sâmbătă, 23 mai 2009

Postmodern fairy tale

I would like to ponder on a strange postmodern story that recently came to my knowledge. Like all tales, it has princesses and dragons, although it is lacking happy ending, and establishes a first in the history of fairy tales: Prince Charming does not love the princess, but the dragon, on behalf of whom acts… to prejudice the princess.
So, here is how the story goes: Once upon a time [hopefully a nonrecurring one], during the last month, a young woman, Carolina Michelle Prejean, of California, made it to the final of the Miss USA Pageant contest, where she was asked her opinion about same-sex marriage. She said: „I think it’s great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be between a man and a woman.” For the accuracy of the story, I must add that our character had received a Christian education, at a Evangelic college in San Diego, California.
The next day, some LGBT lobbyist ridiculed her in a poster, and admitted that „the way Miss California answered her question lost her the crown, without a doubt!”.

That’s who the story goes. What is this tale teaching us?
1. Carrie Prejean acted on the misconception that the world we live in is capable of accepting a different opinion on „delicate” matter such as the one at hand.
2. All over the world, being heterosexual, Christian or showing any inclinations toward traditional values is beginning to be thought of more and more as a crime.
3. Positive discrimination becomes an abuse, when brutally violating the rights of the majority in order to satisfy the claims of a minority.
4. The right to disagree grows increasingly thin, with a short-term tendency of turning into a distant pleasant memory, and a long-term tendency of going extinct.

What did Carrie Prejean did?

She expressed an opinion. She began by [1.] stating she was happy to be American and to live in a country where people have a right to choose. Confident in that idea, [2.] she said she thought in her country marriage should be heterosexual (as many American think, also). Then, [3.] she apologized to those who had a different opinion, and [4.] excuses herself for being a Christian, and that her consciousness compelled her to make that choice, based on the word of the Bible and the Christian way of life.

What happened to Carrie Prejean?

1. She was asked a biased question (because it implied a predeterminedly accepted correct answer. It is difficult to ascertain how a neutral approach like „I don't know” or „I don't want to comment on it” would have impacted on the perception on Carrie's capacity to understand the problem she was requested an answer to). I do not think it was a secret she had a Christian education (her personal file probably states that). Consequently, to ask her whether she agreed or not to the same-sex marriage could be construed as a premeditated attempt to make her admit a belief that was clearly in disagreement with the politically correct opinion on the subject, because the answer to that question of an Evangelical Christian could easily be predicted (it is similar to asking a homosexual person whether he/she likes or not the 17th Chapter of Leviticus, and declare him/her loser of the contest in the event that the response is negative).
2. She was disqualified and lost the title of Miss America pageant.

I never fancied Miss contests, but I know that, for many women, this is a career breakthrough opportunity. Suffices to say that the Bollywood actress Aishwarya Rai became one of the most popular women of this world as a result of one of these contests.

In a world where the right to exist of the LGBT community is no longer in dispute, I think that what happened to Carrie Prejean is an abuse. Discriminating someone for their belief in the heterosexual marriage is the same as discriminating someone for the way they make love. Imposing the Christians an obligation to accept the same-sex way of life that is clearly in conflict with the teachings of their holy writings is as wrong as oppressing the homosexual physically or socially rather than attempting to make them aware of the moral and religious standing on the matter by means of persuasion and intercession to the divinity through prayer and charity.

The real drama is that we watch stories as Carrie’s on TV, then, bored, we switch the channel. We do not express an opinion, we do not show sympathy to those oppressed, we take no stand. Then, it is our turn to be abused, and we cry for help, while the others yawn of boredom and switch the TV channels. And this lethal machinery goes on for ever, ruthlessly crushing our destinies.
There was a time where people were separated by deep seas and high mountains, and dark forests, but they were crossing them finding grounds for solidarity and mutual understanding. Nowadays, we are separated by sky high mountains made of selfishness, an everstretching ocean of cowardice and indolence, a dark and heinous forest of self-absorption, and it seems harder and harder to find each other.
As far as I am concerned, Carolina Michelle Prejean is Miss USA 2009 and even Miss Univers 2009. Not only because she is good looking, or because she disagrees with the same-sex marriage (though I share her point of view on this particular matter, I do not think the issue should have been brought up in a beauty contest), but because she is capable of expression a personal point of view and takes responsibility for it, thus emitting the most profound and aristocratic beauty, that only dignity and honor can bestow.
I hear Miss Prejean is now militating for heterosexual marriages. She no longer expresses a personal opinion, she is forming and endorsing a public opinion. So, the moral of this sad tale is that intolerance is the shortcut of turning a peaceful bystander into a loath enemy.

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