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May 8, 2009

Focus on the Family Defends Miss California, Dobson to Interview Prejean (Updated)

Jim Daly, president and CEO of Focus on the Family, said the Christian community should stand behind Miss California, even after a racy photo of her appearing in panties appeared on a gossip blog.

"In her moment of truth, standing on a national stage and defending marriage, that meant more for the cause of marriage than anything else," he said.

Several conservative Christian groups praised Carrie Prejean for her voicing her opposition to same-sex marriage during the Miss USA pageant. After a racy photo of her was posted on the web, Prejean said her Christian faith was under attack and that the photo was taken while she was a teenager.

CitizenLink writes, "Daly pointed out that we are all sinners, saved by grace."

"I think at this moment, we should stand behind Carrie," he said. "The reality is we're all fallen people, we're all made in God's image, and Jesus has come to set us free."

Dobson will interview Prejean for a two-day broadcast starting Monday.

Update: Jim Daly told Christianity Today that the Prejean interview was taped before the semi-nude lingerie photos emerged, so there will be no questions asked about them on broadcast. But James Dobson does plan to make a brief statement at the beginning of the show.

"Within the Christian community, it's a fair debate about what she's done in the modeling industry. But it's a distraction to the more important story of religious freedom," Daly said. "Pageantry and underwear commercials: We would not encourage Christian women to go do those things. At the same time, no matter what your profession, I've heard of God using it and radical grace breaking through. It can find any of us at any times in our lives: the alcoholic, the prostitute, the model, the businessman that's having an affair. I'd hate to have the Christian community focus on poor decisions she's made as opposed to celebrating that she had the courage to speak for biblical truth."

But did she speak for biblical truth? After all, she started her answer by saying, "I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite."

"Some would debate whether she gave a forceful statement," Daly said. "Some might say it was tepid. It was a little easy; it was soft. But even it was was feebly stated, the point is that she did come out and say, 'In my family we believe it's between a man and a woman.' ... She says in the [Focus on the Family] broadcast that airs Monday and Tuesday that while she was on stage, she was considering, 'Do I go for the crown or do I do what God asked me to do?'"

"There are questions about the modeling profession, and Focus on the Family isn't on a position to critique the modeling profession," Daly said. "Her past modeling jobs don't make her opinion on marriage any less valid. ... She's a 21-year-old girl whose Christian worldview is probably not fully formed. In this environment of pressure she's in right now, it will probably form. All of us as Christians as teenagers and in our 20s faced decisions. We did well at times and poorly at times."

Comments

The main reason Prejean has been viciously attacked by same-sex marriage activists, leftist hatemongers, etc. is because she stuck up for traditional marriage and had the audacity to mention that she was a Christian. And she did not do it with any animosity whatsoever toward anyone. In today's warped culture that is deemed offensive, but vicious, unprincipled people calling her all sorts of nasty names and mudraking to dig up dirt on her is OK. It is surreal.

The squeaky-wheel liberal activists have no real interest in being fair or civil, they simply want to forward their epicurean, narcissistic agenda, which is basically man pursuing "what is right in his own eyes."

I recognize her right to feel as she does concerning homosexual marriage, but I think she should think if posing in underwear is something a Christian woman should be doing.

The main reason Prejean has been viciously supported by bigoted, rightist war mongering exclusionist folks etc. Is because she made a statement about gay people.

In today's church culture, this is deemed acceptable no matter their own sin. This is so surreal it makes me wanna weep!

I think focus on the family should tell young girls and Ms. Prejean to keep their clothes on

Focus on the Family does tell young girls to keep their clothes on, as parents,(well,decent parents), teachers, etc. tell them. Unfortunately, young men, Hollywood in the form of tv and movies tell them to take their clothes off. Everybody blames young girls as if they aren't young girls who haven't learned the tools and how to apply the tools of standing up to the infuences around them. It takes age to reach this point and many times it takes having their own kids to suddenly pick up the comprehension. Keep in mind that the people using the swimsuit used in these contests as a method to bagger the Christian contestants and say that by appearing thus these Christians have no right to complain about homosexuality. It's a method to distract from the real subject, the definition of marriage being changed by people who don't like women and girls in the first place. As usual, girls and women get all the blame, never the men who still lord it over girls and women whether the men are homosexual or normal.Just to clarify, I like the one piece suit but that's me and those men who own the competitions, I think should use the one piece,it gives the girls a break. .

The Dobson audience must be remarkably naive. Are they really too ignorant to notice the selective use of the Bible? If Prejean were simply strutting around a bikini and heels, Dobson would be dragging out verses condemning her 'immodesty' and how she was defiling her body/temple. But because one of Prejean's utterances matches the Dobson's anti-gay bigotry, she's a big hero and the quotes are suddenly about "we're ALL sinners."

Beatrice: we're all sinners, don't you read the Bible simply because we are flesh and blood. That's why God sent his own Son to Earth as a flesh and blood person. He had to show people that works and law don't get us into God's heart. We have to have faith that we have to go through Jesus to get to God. As Jesus said to the prostitute, go and sin no more. He also said spread his word to those who listen and those who don't listen, leave them and move on to those who do listen. Jesus gives us permission to follow Jesus and to leave those who don't after they have been told about Jesus. I'm not a Dobson follower, I said he does say to girls to cover up, that's all I said about him. I tell my girls to cover up and hope they do so. As for homosexuals, if they don't want to be celibrant to follow Jesus, again, that's their problem not mine, just like the prostitute isn't my problem, it's hers to stop being a prostitute. That does not mean I agree with or accept the act of prostitution and don't want any doers of such around my children either. Tolerance is not bigotry, talking about your beliefs isn't bigotry. Forcing what someone believes to be a sin down their throats is bigotry expecially when you make laws to do so. Jesus taught tolerance not compituation.

