"We all have things in our past that we would not want to have broadcast on national television," Miles McPherson, pastor of the Rock megachurch in San Diego, told E! News Thursday in support of the beleaguered beauty queen, whose crown is in question thanks to some bootyful photographs of her that ended up online.
"We are all sinners. Christians aren't perfect," McPherson said. "The pictures are from when she was 17, and they do not disqualify her from being able to share her opinion."
Prejean had also already won the admiration of many members of her congregation by speaking out against legalizing same-sex marriage during the recent Miss USA Pageant—a decision that cost her the crown, the National Organization for Marriage's latest spokewoman said afterward.
"Carrie had the option to be politically correct or she could stand by her convictions, give her true opinion and speak up for her beliefs knowing it may cost her the Miss USA crown," says McPherson. "She did the right thing, and we are very proud of her courage."
Prejean has been a member of the Rock for about four years now, the pastor said.
He said that Prejean's father, William, is not part of the congregation but didn't mention any of her other family members.
According to court documents filed in San Diego and obtained by E! News, Prejean's parents filed for divorce in 1988 and the ensuing custody battle lasted for nearly 10 years—and was quite the he-said, she-said.
In 1996, William Prejean stated that Carrie's mother accused him—in front of Carrie—of being homosexual. Then, per the filing, the mother later told her children that their stepfather was gay.
William Prejean later told Carrie and her sister that it was their stepfather's brother who was gay, according to the declaration.
"The attacks against Carrie are undue but not unexpected," McPherson added. "The people who want to discredit her have a proven track record of doing anything in their power to slander anyone who is disagrees with their point of view. They rob people of their freedom of speech."
So now it all comes back to what Prejean said during the competition—not what she did long before and failed to mention. Miss California runner-up and gung-ho role model Tami Farrell told E! News yesterday that the organization's contract asks contestants to disclose whether they have posed for potentially unseemly pics, and that this latest mess possibly could have been avoided if Prejean had spoken up earlier.
Meanwhile, Miss Universe Organization honcho Trump has ensured that the scandal carries into next week, as well—he's not planning to announce his decision on Prejean's fate until Tuesday.
Guy's gonna have a lot on his mind during that Celebrity Apprentice finale Sunday.
Follow us on Twitter @eonline