Well, it’s official. The Miss USA pageant, with its emphasis on physical beauty with a side order of social graces, has proven that it is still politically correct to be in the beauty pageant business.

Sunday night the pageant named Kristen Dalton of North Carolina as Miss USA 2009. The grateful winner acknowledged the magnitude of the moment and marveled at the mystery of being able to win the prestigious crown while wearing a turguoise gown. Wow.

Not being a follower of the pageant scene, I can’t begin to understand the hubbub over the color of Miss Dalton’s dress. And, I still marvel at the social acceptance of parading a group of young women across the stage in white string bikinis and judging them based on appearance alone. This is one American tradition that, even with diminishing viewership, won’t seem to die.

Yet, I do understand the import of something else that happened Sunday night during the contest. Miss California, Carrie Prejean, gaffed. She stumbled on stage. She unloosed a bad note. Given the all the attention, you’d think she had an intentional wardrobe malfunction. No, it wasn’t anything so innocuous as showing too much flesh on television. She took a biblical stand on gay marriage and, according to many observers, lost the title.

When ambushed by a question submitted by a gay blogger about gay marriage, Miss Prejean responded, as did most Californians on Proposition 8 last November, that marriage should be limited to a man and wife just as the Bible demands. Good for her. Bad for her career.

The talking heads on NBC spoke of her gaff. An outspoken homosexual in the audience raged about the indecency of her comment. One would think he would have voted her off the planet rather than allowing her to come in second place. Today, the world mocks her decision to stand by her beliefs. Yet, God must be pleased by her words.

In the end, Carrie Prejean lost a beauty contest but revealed her inner beauty. And, thanks to her faithfulness, God was the real winner on Sunday night.