Look, this young woman was put in a bad spot by someone with an agenda. She is not an ideal spokesperson and should not have been elevated to that position by the Christian Right. The whole beauty pagent thing is sick (paying for breast implants, controlling their lives...). I don't think it does any service to the Kingdom to make this unfortunate woman a hero.

Anna

No lady who calls herself a christian should be in any of these pagents. The bible calls for women to be circumspect-every thing these contests are not. My two cents worth

I'm afraid many comments on this topic demonstrate a missing of the forest while getting caught up in the trees. I don't think most reflective, serious Christians are really positive about beauty pageants, but the real issue here is how this young woman was horribly criticized and demeaned for simply, in a very polite fashion, saying what nature, biology, reason, and all major world religions suggest: marriage should be between a man and a woman. That is NOT necessarily a criticism of gay people, though for political purposes it is always portrayed that way.

It is becoming clear that a very small percentage of the population, same-sex marriage activists (which doesn't necessarily include all homosexuals), are dictating the terms of this debate. I cannot think of another politically active group which, on a per capita basis, wields more power. It is absolutely staggering how the tail is wagging the dog here.

And some comments in this forum, supposedly a Christian one, also show how such activists have no intention of having a civil debate on the matter. If you disagree with them they make every attempt to marginalize you by calling you a homophobe, a bigot, or by dredging up some screw-up you made when you were too young to know what you were doing and then calling you a hypocrite. This is nothing more than a diversionary tactic.

I agree with Truthmeister. As Christians we need to stand with Carrie and focus on the real issue: Marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman.

The following are some comments extracted from an essay by Jim Tonkowich:

Recently a letter to the editor in the Washington Post caught my eye. It was entitled “My God Favors Inclusion.”

The writer expressed dismay that clergy, particularly African-American clergy, are taking an active role in the same-sex “marriage” battle in Washington, DC, by defending traditional marriage between one man and one woman. Worst of all, from his point of view, they are using the Bible to do it.

He writes:

"Christ's message to me as a gay Christian was one of inclusion, not exclusion. He associated with prostitutes, tax collectors, Romans and gentiles—some of the most despised people in his society."

The writer has a point. Jesus did associate with prostitutes, tax collectors, and Gentiles. He welcomed outcasts and the despised. At the same time, this letter is a perfect example of imaging Christ and therefore God based on personal desires rather than revealed truth.

Nowhere is Jesus more associated with outcasts than at the dinner party thrown by Levi, the tax collector, after he had left tax collecting to join the band of apostles (Mark 2:13-17). Levi apparently invited the only friends he had, people identified as “tax collectors and ‘sinners.’” Tax collectors were Jews who extorted money from their fellow Jews and were viewed as traitors. “Sinner” was a generic term for anyone with an immoral life or dishonest vocation. Jesus was and is a friend to sinners.

But when asked why he associated with such people, Jesus replied in words that to modern ears sound judgmental and offensive, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Jesus did not come to excuse or affirm sinful behavior, but to transform lives. Elsewhere he said, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” Yes, Jesus saved the woman taken in adultery by pointing out the hypocrisy of those who wanted to stone her. Yes, he associated with her, an outcast. Yes, he told her he did not condemn her. But he ended the conversation with a command: “Go now and leave your life of sin.” Rather than affirming her behavior, he demanded repentance.

John Calvin wrote in the Institutes, “The human heart is a factory of idols…. Everyone of us is, from his mother’s womb, expert in inventing idols.” And none of us is immune from the idolatry of picking and choosing what “My God” will or will not do, say, permit or forbid.

Those who believe in a god who demands social justice, but does not mean what the Bible clearly says about sexual ethics are just as idolatrous as those who believe in a god who demands biblical sexual ethics, but does not mean what the Bible clearly says about social justice. A god of love without judgment is as much a graven image as a god of judgment without love.

S.M. Hutchens points out in the May 2009 Touchstone that when we lapse into wrong beliefs and thus become idolaters, we do so “to avoid truth for some advantage gained.”

It then stands to reason that we become truth-seekers when we avoid idolatry for some advantage gained. That advantage is the opportunity to be fully human. As the Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it, we are enabled to fulfill our chief end, “to glorify God and to enjoy him forever.” Not “my god,” but the one true God as he has made himself known in the Scriptures and in the face of his Son, the gracious image

Focus on the Family for years has held a strong, counter-cultural view against pornography. They have recognized the damage it does to families, to men, to women, and to children. Miss Prejean's racy photos would have been porn not too long ago. By saying that it doesn't matter as much as gay marriage, Focus has dealt a serious blow to those believers who are desperately trying to show a modern society that porn and indeed racy photos, and pageants featuring women in bikinis and high heels, damage relationships and poison souls. God does not make a distinction between sexual sins, and neither should we. Though if I were to do so, I would state that heterosexual porn has done far more damage to families in society than gays who want to be married. I am disappointed in Dobson for compromising his own principles, for what appears to be political gain.

Beth, what do you think Dobson's political gain would be? Is he running for office? Get real. If Dobson wanted political points, and particularly favorable media coverage, he would have come out in favor of same-sex marriage.

