American women are notorious for speaking their mind. They actually think for themselves! An example of this behavior was demonstrated at the Miss USA Pageant last week by Miss California, Carrie Prejean. When asked whether she believed in gay marriage by judge Perez Hilton (an openly gay gossip blogger), she replied “I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. But in my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offence to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.” Needless to say, Mr. Hilton was disappointed with her reply and later had a word of admonishment for Ms. Prejean. Some Hollywood celebrities joined in to express their intolerance of Miss California’s intolerant views.

Just when one would expect an apology or “I just want world peace”, Ms. Prejean told the Today show, “I was attacked for giving my own opinion onstage at a Miss USA contest. I’m gonna do whatever it takes to protect marriage. It is something that is very dear to my heart and I’m just here to protect it, that’s all I’m here to do.” God forbid if such women believe something is right. They will not back down. I know. I am married to one. What is even more mind-boggling is that far from casting off restraint, Miss California is advocating traditional family values. She seems to stand for the complementary roles of men and women in the family. She represents the enigma of the American woman who is bold in her beliefs but modest in her virtues. Somehow she balances the two qualities without any fear or coercion.

What should be done about such audacious behavior? Let’s consider some alternatives. Should we go back to the ancient Athenians who did not let their women to speak in public and treated them as slaves?  How about the tradition of some ancient cultures of burning a widow alive on her husband’s funeral pyre because she had no identity of her own? If neither of them seems impressive enough, how about those male dominated cultures that practice honor killings to this day? Count me out. I agree with that wise man who said, “There would never be a war between the sexes because there is too much fraternizing with the enemy.”

I say we give Miss Prejean a break. She is just a victim of her circumstances. After all she said herself “that’s how I was raised.” Standing up for her conviction at the cost of a tiara is an American trait that Miss California seems to have inherited. Having grown up in a nation where women are treated as human beings she felt she had the right to speak her mind. Maybe, it’s because she grew up in a Christian nation. As Alvin Schmidt remarked in his book Under the Influence: How Christianity transformed Civilization: “. . . where else do women have more freedom, opportunity, and human worth than in countries that have been highly influenced by the Christian ethic?”

Maybe she is actually living out Romans 12:2 which says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

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