Q+A: Carrie Prejean
You refer to your pastor, Miles McPherson, throughout the book. You indicate that he played a strong role after the pageant when he met up with you in New York before a media interview. Do you think you would have handled what happened differently had he not met up with you?
I think it was so important that I had counsel there for me. I just had my mom traveling with me to New York, so it was such a blessing to have him there. I'd never met him before, so it's a remarkable story how he was able to be with me and give me the counsel that I needed at that time.
What's the best advice he gave you about handling the stress?
He basically told me every day, "Carrie, don't pay attention to the drama. Don't get into the drama. God has a plan for you, he chose you for this. This is your time to figure out what God has in store for you, and you will figure it out." He used to tell me, "I know you probably think this is a very hard part of your life, but you will get past this."
You said you grew up in a home where your parents took you to church. Did you have a turning point where you decided to become a Christian, or did you have a conversion experience?
After high school I went off to college, and I was just trying to fit in somewhere, trying to find my place. I went to Santa Barbara and I found out that it was a big party school, and I just didn't seem to fit in. So after I came back, I started going to San Diego Christian College, and that's where I felt at home. From there I started going to the Rock [Church], and I found where I felt I belonged. I think that was at a Christian school where it's cool to study on Friday nights, and you don't have the pressure of going out and drinking, and you are surrounded by people who have the same interests as you. That was a big turning point in my life, when I started going to the Rock, when I was about 18.
Was there a point in your life where you decided, "I believe in Jesus"?
I grew up being a Christian, and if you grow up in a Christian home, you just go along saying, "I'm a Christian, I'm a Christian, I'm a Christian," but you don't really know what that means. But when you become a certain age—for me that was when I was 18—I realized that I need the Lord. I need to surround myself with people who love the Lord as well. We're all in process. No one's perfect; Christians are especially not perfect. It's funny—there are people who think Christians are perfect or are holy people who go around judging everybody, but [it's] actually the complete opposite. We love one another, we don't always love the sin but we love the sinner. When I was 18, I was really serious about it, and it was a decision I made. It wasn't my parents saying, "This is what you need to do." I decided to go to a Christian college, I decided to start living my life the way that I thought I should have been living it.
Going back to your book, in the middle you explain the turning point in the pageant. Did you feel prepared to answer Perez Hilton's question?
Looking back now, everything happened so fast, but yeah, I was prepared. I think I'm a pretty good public speaker, I think I can handle questions, especially now after everything I've been through. I can probably answer any question there is. But I had the right team preparing me for tough questions. Did I think a question like that would be asked, and that [I would] be punished for giving an honest answer? No.
Looking back, would you re-word your reply?
Looking back now, I've become so much more educated. In fact, Perez Hilton wasn't even correct when asking the question. He said, "Vermont recently legalized same-sex marriage. Do you think other states should follow suit? Why or why not?" Actually, the people in Vermont didn't even vote. It was the legislature that voted. It's funny, looking back now; obviously I'm a lot more educated [now]. I'm not a spokesperson for traditional marriage, but looking back now, it was such a biased question. For a judge to ask that question and have his own agenda, and if you don't agree with him, [he will] call you every name in the book and then mock you for seven months? That's just crazy.