Miss America Interview

On Feb. 10, Pastor Wilken interview the new Miss American, Katie Stam, on the Issues, Etc. radio show.  I’m assuming Wilken got the interview because Ms. Stam is a Lutheran and her mother teaches at a Lutheran school.  Though I may be wrong.  I wanted to make a few observations about the interview.

Slight Rant

I think Wilken asked her some good questions.  He even asked her if the Miss American Pageant exploits women.  As tempted as I am to go there I don’t want to spend time on this topic.  Stam’s answer is a “no” here because of the “good” the organization does.  That’s not a very good answer.  I would not encourage a Christian to become a Shriner just because the Shriner’s Hospitals do good things.  That’s beside the point.  If a competition struts young women around on national TV in a two-piece bikini and their advertisements are geared around outward beauty then what is this doing for women?  I know there is more to the competition than just this piece, but it’s still part of it.  I’d say this just continues to add to the wrong view of women we have in American society.  Remember the pose down the young man had to do in Speedo’s to win the M.I.T. scholarship?  Yeah, me neither.  I digress.

A Few Questions

The interview starts off by Stam giving credit to her small town mid-west values helped her win the competition.  She did not give credit to God here, but she is not a religious spokes person and she did grow up in a Lutheran household.  Giving her the benefit of the doubt, I’m assuming that her Christian faith was the foundation for the upbringing.  However, she did grow up wanting to be Miss America.  Maybe she had a different impression of Miss America that somehow went along with those morals and values.

One of the questions is about what to say to young women flaunting their sexuality and growing up too fast.  Stams answer is to not *say* anything, but to just live as an example of what’s right.  If she ever has kids I hope that she outgrows this position.  Kids need to be taught.  You can’t just *do* things and hope they *catch on* to you.  As Miss America, she is a role model of sorts so it’s probably good to learn to *say* something to teach whoever is watching her.  Both saying and doing are part of the teaching and learning process.

She does say that beauty is loving the person that you are and what you have to offer.  She, essentially, says that God made each of us unique with our own gifts and talents.  She explains that everyone has something to offer.  I actually like her answer here.

Of Faith

This is the part of the interview that stood out the most to me.  Wilken asks about her Christian faith during the whole Miss America process.  She explained that it was more of a personal issue.  She mentioned about keeping “Him” with her.  She had a tough position of having to be representative of people of different beliefs.  I do undertand this.  I wish Wilken had asked her how she knew what the faiths of the other participants were, etc.  She does say that her “faith” is the foundation of her life.

She did sing Via Dolorosa.  Kudos to her on this issue because she said that if this song would have knocked her out of the competition then it wasn’t worth it.  She approached this song with a courageous attitude.  She was hoping God would use this song as she sang it on national TV.  I’m glad she saw that actually *saying* something can have influence.  As much as I am not a fan of Miss American I pray that Katie Stam can be a positive influence of Christ.  I’m glad she sang this song and maybe she will continue to see that doing and saying can go much further than just doing.

Lesson or Random Thoughts

As I listened to this interview, especially, the part on faith I think I see parts of many (most?) Christians.  She’s only 22 so I want to give her some what of a pass.  The parts where Stam seemed worried about expressing her Christianity and saying the wrong thing seemed like a very common trait.  What are we so afraid of?  Why can’t we just say: Sorry, I can’t [insert activity] because I’m a follower of Jesus and it wouldn’t be right?

The big thing though was that she never did say Jesus.  She said “Him” once and “faith” a bunch of times.  When speaking with other Christians I’ve heard “faith” and “church” mostly, but not often or frequently have I heard Jesus mentioned.  I’ve been guilty of this too and I’ve been aware of it for sometime.  I understand it’s more comfortable to speak of “faith” and “church” in almost a generic sense.  Listen to the interview above a couple of times and see if you don’t see some of your own wording in Ms. Stam’s answers.  The challenge is to try to speak of Jesus Christ whenever possible.  I’m betting that if you pay attention to yourself you’ll find some of the same wording.

For what it’s worth…

Mark

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