|PIC1|Miss California Carrie Prejean may have faced a stinging backlash from gay celebrity blogger Perez Hilton for her comments on gay marriage, but that hasn’t stopped her from praying that he will one day know Jesus.
Perez Hilton was the celebrity judge who asked Prejean for her views on same-sex marriage during the Miss USA beauty pageant.
Prejean says her answer – that marriage “should be between a man and a woman” – cost her the crown, while Hilton’s response was to call her a B-word.
On Sunday, the 21-year-old received a rapturous welcome back to her home church in San Diego, The Rock Church, and the supportive Senior Pastor Miles McPherson.
She may have taken some heat for her remarks but the 21-year-old told the congregation she has no regrets.
“I don't take back what I said. No way I wasn't going to stand up for what I believe in,” she said, according to the San Diego Union Tribune.
“This is how I was brought up to believe,” she told the congregation. “We have to be strong and true to our faith and our beliefs.”
Asked by Pastor McPherson what she would say to Hilton if he were there right now, she answered: “I’d tell him he needs Jesus.”
More than criticism, Prejean says she has also received a great deal of support, some of which has also come from members of the gay community, who told Prejean that people like Hilton are not a representation of who they are.
“I just want to thank everybody so much for your support, for the letters, e-mail, messages I've gotten,” Prejean said Sunday in front of her home church, The Rock Church in San Diego. “[And] I want to thank the gay community for their support, for apologising to me on behalf of this man (Hilton) that said this to me and the personal attacks that he has on me.”
She told MSNBC’s 9 AM hour last week, “I can only say to him [Perez] that I will be praying for him. I feel sorry for him, I really do. I think he's angry, I think he's hurt. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion. He asked me specifically what my opinion was on that subject and I gave him an honest answer."
McPherson, who once played professional football for the San Diego Chargers, was one of the biggest advocates of Prop. 8 last year and happened to be heading for New York when the mediastorm broke out around Prejean.
On Sunday, he shared the stories behind the story and urged his congregation to stand up for their beliefs as Prejean had done.
“We are being punked by the culture,” McPherson said. “The Christian Church is being punked.”
“You have to stand up for what you believe,” he added, while also instructing his flock not to be argumentative or confrontational.
[Eric Young for the Christian Post contributed to this article]
Miss California: Perez Hilton ‘needs Jesus’
Published 28 April 2009 | Anne Thomas