Making a Name

Each day this week, when I turn on the news (daily) or Christian radio (which isn’t very often) one of the stories I hear most often is about the Miss America runner-up.

The big news is that she shared her personal feelings about a question Perez Hilton asked concerning gay marriage.

First, I think Hilton fully knew what he was getting into. And, in all honesty, I think he got the answer he wanted because her conservative answer provided a soap box for him to stand on.

Second, I think her answer that has some upset has actually turned out to be the best PR she could have received. Most people cannot tell you the name of any Miss America runner-up from years past. Most people cannot tell you who actually won this years pageant. But, this runner-up is all over the news.

Third, I heard today that she is a student at a small, evangelical Christian college. She keeps saying that she has these conservative values that have shaped her stance on gay marriage. I guess modesty would not be one of those. I mean, in these pageants the girls basically parade their outer beauty in skimpy outfits in order to be told “you’re beautiful.” So, gay marriage is wrong…but parading around in a bikini on national television is okay??? Maybe that’s a poor comparison, but I think you get my point.

Fourth, I would say “good for you” to this young lady for actually being honest. She answered the question truthfully. She could have lied and given Hilton the answer he wanted. Instead, she gave the answer that she really holds in her heart and mind. And, it’s been a major PR payoff. Would she have been on the “Today” show if she had just come in 2nd place? I’m not saying I agree or disagree with her answer. I’m just saying that I applaud her honesty.

Fifth, I truly don’t understand the debate on gay marriage. I know that it’s not for me. However, I believe that it’s an issue of civil rights. I believe that all couples, regardless of race, orientation, or age should be granted the same civil rights. Many in the Christian circle talk about gay marriage being a threat to the sanctity of marriage. I’ve got to be honest…if two men or two women get married, it’s has absolutely no effect on the sanctity of my marriage. I sometimes wonder what’s a bigger threat…gay marriage or Christians divorcing??? And, as Christians, I really believe we have things that should take more of our time, energy, and focus (like feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, clothing the naked, caring for the orphaned, widowed, the least of these, etc).

It’s a difficult issue. I know that the United Methodist church has open doors for those in the homosexual community. At the same time, we define marriage as the union between one man and one woman. We do not support gay marriage. However, this is an issue that we continually wrestle with…and I think that’s healthy. I think it is a good sign that we are at least having the conversation. Looking at Scripture, tradition, experience, and reason…this is what we’ve come to. But, we continually re-visit these issues to make sure we get it right. And, that is one of the reasons I’m proud to be a part of the United Methodist church.

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