Ms. Prejean's racy photos are not justifiable, but they are not pornographic and she was only 17 at the time. You are comparing apples and oranges.

If you have been happy with Focus on the Family's opposition to porn thus far then why would you turn on them so quickly now?

Oh, pornographic photos would have been worse, huh? I guess Ms. Prejean's photos were meant to inspire *spiritual* feelings in gawking men. The Miss USA Pageant is all about eye candy. Having breast implants did not make Ms Prejean healthier, it made better viewing for lustful men.

Beth has a point, men lusting after women who are not their wives do far more damage than two guys shacking up down the street.

Of course none of this matters to hypocrites. I'm not surprised. They constantly duck the question "why do you devote so much time to preventing gay marriage, instead of fighting other perceived threats to matrimony?"

The only answer is either a tap dance or deafening silence.

Yeah, pornographic photos would have been worse and, as I said, the photos are not justifiable. I don't give a rat's rear end about beauty contests, but all the focus on the photos is just a diversion from the real issue, which is how this young woman was mercilessly attacked for amiably expressing a politically incorrect point of view after being placed in an impossible situation.

The truth is that those who believe marriage shouldn't be redefined quite often do work to make traditional marriage stronger via church seminars, etc. It's just the same old tired talking points of same-sex marriage activists that suggests otherwise.

The question seems to be should we still see the statement made by Carrie Prejean in response to the question of homosexual marriage in a positive light now that we know she posed in her underwear?

I do not know of too many believers in Christ who think that posing in one's underwear or strutting around in high heels and a bikini in front of millions of people is biblically acceptable. I certainly don't think it is. Were Carrie Prejean my daughter I would neither agree with or approve of her modelling lingerie and bikinis.

However, I believe Christians are justified in rallying to her cause, because she has been unjustly set upon. She was asked a question to which she gave an honest answer which just happened to be the one the judges believed was the wrong answer. It was wrong simply and, apparently, only because it did not support homosexual "marriage".

So whether or not Carrie models ladies underwear, many Christians and others believe she has a right to say that a marriage should be between persons "opposite" in sex and not of the same sex. Anyone who calls her a hypocrite (or worst) because she is against same sex marriage but models ladies underwear and displays her body, is displaying animus towards her.

That is all this is about - intolerant people seeking to hurt a young woman because she does not share their opinion on homosexuality.

This kind of unprovoked hatred more than anything else is the reason why many, who would usually have no interest in Miss USA, are coming out in support of Miss Prejean. Showing her modelling underwear only helps to show how spiteful some intolerant people can be.

Justin, the Bible also calls for men to be clean and loyal to their wives. I would like to know why women are demanded to "cover up" because they might intice men but men don't have to "cover up" because they might intice women. I mean have you seen the underwear they pose in. Seems to be a double standard. Can't men control themselves, why are the women suppose to be the one to keep men controlling themselves. I also have yet to see a comment about the homosexual man sitting in as a judge of women not stepping up as a man to say he wants the owners of the contest to show respect to woman or he will quit. Isn't it the man's responsibility to protect women. This "man" said nothing about the contest itself until the woman answered his question in a way he didn't like, than he was cussing and swearing about her personally on a radio show. That's a real man who respects women and I'll bet he treats his "female" partner with the same respect.

If Ms. Prejean had concocted a way that gay marriage would promote world peace she would probably be wearing the crown today.

Anna, so are you picking and choosing which part of the bible you will adhere to? BTW which men beauty contest are you referring to? Further just because men "don't cover up", are you saying women aren't supposed to? Firstly, nowhere in the bible does it state men are supposed to cover up. Secondly, if you are going to pick and choose from the bible what you will accept then on what basis do you think you have the right to tell anyone which part of it they are to accept?

I totally agree that Ms. Prejean has the freedom to say what she believes. I too have the freedom to state that parading in bikini on stage with enlarged breasts cannot in anyway be found biblically acceptable. I too have the freedom to say that lying about the pictures is also not biblically acceptable. My freedom I get from taking the bible as is.

Further, to support someone doing this is at best hypocritical and at worse just as immoral. We as Christians are called to a higher standard. We do not have the luxury of cutting and dicing. It is all or nothing.

Further, I am not surprised that Focus on the family would support her. I dare say that would sell their soul to the devil should he get up and make an anti-gay statement.


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Justin, the Bible also calls for men to be clean and loyal to their wives. I would like to know why women are demanded to "cover up" because they might intice men but men don't have to "cover up" because they might intice women. I mean have you seen the underwear they pose in. Seems to be a double standard. Can't men control themselves, why are the women suppose to be the one to keep men controlling themselves. I also have yet to see a comment about the homosexual man sitting in as a judge of women not stepping up as a man to say he wants the owners of the contest to show respect to woman or he will quit. Isn't it the man's responsibility to protect women. This "man" said nothing about the contest itself until the woman answered his question in a way he didn't like, than he was cussing and swearing about her personally on a radio show. That's a real man who respects women and I'll bet he treats his "female" partner with the same respect.

Let's get it straight. The Bible says that men lying with men is wrong. It also says that lust and I must assume creation of lust is wrong as well. It also states lying is wrong. It also states that hypocrisy is wrong.

God, according to the bible views all of them as sin.
Ms. Prejean to all accounts has committed all of them except fornication with someone of the same sex.

