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None are so Intolerant as Those Who Demand Tolerance

April 22, 2009

Okay, I’ll weigh in on the Miss  USA Pageant kerfuffle.

First, congratulations to Carrie Prejean for having the strength of character to answer honestly the question posed by Perez Hilton — a question that was asked knowing that it could or would stir a controversy.  Mr. Hilton asked, “‘Vermont recently became the 4th state to legalize same-sex marriage. Do you think every state should follow suit. Why or why not?’

Miss Prejean answered,  “I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other … same sex marriage or opposite marriage. I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman … that’s how I was raised.”

That’s a straight-forward response to a straight-forward question, isn’t it?  The problem was, the “why not” half of his query was not permissible according to Judge Hilton.  So he passed sentence.  Immediately after the pageant (rather, after ensuring Carrie wouldn’t win) Hilton fired up his website and posted a video wherein he declared Prejean to be a “stupid b*tch!”

Let’s go to one of the Miss USA websites and read the criteria for judging the interview portion of the contest.  Prejean is from California but its Miss USA site does not specify them.  I live in Pennsylvania so that one will suffice.  It reads:

Attention is focused on her poise, charm, self-confidence and her ability to communicate, as well as the substance of her answers

Nowhere in that list does it say that there are correct or incorrect answers.  Poise, self-confidence, and communicating a substantive answer are required — not giving an answer that matches the mores and morals of the judge asking it!   Perez’s after-pageant rant epitomized the prevailing mindset of the supposedly downtrodden:  “We demand that you recognize and accept our opinions. If you don’t we will refuse to recognize or accept your mean-spirited views and will call you names until you do.”  So much for freedom of thought.  On the route to social nirvana tolerance is a one-way street.

I’ll add my two cents to the controversy.  In my opinion a marriage is a social and religious institution that  by definition is the union of a man and a woman.  To attempt to call a single-sex relationship a “marriage” is akin to calling Mount Everest a banana.  It simply isn’t.  The fact that a certain person or groups of people want to use the term marriage to define a same-sex partnership is irrelevant.

Now, this is a free country and any of the individual states may choose to grant recognition of committed same-sex relationships and bestow upon them the benefits under law currently granted to marriages.  That’s a state’s prerogative and far be it for anyone to claim otherwise.

What incenses me about the situation is that I believe it was a premeditated action on Hilton’s part.  He poses a question that has no business being asked under the circumstances.  The respondent either affirms and legitmizes in front of an audience of millions Hilton’s preferred position or she voices the view held by the majority of Americans and he uses the response as a platform for his tirade against bigotry.  This event brought Hilton more publicity than his failed acting carreer ever did.  It was a stage built exclusively for him; one he should never have been given.

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