On a day many view as a "Judgment Day" for our beloved nation, Sept. 11, one of America's longest-standing and most beloved institutions may crown its first lesbian Miss America. Erin O'Flaherty, 23, Miss Missouri, is the very first openly LGBTQ contestant to compete in the legendary competition.
"You go, girl!" heralds the media and almost giddy gay advocacy groups. Others feel, "It's really not that big of a deal. It just shows how far America has come with diversity and accepting homosexuality as mainstream, normal, beautiful and natural."
This year celebrates the 75th anniversary of the pageant, which began in 1921, 94 years ago. (Check out the 1921 swimsuits for a little chuckle!) ABC will broadcast the final competition across America and tens of millions will tune in. You can be rest assured that millions of young, impressionable girls will also be watching and dreaming, I wonder if I could be like ... .
The winner receives a $50,000 scholarship and will travel throughout the United States in the traditional "Year of Service" promoting her particular platform. She'll travel over 20,000 miles a month and change locations every 24-48 hours!
"Miss America" is one of the most recognized household names in our country. The winner is catapulted to fame; some have spoken at the White House, before the United States Senate and House of Representatives, in addition to coverage by a fawning media (imagine if the winner was gay).
Stroll through hotel lobbies and auditoriums throughout America any given weekend (I experienced this at a Marriott yesterday), and you will come upon wide-eyed little girls, preteens and teenagers with their parents and relatives all excited about the pageants they're competing in to follow in the footsteps to this prestigious position.
While commending Miss O'Flaherty for her hard work, dedication, physical fitness and sincerity, there's more here that we should consider than merely the potential of "celebrating" a Miss America milestone.
Reflect on 3 Sobering Realities:
1. A lesbian Miss America can become a symbol of ideal womanhood. The theme song for the Miss America pageant is as follows:
"There she is, Miss America.
There she is, your ideal.
The dream of a million girls who are more than pretty, can come true in Atlantic City.
For she may turn out to be the Queen of femininity ... " (Recall the days when Bert Parks belted out this iconic song at the evening's end?).
Our young sons and daughters are impressionable and often peer-dependent. They want to fit in and crave acceptance by their friends. They're also very much given to imitative behavior.
Visiting Atlanta recently on the birth of another grandchild, I noticed a little granddaughter dressing up exactly like my 30-something daughter who was soon to arrive. She thinks her auntie is "cool" so she wore attire, down to the smallest detail, so she could be like her.
As parents and pastors, we need to be watchful and also intentional to instill in our youth an understanding of character before charisma. "Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised" (Prov. 31:30).
If a lesbian is presented for our daughters and granddaughters as an "ideal," "dream" and "Queen," what does this say about the moral condition of our nation? As watchmen and gatekeepers, we must guide our sons and daughters towards wholesome role models to emulate, starting with ourselves.
2. A lesbian Miss America can promote the LGBTQ agenda.
In 2015, lesbian comedian, Ellen DeGeneres called me out on her national TV show for saying she was furthering a "gay agenda," which she adamantly denied. She said her only agenda was to "be more kind and compassionate with one another. ... I don't have an agenda, I'm not here to brainwash anyone."
Here's the deal: What Ellen said wasn't true! In a video response to Ellen, I exposed her propaganda and clearly presented how she was aggressively doing exactly what I said. Go to the Opening Video And Orientation at bullseyechallenge.com to view her and my remarks.
Miss O'Flaherty states that her platform is suicide prevention—that is good. But if you dig deeper, you discover she has other intentions regarding the seduction of a gay lifestyle.
"It's certainly a big part of who I am and I will be promoting it and raising awareness for the LGBT community."
"I've received several messages from other contestants that are out in other states. That's awesome. ... That's really exciting! As far as the girls who aren't out yet, I would say, take the leap! It's so freeing, and I saw most of my success after I came out ... ."
On Good Morning America, she told fellow lesbian Robin Roberts, I "hope that my presence will help with visibility for the LGBT community."
In an interview with Cosmopolitan magazine, a publication promoting abortion, promiscuity, sexual deviancy and homosexuality, Erin said she was "proud" to be gay and that "Femme lesbians are under-represented in the LGBT community."
She "wants to use her years to ... serve as a role model."
Remember the maxim, "What you are speaks so loud I can't hear what you say?" We're deceived if we don't think a lesbian Miss America, once crowned, will not recruit others to homosexuality by advertising it and speaking of it as an alternative and attractive way of life.
3. A lesbian Miss America focused on suicide prevention should share how homosexuality harms health.
Erin O'Flaherty says her real platform is helping young people avoid suicide. She admits: "LGBT youth are up to eight times as likely to commit suicide."
In my 44 years of ministry, I have helped many sexually confused young people get delivered from homosexual tendencies and temptations. I've discovered there are many contributing factors to homosexuality—a person's self-will, seduction by peers or authority figures, pornography, absence of a father, childhood experimentation and sexual abuse. Studies show that approximately 85 percent of lesbians were abused or molested and 40 percent of gay men were seduced or molested by older gay men when they were young boys.
If someone has a platform to raise awareness on suicide prevention for young people, they should cite the evidence from the C.D.C. (Centers for Disease Control) on how gay and lesbian activity threatens young people's health. Once they get ensnared in the tentacles of homosexuality, many take their lives in their depths of despair.
"More than 40 percent of these students [gay, lesbian or bisexual high school students] reported that they had seriously considered suicide, and 29 percent had made attempts to do so in the year before they took the survey," reports the New York Times in a recent article.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey studied the actual behaviors of 9th to 12th graders in 25 states who considered themselves homosexual or bisexual, compared to heterosexuals. The self-identified homosexual and bisexual teens were multiple times more likely to attempt suicide; they felt depressed or helpless in greater numbers; used more marijuana, cocaine, meth, heroin, hallucinogenic drugs and prescription drugs; and were 25 percent more likely to have engaged in sexual relations, plus have four or more partners!
Homosexual activity should not be validated and celebrated by politicians and high-profile individuals like a possible Miss America. Young people don't need propaganda on casual sex or to be encouraged to "come out of the closet" to a destructive "gay" lifestyle, but rather be told the truth about the "abundant life" Jesus promised when we follow His way.
An Appeal to Our Candidate
Miss O'Flaherty, I've never met you, and I don't know if you'll ever read this commentary. You are a very gifted, accomplished young woman for whom God has prepared a wonderful destiny, possibly including a husband and children as the fruit of your union. Don't miss it!
Your current popularity and instant fame are certainly intoxicating, but don't squander your future and all God has planned for you for a few moments on that boardwalk.
Take a couple hours and read the honest journey of Rosario Butterfield, author of The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. She describes how she was an influential, leftist lesbian professor who came to Christ and was revolutionized by His amazing love. Today she's married to a wonderful pastor, raising her beautiful children in the state of North Carolina.
Years ago, there was a woman who won the Miss America competition named Vanessa Williams who later resigned due to a scandal concerning nude photos of herself. She acknowledged her error and we marvel at her transformed life and successful career resulting from her humility.
Will you follow her lead?
I don't know if you read the Bible, but there is a beautiful, easy-to-understand paraphrase of Scripture that says it this way:
"Don't you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don't care about God will not be joining in His kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don't qualify as citizens in God's kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I'm talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then you've been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:9-11, MSG).
Larry Tomczak is a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy adviser with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see www.bullseyechallenge.com). and he has a variety of resources on his website (see www.larrytomczak.com). You can also hear his weekly podcast here.
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