I do not see how anyone can uphold her as a spokesperson for a righteous cause

Uphold her in prayer perhaps - now that I can do!

See, this is what I don’t understand and perhaps you can explain it to me.

You agree that a Ms. Prejean posing in her underwear is not an acceptable thing for a Christian to do.

You have left out that she lied about any such pics on two occasions. The first time when she signed the contract stating there were no such pics and the second time after the first pictures were released when she said there were no more.

I would assume that you know as well that liars too shall also have their part in the lake of fire.

Yet, you are saying that people only have animus towards her because of her statement on homosexuality?!?!?!

Could it just be possible that people are upset because of the hypocrisy involved in this whole mess?

There is no such thing as "homosexuality" in humans, it's an obsolete, Victorian theory which has become a pernicious social construct, like "race" can be. My Bible doesn't say what anti-Gay activists say it says, either, and I suspect that it's very similar to your Bible.

It's safe to say that if one is anti-Gay, one is also pro-slavery, since one is using the same sort of exegesis and political tactics and legitimizations to justify the one as was used to justify the other...including the nasty fascination with the sex lives of the "other" as reasons to legitimate and perpetuate injustices.

If one reads the Bible in the light from the Golden Rule, with careful consideration of context and nuance...the Bible doesn't say that being Gay or same sex relationships are sins...anymore than the Bible says that slavery is God law and that God hates race mixing. "Race" is also a social construct and theory likely past its expiration date.

If God actually hates something, as far as I've read, it's idolatry. Don't do that, including biblio-idolatry.

Gay people can and do practice the Golden Rule just as well, or as poorly, as anyone else.

In any case, sin is what I do, not what other people do. What other people do is ill advised, dangerous, illegal, disgusting, immoral and foolish, maybe...but after the story of Lot's daughters...who am I to judge the sin of others? I don't live their lives, I only live mine.

That doesn't mean that I condone everything, I'll happily serve on a jury as my civic duty, just that I can't really say that "it" is a sin, unless I do it and/or think it.

The morality one brings to one's reading of the holy text, is what one will likely extract from the holy text, as I remember an Islamic scholar sensibly pointing out, if my paraphrase hasn't done too much damage to his work.

So...where is the Golden Rule in the conservative evangelical reading of the Bible? What I see in conservative readings of the Bible is mostly greed, unwarranted feelings of entitlement to political and cultural hegemony, naked hate mongering and shameful scapegoating.

Uh, Justin, when God made clothes he made clothes for both Adam and Eve. Outside of that, I'm talking about the double standard applied to women and men.
Because the judge is a man, he can cuss and swear about the girl answering his question but she can't even answer the question unless she agrees with him. There are too many men who are like that towards women even now, today in our so called advanced society. And, its even worst when few posting on this site don't see the double standard and even worst when those posting on this site forget that the judge asking the question, cussing and calling the answerer names on radio is a person who doesn't like women in the first place. Marriage was invented to protect the woman, not the man, because he doesn't get pregnant, she does, he already had the advantages just because the responsibility of the children was hers, he was free to put on his pants and walk. Homosexuals just by being of the same sex already have freedoms in any relationship that women don't have except in women being in a marriage. By changing the meaning of marriage you open the road to ending marriage and its already happening as women end up becoming more and more single parents while men walk away by convincing women marriage isn't necessary, we'll just live together. Actually why do two men and two women want marriage, they have more freedom without it. The judge in the contest deliberately set a trap for a woman and he knew what he was doing by asking his question to this girl, He wanted an opportunity to blast Christianity and talk up homosexual marriage. How come no one thinks he didn't commit a sin by doing that, just she committed a sin by answering honestly instead of lying to get a chance at the crown like the winner did.

Anna

I'm afraid I don't quite understand what you are talking about in your last message.
But it doesn't matter. At the end of the day you will do what you are conviced of and I will do the same.

I'll do my level best to live people and talk to them about Jesus when I can. The rest is up to the Great I Am.

We will all find out what this life is all about sooner or later.

2 items that are less-discussed:

1) She lied when she did not disclose her previous underwear modeling. She also was not supposed to make personal appearances without approval, yet she has been doing that. Nobody forced her to enter the contest, but she should be honest and abide by the rules.

2) Why was this a question? An opinion question is no good if there is only one "right answer"! This should not have been a contest question.

Is Miss Prejean a perfect person or exemplary Christian? Perhaps not. But as an American, she should be allowed to have her own convictions and voice them. Others are free to "boo" and rant. I do admire her courage in speaking her honest belief when in such a high-pressure situation.

The overarching problem that this incident highlights is that it is now becoming "unacceptable" to hold the personal belief that homosexuality is sinful and wrong. The trend is to force me (and others) to "accept" homosexuality, even though it goes against my biblical religious conviction, as well as my so-called freedoms as an American!

There is no such thing as homosexuality, and if you're Biblical religious convictions persuade you to not accept it...that should be easy.

For Gay people, on the other hand...not accepting marriage equality because of Biblical religious convictions is pure, unadulterated. bigotry...and you should be quite ashamed of yourself for your hate mongering.

