Understandably, Prejean seemed nervous fielding the question and offered a very lukewarm response, saying:
Well, I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you could choose “same-sex marriage” or opposite marriage. And, you know what? In my country, and in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there. But that’s how I was raised, and that’s how I think that it should be, between a man and a woman.
But this wasn’t good enough for Hilton. He got into a snit and attacked the young lady in the media, calling her a “dumb b****” and saying that he was actually thinking of characterizing her with a certain derogatory term for a part of the female anatomy. And to think that many would call this man “gay.”
Hilton runs a pink gossip site (yes, it actually is pink) at which he “outs” allegedly homosexual celebrities, spreads malicious gossip, and inspires his victims to sue him for defamation and other reasons. He’s a real class act, a paparazzi of the pen.
Hilton’s question to Carrie Prejean was not the usual plain-vanilla variety. Was it really fair to ask a certain contestant about what is possibly the most contentious issue of the day? Miss Prejean believes her conscience-dictated answer cost her the crown, and, to her credit, she says she would answer identically if she had to do it over. “God was testing my character and faith,” she suggested. Yet, whatever the case about how her show of faith affected her fortunes, this story highlights larger issues.
First, evident is a bias typical of our time: the idea that anyone who expresses a politically incorrect view is “controversial.” For sure, many accuse Prejean of creating this maelstrom. But where does the onus really belong? Didn’t Hilton broach the subject by asking the question? If you ask a question about a hot-button issue, shouldn’t you expect a hot-button answer? Even more to the point, however, it takes two to tango; there is no controversy unless there are at least two opposing sides. This is why Dale Carnegie recommended in his book How to Win Friends and Influence People that you should avoid rendering opinions if you want to achieve what the title promises. This is just common sense, as you do alienate a sizable number of people every time you offer an opinion on a serious matter — any opinion. And Hilton was driving the agenda. So why is the burden placed on the more traditional party?
Part of the reason is that, despite the left’s preaching about “tolerance,” it is intolerably intolerant. And the only reason people don’t understand this is that the word’s true meaning is misunderstood. Tolerance implies the endurance of something considered a negative. For example, you would have to tolerate a cold or bad weather — but not a nice car or fine meal. You relish the last two things. Thus, tolerance isn’t measured by how many behaviors you “like” or are indifferent to; in point of fact, we all have our likes and dislikes. Rather, it is determined by how you respond to those dislikes. In other words, if you like homosexual behavior, you’re not tolerant of it.
You like it.
Ironically, it’s only someone who disapproves of it who could be tolerant of it because he is the one who considers it a negative.
This understanding places tolerance in further perspective. It may be a virtue, but only insofar as it pertains to one’s ability to soldier on in the face of adversity. For sure, if I keep a stiff upper lip when faced with starvation, you may respect me more than someone who incessantly curses the heavens. Yet would that respect not diminish if I went further, fancying starvation a good thing and encouraging it? Let us be clear: tolerance ceases to be both understood and a virtue when it is fancied a synonym for “affinity” or “acceptance.” For we may have to sometimes tolerate evil, but we’re never to accept it. Moreover, just as the incorrect sense of tolerance (affinity) shouldn’t be applied to something such as homosexual behavior, the correct sense shouldn’t be applied to homosexuals. This is because tolerance implies a negative, and, while we may view people’s behavior as negative, we shouldn’t view people likewise. We are not to tolerate people. We are to love people (which often means stigmatizing their destructive behavior).
Now we come back to Hilton’s question. If an answer rubber-stamping faux marriage would have been less “offensive,” why is this so? Remember, this is a controversial issue, and endorsing the rending of marriage also alienates millions. Why wouldn’t those people be as offended as the left? Could it be perhaps, just maybe, that they’re more tolerant?
Of course, it won’t come as a surprise to many that tolerance is a ruse used to break down traditional morality and supplant it with leftist values. Yet many still don’t get it and seem to associate tolerance with value neutrality. One such individual is Matt Lauer, who did an absolutely horrible job of interviewing Hilton on NBC Today Show. He allowed the homosexual activist to carry on about how Prejean should have left her politics at home and given an answer that pleased all Americans, as if that’s possible. Did it occur to Lauer that Hilton wasn’t asking about the weather? The question he asked was political in nature! What kind of an answer would not have projected values of one kind or another?
Yet this is a common mistake even among relatively traditional commentators. For instance, Bill O’Reilly is fond of saying that “secular-progressives,” as he likes to call them, want no value judgments whatsoever. Nonsense. This is a destructive misconception, one that lends leftist opposition an air of open-mindedness and magnanimity — an illusory high ground — that they don’t deserve. In point of fact, the left is at least as judgmental as traditionalists; they just make different judgments and on a different basis. Just ask Lawrence Summers, James Watson, Dusty Baker, Reggie White — or Carrie Prejean.
As G.K. Chesterton once said, “There are only two kinds of people, those who accept dogmas and know it, and those who accept dogmas and don't know it.” We can either listen to empty vessels such as Perez Hilton, who are oblivious to their own dogmas but are the most dogmatic of all, or we can act like adults. The latter means realizing that talking about tolerance and non-judgmentalism is a dodge; they are things we entertain that distract us from the real issues. For we all make judgments. We all are tolerant of some things but not others. We all draw lines. And like all cultural/spiritual struggles, this is a battle to see whose judgments will prevail. It is not a matter of a moral straightjacket versus tolerance. It is a matter of a moral straightjacket versus an immoral straightjacket.
Photo: AP Images