Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.
--C.S. Lewis--

Monday, April 27, 2009

Miss California And Christian Witness

Too much has already been said about Miss California, Carrie Prejean, and her controversy with Perez Hilton. Given the legendary profundity of her opponent, I'm sure Miss Prejean is more than capable of handling that controversy herself. Besides, so much has been said about so little, that there really isn't more original commentary I could deliver. So, as far as it goes, I'll just say good job by her for sticking up for her Christian values in a polite and respectful way during her answer.

On to a more interesting topic. Does anyone find it at all troubling, or at least interesting, that such a conservative Christian woman, currently attending a Bible college, was in the Miss America pageant in the first place? I ask because I imagine that a decade or two ago, there would have been at least some notice taken of a very conservative Christian girl parading around a pageant stage like this?

It's not an isolated incident. Much has been made of the fact that Evangeline Lilly, the comely Kate Austen on the show Lost, was raised in a devout Evangelical family, and even spent some time as a missionary in the Philippines. She has also appeared in some "spicier" photo shoots in magazines like Maxim (a magazine once described to me as "porn for guys without the guts to go buy porn). Now admittedly, she has stated that she would never appear nude or in sex scenes that go beyond a certain level of gratuity, but it still seems an odd standard for a Christian woman to take. Either modesty counts or it doesn't.

My goal here isn't to critique either of these women for the decisions they've made. I don't know their reasons, their relationship with God, or any of the other information I'd need to do so. What I'm curious about is why other Christians don't even seem to take notice. Have we entirely lost our sense of modesty in a sex-drenched society? Do Christian women not understand the fact that we men need them to help us out a little when it comes to controlling our desires? And, more importantly, if one assumes that such compromises to modesty are required for an attractive woman to advance in the entertainment industry, is the potential to have a Christian in a high-profile spot where they can articulate Christian values to a secular culture worth such a level of compromise?

Ok, so maybe I spoke too soon about there being no more room for original commentary.