Beth, Justin, Pasta: Your posts are SO GOOD! I appreciate them so much. I live near Focus on the Family and my children and I are very frequent visitors..correction:USED TO BE FREQUENT VISITORS! I called my husband this morning at work crying, feeling the Holy Spirit so strongly in my grief over the hypocrisy. Feeling the loss and pain that Miss California has caused through her sexual immorality and defiling our Holy Lord with her using His name while lying and justifying herself in all of the wickedness. This day is a sad day. I think Beth said just exactly what I said to my husband. The biggest grief is that Christian women have been constantly told by Focus on the Family (in their monthly magazines that I would read every time I came through the door there) every month it was the same messages "HOW TO DRESS MODESTLY", "STOP BEING A STUMBLING BLOCK TO MEN LADIES!", "REMEMBER TO WEAR A PADDED BRA LADIES WHEN WEARING A TANK TOP OR TIGHT SHIRT AND BY ALL MEANS NO CLEAVAGE!", ETC... And then here comes their pin up girl. They are such hypocrits. I called them today and told them my children and I will never come back. I can't believe Jim daly's comments! HOW TWISTED IS THAT?! Today I am grieving and very sad.

Rebecca

Thank you. I understand your concerns and disappointment about Focus on the Family. I too used to support them until about two years ago.

One of the Networks, ABC I think it was, had this series about a priest with a dysfunctional family: a rebellious teenage daughter and a son who was gay. Jesus also used to appear to the priest and have conversations with him. "Focused on the wrong things", contacted me about lending my support to having ABC cancel the series. When I enquired why, I was informed because there is a gay character. So I watched the show. The gay son appeared for all of 5 mins and hardly did more that walk through and scowl. The Jesus character however was a drug addled; alcohol dazed Eastern philosophy, mystic spouting, hippie freak.

I subsequently asked ‘Focused on the wrong things”, if they were not upset with this depiction of Jesus and would they also be speaking out against this? After two months of waiting and a follow up question to them and still nothing, I asked them to remove my name from their mailing list.

I don't think her statement at the pageant was controversial since it was actually more liberal than current California law. Perez Hilton just chose make it a big deal to call attention to himself. Then the culture-warriors decided to use Carrie as a spokesperson for the same reason.

It's basically a celebrity vs. celebrity fight with little substance since neither party knows what they are talking about. I guess Focus on the Family wants us to view this as some great persecution against the faith. Seems pretty lame compared to the real persecution going on the Africa everyday.

It is a bizzare time, indeed, when Carrie "fame seeker, beauty pageant participant, semi-nude model, surgically enhanced, Olympic swimming hero dater, celebrity-in-training" Prejean is held out to us as a role model of Christian persecution. Give us a break! Where is Mother Teresa when we need her?

Justin,
I know just what you mean. We actually stopped supporting them in a ministerial way long ago but they have this awesome play area for the kids. About 3 years ago we recognized some things that just didn't seem right. We continued, however, to go to their play area but I just can't go there now at all because this latest fiasco is just too much. I can't remember who it was that made the point about Jim Daly justifying Miss California's half nude pics as "we're just sinners saved by grace"...and the person said something like, 'THEN WHAT IS YOUR PROBLEM WITH THE HOMOSEXUALS?'(paraphrasing there) If it's all just about being a sinner saved by grace then why don't homosexuals deserve this same grace for their sexual immorality that Miss California does? Last I checked, the Bible has a list of people headed to hell and it says the homosexual AND the sexually immoral, and neither one is said to be worse than the other. Focus is just picking which of God's Laws they agree with and throwing out the ones they don't. Like my pastor used to say all the time as he held up the Bible after speaking about this problem, "just tear the page out since you don't agree with it!" And obviously he wasn't telling people to do that but making his point very clear. It is very much like tearing the pages out of our Bibles when we choose what we like but ignore what we don't.

And of course I know that God's Grace is for everyone but not so they can keep sinning. So they can have victory over their sin, God's Grace teaches us and He really is so full of patience and mercy...the Lord knows how much I have needed His Grace! The difference with what Jim Daly is saying is that we need to give the unrepentant Miss California a break because we are just sinners saved by Grace anyway. So, by Jim Daly's own words, he should cut the homosexual a break too. They can't help being sinners afterall. They are A.O.K. because of God's grace, right? Obviously wrong but not according to Jim Daly at Focus. But of course he wouldn't get a paycheck and their would be no more Focus on the Family if they didn't have thier battles. He has just decided which ones are covered by grace and which ones are not. I didn't know the Lord gave us that right! It really is self righteousness and not true righteousness. Daly has shown Focus' hypocrisy on sin. It really is a shame. Miss California needs to repent then we can talk about God's Grace.

Rebecca

You so speak the truth!!!!

I'm a Christian and I have to tell you that I feel we only do the name of Christ harm and makes it difficult to share the Word with people who so despertely need it, when we have to contend with nonsense like this.

I'm so tired of the seeming hypocrisy amongst evangelicals that it makes me want to weep sometimes.

"Homosexuals" aren't sinners because of "homosexuality." My Bible doesn't say that at all.

Why do some white evangelicals imagine "sins" that can only apply to the "other?" "Sin" is what I do...not what the other person does. I'm not him. I don't live his life. I'm certainly not his God. Myself, I commit a sin when I ignore the Golden Rule.

General licentiousness was a common stereotypical slander given by the anti-Black bigots during my childhood, for racial segregation and discrimination...and it's now all being recycled for today's scapegoating public. Why do anti-Gay bigots think that some people don't have long memories, internet access and library cards, when it comes to past massive resistance campaigns against other people's civil rights?

