’s become a political debate. If it were merely an issue of personal preferences that don’t affect anyone else, this wouldn’t, or it shouldn’t, even show up on the political scene. This debate is all about society.

    As we look at the relationship between an issue like gay marriage, and the health of our society, we need to ask ourselves, “Where should we draw the line on this issue?” If we are condoning homosexual marriage because we think everyone is entitled to act out their sexual preferences in a legal setting, do we legalize polygamy? Incest? When we ask ourselves these questions, I think it becomes clear that we do need to draw the line somewhere, if society is going to stay in tact. So, where and how do we draw the line? What are your thoughts on this?

    If we redefine marriage, then we are stating that the male and female are not essential for family or society. Obviously society needs natural marriage. Historically, homosexual marriages and family units have never been a legal part of society. Thus, we are subjecting the children of same-sex parents to an experiment that we can only hope will turn out well. Society has no need for experimental families. In my opinion, this “experiment” violates any ethical obligation we have to protect the generation we are raising. There is honestly not enough evidence for any medical organization or authority (i.e., AAP, AMA) to assert that children in same-sex families will grow up to be emotionally healthy, stable human beings.

    Soulforce does use their platform to try to prove that Christianity should condone and embrace homosexual marriage. A few years back they had a campaign during which they traveled around to Christian schools, pleading the case for Christian homosexuals. They came to my school, and I even had a class with an active member of Soulforce.
    I didn’t mean to speak on behalf of all homosexuals, declaring that they all want to change they religions view homosexuality. I was simply referring to some major movements by homosexuals to change religious perspectives on homosexuality and gay marriage. In light of these gay activist groups, it’s unfair to say that gays do not want to change the way religions view homosexuality. Sorry if I was unclear about that.

    I’m confused by your question, “Do you really believe Christians are being oppressed in America?”

    I do not believe it’s impossible for gay people to demonstrate acts of selflessness. As a Christian, I believe that anytime humanity, straight or gay, ignores the boundaries of our infinitely loving Creator God to do what we want to do, we are being selfish. We’re essentially saying, “God, you’re not big enough, powerful enough, or trustworthy enough for me to listen to you. I’ll take the reigns from here, thank you very much.” This applies to all sin, so that whenever someone, heterosexual or homosexual, is living a lifestyle of sin, they are demonstrating selfishness. Homosexuality is just one instance of this selfish lifestyle. There are certainly others, of which all people, including myself, have been guilty of at times. It’s human nature to think that we’ll do a better job of managing our lives than God will. But Christians believe that God, in his grace, enables us leave behind our malfunctioning, sinful lifestyles, and live the way he intended. With infinite joy.

    What are your thoughts on this Matt?

  11. If I could ever grow up, I would write like you.

    With love and admiration,


  12. Hey Sarah,

    I must say that I am enjoying this "comment/debate" a lot. I like to think I have an open mind on most issues and I love hearing other points of view and challenging my own.

    I understand how hard it would be for you to really look at this from a non-Christian perspective. I used to be a Christian and I know that it really permeates every aspect of ones life. The problem I see with that is that it clouds your judgement on things. People take bits and pieces from different parts of the bible and spin them into rules and regulations because they say the entire book is God's word. The fact is that the bible was written by many different MEN. I suggest you do some more research on the Old Testament. Here is a great link to an online Yale lecture series entitled "Introduction to Old Testament (Hebrew Bible)":

    I am not saying that this disproves Christianity, but it makes a strong argument that the bible is not the divine word of God.

    That being said, I believe that the bible has a lot of good ideas in it. However, there is evidence that during the time when the Hebrew Bible was created there were other cultures that had similar morals and beliefs. Only most of the other cultures at that time were Polytheistic. So maybe morals are inherent in humans. I wouldn't write it off. You can also look at the Native Americans. They seemed to get along quite well before "civilized religion" found them.

