Feb 16, 2012

Should the Flag be Lowered for Whitney Houston?

Today Governor Christie of New Jersey decided to fly the American flag at half-mast in honor of Whitney Houston all over his state. People are outraged. Why are they outraged? Because Whitney had a history of drug abuse and because they feel that the only people worth honoring are soldiers.

I must say that I am outraged by the outrage. I am going to get gut level honest with you, you may be offended and may even stop reading my blog. That is okay with me.

How dare we throw stones at someone who struggled to overcome a vice, while we have vices of our own. How dare we assume what does or doesn't apply as adding to a society. Music is part of our culture and heritage. The most pride I have ever felt hearing our national anthem was from the voice of Whitney Houston.

So, she didn't fight (when she was of age to do so women could not be in combat anyway). In many ways she leveled the playing field in regards to race in the music industry. I can only hope that when Andy Griffith passes to the next life here in North Carolina that we will honor him in the same way. Why because of the contribution they both made to society.

And now to our nation's obsession with fighting for "our" freedom. We have not declared war since World War II. We have been global cop for the past 50 years. We have to stop assuming that every action we take is to defend our freedom. We are forcing our way of life on others and calling it defending our country. (AHEM! Iraq anyone?)

 Don't get me wrong I love our troops and admire them for their bravery. I am deeply thankful for those who went to war and put their lives at risque after our nation was attacked on September 11, 2001. It is not their fault they were left to do nation building.

Would you be less outraged if Governor Christie had lowered the flag every single time a soldier from New Jersey has been killed. What about every police officer and fire fighter since he has been in office. Well, he has. FOR EVERY SINGLE ONE!!! I think we the people should do our homework before posting willy nilly on Facebook.

We should check our own lives before tearing down Whitney. How many people are lining up to rip into Elvis and Michael Jackson because of drug use. These were tortured and hurting people who enriched our lives way more than we enriched theirs. We sit around waiting for celebrities to fail rather than praying for them and shunning the gossip the media churns out.

So how about it America? Can we only honor those that keep us safe or do we have enough class to extend honor to those who inspire?

Also Read:
Whitney Houston Dies at Age 48


Amanda P. said...

yes. it could be our inclination to gripe and complain at any given opportunity. but i choose to assume that people just don't know what they don't know. addiction is a stronghold. so is a negative, bickering spirit but it seems to be more difficult to recognize as such. good post.

Leslie Renfro said...

I agree with a lot of this. I understand addiction is a disease and hard to overcome. I agree that we have no right to judge her. In GOD 's eyes sin is sin, whether you have a addiction or tell a lie. And we have no idea what her relationship with GOD was. I deeply mourn for her daughter and other family members who are left behind. As a mother, I can't imagine burying my child. That being said, what kind of message are we sending young people? Yes, she had a remarkable GOD given talent. But what do kids see when they see this? Elvis, Michael Jackson and now Whitney, they see celebrities who get rich, use drugs and die. They see death "glamorized" and not the harsh reality of carnage that it leaves behind and how those people struggle to put their lives back to any sense of normality which will undoubtedly never happen. If this were a Christian artist would the same thing be happening? Would the flag be lowered? Would his or her life be put out there for the world to see? Would we be here talking and would the news coverage be so profound? Would we get then to see what a servant of Christ life looks like? So no, I don't agree. I have a nephew who served 2 tours in Iraq, those men and women have earned it. I have heard first hand why we honor those brave individuals. "No greater love is this, than a man lay down his life for another." Ask a veteran what they think, ask them what true sacrifice is!

Nate Garrett said...

Thanks Amanda :)

Nate Garrett said...

Thanks for commenting. I agree that ALL of our soldiers who are killed in combat deserve being honored. I do not think we are honoring Whitney for her drug use, it is for her career. I am a pastor and we do this with every funeral. We bring up the positives: love for family, 23 years loyal to a company etc. we don't say mean as a snake to strangers, once got a D.W.I., because it is rude to do so. I think we should focus on the positive. And as for the Christian artists, unfortunately I cannot think of one who is widely known by all americans and has had a profound long lasting effect on american culture. I do think that you will see flags lowered in honor of Billy Graham when he passes. Thanks again for your input Leslie--keep supporting those troops :)

LT said...

My concern with all of this is that we show respect to our soldiers and famous people, but the average "Joe" that has always done good works for others is only recognized by their grieving families.

Nate Garrett said...

This is true, but there is almost nothing we can do about it unfortunately. Otherwise flags would always be at half mast for the millions a day that die. :(

dgirl35 said...

I'm sorry yes she had a great voice but lets get real people she was a crack addict who neglected her kids for her drugs and Bobby Brown not my words but her own when she confessed to Oprah in an interview, second all this shows to the world and our young kids who are now looking at this "praised" life and saying well if she can do it and still be loved then it must be okay for me get real people the reality is none of you even listened to a CD she had made in years quit being so high and mighty get your priorities straight and start mourning over the real heroes of the world the firefighters police officers and don't forget the soldiers who are fighting for your freedom to spit your screwed up views get your priorities straight if you want to by a CD or a movie from the "star" cause now she's dead why not save it and make a donation to one of the families who lost one of their own in your state saving your asses grow up

Nate Garrett said...


you said "second all this shows to the world and our young kids who are now looking at this "praised" life and saying well if she can do it and still be loved then it must be okay for me"

I do hope that the message out there to all kids is that they could hit rock bottom as a heroine junkie in a gutter and still be loved. Love should be unconditional not earned. She admitted it to Oprah because she was not proud. Addiction is a powerful thing that consumes individuals.

I do respect our military, but lets be honest, for the past several decades they have been all over the world "saving" everyone but us. The constitution provides only for the common DEFENSE not the global cop mentality of Washington.

I have friends and former students in harms way right now, and I pray for their safe return daily.

Thanks for your comment. Agree or not, I am glad to be in a country where we are free to have these discussions. :)