Shame on those who keep calling "homosexuality" a sin. It's not. The word didn't even exist until Victorian days...and it's an obsolete and much abused theory now. There aren't any homosexuals anymore...but there are Gay people, a Gay community, a worldwide Gay community. And you don't actually have to be Gay to be a part of it. You just have to have a bit of good will and good sense to get a key to the community...and what a wonderful community of good people it is too...with the usual quota of not so good and/or rather unstable people, of course.

It's not controversial that the anti-"homosexual" clobber verses, endlessly, self-righteously and witlessly recited, are about idolatrous practices, real and imagined, by the non-monotheists neighbors of the ancients Jews. If idolaters were thought to do it, Jews didn't. It is idolatry that is an abomination to God, not "homosexuality." This isn't controversial to legitimate Bible scholars...at least for those of good will.

Why do conservative evangelicals insist otherwise? There can be no other answers by now, other than a tradition of bigotry, greed, scapegoating...the same things, that massive resistance to good sense, that constant anomic bombing of the "other," that conservative evangelicals were doing to Black people when I was a kid (and as a college student in the Bible Belt.).

Again, how do anti-"homosexualists" sleep at night, anyway, recapitulating and recycling the worst slanders of the recent past? Aren't they ashamed of themselves for endlessly recycling old bigotries?

Granted, I expect nothing more from CT, having read most every issue of this ill founded (with money from J. Howard Pew, of all people), always greedy for religious privilege, moral and intellectual mess, but really...grow up and think things out.

Idolatry does not cause same sex orientation. It's safe to say that it never caused same sex orientation, though it may have driven some away from unnecessarily oppressive monotheists towards accepting idolatrous sects. To biblio-idolatrously abuse the Bible, as many conservative evangelicals apparently do, is immoral. I think it's likely driving some people away from Christ, not towards Christ.

There has never been a Golden Rule theological reason to be an anti-Gay bigot...the tradition of baseless hate was keep alive by systems of patriarchy that never tolerated the idea of equality in the bedroom...and out of it, for that matter. The only people who could sleep with a patriarch must be subservient to him.

But, patriarchal systems have been in decline since the Enlightenment (and the discovery of the mammalian eggg, I think). All greedy and self serving traditions of ill will were undermined by the radical abolitionists in the 19th Century...yet I wouldn't really know it from conservative evangelicals.

There has been no legitimate 'scientific' reason to discriminate against Gay people since the mid-Fifties, when, by that time, sociological studies adequately showed that the general "common-sense" conceptions about "homosexual" people was really a rancid social construct made up of old traditions mindlessly supported and perpetuated, massive ignorance kept that way by a lack of a good sexual education, repression bubbling up as projections onto the "other," sexual xenophobia, hard dying patriarchal distortions, and an unseemly need to scapegoat people.

Gay people are just people...who's lives would likely be markedly better if it weren't for nakedly greedy, manipulative bigots who want to use same sex orientations to blackmail people into silence and compliance (like in the "good old days."). Bigots who obviously and nakedly covet Gay properties, wealth, influences and jobs, just as they did once did of Black property, influences, jobs etc...

Bigots who want to abolish the First Amendment for Gay people, especially the part about having the right to petition their governments for redress of their grievances. Really, how can conservative evangelicals sleep at night? How did they ever sleep at night?

Yesterday, I was reading Norman Mailer's 2003 "New York Review of Books" piece on America's former born-again President, called "The White Man Unburdened." My jaundiced observation of the born-again experience of conservative "white" evangelicals is that they seem to have indeed had a burden lifted from their shoulders...the burden of being bothered by "whiteness," of white privilege, male privilege, American exceptionalism, of echos of Manifest Destiny, of echos of Jim Crow legitimizations.

Of course, non-"white" people, male and female, can also have the burden of being bothered by "male privilege," religious privilege, class privilege etc, lifted from their shoulders...but being bothered by privilege is a burden that should stick and stay, I think.

Besides, your life will be enriched with Gay people in it..."Gay," at this time anyway, simply makes life a little more interesting. Life is richer when it's interesting, I think.

Hypocrisy? Compare:

The supposed defenders of sexual freedom cry foul over a woman's racy photos because she doesn't approve of fundamentally changing the definition of marriage.

Those who are all about sin, faith and forgiveness forgive yet another sinning woman, because she won't condone a policy that goes against her faith.

Justin,
Thank you and you do too speak the truth! And it does make me weep...often! I am wondering why I see more women supporting Miss California than men! I thought it would be the opposite. I told my husband that I felt like (although I would never do!) going and standing outside Focus in my underwear with a sign saying "sinner saved by Grace"! Just a bit of humor for this sad day. My husband and I both agreed that I would be arrested within 5 minutes after Focus called the cops. We decided that they probably only support naked celebrities or girls with the name Miss (insert name of state here). Oh the hypocrisy. Or maybe after I got arrested and became famous then I could speak out against homsexual marriage in my 15 minutes of fame and then they would invite me on their radio station and call me courageous. I'm sorry I just can't help myself, please forgive me. We need some humor today. I'm not trying to be course...God bless!

Be careful about being so adamant about what is unacceptable.

In case you forget - it was only the other day in this country when slavery was accepted as being biblically grounded.

It was only the other day in this country where some held the view that interracial marriages were going against the Word of God. I dare say that some people are still of that view. And they have chapter and verse to back up their beliefs.
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Jeanette stated: "The overarching problem that this incident highlights is that it is now becoming "unacceptable" to hold the personal belief that homosexuality is sinful and wrong. The trend is to force me (and others) to "accept" homosexuality, even though it goes against my biblical religious conviction, as well as my so-called freedoms as an American!"