    So, if morals are inherent to humans, I believe that we can make laws outside of religious influence. I also like to think that humans are intelligent enough to critically analyze the world and make laws based on facts and research. Therefore, I take the opposite stance on whether or not gay marriage is harmful to society. I say, "Prove to me that it is harmful to children or society in general." You wouldn't just stop eating apples because someone told you they caused cancer. You would want proof. Here is a link to an interesting article hosted by a group that helps provide therapy for people that don't want to be homosexual.

    I don't condone their beliefs, but I wanted to show you the point of view of a group that wasn't blatantly pro-homosexuality. According to this article, for the last 20 plus years, most researchers believed that there were no differences in children raised by gay parents than those raised by straight ones. Most recently they have reexamined the data and found differences, though I'll let you read the article to find out what they were. I hardly believe that they are bad differences.

    You were wondering where we should draw the line if we allow gay marriage. I believe that to be a moot point. The fact is that, if a person wants to be a polygamist, who are they hurting. If five different women don't mind being married to one man, or vice versa, who are we to tell them that they are wrong. Many cultures throughout the world accept polygamy and so does the bible in certain instances. One can take the same approach to incest. Abraham married his half-sister in the bible and if you go way back to Adam and Eve you can say that we are all related and descendants of incest. So, who is incest hurting? If a brother and sister want to get married and try to have a child does it really hurt society? If we are worried about people having kids with physical and mental problems, the main worry of incest, should we stop the mentally handicapped from procreating too?

    Now don't get me wrong. That last paragraph was mainly to illustrate that, just how you pushed the issue to an extreme, I can also justify it to an extreme. You can take almost any issue to an extreme, but let's not do it on this one.

    Homosexuality has been present in almost every culture throughout history. The main religions to fervently outlaw it have been Islam and Christianity.

    As far as Soulforce is concerned, you shouldn't judge the entire gay community based on their actions. My question about Christians being oppressed was somewhat rhetorical because I definitely know more than a few Christians that would like to change other people's beliefs. Changing people's beliefs happens to be a big part of Christianity today. So, you shouldn't let a little group like Soulforce worry you to much.

    In conclusion, I don't believe that gays and lesbians getting married will set our society on a course for anarchy. I don't think it will harm society at all.

    What are your thoughts on that?

  13. Matt,
    I’m also enjoying our dialogue! Thanks for continuing to express your thoughts and interact with mine.

    You mentioned that my Christianity penetrates every area of my life, and clouds my judgment on things. I agree that Christianity is the framework from which I operate, but you also operate from within a framework; it’s just a different framework than mine. Everybody’s framework will act as a lens through which they see the world. The very fact that you think my framework is wrong, indicates that you have a framework of your own that is influencing your judgment of my beliefs.

    In regards to the authorship of scripture, it was written by 40 different authors, over a time span of 1500 years (without telephones, and convenient modes of communication), on different continents, and yet its overarching message remains consistent. How do you explain this? In your opinion, which of the ideas from your online Yale class strengthens the argument that scripture is not divinely inspired? I’d like to hear some specifics that you think irrefutably disprove the historicity and truth of scripture. I would love to interact with you more regarding the Bible, but will refrain for now for the sake of focusing on our current discussion about same-sex marriage.

    I agree that there is historical evidence that other religious and philosophical beliefs existed during the time of the Old Testament. In fact, scripture accounts for these differences by juxtaposing other gods of the time and culture, with the God of the Bible. Do you think it could be possible that these beliefs stem from an original source of “religion”? If not, from where do you think they originated?

    Alright, religion aside, it’s interesting to hear you conclude that perhaps morals are inherent in humans. Why you think morals are inherent in humans? It sounds like you think people can be irreligious and still operate from within an objective framework of right and wrong. Where do you think this understanding of morality comes from? How and why is it that humanity can conclusively agree that the Holocaust was wrong, or that things like love and justice are desirable?

    Both secular and religious philosophers and political/social scientists refer to this inherent capacity to identify morality as “natural law.” If you’re willing to assert that there is natural law, and it sounds like you are, then you must also assert that natural law both prohibits and condones certain practices within the context of society and government. Thus, we do have standards by which we must abide when we consider how gay marriage will influence the health and prosperity of a society.

