Monday, September 2, 2013

Whatever Happened to Respect?

I remember watching my first Miss America on TV back in 2011.  I had never watched a pageant before but there was a specific reason I was watching that year.  That reason was Miss Nebraska.  Through various homeschool organizations (Teenpact Leadership Schools, HSLDA ect), I learned that Teresa Scanlan, Miss Nebraska, was a former homeschooler, Teenpacter, and only 17 years old and I was curious to see how this young woman would handle herself on national TV.

I don't believe anyone thought this young, girl would be victorious, but to everyone's surprise, Teresea Scanlan took home the crown and title of Miss America 2011.

Recently, HSLDA conducted a radio interview with Teresa regarding her homeschool journey and how it helped prepare her for her duties as Miss America.  If you listen to the interview here you will find that Miss Scanlan is a bright, intelligent, driven young woman with a heart for the Lord and other people.

It was very surprising to me when I found people commenting on HSLDA's Facebook calling Teresa hurtful names as well as making ludicrous demands that HSLDA withdraw their support from her.

The main objections were that a woman who wore bikinis and flaunted her body was not a good role model for a family organization to support.

A few of the comments made towards her were accusing her of causing men to commit adultery because she wore a bikini during the pageant.  Some people said she must not be a Christian because people who parade around in "glorified underwear" do not and cannot belong to God.

At first I was very sad and hurt for Teresa, then I was angry. I was angry at the people calling themselves Christians, making such accusations, and tearing a young woman (who is a fellow believer) down.  For 3 years, Teresa Scanlan has had to deal with much criticism from Christian Conservative circles because she is not personally convicted the same way they are.

My question to every Christian is: how is it Christ-like to accuse unjustly, call names, and discourage another person with differing beliefs?

What on earth makes you think that you have the right to make judgment calls on another person's salvation because of their outward appearance.

Whatever happened to respecting other people?  Yes, Teresa Scanlan may have different convictions then you.  But I would hope that anyone who calls themselves a Christian, would be respectful of another's beliefs and not call her a "turd in a glass of water."

These Christians who oppose Teresa Scanlan may have some fundamentally good arguments.  However, any legitamacy and credibility they may have is out weighed by the way in which they present themselves and their positions.

If someone has a different belief than you, you should kindly hear their side then humbly and respectfully challenge their beliefs. I think there is something in the Bible about truth, love, and grace in our speech...which would seem to suggest that you absolutely do not publicly call someone a brainwashed slut!

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