I grieve for those of you who have such tunnel vision that you fail to applaud Carrie for her answer to a very crafty question. Did Carrie know she would get that question? No. Would you have preferred she not answer it honestly? Have her lie because you do not approve of her? If you want to make a difference on modesty then take it to your church. Teach the young people there about modesty and seek to make a difference. In this case, you are doing more harm than good with your critical spirits. You do not need to approve of Carrie's modesty to approve of her answer to a crafty judge.

The thing is, she could have said , very simply, "i regret having those pictures taken." instead she jus lies and says, " oh the wind blew my top open and thats when the picture was taken." were all sinners and make mistakes. just because your'e a model doesn't mean you have to do skin shots.

Proving once again that right wing Christians will side with anyone as long as they hate gay people too.toboggan

Proving once again that right wing Christians will side with anyone as long as they hate gay people.

As a Christian I feel that there is a double standard concerning homosexuals and this scandral about this young woman speaking out for christianty. First, I feel she had a right to speak her beliefs no matter what however, I feel Dr. Dobson has shot himself in the foot. I agree with one of the others that responded to this. It sounds like homosexuality is the main focus and there are hidden messages almost as if he is neglecting the fact that this young woman is a bad influence on our on christian daughters, to pose nude or in racy photos which also effects our christian sons to believe that it is alright to view nudity in turn corrupting their minds also. I am totally against homosexuality but lets get real, all sin is exactly that SIN! Please Christians lets stick together and see what the DEVIL is really up to dividing us as christians and as a nation, and it looks as if he may be succeeding. Really disappointed In Focus listener. Dr.Dobson shame on you!

Over the years Focus has promoted very high moral standards. They have consistently decried how the media over-emphasizes sex, and they have stood against anything that objectifies women or places excessive value on external appearance. We can debate what is moral or immoral in beauty pageantry, or which modeling photographs go "too far". I'm not here to criticize or judge Miss Prejean. However in her case, it appears that Focus has lowered its standards for what it considers "proper" just because she publicly stands for traditional marriage. This is moral relativism coming from a ministry known for stressing moral absolutes!

I understood Focus to be supporting Prejean for her stand in one issue, not as supporting her life and all her choices. After being attacked for voicing her opinion, I think it's good for individuals and organizations to stand up and support her conviction ON THIS ISSUE. I don't think that's entirely hypocritical. Focus made it clear they do not approve her immodesty. They aren't making her an overall role model. It did take courage to stand up for what she believes in while in the spotlight, and not take the easy road.

Homosexual behavior is a sin. Governments can legalize same-sex "marriages" all day long, churches can perform the ceremonies, but they are still counterfeit marriage and not the real thing. God determines what is, and is not, marriage. Not man.

Kudo's to Prejean for voicing her opinion instead of trying to be politically corrent.

However... I wonder if say... Shirley Dobson would still be considered a 'spokeswoman' for marriage betw. a man and woman if she was the one posing in ways only her husband should see her... Would Beth Moore still get the same respect, speakign engagements, book deals, etc. if she did the same thing? Are "we" ("evangelical" movement) THAT desperate to find a "famous" person in representing our views on marriage? It's making me a wee bit sick.

(And what a downer that Focus has turned her into their 'darling' - of all organizations!)

Lets be a little more careful next time in picking our role models.

Role model? Why do we need earthly role models? They will always fail. Perhaps that's part and parcle the problem with Christians today. Having taken our eyes off of The Perfect One - what's left only people with straw feet

Brother and sisters in Christ. Let's return our focus to the Savior!

Janette

Why is this so upsetting to you? I do not feel my marriage any more threatened by same sex couples wanting to get married than by a couple committing adultery or fornication.

You however seem quite disturbed about this. Overly so.

Why is that?

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Janette said: "Homosexual behavior is a sin. Governments can legalize same-sex "marriages" all day long, churches can perform the ceremonies, but they are still counterfeit marriage and not the real thing. God determines what is, and is not, marriage. Not man."

Justin, I guess where I feel threatened is something that has not happened yet, but I see looming in the future, that of the government FORCING me and others to "recognize" counterfeit marriages as real marriage in tangible ways, such as legislation FORCING churches to perform same-sex weddings or hire homosexual staff against their belief. The threat of government force against religious belief is my concern, I would like to prevent it if possible. On the other hand, the church throughout history has faced much persecution, perhaps it not only cannot be avoided but also will be used by God for good.

I agree fornication and adultery are HUGE problems and they greatly concern me, I was trying to stay on topic here.

About human role models - agreed! Let's keep our focus on the holy and blameless Jesus Christ, Saviour of the World!

The only justifications against citizen equality are from the "white" conservative evangelicals, who have a long and sordid history of opposing America's highest ideals and twisting St. Paul into one of America's most dangerous bigots, decontextualizing Bible verses into hateful clobber verse weapons...as if they had never heard of the Golden Rule.

"White" conservative evangelicals, after all, are the ones that wrote the apologies for the continuation of slavery, who invented "states' rights" (the political theory of white privilege), "Southern rights," who tried to destroy the Union to spread slavery and bring back the slave trade, who destroyed Reconstruction, who made the Bible Belt a synonym for the most depraved variations of Jim Crow, who lynched Black people and carried bits of rotting flesh around as souvenirs...

...who opposed women suffrage, who invented "Massive Resistance" to block citizen equality in the Fifties, with the close cooperation of conservatives from the Great Plains states...