    The parallel you drew between our “human experiment” and eating potentially dangerous apples is irrelevant. We are not talking about someone eating a potentially dangerous apple that will directly affect only the eater. We are talking about risking the emotional, spiritual, and physical health and well-being of children by subjecting them to the desires of a group of people. The issue of gay marriage, and ultimately gay parents is unrelated to your analogy because same-sex parents will directly affect more than just one person.

    I’m skeptical of the “proof” that children of gay parents flourish and develop appropriately because we haven’t legalized gay marriage yet! In fact, no society has ever conducted this experiment. We’ve only just initiated this human experiment, so how do we have conclusive proof that the experiment will be effective? It is nonsensical to conclusively believe an experiment will turn out alright before we’ve conducted the experiment. We can’t have proof for the success of the experiment until we’ve conducted the experiment. The AAP, APA, and AMA have conducted a limited amount of research among a limited pool of children and have admitted that, “Research exploring the diversity of parental relationships among gay and lesbian parents in just the beginning” (Technical Report: Coparent and Second Parent Adoption by Same-Sex Parents, by Ellen Perrin pages 341-343).

    In your post, you follow the reasoning supporting same-sex marriage where it leads and then write, “Now don't get me wrong. That last paragraph was mainly to illustrate that, just how you pushed the issue to an extreme, I can also justify it to an extreme. You can take almost any issue to an extreme, but let's not do it on this one.” I agree with you completely, Matt. My point was to illustrate how the pro-gay marriage reasoning forces us to an extreme. It forces us to condone, and even legislate the freedom for people to act out on all sexual preferences, including polygamy, incest, and eve sex with animals, and children. It seems like we’ve reached the same conclusion. Legalizing gay marriage opens the door to legalizing any destructive form of sexual acting-out. But I’m wondering, why shouldn’t we follow the reasoning where it leads? If we don’t follow the river of reason where it flows, we are on dangerous ground: we must somehow decide where to dam the river. How shall we decide where to dam the river? Shall each man decide for himself where to dam the river? What about the needs and health of society as a whole? How can society possibly thrive if each man is arbitrarily damming the same river of reasoning in a different place? Perhaps natural law should be the force guiding society's decision of where to dam the river...

    Furthermore, you wrote, “The fact is that, if a person wants to be a polygamist, who are they hurting.” This statement reveals your assumption that same-sex marriage, polygamy and incest only affect or “hurt” those that engage in it. Again, legalizing these practices would completely affect society, not just those that engage in them. That’s why this has become a political debate. It’s not a debate about the freedom to have personal preferences.

    You also wrote, “Homosexuality has been present in almost every culture throughout history. The main religions to fervently outlaw it have been Islam and Christianity.” The presence of something throughout history doesn’t mean it is beneficial for society. For example, oppression and the exploitation of the weak by the strong have existed since the dawn of civilization. Should the constant presence of oppression and exploitation of the weak throughout history lead us to condone it and conclude that it is beneficial to society, because it has been a part of every society?

    My motive wasn’t to judge the entire gay community based on the actions of Soulforce. I was addressing your categorical assumption that the gay community doesn’t want to change religious beliefs about marriage. As I wrote in my last response, “In light of these gay activist groups, it’s unfair to say that gays do not want to change the way religions view homosexuality”. Certainly there are homosexuals who do not participate in gay activist groups, and there are those that do. The gay community is diverse and varied, just like the heterosexual community.

    Thus far I think the most significant point you have made is that, perhaps, a transcendent system of morality is inherent in all human beings. This assertion essentially pleads the case for natural law, and the existence of natural law makes it clear that not all sexual practices should be socially condoned. It appears to me as if you are making a case against gay marriage, not for it. Furthermore, in this post you have briefly addressed the validity of scripture, addressed the pre-experiment “proof” that the experiment will turn out alright, and explained that both Christians and homosexuals are attempting to change people’s understanding of reality. You have not yet given me any of your reasons to belief that same-sex marriage will benefit society, and should be legalized.

    I’m loving this dialogue. Keep your thought coming!

  14. Sarah I love you! You are a very smart & articulate woman:)