I don’t really care about the Miss America pageant—actually, I think it’s kind of weird—but an article caught my attention today about Miss California Carrie Prejean, who believes her anti-same sex marriage opinion cost her the Miss USA title on Sunday.
Scanning through, one statement caught my attention:
“I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything.”
This is a common enough statement to make. In fact, it seems to be the most common statement made by anyone disagreeing with anything controversial. Today it rubbed me the wrong way.
Seriously? Is that the message you got growing up? “Never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything”?
I mean, I get it. There are some core beliefs that people have a right not to compromise. And I’m certainly not trying to knock her for standing up for what she believes in. But aren’t there any opinions or beliefs out there that should be open to compromise?
What kind of world would we live in if no one stopped to examine his or her opinions/feelings about something? What kind of person refuses to consider changing his or her mind about anything—even if there may be good reasons to at least consider it?
Let me be clear: I realize this isn’t a frivolous issue, and I don’t want to assume she hasn’t thought her opinion through. I’m really not trying to address gay marriage.
I’m simply questioning the fact that “I was raised not to compromise my opinion” is a suitable answer in our culture—an answer corresponding to a position that seems to be valued and prized. To me, it sounds like the most acceptable cop-out in America right now.
I’m certainly not going to raise my kids that way. I want them to be able to think critically and be open to the possibility of change when necessary.