...who joined the KKK in the Twenties, the white citizens councils in the fifties, who made the John Birch Society a political power and whack job conspiracy theory group (see the bio of the cofounder of CT, J. Howard Pew)...

...who invited, as CT did, J. Edgar Hoover to libel Martin Luther King Jr. in their pages...when King was right...and who claimed to be against racism, but which was really a white privilege supporting magazine that worked against any substantive amelioration of racism.

"White" conservative evangelicals are the ones who founded and supported the thinly disguised "family" named hate groups...who bought the truly depraved, thinly disguised ethnic cleansing fantasy "Left Behind" books...

Who massively supported the president who allowed his cronies to loot America, the president who lied repeatedly to everyone so that he could have hundreds of thousands of people die prematurely or be severely displaced to avenge his father, and who made America a synonym for people who torture, the people who pretty much broke the world...

And, now were' suppose to think that "white" conservative evangelicals are the people to listen to about Gay citizen equality. Give me a break. What kind of fool do you take me for?

Jeanette

I don't understand your concerns from so many different aspects

Do you realize marriage is really a civil institution and not a religious one per se?

In America we do have separation of church and state?

In America a church does not have to marry a non same sex couple, why do you think that they would be forced to marry a same sex couple?

Do you realize that same sex marriages are legal in Canada and many European countries and what you talk about fearing has not been realized?

Do you realize that Paul in his writings was not a fan of marriage, prefering instead that people remain celibate?

We live in America where by law it is illegal to discrimanate based upon color of someone's skin. Yet it is still done. So just supposed same sex marriages are legal nationally, so what? They are now legal in several states and none of what you fear has materialized.

Where are you getting this from? You know Jesus said that we should not worry about the morrow since we cannot do one thing to change it.

Can I suggest you put your worries aside and leave it in God's hands. His Will, will be done.

Assuredly we are all sinners. However, FOF's discernment in this case surely skews to the political right. Talk about God's forgiveness and grace comes to the forefront only in the case of spokespeople who align with FOF's views. It would be a better Christian witness to have that line (and corresponding action) at the forefront all of the time. But if you're in a culture war, you need an enemy, so that's not likely to happen.

Justin, lawsuits abound. I am aware of a church losing its tax-exempt status because it refused to allow a lesbian wedding in their place of worship (although they would allow it on their grounds), of a christian adoption agency closing its doors because if it remained open it would have been forced to facilitate adoptions for homosexual couples, and of a christian wedding photographer being sued because they did not want to photograph a same-sex marriage. These are the types of concerns I have.

I don't think it's accurate to say that "none of what I fear has been realized", including in other countries.

Jeannette

I've spent the last several days searching for these lawsuits and I can't find any.

What I did find on the isolated cases that you mentioned as well, unfortunately doesn't bear out what you are saying.

It would be a lengthy post and I hate reading such or writing one.

I will say this in a nutshell - a business does not have the right to discriminate. Not in America. That's a very slippery slope that you would have to admit that none of us need to revisit.

Secondly, "God has not given us a spirit of fear."
Cast your fears aside - leave it to God and let Him deal with it as He sees fit.

If you are hetrosexual and married. A same sex couple wishing to marry should not affect your relationship with your partner.

Justin,

Here is a link:
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=91486191

These are examples of religious conviction conflicting with "discrimination" charges by homosexuals. And the religious conviction appears to be losing in these instances.

Christian Lawyer, thanks for clarifying.

However, I do think all the incidents are related to the legality of same-sex marriage, in the sense that, once it becomes legal in a state, there is pressure to accept it and consequently perform various related services even against religious objection.

There are no legitimate religious objections to marriage equality. The Bible doesn't say what the anti-homosexualists say it says. Legitimate science doesn't say what the anti-homosexualists say it says. No excuses to discriminate against your Gay relative or neighbor are valid anymore..and haven't been since the Kinsey Report, published a few years before I was born.

Oh, my two security words are heisting and situation. Considering the naked greed and authoritarian disorders behind the the massive resistance to citizen equality, they're probably somehow relevant.

Well, it looks like the hoopla has died down and everyone has forgotten about this tragedy of great hypocrisy. I am currently boycotting Focus on the Family and will continue to do so unless they repent for supporting this woman. We have exchanged emails and it's obvious we are going nowhere. Anyone care to join me? And to all who support Carrie Prejean: If you are a Christian man did you look at her photos? If yes, how can you justify that and her being a Christian spokesperson for marriage? If you didn't see the photos and support her, then you have succesfully buried your head in the sand to who she really is. Remember, she didn't repent for them, she justified them saying she was a Christian and a model and models sometimes took photos in lingerie and swimwear. Hmmm... If you are a woman and you support Carrie Prejean then the same applies to you as well, but I would be deeply concerned of how much your husbands or boyfriends saw of her. Also, I would seriously question Chrisitan's ideas of who we want to represent our marriages.

Wow you guys criticize Obama and back up some whore. Way to pick em. Yeah a Harvard grad with morals should totally not be respected but some person who talks the talk but doesn't walk the walk. (Did she even go to college!) What is she doing with her life other than capitalizing on what happened to her with a senseless book!!! Yeah good christian strong women don't play victim!!! Come on people. Wise up. Focus on the family really lost my respect with this trashy decision. Focus on the family!!!!! You really want your young daughters making sex videos at 17 and taking their clothes off for the camera!