Miss California and Queen Esther

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Perhaps only the estimable Dave Gibson, Beliefnet and (ahem) Commonweal blogger, and author of The Rule of Benedict, could see--and make--the connections between: Carrie Prejean, the controversial Miss California; Queen Esther, the biblical heroine; Katharine Harris; and Sarah Palin.  Gibson's latest piece is on Politics Daily, and it's terrific.  A little bit here:

Above all, the story of Esther allows conservatives to mediate-or accommodate-conflicting feelings about sex and purity, women and power. "I think in many ways she is a dubious role model," says Anne Lapidus Lerner, director of the Program in Jewish Women's Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York City. "But she does offer beauty and power together-and subservience. So it's a good mix, it would seem to me, for people who are interested in seeing women as subservient but not totally powerless, and to see their beauty as something that carries them to whatever modicum of power they achieve."

It's also a good fit for a Bible Belt culture that has eschewed dancing and drinking yet glories in female beauty, as long as it stays within bounds. Now those boundaries seem to be expanding: Carrie Prejean's pre-pageant breast enhancements smack of fiddling with God's handiwork, for example, and the racy photos that emerged after her gay marriage comments aren't exactly your usual Sunday School Bible lesson.

That's a direct quote, except I deleted the link to "racy photos" in the original.

Read the rest here.

James Martin, SJ

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9 years 7 months ago
Whether Carrie Prejean is a Queen Esther or not is not the issue.  We can all agree that she is being persecuted for her beleifs.  The racy photos are nothing more than a red herring.  Who among us have not made mistakes.  Just because she made a mistake does not disqualify her from having an opinion on the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman.  If this standard is used, someone like Bill Clinton would also not be allowed to have opinions on moral matters.
9 years 7 months ago
No one is persecuting poor Carrie for her beliefs. It's amazing how such a poweful majority never stops pretending to be a persecuted minority. Carrie Prejean seems to be fundamentally unable to live up to her commitments and has, as such, just been [url=http://movies.yahoo.com/news/movies.eonline.com/carrie-prejean-gets-firedagain-20090615]fired from yet another job[/url].
9 years 7 months ago
Ignatus born somewhere, no matter where- Train'd up in school, and taught to say his pray'r- Tir'd with his task at Academy, he Jump'd o'er all to University- The books he read, read them, laid them down : But little wiser when his work was done. But College pedantry bare such a sway, That soon he gain'd a soaring diploma.Daub'd like a Knight, on the commencement day, Gladly he quit his task, and went his way.

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